A “fat and body positive” sex therapist who recently gave a speech at St. Olaf College in Minnesota is making waves after comparing personal trainers to Nazis and childhood diets to sexual molestation.
The speaker, Sonalee Rashatwa, made headlines in 2018 for declaring that being thin is a white supremacist beauty ideal while speaking at a college in Vermont.
“I truly believe that a child cannot consent to being on a diet the same way a child cannot consent to having sex,” Rashatwar declared at her Minnesota speech. “I experience diet culture as a form of assault because it impacts the way that I experience my body.”
Her speech on “radical fat liberation” was organized by St. Olaf College’s Wellness Center, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, and Center for Equity and Inclusion.
“Tonight we’re gonna start by talking about how to politicize our definition of body image, because often we actually get stuck thinking of it from a white supremacist lens,” Rashatwar said.
Rashatwa’s biography on her website reads, “Sonalee Rashatwar (she/they) LCSW MEd is an award-winning social worker, sex therapist, adjunct lecturer, and grassroots organizer. Based in Philly (licensed in NJ, and PA license is pending), she is a fat queer non-binary therapist working as a sexual violence crisis counselor, specializing in treating sexual trauma, body image issues, racial or immigrant identity issues, and South Asian family systems, while offering fat and body positive sexual healthcare.”
The self-described “Fat Sex Therapist” went on to say, “We should be critical of the use of science and the production of knowledge to continue promoting this idea that certain bodies are fit, able, and desirable…is it my fatness that causes my high blood pressure, or is it my experience of weight stigma?”
“She then connected the science suggesting that obesity is unhealthy to Nazism, saying that ‘fatphobic’ science is ‘often actually eugenic science….eugenic science is Nazi science,'” Campus Reform reports.
“I do not think it’s surprising that the man who shot up Christchurch, New Zealand was also a fitness instructor,” Rashatwar said. After making this claim, she added that the shooting is “a clear communication that there’s still an idealized body. Nazis really love this idea of an idealized body, and so it makes a lot of sense to me that a fitness instructor…might also think about an idealized body in this thin white supremacist way.”