Just in case you thought there were areas of life that were safe from this shit:
Speaking as a fat poet who has given many public readings and taught many college courses and non-academic workshops, I can testify that there is not a single first-day-of-class or walk-to-the-microphone when I don’t damn-near drown in my fear of being judged unworthy-because-fat, or haven’t spent the days before fretting over my outfit (hoping it can be cool enough to bypass my fatitude…). Sarah Hollowell is a different generation than I am, and she “seems” to be a bit more confident than I am, but she is open about being hurt and confused, and the MWW are clearly scrambling their asses around like crazy to make it right, but the fact remains that they absolutely confirmed the notion that fat-prejudice is the last truly acceptable prejudice when they were silent at that meeting. Silence = complicity, folks. You all consented to prejudice. So you should be scrambling your asses around and doing serious grovelling.
And I know Roxanne Gay can be prickly, but her response here was right and righteous.
This, of course, all applies only if the whole kerfuffle is being reported accurately. There are some hints floating around that the words actually used at the meeting might not have been accurately represented, and the whole shebang is a wad of someone-said-and-then-someone-said confusion. And Gay has been known to be hot-tempered (though brilliant enough to get away with/around it).
Here’s the thing, though, the story is absolutely believable. Which says something fairly important. But if it’s not true, then apologies are owed in other directions, and soon.