Tipping the Scales of Justice: Fighting Weight Based Discrimination Paperback – January 1, 2000
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"...outstanding! It's a must-read for those who want a comprehensive understanding of civil rights!" -- Michael Adams, Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union
"I believe this book will be a valuable tool for anyone who fights for human rights." -- Rump Parliament Magazine, May/June 2000
"When flight attendants can be fired for gaining 5 or 10 pounds, we're all at risk from weight-related discrimination." -- Marilyn Wann, editor, Fat!So? magazine
About the Author
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The author recommends applying disability laws to the obese, a controversial stance which puts her at odds with other so-called fat-rights advocates who resist using the disabled label. After examining several cases involving the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, she concludes that the courts' treatment of larger-sized people under these laws too often is inconsistent, confused, and tainted by fat prejudice. She proposes a clearer, more logical way of categorizing and analyzing these cases, and reiterates how de-stigmatizing obesity helps correct pervasive misperceptions of fat people's abilities.
The book's strength lies in its focus on education and reform and the human face put on the problem of fat prejudice. However, even the author's extensive use of footnotes can't compensate for the dearth of legal materials involving weight discrimination. The appendices list organizations devoted to fat-rights advocacy, recommended readings, samples of anti-discrimination laws and excerpts from the ADA. But the paucity of published opinions reflects the reason why the book is a "tool of legal scholarship" as opposed to a "handbook" -- the still novel issue remains largely confined to academia and talks shows, not the actual practice of law. In our progressively heavier society, fat people may be closer to tipping the scales as the majority, but one wonders whether protection against fat prejudice will ever become the prevailing legal norm.