Speechless

I don’t think I even have enough snark in me today to deal with this article on how straight women have to be careful when hanging out with their own boyfriends and husbands, because it might make them fat.

We’ve all been in that situation. It’s a Sunday afternoon during football season and your significant other is deciding between pizza, nachos and a burrito and now that he’s talking about it, so are you. But be careful: At best, women burn about 26 percent fewer calories a day then guys do, so if you mimic his eating habits, you could end up piling on the pounds.

OMFG. First, we all know that no woman ever craves pizza, nachos, or a burrito all by herself; the thought will only occur to her when her man brings it up. Second, we all know there is no possible way that a woman who does not want pizza, nachos, or a burrito would ever think to say, “Ehh, I don’t really want that. I’m going to have something else.” ‘Cause once the boy’s made a suggestion, her free will drains out through her pores, apparently. And third, that little bit of calories in/calories out pseudoscience right there? Is just the tip of the fucking iceberg.

Here are the reasons why men make women fat, according to the article:

  • They refuse to eat vegetables.
  • They like to eat in front of the TV.
  • They like to drink beer.
  • They like drive-thru fast food.
  • They like full-fat instead of low-fat food. (Actual fucking quote: “Most men would as soon buy tampons as tofu — low-fat labels drain the machismo right out of them.”)

And there are STATISTICS to back up all these assertions about men, so IT’S TRUE SHUT UP.

Now here’s what women are supposed to do to counteract the effects of heterosexual relationships on their “health”:

  • Sneak vegetables into the food you will be cooking for both of you (obviously).
  • Watch TV shows that bore you instead of ones you really like, so you don’t get so into the show you forget to pay attention to your snacking. (I’m not even fucking kidding.)
  • Skip beer on week nights — “chances are, you’ll enjoy the alcohol more if you save those calories for a mini-splurge at a future happy hour or during a weekend out.” HE won’t, apparently — you’re also counseled to ask him to only keep enough beer in the house for him to drink as he pleases — but you’ll sure enjoy it more if you deny yourself during the week!
  • “Before you hop into the car, throw your favorite portable healthy food — a peanut-butter protein bar, a banana and mozzarella string cheese, a cup of Greek yogurt with honey — in your bag.” This is so you won’t be tempted to order something when he drags you through the drive-thru. For real. I’m not even going to get started on how, exactly, one is supposed to throw yogurt with honey in her bag. I’ll just say that if you’re really worried about this one, here’s an even better suggestion: YOU DRIVE.
  • Use low-fat everything. ‘Cause that will totally keep you healthy and make you lose weight.

And wait, it gets better! Here’s some of the “science” behind these instructions.

Eating a cup and a half of frozen mixed Oriental-style veggies with a half-cup of cooked rice also saves you 130 calories, versus eating two cups of rice alone — enough to prevent a 14-pound weight gain every year.

I love that she makes that claim about a 14-pound weight gain without ever saying how often you are supposed to have this particular meal. Every night? Once a week? No idea. But it will TOTALLY PREVENT YOU FROM GAINING 14 LBS.

A 120-pound woman burns only about 54 calories an hour watching TV (a 180-pound man burns 74 calories per hour).

Okay, first, a 120-lb. woman probably burns less calories than a 180-lb. man because, oh, I don’t know, SHE’S GOT LESS BODY TO FUEL? Second, even if there is some tragic difference in how much women and men burn while watching TV, women undoubtedly make up for it with all the extra housework we do, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

Alas, even a 12-ounce ultra-low-carb beer has 95 calories. Have one four nights a week and you’ll see a six-pound weight gain in a year’s time (not including the junk you scarf while your guard is down).

Once again, we are to believe that the laws of thermodynamics mean calories will affect every single human being in precisely the same way. I understand that people still believe this horseshit, but I can hardly believe it’s still being published.

Can I get some volunteers to do a study with me? We’ll all drink beer 4 nights a week for a year, and see if we’ve all gained exactly 6 lbs. at the end of it. I’m betting the results won’t be quite so neat, but we’ll probably have a good time doing it — unlike the poor women who are saving up for a “mini-splurge” of an Amstel Light on the weekend, because they’re terrified of letting their guards down and accidentally eating something they enjoy.

One fast-food grilled-chicken club sandwich has 570 calories. You could eat a half-pound of skinless chicken breast, a half-cup of couscous and a cup of cooked green beans and still save nearly 300 calories (even without the fries or soda). Indulging even once a week means you’ll be about one pants size plumper in a year.

Once again, I can’t even believe shit like “you’ll be one pants size plumper in a year” gets published without anyone batting an eye. Because the exact same weight gain causes the exact same size change in every woman. And women who eat/burn the same amount of calories will have the exact same weight gain. OF COURSE. Also, more importantly, when you “save yourself” those 300 calories? That means you’re eating 270 calories. FOR A WHOLE MEAL. As in, 810 calories a day, if you eat 3 meals like that. 3 meals of 570 calories, on the other hand? Is about exactly what they start you on when you join Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. The “splurge” is still a fucking DIET.

And ALL OF THAT is setting aside the fact that this entire article is about the extra effort women must make to stay slim and “healthy,” while their men live like the happy-go-lucky, self-involved slobs God made them to be, only consuming a vitamin inadvertantly now and again, when their womenfolk sneak veggies into their pasta sauce. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

I’m really not sure if this one pisses me off more as a feminist or a fat acceptance activist. Let’s just call it a draw.

131 thoughts on “Speechless

  1. Every time I read a women’s magazine — and this is basically a women’s magazine article, I can’t believe it’s been published outside of Redbook — I’m struck by how much the patriarchy hates men. I mean, I know how much we’re supposed to hate women, but men get a really rough deal too; they’re always dumb, slobby , sex-obsessed Neanderthals with no emotions and no ability to take care of themselves. Even if I didn’t respect myself too much to pay attention to this incredibly outdated bullshit, I’d respect men too much. Some of them. Enough.

    There’s discussion going on in another post about food and sex and pleasure and Puritanism, and this is totally at work in this article. Leaving aside the absurd precision of the totally bogus calculations, the whole theme of the article is “he can, you can’t. He indulges, you restrict. He deserves, you earn.”

  2. Oh lordy. That is a ridiculous article. Thanks for pointing out all the problems with it. I laughed at the author quite a bit.

    I also found this interesting when reading this article

    *My boyfriend eats more veggies than ME (a woman). He craves veggies all the time and eats them all the itme.
    *He hates fast food, much more than me
    *He eats all the low fat stuff I buy and is happy with it
    *He eats tofu and has never talked trash on the fake chicken I buy. (I am allergic to chicken and eat the morningstar stuff all the time).

  3. So not only is it women’s jobs to deny themselves, but they also need to *sneak vegetables into their boyfriend’s food* so that his nutrition stays on the up and up????

    You know, I have a lot of cool ways to sneak veggies into food for picky eaters. They’re all aimed at CHILDREN, but they’ll work if your man won’t eat his broccoli woccoli.

    Jayzus.

  4. “You could eat a half-pound of skinless chicken breast, a half-cup of couscous and a cup of cooked green beans and still save nearly 300 calories…”

    Two things about this snippet:

    1. What am I “saving” these calories for? Oh, right, Decadent Treat I Can’t Eat Normally Because Of That Damn Tofu.

    2. I hate that BS, because what if I happen to like green beans and couscous? Now I guess that makes me all healthy but ZOMG I’m still fat!

    (AND I’m a guy, AND I’ve bought tofu in the past.)

  5. Do they *promise* I’ll be exactly one pants size larger in a year? Because I’ve got a couple suits where the pants are a size too big, and tailors are really expensive in this town….

    And I totally volunteer for the beer study.

  6. I think I’m more pissed off as a feminist… the whole idea of the article being that if men eat junk food they’re just being men but if women do they’re OMG LETTING THEMSELVES GO.

  7. DANI’S GOING TO DRINK A BEER THE SIZE OF DANI

    I do love the idea of doing your own tailoring this way. Like, what if I were between sizes, so I ate a FULL pound of chicken (eew) and a FULL cup of couscous? Could I go up precisely half a size?

  8. I really can’t say as I’m surprised by any stupid, insipid, sexist, bullshit article on MSNBC. I swear, some days its like their Mission Statement is specifically to make my head explode.

    Don’t even get me started on their “relationship” articles. I won’t quit frothing for a week.

  9. Dude, I’m *totally* on board for the beer drinking study. But, if I’ve saved myself all those calories by not eating any food, is my net gain still going to be 6 pounds?

  10. “First, you’re better off watching a boring sports event than an easy-to-love show like “Big Love” or “Weeds.”

    I especially loved this line. Of course, no woman could possibly be interested in sports, unless of course it’s to check out cute butts in tight pants!

    This whole article makes me sick.

  11. Well I “sneak” veggies into sauces because I personally prefer my veggies mixed in with things rather than just eaten by themselves on the side. Plus my toddlers just might accidentally eat some vegetables this way. But my husband’s a grown man and I’m not his mommy so he can decide for himself whether or not he wants to eat his vegetables.

  12. Uh, I have no idea how that happened, but that was me that made the above comment, not Shinobi. Unless Shinobi and I had the very same thought and posted at the very same time.

  13. Something tells me that Madame Curie would never have become the ONLY PERSON EVER to win back-to-back Nobel Prizes if she’d spent all her time worrying about if Mr. Curie thought her ass looked fat.

  14. DANI’S GOING TO DRINK A BEER THE SIZE OF DANI

    Okay, now I’m picturing myself as Stuart Little, drinking my beer out of a thimble. SO CONFUSED…I hope my boorish, pizza-stuffing, beer-swilling husband doesn’t sit on me!!*

    *actual husband hates beer and pizza and is not keen on sitting down when there could be standing, running, and yelling at people to do big important things, mostly involving robots

  15. It’s like Human Hate Bingo!

    And isn’t one beer/glass of wine/mixed drink per day supposed to have huge heart-health benefits? But ZOMG, we wouldn’t want to have to ingest calories along with stuff that’s good for us!

  16. This makes me think of a “male” and “female” robot that do nothing but engage in stereotypical behaviors, no thinking of even particular enjoyment whatsoever.

    But, hey, maybe that’s who the article is geared to.

  17. Uh, I have no idea how that happened, but that was me that made the above comment, not Shinobi. Unless Shinobi and I had the very same thought and posted at the very same time.

    Good call you said that, because I was totally going to award it Comment of the Day!

    Not that there really is a Comment of the Day, but if there were, I wouldn’t want it to be misattributed.

  18. AHHHAHAHHAAA!!! This whole thing is so over the top- it’s ridiculous. How could a grown woman write something like this??! For reals!
    And here’s one more for the beer drinking!

  19. I can’t tell who that article hates more – men or women? Sure, women are manipulative jerks so obsessed with their weight that they’ll accept bizarre speculative “advice”, but men are all adorably stupid and lazy slackers. Sigh.

    But you TOTALLY had enough slack for this. Well-slacked! And I’ll join the beer test only if we DON’T drink the low-carb ones; there’s no way I can drink 4 low-carb beers a week.

  20. Of course, once I stop laughing at the ridiculouslessness of this article, I remember that the “eat x per day, gain x per year” is an enormous trigger for me. :-/ Something about the mathematical simplicity, b.s. that it is.

  21. I think my favorite line of the entire article is:

    “In an online survey of nearly 2,000 adults, more than half of all beer drinkers were men.”

    Even if an online survey meant anything, is “more than half” the best they can do? Men are half of the population to start with!

  22. Wait a minute, aren’t you supposed to be watching that figure, ladies, when you’re single, so that you can get a man?

    Also, does the author think, I wonder, that the same dynamic is going on in lesbian relationships? I mean, if there’s no man around, how do you tell who’s allowed to drink beer and into whose food you sneak those fat-burning veggies?

  23. So wait…does this mean if I become a lesbian I’ll get skinny? My husband probably won’t notice that the fat chick left anyway, he’ll be too busy inhaling his burritos.

    If this article isn’t awesome enough for you, go check out a new one at MSNBC.com — apparently AIDS patients aren’t wasting away anymore, and actually have the audacity to have increasing lifespans and get fat. Silly AIDS patients, if you would just stop taking your life-saving drugs, you could be a size 0 right before you die an early death! Instead you choose to live longer AND be OBESE.

  24. Pingback: Speechless « Shapely Prose « Eucalyptus Leaf

  25. Wait a minute, aren’t you supposed to be watching that figure, ladies, when you’re single, so that you can get a man?

    You’ve gotta keep that figure so you can keep the man! Otherwise he’ll dump your ass for someone slimmer and people will blame it on you because after all “you let yourself go” and “well, you can’t blame him for not being attracted to you anymore”. Never mind how big his pot belly has gotten in the meantime!

  26. All heterosexual men are beer-swilling Neanderthals whose knuckles drag on the ground when their fists aren’t smashing evil tofu.

    And women musn’t let our guard down. Musn’t! Musn’t drink because when we drink we relax and we might eat food! That has calories! ZOMGs!

    It’s inexpressible. It’s beyond fucking parody it is.

    And fillyjonk, MSNBC is a fucking women’s magazine.

  27. Lesbian Man Pizza.
    Excellent band name.

    It’d be a thing if women just kind of enjoyed their lives and their partners and their food, huh? It’d rock the foundations of our civilization. We can’t be having that.

  28. I’d volunteer for the beer study, but I hate beer. Can I do some kind of hard liquor calorie equivalent?

    Also, I know a person, and this individual refuses to consume vegetables. (Unless you count potatoes) They would order one of two things when out, Chicken fingers & Fries, or Burgers and Fries. When home I”m not really sure, but I sure never did see a vegetable besides ketchup or margaritas in that house. In fact, this person recently had completely unnecessary WLS. This individual still refuses to consume any form of vegetable insisting that they need to eat protein. Let’s play Guess the Gender! DING DING!

    Totally female.

    I am now going to go to my favorite irish bar and get the best burger and fries in the city of Chicago, and a strongbow, and i’m going to watch TV while I eat it.

  29. I’m willing to volunteer for the beer experiment.

    There’s just no limit to the sacrifices I’ll make in the name of science!

  30. Before I knew your blog, I lived in this happy fantasy world where most people were reasonable, and sane. Some of them wrote reasonable things, and others read them. A boring, reasonable, sane world. Once in a while something unsettling might happen, but there were so many reasonable things to make up for it, it didn’t really matter.
    The things you post here every day makes it feel like living inside a tiny soap bubble, in a world full of stark raving mad maniacs.

    I wonder how you find all this crazy shit? It probably gets mailed to you all the time by dedicated readers, you poor thing?

  31. Em, I thought the same thing when I first started reading this blog, but now I’ve realised those crazy things were all around me too, I just never really noticed them. Now that my awareness has been raised, I’m seeing them everywhere. Bet you will too.

  32. Chiara… I’m sorry my name stole your awesome comment! I’m a sneaky thief like that.

    I looked up at the thread and was really confused as to why people were applauding my comments when I hadn’t made any yet!!! If only I could claim your wisdom!

  33. I’m not even going to get into the “man” issues – suffice to say it’s like the 20th century never fucking happened.

    Hmm, unfortunately I’ve just spent the summer working (freelance, thank god) for a “fitness” magazine and it has this kind of bollocks in it all the time. Witness the upcoming “Christmas snack swaps” piece, wherein you forgo something seasonal like, say, a mince pie on Christmas Day and instead have an apple and a piece of cheese, thus “saving” xx calories, which as we all know adds up to xxlb a year.

    Apart from the obvious “why would I have an apple when I want a mince pie?” question, and the equally obvious “is it really the end of the world if I have mince pies on one fucking day of the year?” question, the only way that works is if you eat the exact same identical food every goddamn day, then eat the exact same food minus that little bit every day. PLUS it’s all based on that 3,500 calories = 1lb of fat gained or lost, which as far as I can tell is something someone just made up one afternoon when they were bored, much like the “every pound of muscle burns an extra 50 calories a day”, which similarly turns out to be a complete myth (oh yes it is – and no, I didn’t believe it either when I first read that it wasn’t true, because I’d been so indoctrinated, but actually if you look at the science, it ain’t true).

    I would also SERIOUSLY question the logic of “saving” your alcohol calories for a booze binge (sorry, “mini splurge”), which in terms of all other aspects of your health (beyond the most important one which is, obviously, being thinner) is again scientifically much worse for you, plus I wonder how many drinks it takes for most of those diligent calorie “savers” to think, “WTF, I’m going to eat everything in the fridge because I’m sick of fucking starving myself”.

    It’s despicable, lazy journalism, but unfortunately these magazines don’t want to tell people the truth because it’s not what they want to hear and it’s not what sells magazines. So they just reel out the same old tripe over and over again and, in this country at least, they never check the actual science – the fact that it’s been in another publication (or on the web) somewhere in the world is pretty much good enough as a fact-checking procedure.

  34. I was planning to go home and have a beer tonight anyway – now I will do it in the NAME OF SCIENCE!

    Because lambics are GOOD. But, wait, they have fruit in them! Now I am confused.

    *snicker*

  35. Chiara,
    I had heard that people recovering from wls were encouraged to consume lower fat foods like fruit and vegetables because high fat content can cause them to vomit. I could be wrong.

    I thought she was perfect the way she was, it makes me sad she felt like she had to have WLS.

  36. I volunteer for the beer study! However, I would prefer to be in the experimental group that gets to drink a couple of IPAs or perhaps a good weiss four nights a week. Oh, and can I have more than one?

  37. unfortunately these magazines don’t want to tell people the truth because it’s not what they want to hear and it’s not what sells magazines.

    But KIE, who wants to believe this garbage? Is it really driven by reader demand for “how to go hungry to please your mayyun while he lies around drinking, farting and snarfing chips like a bear with furniture” stories? Or is it, as I suspect, more driven by the needs of advertisers?

  38. Shinobi, I see now, thanks. And for some reason this commenting thinks I am all sorts of other people–I was just about to be Besh for a minute there–so sorry for stealing your identity.

    Meowser, I am confused about who wants to read this as well–because if the idea is that such tripe sells magazines, well, who’s buying? And why?

  39. OMG Becky, how did you know?! I was kind of hoping it’s just a coincidence, and will pass.

    Last week, some, usually reasonable, people congratulated me on losing some weight when I was ill, and to “keep it up”. I politely explained that I’d prefer not to “keep up” pain, vomiting and diarrhea, and I have no wish to go on a diet, either. It was insane! They got angry! Furious! They were shouting at me!

    My best friend (male) said that it’s obligatory for women, as opposed to men, to restrict their eating for all of their lives, because there are certain standards in society, it’s not his fault, he didn’t set them. I’ve known him for 20 years, and he had never mentioned that before!

  40. mrscracker – thanks for your comment regarding the AIDS article. I’ve been sort of checking in here all day waiting for one of the brilliant minds on this web-site to do a proper smack-down on it. It is a horrifying article.

  41. I am going to hijack this thread for two seconds.

    Kristin, what do you mean when you say “IPA?” I have a thought but I would feel very silly if I announced said thought and it was very wrong. :)

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled feminist/FA discussions.

  42. I have a question for the author of the article – why did I GAIN 3 pounds when I quit drinking beer for three months? And why did they go away when I started again?

  43. “All heterosexual men are beer-swilling Neanderthals whose knuckles drag on the ground when their fists aren’t smashing evil tofu.”

    Dear Gallagher,

    Forget watermelons. From now on, please smash tofu real good.

    Thanks.

    Sincerely,

    Neanderthol Broad Who’s Got a Brandy Sour at Home With Her Name On It (Although a Sierra Nevada IPA wouldn’t be bad either…).

  44. So if all men are lazy, beer-swilling bastards like the author of this article believes they are, perhaps the actual thing to do would be to get that beer-swilling bastard to pony up and help make dinner so that you’re less likely to order from the first greasy takeout place that comes to mind.

    But wait, what am I saying? It’s the womyn’s job to drag her man to his veggies and feed him by hand (just watch out; he might bite you to show how his manly disapproval of leafy greens! If he does, pat his head affectionately; men like to have their manliness massaged.)

    (This is actually a problem I have; I hate cooking after working for 9 hours, so my first thought at night is to order pizza. If it weren’t for my husband boiling some pasta and slipping some broccoli in with it, I’d be showing down on Papa John’s four nights a week).

  45. I have to admit that I got a good chuckle out of the “hide vegetables in your boyfriends food” idea. This is exactly what I did for the first three months my now-husband and I lived together. Until I realized that if I treated him like a grown man instead of a child he ususally acted like one.

    You really do have to admire the reverse psychology and double speak of this kind of marketing though. It cuts you down with a “you fatty” and builds you back up by laying the blame on your gluttonous man within the first sentence! It then gives you “empowering” suggestions to follow, hoping that you’ll walk away feeling like you’ve made a step toward better health, you’re smarter than your man (which you, like, totally always KNEW), and, most emportantly, that you’re empowered.

    Except that what they’ve really told you is that you’re not smart enough to decide what to eat for yourself, and that you’ll never be fucking empowered enough to cast off conformance to an arbitrary ideal. Oh, and non-conformance will lead to punishment – in the form of larger pants.

    It’s halfway decent marketing – would probably get a B+ at most universities. Probably the same way I’d sell something if I had no soul.

    I was kind of surprised that they waited until halfway down the page to toss in the “Women’s Health” ad. I figured they would have tossed it in nearer the begining before the reader starts that all of the proffered solutions are aimed at making life less enjoyable and turning what should be a caring relationship into another calorie-obsessed ordeal.

  46. Actually it would be really handy if some tofu-smashing Neanderthals would come to my house, because otherwise you have to press it, and we haven’t figured out how to do that right.

    I should say “my boyfriend hasn’t.” Because he does all the cooking around here. And all the not-particularly-sneaky vegetable-sneaking.

  47. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I have one beer? I might very well eat a salad. When I have a once-a-week boozefest to “make up” for my joyless week, I’m pretty much guaranteed to want some damn nachos.

  48. Meowser: “snarfing chips like a bear with furniture” nearly covered my monitor with Chai.

    Em: I can totally relate. Rectal Surgery + Complications + Four months mandatory laxative use = weight loss (who knew).
    I was also exhorted to keep up the good work. Unfortunately someone who really didn’t deserve it caught the brunt of, “YES, BECAUSE ASS SURGERY IS SO MUCH FUN!!!”

  49. Mmmm… beer. Maybe if I join the study my salad-eating, McDonald’s-hating, near-teetotaler of a husband will allow me to drink without making me feel like an alcoholic for wanting a beer or two at night. After all, it is in the name of science and I am a scientist (sort of)!

    Oh, and please don’t make us drink Michelob Ultra. I love a good IPA or Nut Brown – no lagers!

  50. This sounds exactly like my mother-in-law, who sounds exactly like someone from a generation older than she is. She’s always telling me I should “sneak a slice of zucchini under every slice of pepperoni” and shit like that.

  51. The following conversation just occurred:

    Me: According to MSNBC I’m supposed to sneak vegetables into your food.
    Boyfriend: Oh. Well you might want to sneak them into my vegetables. I’m less likely to notice something amiss that way.

  52. fillyjonk- I found the best way to press tofu (my boyfriend taught me, go figure) is to flip a plat upside down, put the tofu on it, and put a right side up plate on top for about 20 minutes :) Also, if you want super good fried tofu like they have at good restaurants, boil it first.

    Sorry for the subject departure, I just like cooking tips.

  53. Light beer…bleeah, what is the point? I’d totally rather have 6 or 8 ounces of real beer than a “binge” on Amstel Light. Even Clausthaler is better than that swill.

  54. Boil it, huh? I never would have thought of that! I’d heard that freezing it makes the consistency a little firmer and more meatlike, so we were going to try that… we’ve pressed it with a plate but still didn’t get something really cohesive.

  55. I can’t conjure up the word for “when you drop food into boiling water for about 15 seconds”. But that’s the word I am looking for. It makes the tofu all melty on the inside, but crispy on the outside when it is fried.

  56. Ohhh… I wanna say “blanch,” but I think that’s just for tomatoes. So you cut it first and then boil it and then drop it in the stir fry?

  57. fillyjonk – if the plate alone isn’t working, try a moderately heavy book on top of the plate. I had the same problem with plate alone. :)

  58. A couple of people have ragged on MSNBC, and certainly they suck (and they did choose to post this article), but the original is from the October issue of Women’s Health magazine, so let’s lay the blame where blame is due. Women’s Health is a bunch of jerks anyway. Among other things, they have a BMI calculator on the front page of their website. I emailed them a couple of months ago to point out that since BMI is so unrelated to (or even at odds with) “health”, they should take down the BMI calculator. I never got a response and the BMI calculator is still there — but this is unsurprising given that the whole magazine is not really about “health”. Anyway, if you all hated the guy-proof diet article that much, it’s a good thing you didn’t see the “Weight Loss Report” on p. 34 of the same issue, or I suspect there’d be some head explosions.

  59. I think my favorite line of the entire article is:

    “In an online survey of nearly 2,000 adults, more than half of all beer drinkers were men.”

    Artemis, that was my favorite line, too. I mean, the best they could do was *half*? So, what, it was 55% men, 25% women, and 20% cats?

  60. Hijack, Part Deux: the answer I was thinking of is actually “Icthyosaur Pale Ale.” You see, there’s a really awesome micromicromicrobrewery in Reno (from whence I originally hail) that tips its hat to the State Fossil (we’re bored here because we don’t gamble) by making a most incredible kick ass beer. Locals know to say “Gimme an Icky” if they want said delectable ale. :) But then who knows about shit like that except locals?

    “Slipping the veggies into the veggies?” Priceless.

  61. Oh man. One of my LiveJournal friends just pointed out this little gem:

    No one, not even Gandhi, can resist delicious, crunchy snack foods that are right in front of them.

    NOT EVEN GANDHI, people. Which, of course, prompted me to ask:

    What am I “saving” all these calories for, anyway? Do I have to have a certain number to get into Heaven? Or, if I “save” enough, do we assume I’m thin enough just to squeeze sideways through the pearly gates? Is that how Gandhi got in, or were the nachos too much for him?

  62. You guys are awesome. I have been laughing for this whole thread. Meowser “bear with furniture” and Swistle “Like I cook anyway” FTW.

    Dani, you totally stole my Gandhi comment. :P (Then again, I didn’t realize this was where you got the link, so I spent all my outrage in your LJ.)

  63. *speechless*

    I think this article answers all my questions about the make-up of my journalism classes in college.

    And it also reinforces my personal boycott of mainstream women’s magazines — you know, the kind with the same damn formula on the cover: a photoshopped brainless celeb, diet tips, an ‘inspirational’ weight loss story, a dramatic bullshit story, ‘healthy recipes,’ 10 ways to have tight buns and a ’101 new ways to satisfy YOUR MAN between the sheets’ hunk of crap.

    Women’s Health or MSNBC — it’s all the same crap.

  64. mrscracker – thanks for your comment regarding the AIDS article. I’ve been sort of checking in here all day waiting for one of the brilliant minds on this web-site to do a proper smack-down on it. It is a horrifying article.

    Okay, I just got home to more than 90 comments in my inbox, so I hope I’m doing this in the right thread.
    Rachel wrote about this pretty brilliantly today. I might tackle it tomorrow.

    Right now? Too drunk. AND I LOVE YOU GUYS.

  65. fillyjonk, if you freeze it it becomes dryer and spongy. Still good but VERY different, and easy to brown.

  66. Artemis, that was my favorite line, too. I mean, the best they could do was *half*? So, what, it was 55% men, 25% women, and 20% cats?

    Ha! Perhaps hedgehogs and slugs? My Dad was making hedgehog-safe beer traps for slugs this summer (he used empty ice cream cartons – I helped with that). Apparently both critters like beer. (Now how about that for useless information?!)

  67. “In fact, this person recently had completely unnecessary WLS. This individual still refuses to consume any form of vegetable insisting that they need to eat protein. Let’s play Guess the Gender! DING DING!”

    Too easy, shinobi.

    It was the “totally unnecessary WLS” that gave it away.

    Let’s do Timbs, flannel, and Botox for 500.

  68. I will totally join the beer challenge if I can have red wine instead.

    I love (/sarcasm) how articles like these totally turn thinking, adult men into big, stupid children who need to be constantly mothered by their more “responsible” female partners. When men start figuring out how they, too, are being marginalized by these gender role expectations (and some of them ARE starting to figure out), they’re gonna get mighty pissed.

  69. As a gay woman I can attest that this isn’t just a straight woman phenomenon, and let’s face it, guys are just as likely to gain weight when they get comfortable in a relationship.

    What were you doing reading an MSNBC article anyway? You sound like you’re smarter than that.

  70. Nice tags. I’d add “men” to “fat, food and media.” Sort of all fits together.

    Seriously, when was the last time I came home on a weeknight after drinking calorious beer with men to find a real GOOD blog post about something that actually happens in REAL life? Great.

  71. What were you doing reading an MSNBC article anyway? You sound like you’re smarter than that.

    Google alerts on “fat,” “obesity,” and “dieting,” which also answers the “Where do you find this shit?” question. :)

  72. “You could eat a half-pound of skinless chicken breast, a half-cup of couscous and a cup of cooked green beans and still save nearly 300 calories…”

    A “meal” of skinless chicken breast, couscous and green beans is going to need *at least* 300 calories worth of butter or olive oil to make it taste good.

  73. I think its sexist to say that all men eat crap all the time, I know many heterosexual health-concious vegetarian, vegan and organic-crazy guys. I think its an insult to them, and I am saying this as a lesbian feminist.

  74. I would be be more upset along with you, had I not been married to That Dude. And felt like a fucking sell-out from the gender wars pleading with him to please eat a damn vegetable, compromising on what I wanted to eat (fish, veggies) in order to go places and prepare foods he wanted.

  75. And it never occurs to them that even if you are of disparate sizes/shapes/metabolisms such that your bloke burns more calories than you then maybe you could just have a *smaller* burrito, or a handful fewer chips.

    I’m glad someone pointed out that 3 meals like that a day is only just over 800 calories. I hadn’t spotted that. I’m always amazed at how few calories a day people seem to think could be normal. But hey, I’m just a fatty who eats over 2000 calories *every day*. Never mind that I’m bigger than an average woman.

  76. No one, not even Gandhi, can resist delicious, crunchy snack foods that are right in front of them.

    Gandhi’s still alive? Vishnu H. Rama! I guess he’s hanging with Elvis at some snack-intensive ashram. FFS, whatever happened to fact checking?

    A 120-pound woman burns only about 54 calories an hour watching TV (a 180-pound man burns 74 calories per hour)

    If they gave the resting metabolic rate of said man and woman this might actually mean something, but only to those two people and only if they give a shit. Their ability to burn calories while inactive are irrelevant to each other unless they have ‘only about’ the same RMR. This ‘data’ is filler that serves no purpose other than to make women think they can’t watch TV unless they are on a facking treadmill at the same time.

    Tofu may also be ‘poached’, rather than parboiled.

  77. Wow, thank goodness those snack foods weren’t around to tempt Gandhi. If he kept falling face first into those crunchy snacks all the time, he wouldn’t have dreamt of taking on the British!

  78. I don’t recommend sneaking vegetables into picky childrens’ food, so why would I do that with my adult partner?

    I love all the faux ‘calculations’ in that article, and by ‘love’ I mean ‘mock heartily’.

    I read them out to my biologist fella last night and he was incredulous. Of course, he explained in great detail just why they were so wrong but I lost track after about 15 minutes. ;)

    This reminds me why I stopped reading so-called ‘womens magazines’.

  79. Once I’d managed to stop headdesking at the stupidity, I had a bit of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer flashback…

    Xander: ” Now what did we learn about beer?”
    Buffy: “Uh…foamy”

    Other than that, I agree with all the comments saying why treat men like children. My partner is a professional chef and will not eat any veg other than carrots, parsnips and potato. So, I rarely cook and as long as he cooks me my broccoli, he can eat whatever he likes – not my problem.

    The article reads like something lifted from a 1940′s good housewife guide. Madness.

  80. If they gave the resting metabolic rate of said man and woman this might actually mean something, but only to those two people and only if they give a shit.

    But according to the article, all men are the same and all women are the same!

  81. So how does the article explain fat lesbians?? If women can only be induced to eat pizza and other ‘bad’ foods by a man??? Hmmm, I wonder who causes it to happen in my lesbian relationship where both of us are fat?

    That article is crap. The sad thing is that women will read it and follow its advice.

  82. First, you’re better off watching a boring sports event than an easy-to-love show like “Big Love” or “Weeds.” The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago released a study in June showing that TV viewers ate an average of 44 percent more potato chips while watching a program they found entertaining, says Dr. Alan Hirsch, M.D., the foundation’s neurological director.

    Ok, what really stood out to me as especially WRONG about this whole article was in this paragraph. What do “Big Love” and “Weeds” have in common? They’re on premium cable, and have NO COMMERCIALS. Football games are nothing but multi-hour commercials for snack food and beer (and ED meds, I guess) and all this other guy stuff that the article is telling us to avoid. Are they really trying to say that watching a tv show that is totally engrossing and that doesn’t have commercials, so you never have an obvious time to get up and run to the cupboard, is going to make you eat more junk than watching something that doesn’t interest you and is constantly reminding you of the existance of chips and beer and giving you convenient breaks to go fetch some. Really?

    And of course, the idea of watching tv that you don’t like instead of a show you do, just so you won’t eat as much while watching it, is one of the most braindead things I’ve heard in a LONG time. Which is bold statement.

    Oh, and when I see “IPA” I think isopropyl alcohol.

    Also, did anyone else do any mental comparisons of the “healthier” suggestions? Like, Amy’s burrito vs Taco Bell’s – the TB one has more calories, sure, but only TWO fewer per ounce, and it has twice the fiber and 50% more protein. Oh, I forgot, women can’t do math. Except for calorie (and maybe carb) counting. The only thing where the TB version is clearly “worse” for you is in sodium content. Though, really, comparing freezer food to something that you have to get up and fetch is totally stupid to begin with, so….

    But yeah, as others have mentioned, it was just your basic formulaic “women’s magazine” article, could have been written by a computer.

  83. Er, I mean the Taco Bell one has two more per ounce, not two fewer. Still, totally negligible considering that they’re just averages for the product, and there will be more than that amount of variation just from what gets stuck to the packaging.

  84. And of course, the idea of watching tv that you don’t like instead of a show you do, just so you won’t eat as much while watching it, is one of the most braindead things I’ve heard in a LONG time. Which is bold statement.

    This paragraph irked me too, and you make an excellent point here. Sit me down in front of “Dexter,” “House,” or “Criminal Minds,” and I am too interested in what’s going on to give anything else a second thought. However, force me to watch some show about military history or hunting in Canada (*glares at her dad*) and all I can think about it what I’m going to put in my mouth next.

  85. Oh dear lord. I gained a ton of weight when I was dating a fellow female (who ate very very little)!!! It was mostly because of the comfort, compatibility and fun! I mean, when I was home doing absolutely nothing, it was easy to count those calories, but when you’re out at dinner or a movie or spending a day at the mall or sea world, who the hell cares how much crap you’re eating? You’re more focused on people time. I’m just sayin, women and men often gain weight when in a happy successful relationship, no matter what gender their partner is.

  86. Great post on a ridiculous article. I also get really fed up whenever I read anything that says, “cutting X will make you lose Y pounds a year.” Um, how do you how many times a week I eat X? How do you know my portion size? How do you know how often I work out or what I currently weigh or how I individually burn calories versus how YOU do?

    Anyway, I did want to caution you about doing the same thing in your posts. You wrote, “3 meals of 570 calories, on the other hand? Is about exactly what they start you on when you join Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. ”

    I’ve been on Weight Watchers, and everyone starts out with different points (i.e, calories) a day based on their starting weight. These days, they base your daily points on your weight, gender, age, and how much you move daily.

    Sorry if that violates the “no diet talk” rule, but I wanted to point out that your statement was incorrect.

  87. How about those Progresso soup commercials? The women are bragging about eating soup that tastes good but has very few calories in it! They’re all having 100-calorie lunches. So, um, what, so that they can feel sluggish the rest of the afternoon at work because they’ve had an inadequate number of calories to sustain their energy?

    The only beer I truly like is Guinness, and that’s practically a meal in and of itself. Can I drink Guinness for the experiment?

  88. I’ve been on Weight Watchers, and everyone starts out with different points (i.e, calories) a day based on their starting weight.

    True, Sue, but around 1700 calories is a very common starting point on both programs (both of which I’ve also been on).

  89. fillyjonk, my favorite way to press tofu is the way my mother does it: wrap it in a towel (not terry, too much lint) and put a *brick* on top of it!

    Also, IPA = International Phonetic Alphabet!

  90. pomoga, good thinking! We may not have bricks but we have tons of non-standard heavy shit around the house — lots of metal and PVC piping and old typewriters and whatnot. I just have to be creative!

    Also, you’re so right: India Papa Alpha.

  91. on the tofu thing:
    here’s what we do (yes it’s more complicated than it needs to be. meh.)
    wrap the block in paper towel (about two layers) or a clean, lint-free dishtowel. Place a plate upside down on a cookie sheet (to contain the water that drips out) put another plate on top of the tofu, then a large size box of soy/rice milk on its side on top of the second plate. (we tried jars of pasta sauce, but they tended to slide off. wider weight is better.) Leave about ten minutes.

  92. “Beth / Littleroo27, on October 5th, 2007 at 5:32 pm Said:
    Oh dear lord. I gained a ton of weight when I was dating…I’m just sayin, women and men often gain weight when in a happy successful relationship, no matter what gender their partner is.”

    Beth,
    A lot of research indicates that the only reason you’d gain weight is if you were artificially maintaining your weight below your natural setpoint. Perhaps being in a relationship would “allow” someone to begin eating normally, where before they were in the “thinner” phase of a yoyo dieting cycle, maintaining a lower-than-normal/setpoint weight through starvation, aka. dieting. Short version: what makes you think that the lower weight was your “normal” weight, when you returned to the higher weight so easily?

  93. Apparently, women on their own crave only the small salad and teeny wrapped chocolates, but never too many!

    Gah! I hate shit like this. I’m not sure where they find these supposed examples…college campuses? Sports bars at closing time? Strip bars?

    Both my husband and I like to eat in front of the tube, but we also eat our veggies, and he’ll eat anything, low-fat or no.

    Someday it’s going to make the news…men and women are complex creatures with overlapping characteristics. Oy.

  94. I want some Arcadia Nut Brown. Or some pumpkin ale. Where are the fall beers, dammit! Maybe the stores are behind the season because it’s 85 fucking degrees out on October 5 and I’m going to have to wear shorts to a college football game tomorrow. Gah.

    I was in a group of people last night where the topic of conversation was dinners you’d tried recently that had turned out well. I relayed that I had had an eggplant and some brussels sprouts laying around so I decided to dice the eggplant and trim and slice the brussels sprouts, brown them both over high heat in olive oil and season with various Italian-type herbs, mix with some barley that I cooked in chicken broth in a casserole dish, top the whole shebang with bread crumbs and parmesan, and bake until hot/browned on top. I was fairly proud of this dish, especially because it had that fall-like grainy earthiness I was going for, and I am one of those weird people who LOVES brussels sprouts. I am also “off-the-cuff cooking” phobic and tend to follow recipes most of the time. So in the end I was pretty pleased when something I made up came out really tasty.

    The response of the person I was talking to? “What did your husband think of THAT?” Um, he thought it sounded good and we eat a lot of meatless (OK, not meatless due to the chicken broth but you know what I mean) meals anyway, and we cooked it together as usual so the notable lack of steak was not really a surprise by the time it was placed on the table?

    And my husband was raised not exactly on a farm but in a farm family (he lived right near and worked on his uncles’ dairy farm, which his mother grew up on), and his stay-at-home mom made good old-fashioned meat-and-potatoes type meals every night, so if you were going to stereotype anyone to be banging his silverware on the table demanding a pot roast from the wife, it would be him. Yet incredibly (not really) he is an easy-going person and we both like a variety of foods. Pretty much everyone else I know is like this too (and we are hardly cosmopolitan food snobs), leading me to agree with Em about the jarring contrast between “my world” and “Women’s Health world.” If someone as small-town and “normal” as me thinks the people described in this article are about as relevant to my actual life as aliens, then how can anyone possibly be getting anything out of this collection of stereotypes and bad science?

  95. So I shouldn’t eat whatever strikes my fancy? And he shouldn’t be making me these awesome stir-frys with tofu? I guess the whole damned family should give up on the ever-popular spinach pie, right (tons of tofu AND vegetables, with a nice fat-laden crust). Not only do the kids love it (the little freaks like broccoli and salad too – and they’re boys; I’ve doomed them!).

    Fuck that. I eat what I want, and my weight hasn’t changed significantly in ten friggin years. The “women’s health” magazines can bite me.

  96. Heh, yeah when I started cutting back on the amount of meat my fiance and I eat (I do most of the cooking because I enjoyed it) I got a lot of snarky: “What does your fiance think of THAT?” comments too. Umm, he’s fine with it. He agrees with me that we really didn’t need all that meat. And he is aware that if he is unhappy with the meals I make, he is free to cook his own!

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  98. I’ll volunteer for the beer study!

    Seriously, though… if, as this article implies, you are in danger of ZOMG BLOATING LIKE A LIFE RAFT if you dare to let your guard down and eat like a normal person your guy eats, wouldn’t your guy also be in danger of ZOMG BLOATING LIKE A LIFE RAFT? Why isn’t that addressed?

  99. Durr, let’s try that again with the tags closed!

    I’ll volunteer for the beer study!

    Seriously, though… if, as this article implies, you are in danger of ZOMG BLOATING LIKE A LIFE RAFT if you dare to let your guard down and eat like a normal person your guy eats, wouldn’t your guy also be in danger of ZOMG BLOATING LIKE A LIFE RAFT? Why isn’t that addressed?

  100. spacedcowgirl, I love me some brussel sprouts! And so does my lanky, sports-hating, Buffy-loving, knitting boyfriend.

    This post and entire thread are made of awesome.

  101. “What does your man think about that?” EW. And Sharn, don’t you know that men can eat anything they want and never gain a pound? Anyway, their bodies are just for trucking their brains around, not the sole reason for their existence like with us ladies. Tee hee!

    Getting down to business, if you cut the brussels sprouts in half, leave them cut-side down in a hot pan with olive oil until they’re all blackened and caremelized, throw in a couple of minced garlic cloves, and then finish up by steaming with a half-cup of water? Oooh, girl. Your relationship to crucifers will never be the same. You will have to sneak them away from your significant other, as she or he may start to eat them like popcorn when they’re still burning hot in the pan.

  102. Here’s an even better recipe for Brussel Spouts:

    Dip in melted chocolate, let cool.
    Lick off chocolate.
    Throw away nasty green centers.

  103. Pippa, I cannot believe you said that!

    I LOVE Brussel Sprouts. They’re my favourite thing about Xmas, aside from the gift-giving. :D

    I’m not sure how they’d be with chocolate, though. . .

  104. Well Gemma, they wouldn’t be my first pick to chocolate coat either, that’s for sure, but if we are going to talk about hiding veggies in things to trick unsuspecting eaters… LOL

  105. I’m totally late, but just had to add: I mentioned this study to my husband, and I just loved his reply, “Well, sure, if you think the world is The Simpsons. But out here, most guys are not Homer Simpson.”

  106. Chiara, that sounds great! I’ve heard people recommend caramelizing them before but until last week I shied away, because I found the fresh ones to be pretty hard to cook through even by boiling/steaming, and they were like little rocks if they didn’t get all the way cooked. I couldn’t envision how they would get fully cooked by sauteing without burning them to a crisp. So that’s why I baked them in the casserole after browning (and I also sliced them before browning) because I figured it would take care of the rest of the cooking. It didn’t occur to me to brown, then steam if I just wanted to eat them as a side dish. For some reason I had this either/or idea about it. Now I wish I had more of them so I could try your method tonight. Mmmmm…..

    I like Fat Person Stereotype Foods (doughnuts, cheese, burgers and fries) as much as the next person, and I don’t inherently love vegetables as much as I wish I did (though since I’ve been married I’ve learned a lot more ways to cook them and really enjoy many veggies now) but in the dorm cafeteria I was always the just about only person asking for a huge heaping bowl of brussels sprouts. I can’t get enough of those little buggers. When my husband is away and I don’t feel the need to make a “structured” dinner, I like to heat up a big bowl of frozen ones topped with some kind of spaghetti sauce and gobble them all up. But wait, I usually have a beer to drink with it even though he’s not even home to influence me, so I don’t fit the Women’s Health profile at all! :)

    Re: veggies, lately we have been halving and seeding an acorn squash, rubbing it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, wrapping it in foil, and throwing it on the top rack of the grill during preheating and while the main dish is grilling (we put it on during preheating too just to make sure it gets done). It comes out really soft and sweet and caramelized on the edges. We just split one like this yesterday and I want another one already.

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