Women bonding through helping each other in skills, accomplishments, mutual support, emotional and intellectual support grows us, and our awareness of the female condition and HOW to overcome it in a feminist and powerful way, to LIBERATE ourselves. But as long as the talk is all on diet, food, or fitting into clothes, we'll NEVER get anywhere...and that's what the patriarchy wants women to do: be so obsessed on their bodies and their attractiveness or lack thereof(according to the men and even women in power), that it keeps us from developing our minds, bodies and spirits instead..and growing a sense of Power out in the word, and the skills and awareness to walk powerfully in the world by BELIEVING in ourselves and each other.....
- Feisty Amazon For me personally, as a big woman, this is a very important article. It really, really bores me when dining with a group of women and all they can do is obsess on what they are eating and on their body size and striving to always be thinner...and the hatred they have towards their bodies. I quit dining with a group of women because I hated how everytime I'd set down to ENJOYING my food, they'd be going on and on about what they should and should not eat..till I finally set a limit and told them I had ENOUGH of the diet talk!
- Feisty Amazon the same goes with clothes. The clothes are there to FIT YOU. If you don't fit into them, they're not the right clothes, which is WHY I ONLY shop in big stores that have my size, and department stores I know that carry men's 4xl. I no longer let myself get frustrated hoping there's something I might fit into....
- Feisty Amazon Here's what else I posted: That is an important article. Women are so obssessed about their weight to the detriment of their minds, and spirits. They don't talk about their accomplishments or how to get ahead or how to empower each other, they talk about this shit that just keeps women on the cycle of pleasing men, and hating each other and themselves if they don't participate in this unfortunate ritual. I got to a point that I no longer wanted to go out to dinner weekly with a group of women because as soon as we got to the table they'd go on with their boring 'fat talk' and they'd all order salads. Meanwhile I ordered a nice big fat juicy steak...and after a while, after one went on about her bariatric surgery while I was eating my nice big fat juicy steak, which is a real luxury and rarity for me, I told 'em "I'm DONE with the diet talk, can we talk about something else? I REALLY do not want to hear all about bariatric surgery and what you can and cannot eat while ENJOYING my meal." Straight women are particularly prone to this kind of talk. Lesbians do it in another way as an obsession on health, vegetarianism and veganism, but it comes down to essentially the same thing: control of other women and what they eat and how they look. BORING. There are SO MANY more interesting and vital subjects to discuss.
- Ajna Starheart Until I gained weight after becoming pregnant with my son, I had no idea of the amount of HATRED people had especially reserved for women who were considered 'fat'. I didn't really lose the extra pounds from pregnancy for years. Since then my weight has gone up and down, ( especially due to previously undiagnosed thyroid issues) and also due to a more 'domesticated' and sedentary lifestyle. It was only when I changed to a woman doctor ( whom a Feminist friend recommended to me a few years ago ) that those issues were even tested for. The male doctor I'd had for decades previous seemed to be judging me and I had not felt comfortable with him at all, feeling that he didn't take me seriously. In fact he misdiagnosed me when I desperately needed a gynecologist, and the woman surgeon he EVENTUALLY sent me to probably saved my life. I knew after he'd botched that one so badly taht I needed a change to a competent woman doctor. But you know what? I think he just assumed that I had gained so much weight due to over-eating / depression, when in fact it was actually much more serious.
Now, thanks to this woman doctor, ( and her team ), I am receiving the kind of medical care I need and I am slowly beginning to feel the way I did 20 years ago, recover my fitness, and starting to lose pounds ( because that is what I want to do , not because I feel hated or under pressure ).
I also recently discovered that even slim women who have been very much overweight in their recent past and then have lost it all again can be completely unsympathetic and hateful to women who are having a hard time either losing weight or ACCEPTING themselves unconditionally ( as you so wonderfully do Feisty ). This was a big revelation for me, and after reading your post and comments I know that it's not about weight at all, it's about women-hating. Women police other women and that disgust and hatred runs so much deeper than we all imagine. And even women who are slim police themselves and hate their own bodies for not being 'perfect' ( according to what? ).
Brilliant subject here. And one that highlights the body-loathing, self-loathing and misogyny that we all carry, ( until we decide not to ) .
- Feisty Amazon I love what you said about the women policing other women and their behavior. I have been policed my ENTIRE life by my relatives by the way I ate(like a man) and my size (big, like the men in my family). Because women aren't supposed to enjoy food, yet they serve it to men to enjoy. Men can have seconds and thirds, but women are expected to be 'dainty' in their eating. And of course they're meant to be eye candy, not big like men....very, very sexist.Yes, my core oppression, as a Female. It also stops me from getting hired or laid off first....sizephobia. But it's ok if men are big!
- Ajna Starheart Women hate themselves and hate other women for being overweight. This classic book talks about this ( although I've not read it, I possibly should ) ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fat-Feminist-Issue-Susie-Orbach/dp/0099481936 ~ but I do think that things have got even worse now, in general.
- Ajna Starheart It is also seen as 'weakness' if a woman cannot contain and control her appetite. And once, when I was still a very young, slim woman in my twenties, I recall a male friend who thought he was going out with me ( he wasn't ) asking me apprehensively if 'all my appetites' were as healthy as my appetite for food? So in other words, in people's minds there is a link between our appetite for food and our sexual appetite.
- Feisty Amazon Yes, I read that book when I was much younger, and I still have it. I also have one on being healthy at any size, I NEEDED these books to build back my self-esteem, which my family really tore down(and others). It's again, all about social control over women...even in third world countries, they're only allowed to eat after their husbands do...and my father took the lion's share of food, that was meant for all 4 of us! So I learned to eat real fast to get my full share! But MEN are ALLOWED both their physical and sexual appetites, women are not...I ENJOY BOTH. This is why I'm so glad to be Butch. And fat women in a certain way are percieved as 'unfeminine' since they dont' fit feminine ideals of body shape. I AM unfeminine so along with my enjoyment of food, competing for food like a man, an appetite for food like a man, also physically not feminine, and was MADE to believe I was fat when I was not. Overweight some, but at 160-175 lbs I was NOT fat. Now at 300 plus pounds I am..and alot of that came thru yoyo dieting.....this is brought up in Feminist books like 'Fat is a Feminist Issue' and another well known one "Shadow on a Tightrope".
- Feisty Amazon I do believe there can be a link between physical and sexual appetite, both stimulate pleasure centers in the brain...but they've been showing with fat folks, that there is something broken that does not turn off, the satiation thing which causes us to overeat. What's wrong with having 'appetites'? NOTHING. That again is all that Christian shaming.
- Feisty Amazon http://store.auntlute.com/Shadow-on-a-Tightrope-p219.html Aunt Lute is a Feminist Press.
- Ajna Starheart Yep. With us it was the Christian thing. But similar. Trouble is, I got type 2 diabetes through gaining weight and not losing it. I watched my father die a long slow horrible death from complications of that disease, so I want to regain my formerly slimmer but curvy figure for that reason alone - to feel healthier, be healthier and not be inviting more ill health. We all have different metabolisms, and shapes, sizes, it ought to be about being healthy and fit enough to enjoy Life.
- Ajna Starheart I read this book a few years ago, and it is a good insight into what it's like being the 'fat girl' of any family.... ~ http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4711853
- Feisty Amazon There's another book called 'Fat and Fit'. One thing for health issues, my partner too is diabetic. I've always been a fence sitter on the size acceptance movement, the more radical elements, because we DO have to pay attention to what we eat as we get older...so we're doing what we can to shave off salt, fat and sugar...though my weakness is sugar, hers is the salty foods, due to her heart and diabetes problems....the fat due to my having some possible gall bladder issues, got VERY sick eating very high fat food one holiday season a couple years ago...but this is what most processed food contains, also 70% of processed food contains GMO's...so I'm trying to get off as much processed food as is possible on a budget. I cannot afford solid organic, and I would if I could...and we're exercising through swimming....but I will ALWAYS be big, I'll never be skinny again, and it's in the genes...my entire family is big...there is a huge genetic component. The ones who were able to retain fat easily survived the famines in Europe. The ones who could not often died out. So these genes have definitely been passed on in my family.
Health is one thing, but the diet obsession is entirely something else in the guise of 'health'. And BILLIONS are being made off of shaming women around their bodies, while men STILL get to have THEIR appetites...like 'Hearty Man' dinners and soups!
- Feisty Amazon Uh huh....more like they faced starvation all the time, and so She was seen as Primal Mother who provides for all.....anyhow it is ENTIRELY size affirming for me to align myself with this Primal Mother and the Venus of Willendorf, whom I look like exactly when naked.
- Feisty Amazon I will put some of this on my blog, because it's SUCH a personal issue for me, and I believe it REALLY holds women back, this body obsession, and keeps us from getting ahead and cultivating REAL Skills, as well as fomenting the Shevolution or Vulvalution!
- Paty Antuña Yarza I agree with all you say here. i used to be very thin and then used to be very fat with pregnancies (gaining an average of 50 pounds in each) and the weight that just stayed there. I never dieted or anything but I did feel extremely miserable about not looking good anymore. It's like my mind is divided in two: I KNOW my weight has nothing to do with what or who I am, and I KNOW that I wasn't more loved, or felt better when I was thin BUT still I cry over clothes that will never fit me again, I LOATHE shopping for clothes and not finding stuff that fits me or that "looks good on me" (and i know how shallow that is) and don't want to share pics of me. I feel a bit better about this when I get my periods but the rest of the days, I don't do too well about this. I don't particularly find women who are "traditionally attractive" attractive or beautiful, but it's like I still apply that stupid rule to me. I sometimes wonder if there'll ever be ONE topic/area in which i'm NOT completely screwed up.