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i agree with John Carrol's comment, and have not found satisfactory replies to it in this forum. To me the e-mail qualifies as 'rude' for being a blunt negative comment presented to a stranger; but does not meet a sensible definition of "bullying" - all the more since it appears that it was signed by the author, opening the possibility of conversation. A short version of the exchange would be:
- "Shame on you for being fat in public."
- "Shame on YOU for being a bully."
The first comment is rude; the reply is understandable but a bit overstated and pointless. I would have been more interested in a reply that addressed the issue of obesity alongside that of the hurtful effects rudeness and bullying. Ms. Livingson is certainly within her basic rights in sidestepping a rude, unsolicited and unwelcome comment with a "How dare you?" reply; it just doesn't strike me as an inspirational response. As things stand i personally have no clear sense of whether being overweight is a grave health concern, or a mostly aesthetic matter - it seems like the discussion hinges on that distinction.