Fat is STILL a feminist issue.

Over in England, there's a fine little brouhaha brewing up about, guess what, dieting.

The backstory is that well-respected journalist and self-confessed former fattie India Knight wrote a book with a friend called Neris and India's Idiot-proof diet.

Then in marched equally well-respected journalist Zoe Willams, who wrote an article criticizing the book, called 'You're Vain and Stupid'. Hey, don't beat around the bush, Zoe dear. Her argument is that anyone who cares about their weight forfeits the right to be thought of as intelligent.

And now India has come charging back with, well, with a bit of pathos really:

"One of the things about being fat - and I'm talking about being stones overweight, not about "needing" to shrink from a size six to a size two - is that, after a certain point, it makes you invisible. It's hard to understand how this might be considered any kind of achievement, feminist or otherwise.

You may occupy a great deal of physical space if you're very fat, but in everyday life, it's as though you weren't there. Sales assistants stare blankly through you. Men pretend you don't exist, or start calling you "mate".

You wonder whether your children are embarrassed to be seen with you in public (the answer to that one is yes, probably). You wish you could go for a bike ride with them, but you're too self-conscious, because you look like a potato balanced on an ant."

Ouch! We tend to think that dieting probably is unfeminist in the greater scheme of things, but then we don't want to look like Andrea Dworkin, either. So we'll go on feeling a wee bit conflicted, and lay off the cheescake.

[Zoe's not happy]
[Nor is India]