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News Analysis Mar 24, 2022 12:13 AM EST

Steven Crowder dupes scholars at academic conference with fake fatness studies paper

"As the waist size, for example, of my pants increases, in many ways so does my power," said Steven Crowder, who posed as fat activist Sea Matheson.

Steven Crowder dupes scholars at academic conference with fake fatness studies paper
Nick Monroe Cleveland, Ohio

YouTube commentator and comedian Steven Crowder was recently revealed to have, back in 2020, infiltrated an activist conference centered around fat people. This was done in a similar vein to the "grievance studies" efforts of Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay.

As Crowder’s video published Monday describes, fat people have taken to upholding their body weight as being as sacred as their race and gender. The general hegemony at play is the mixture of fat into identity politics.

Cat Pausé is introduced as the central figure to this whole episode. She called for a "fat ethics" focus that works to understand "acknowledging the role science has played in the oppression of fat people." It’s through the event that she puts on that Crowder gets a chance to make a speech.

Other background includes author Sonya Renee Taylor citing one big-booty Saarjtie Bartman as a role model of the 19th century, and how that doesn’t compare to the behind of Kim Kardashian today.

The title of the paper was "Embracing Fatness as Self-Care in the Era of Trump." Crowder put on a disguise and became fat activist Sea Matheson of Austin, Texas. Crowder made Sea Matheson a reality through the diligence of his make-up artists. Efforts were even made to set up a compelling background living space for Matheson, with so-called "evidence" of activism on display.

Cat Pausé of Massey University actually accepted Steven Crowder's fake entry without question.

Sea Matheson introduced themselves as someone who engaged with the non-binary community, as well as the obese.

"Because of our current leader’s bigotry: fatness I will argue, acts as a distancing mechanism from the President, as well as his supporters, producing both physical and ideological space that can insulate the individual from intolerant, bigoted, or violent ideology."

Steven Crowder makes sure to add a trigger warning for good measure.

"It’s widely acknowledged of course that the 2016 election of President Donald Trump was evident of America’s (some would argue) underlying racist, xenophobic, homophobic and transphobic attitudes. I would argue that it was always there, not so underlying. It just took 2016 for more people to realize it."

Crowder made a serious argument about how Trump’s attitudes towards fat people took a backseat towards the rest of the media attention the former President received. He cites Trump calling the North Korean leader "short and fat" as a way that fatphobia could seep into how the President conducted international relations.

Steven Crowder uploaded to YouTube what was likely his entire speech to the 2020 Pop Culture Association conference.

Matheson criticized then-candidate Joe Biden for challenging people to push-up contests on the 2020 campaign trail. His central thesis about "space" comes off like an extended fat joke that flies under the radar to the audience.

Crowder went as far as giving a biography for why his Sea Matheson was fat: she was touched inappropriately as a child. But that turns into a revelation for his character’s fake obesity because the fat worked as a "self-care" measure that prevented Matheson from being fondled at a gas station. In turn, this is framed as a symbolic bulwark against the forces of white supremacy.

Sea Matheson’s call to action is that they hoped that society saw getting fat as a means of self protection. The framing of existing measurements of health, as described by Crowder’s take on Mrs. Doubtfire is arbitrary.

But apparently the conference bought it. "You did a great job presenting [Trump’s] fatphobia, and how fatphobia has been promoted by both his supporters and his detractors," read one comment. "Embracing fatness is an act of resistance and can be part of how we fight against rape culture."

The success of Crowder’s hoax landed him potential further work, as the Editor-in Chief of "Fat Studies: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society," wanted Crowder’s Matheson character to peer review the manuscript, and in doing so become an authoritative source.

"What happens to the students?" is the closing argument presented by Crowder. What will the end results of this politicized crusade to progressively transform academia look like? According to him, they’re a group of people who are easy to fool.

In October 2018, Mike Nayna, James Lindsay, and Helen Pluckrose revealed how easy it was to make nonsense up and have it approved in academia. They submitted what they called "intentionally broken academic papers" to academic journals studying gender, race, and other similar topics.

"We did this to expose a political corruption that's taken hold of the University," a video states.

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