Sideshow Bob hitting himself in the face with a rake on The Simpsons.

From Airplane Seating to Bathing Suits, Bigots Continue to Self-Own

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the recent Target swimwear controversy and the ongoing debate over planes being more accommodating for larger-bodied passengers, it’s that bigots are very good at self-owning. They are so desperate to prevent the people they hate from having any rights that they’ll gladly advocate against their needs, even if it means harming or taking resources away from themselves in the process, or just flat-out publicly embarrassing themselves with their ill-thought-out statements.

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We’ve seen conservatives infamously do the latter quite often, such as Ben Shapiro proving his ignorance about women and sex, as well as advertising his hypocrisy, while having a meltdown over the song “WAP.”

However, their self-owning goes a bit further than just humiliating themselves with ridiculous speeches and social media posts. With the Target and airplane seat debacles, we see conservatives announcing that they are suddenly against things they would normally support or use just because they realize that transgender and larger-bodied individuals may benefit from them, too. Not only that, but they’re willing to side with unsavory business and capitalist practices or against programs that support the public good, just to prove their hatred of others.

Target recently introduced a new Pride collection ahead of Pride month that included tuck-friendly swimwear for adults. As the tag explains, it simply provides “extra crotch coverage” and concealment to individuals in varying stages of transition. Of course, this has enraged conservatives and led them to falsely claim that the swimwear was made specifically for children, even though it was available solely in adult sizes. Even when acknowledging it was made for adults, they continued calling for boycotts of Target, and some extremists even made threats against the company, prompting the store to remove and review some of its Pride items.

However, as Twitter user @LoveAmuSystem pointed out, tuck-friendly swimsuits aren’t a new thing and they aren’t solely for transgender individuals. Cisgender women use similar swimsuit styles for many reasons. Hence, men who are criticizing these swimsuits for being “for penises” are just showing that they don’t know anything about female anatomy or clothing needs.

Even fellow cis women, though, are vocally slamming these tuck-friendly swimsuits and demanding their removal. Apparently, they don’t want to have clothing that fits a variety of sizes and bodies. Additionally, both men and women are basically saying that they’re “against” swimsuits that simply provide enough coverage for people’s genitals … which is very strange and creepy.

Similarly, bigots would rather be uncomfortable on airplanes than have them be more accommodating to larger-bodied people. Several plus-size influencers have been advocating for airplanes to consider larger individuals in their designs. Many travelers are stuck sitting in seats that are far too small for them, with armrests jamming into their bodies, and are sometimes forced to pay the price of two seats, while others are publicly humiliated when requesting seat belt extenders or when someone refuses to sit next to them.

It’s no secret that airplanes are unreasonably uncomfortable and seek to increase profits by cramming as many people on board as possible. Everyone, regardless of size, could benefit from some extra space and chairs that accommodate a variety of body sizes.

Yet, whenever these influencers speak on the issue, the response is usually horrific, and comments fill up rapidly with body-shaming, mockery, and hatred. Fatphobic people would rather continue to pay unreasonable prices to sit in tiny, uncomfortable chairs, shoulder-to-shoulder with other passengers for hours-long flights, than risk allowing plus-sized passengers to experience any level of comfort. A common argument is that more space would mean more expensive tickets, but with airlines continuing to rake in profits, it’s hard to argue that they can’t afford to give passengers more space. They just don’t want to, and no one should be defending that.

Bigots self-owning is nothing new

Bigots self-owning is nothing new, as we’ve seen it expand past things like Target swimsuits and airplane comfort into areas like financial assistance, housing, and public transportation. Many white conservative Americans are staunchly against government financial assistance, usually citing beliefs that it encourages laziness or gives people too much dependency on the government. (And they’ll usually change their tune when it comes to themselves, because they believe they’re the exceptions who can be trusted to only use it as needed.)

However, a 2018 study found that racism may be a motivating factor for white Americans to oppose such programs. The study found that white Americans, when confronted with fictional data of the white population declining, were more likely to oppose financial assistance than those presented with data that showed white people remaining the majority. Since many white Americans also grossly overestimate the percentage of marginalized people who benefit from welfare, it isn’t surprising that their support wanes when they feel the white majority is being threatened.

Of course, while racism drives the opposition to these programs, a significant portion of white Americans benefit from these programs, too. For instance, when it comes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), white Americans make up the largest demographic receiving aid. Roughly 37% percent of SNAP recipients are white, while 26% are African American and 16% are Hispanic.

When asked to estimate who received welfare and food stamps, though, two-thirds of survey responders believed that more Black Americans received welfare than white Americans or that the numbers were equal. Hence, many bigots are actually hurting their own demographic the most, in their rush to be as racist as possible.

None of this is to say that the reason people shouldn’t be racist, transphobic, fatphobic, or otherwise bigoted is because doing so might also hurt white, cisgender, or thin people. Hurting anyone should be enough, and hurting those who are already marginalized is worse, but with bigots always trying to convince others that there are reasons to support their viewpoints other than outright hate, it’s sometimes useful to point out how little sense they actually make, even on their own warped terms.

(featured image: Fox)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.