Recently professional meme victim and Jewish feminist Zoe Williams penned an opinion piece lamenting that anyone who brags about their fitness will become “unavoidably rightwing”. The article is thankfully short, but there is a lot to unpack here. Does boasting about your fitness really put you on the path to becoming “rightwing”? I would argue that yes it does, at least based on the universe this yenta has constructed, but we’ll have to start with the first glaring issue Zoe raises about herself:
Why is this bitch a “fitness columnist”?
“I have been writing a fitness column for a year and in this time I’ve digested very little about what exercise does for your body. I still have to Google what counts as maximum-intensity every time I feel moved to talk about it, which is all the time – but I know everything about what it does to your personality, and none of it is pretty.”
The world-building of this narrative begins with a protagonist holding a position as “exercise columnist” totally without merit. Why do you have this job? This is a theme that undercuts her entire “opinion piece”; in Zoe’s world, one does not have to actually achieve any sort of tangible results measured against an objective standard. Reading her “Fit in my 40s” column one gets the impression she treats “fitness” like a series of childish games, quite literally in the case of “Prama“.
“Squares on the floor light up, and you leap on them. Circular paths flash orange as you run along them, then all your lights go berserk if you’re faster than your child. There are playground games, like running around trying to touch each other’s knees while defending your own. Oh, and a slippery dancing mat.”
People who actually engage in any kind of serious exercise can understand this for what it is, just a transplanted feminist dabbling in various mild exercise activities without seriously training for any kind of discipline. She’s purely looking for a little light fodder for her stupid column and is privileged enough to live in a Clownworld where making the right political noises is more important than any passion or knowledge of the subject being covered. Why hire a triathlete, weight-lifter or marathoner when you can just stick an unqualified Jewish feminist into the slot?
Self-sufficiency versus self-love.
“Do too much, and the self-love develops a carapace of self-sufficiency.”
Here we have it. The subjective, ineffable self-love of meritless narcissism is implied to be more genuine than a superficial “carapace of self-sufficiency”. Just as the shitlib believes sex isn’t about procreation, they are also convinced exercise has nothing to do with self-improvement. Zoe has inverted authenticity to imply being able to do measurable things in the real world like pedaling a bicycle to work is somehow more shallow than just loving yourself for no good fucking reason. Tess Holiday would be proud.
Speaking of cycling…
Cycling confirmed as the most right-wing exercise.
“This is especially a problem for cyclists, who come to think of themselves as an off-grid warrior class, having performed their commute drawing on no more resources than their own glutes, and maybe a sports drink. Unavoidably, over time, this makes you more rightwing, as you descend into an aerobics-powered moral universe where only the weak need each other, and all the strong need is a waterpouch in their backpack that pipes straight into their mouths.”
Alright so first of all, Camelbaks are strictly prohibited if you’re a road cyclist. Please see # Rule 32. Secondly, there’s an irony that in serious road-cycling learning to work a paceline is considered one of the basic skills and it relies entirely on teamwork. (This is why you see chains of cyclists glued to each other’s back wheel) Putting aside all the petty gripes about Zoe not knowing a Goddamn thing about she’s talking about, we have arrived at the heart of the matter.
Potency is indeed a right-wing trait, and this is what Zoe fears. She has a form of “merit anxiety” in which the afflicted suffers from a phobia that performances can be measured and compared between people. This is entirely understandable, since if the leadership at the Guardian did this she’d get fired immediately. The left is terrified shitless of the idea people can improve themselves and outperform others. She’s ceded the value of training, self improvement and accomplishment to the political right, and we are more than happy to accept it. Recording things like watts per kilo, the average speed of a ride, or how much weight you can bench-press invites comparisons to others, and the ones doing “Prama” with their step-daughters aren’t going to measure up.
In Zoe’s world, the following is actually considered a pathological belief:
“Here I am, improving myself, with willpower and grit, and because I was so great to start with, I’m shortly to become even better.”
Yes Zoe, that is indeed the fucking point, fitness is about self-improvement and will to power.
You are unavoidably rightwing if you care about those things.