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Yet another chance for activism — Too fat for a PhD

June 7, 2013

Ah yes, the elitist asshats who seem to think that fat = gluttony. Don’t believe the hype, buddy, don’t believe the hype. This time we have the ivory tower type of dickweed, Mr. Geoffrey Miller, a tenured professor at the University of New Mexico and who is teaching at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

On June 2, he tweeted the following:


It was quickly deleted, but the damage was done nonetheless. People online, especially social media activists, were calling for his job within hours.

Accused of fat-shaming, Miller has since backtracked on his statement multiple times and ways.  First he was sorry, then he didn’t mean it THAT way. Finally, reportedly claims the tweet was part of a social research project he was doing.

“My sincere apologies to all for that idiotic, impulsive, and badly judged tweet. It does not reflect my true views, values, or standards,” Miller wrote on Twitter, according to The Atlantic. “Obviously my previous tweet does not represent the selection policies of any university, or my own selection criteria.”

According to the New York Observer, Miller will keep his job teaching at NYU, but his future at UNM is less certain.

“We are deeply concerned about the impact of the statement, which in no way reflects the policies or admission standards of UNM,” UNM said in an official statement issued on Monday. “We are investigating every aspect of this incident and will take appropriate action.”

There are two things we as activists and all around radical educated fatties can do to help.

Lonie McMichael - PhD -Texas Tech University

Lonie McMichael
PhD, Texas Tech University

The first is an email campaign. Virgie Tovar brought it to my attention over at Facebook. It began as a phone-in campaign to UNM. She did so before I could get to it and let us all know of her semi-failure. She posted, “Called UNM to lodge complaint. It seemed they were not surprised! Receptionist recommended emailing chair:” That is the chairperson of his department. I’m sure a few thousand emails her way will at the very least make having him be an employee a hassle.

This is Cat Pausé, at her PhD graduation. She finished her PhD at Texas Tech University in December 2007. She worked under Dr. Gwendolyn T. Sorell in the Human Development & Family Studies program. Her dissertation explored weight identity in fat women.

Cat Pausé
PhD, Texas Tech University

The second bit of activism you can do works only if you are a PhD.  If you are, do us a favor. Take out that picture of your diploma, of you graduating, and publish it on Fuck Yeah Fat PhDs! That way we can PROVE to Miller, and every other elitist ivory tower asshat, that we’re fat, we’re smart, and we DO exist.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2013 10:08 am

    I am concerned about his past phd applicants. I hope someone goes through all the people he denied in the past and make sure his discrimination wasn’t showing 😉

  2. June 7, 2013 10:26 am

    Actually, Cat is accepting anyone who is currently studying or has graduated from a masters or doctorate. While I never had any doubt that fat people got PhDs too, actually scrolling through that list and those photos was awesome. Really inspiring.

  3. June 7, 2013 10:51 am

    Do other doctorates count? I actually tweeted the shithead myself – I’m a fattie and got a JD while fat AND autistic! GASP!

  4. Duckie permalink
    June 7, 2013 11:31 am

    Email Sent. An excerpt:

    “Dear Dr. Smith,

    I’m sure you’ve seen similar emails with all the arguments, so I’ll keep it short. I understand you are the best person to receive this communication.

    I am a fat woman with an MS in a mental health field, who is considering seeking a PhD. I currently provide mental health services to citizens of New Mexico, including your students and UNM’s medical center.

    I am outraged at Geoffrey Miller’s recent tweet: “Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation. #truth” This is obvious bigotry. It is despicable and has no place in academia. Students deserve better teachers than Mr. Miller or anyone else who would judge a student based on his or her appearance.

    I hope you will address this situation effectively and quickly. Delay or leniency would reflect poorly on the school as a whole, as it already has for NYU.

    Thank you for your consideration.”

  5. June 7, 2013 5:22 pm

    Reblogged this on The Cheese Whines and commented:
    Guess he didn’t expect the backlash. Joke’s on him, as it should be.

  6. lifeonfats permalink
    June 7, 2013 5:51 pm

    For a guy that’s in academics, he was sure stupid not to realize the backlash this ended up having. We’re in the age of social media AND increased awareness of fatphobia—asinine comments like his aren’t going to be taken lightly anymore.

  7. June 8, 2013 12:38 am

    This man should be tossed out of academia. I know I only have a high school education, but I have a brain and sensitivity. This man’s tag, @matingmind – what does that mean? Hmmm….

  8. Dizzyd permalink
    June 8, 2013 6:41 pm

    Dear Dr. Oblivious,
    Time to get your head out of your butt and come down here from your ivory tower to the real world with the rest of us.
    A Smart Fat Person

  9. June 22, 2013 8:03 pm

    Aren’t there tons of fat people in Mensa? I have friends in Mensa, get their literature and I see tons of fatties in there. Some even into the 300s and 400s.

    I could join Mensa if I wanted…well based on an IQ test from 20 years ago. Come on this is the stupidest thing I’ve heard yet.

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