Author: Anna Slatz

Inside the Woke Actors Studio: How I Trained Future Doctors to Police Their Pronouns

I’ve always considered myself a collector of interesting experiences. Perhaps to my detriment, my résumé looks more like a roster of Whose Line Is It Anyway sketches than a sequence of interrelated experiences leading up to a stable professional life. Never-a-dull-moment has been the goal, and most moments have remained gratifyingly un-dull. So when a local medical school asked me to serve as a simulated patient for their training sessions, I jumped at it. I had absolutely no acting experience, and most of my medical knowledge is on the level of Dr. Phil. But maybe this is how stars are born. You’re Pertussis Patient #3—until a blotto Bradley Cooper walks into the ER and overhears your beautiful coughing fit. Some of my fellow med-school thespians are, like me, simple university students looking to make a buck. But some are actors manqués who’d apparently been doing this for decades: elderly men and women who put on makeup, affect accents, and invent their own evocative pseudonyms and back stories that go way beyond the simple patient scripts …

The Sad Truth About ‘Fat Acceptance’

Last week, self-described queer non-binary “fat sex therapist” Sonalee Rashatwar delivered a two-hour lecture entitled Race as a Body Image Issue at the St. Olaf College Health and Wellness Center in Minnesota. The event was a master class in social justice, at times putting shame to the parodies of the genre that now traffic on social media. In the video, the visibly obese woman asks: “Is it my fatness that causes my high blood pressure—or is it my experience of weight stigma?” In the presentation, which has gone viral, Rashatwar also compared “fatphobia” not only to eugenics (which is itself absurd) but also to “Nazi science,” and declared that “a child cannot consent to being on a diet the same way a child cannot consent to having sex.” Indeed, the very titles of her recurring presentations—including Health is a Social Construct, Decolonizing Sex Positivity, Gender Isn’t Real and Neither Is Health and How Fat Queers the Body—seem like something you’d find on the Twitter feed of satirists such as Titania McGrath or Madeline Seers. Yet …