Non-headless non-fatty

As Jessica at Feministing notes, the Wall Street Journal, that bastion of…something, has launched a new “women’s” section online. Three guesses what kind of topic is considered Suitable for the Ladies. Okay, to be fair, there are some career and politics-oriented articles, but there are also the obligatory articles on shopping, exercising, and dieting. The dieting article is almost HAES in drag: it’s about mindful eating and its potential to help chronic dieters or those with eating disorders. Sounds good, right? Well, it would be if it didn’t emphasize the weight loss of one participant, and if it didn’t include this delightful quote from a psychotherapist:

“I’ve worked with lots of obese people — you’d think they’d enjoy food. But a lot of them say they haven’t really tasted what they’ve been shoveling down for years.”

Use of “obese”? Check. Stereotypes about fat people? Double check! Fatties both loooove food AND can’t enjoy it because they’re shoveling it down too fast to have normal human experiences like “taste.” Mind you, the article does discuss binge-eating disorders in a reasonable way, but that’s not what our friend the psychotherapist is talking about — she just means any old “obese people” out there. You just can’t stop tear them away from the baby-flavored donuts!

But what really burns my cookies is the picture used to illustrate it. I was expecting a Headless Fatty, natch, but oh no, they’ve gone one better:

Mindless?

Hillary Clinton is not mentioned once in this article. Is she a binge eater? A chronic dieter? Does she practice mindful eating? Who knows? Who cares! It doesn’t matter. She’s a Lady, you see. And the WSJ is all about The Ladies. I’m sure running an unflattering picture of the first major female presidential candidate next to a headline about being “mindless,” for an article that reminds us that sometimes women eat cake! and then they get fat!, is just a random pairing that has nothing to do with WSJ’s notoriously stodgy editorial stance.

This article, which actually delivers what could be a fat-positive or at least fat-neutral stance, is framed as a way to keep all those silly fatties and mindless women from devouring the world. No woman is immune from public scrutiny of her diet: not even if you are rich, white, able-bodied, post-menopausal, and a US Senator can you avoid being used as a cautionary tale of The Dangers of Women Eating.

98 thoughts on “Non-headless non-fatty

  1. Whoa — I actually gasped when I scrolled down and saw the picture.

    Not that I shoulda been surprised.

  2. I’ve found that in this election cycle, the media coverage has made me able to experience a paradoxical shocked-but-not-surprised feeling, wherein I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face, but I should’ve known it was coming.

  3. I am especially bothered by the description of mindful eating as eating until just before you feel full. How about the crazy idea of eating until you actually are full! Is it just me or does that sound like a mythological curse. Because you have angered the gods you are cursed to eating but never being allowed to eat that last bite of food that makes you feel full.

  4. OMG. Dude, I read this and several other FA blogs, and i’m one of those people who does not agree with everything in the FA movement, and I’m still feeling my way out about how i feel about my body and dieting and yada yada, and the one reason I keep compulsively reading FA blogs is because OMG THIS IS SUCH A FEMINIST ISSUE. That picture of Senator Clinton is horrifying. A woman’s value is NOT determined by what she eats or how she eat or OMG IT’ S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

    that makes me want to pull my hair out.

  5. I always wonder how many people don’t invite me over for dinner because of articles like this. She’s a fatty! She’ll eat more than her share and not even LIKE it, she just has to shovel it in! And even if she keeps that gargantuan appetite of hers in check, you know she’ll be eyeing all the other guests’ plates for leftovers, the skinny ones who just enjoy a few mouthfuls! They’d see me glance at a cookie and imagine me devouring it with my eyes, in a single blink. No, idiots, I eat just like you. Really.

  6. “Mindful eating” is the modern version of “chew your food a hundred times” or “put your fork down between every bite.” It’s not normal eating, but another way to control your eating and believe you’re not. It’s not normal to obsess about every bite of food. Its premise is the psychobabble myth that you’re FAAAT because you are a glutton and overeat, and that if you “let yourself go” you’ll get bigger and bigger, forever, amen.

  7. Good point, Sandy — “mindful eating” sounds like “intuitive eating,” but the way it’s described here is as yet another way to deny your desires.

  8. Right — not “mindful” of what you need or want, but “mindful” of all the neuroses piled on top of it. Heaven forfend you should put food in your mouth without also swallowing a load of antifeminist nonsense about control and deprivation and desire and gluttony.

  9. I will be eating until I am full, people. So will my kids. It’s tummyful eating.

    Jesus, those fuckers.

  10. Okay, what the fucking fuck?! I didn’t think I could hate the WSJ more than I already did. I didn’t expect to be wrong about that.

    Also, I detest the twisting of “mindful.” For me that brings up mindul meditation, which is all about doing what you’re doing without getting caught up in extraneous bullshit…which is not the same thing as being mindful that you don’t eat more than two bites of anything ever.

    Fucking WSJ. Gods, I hate that rag!!

  11. Side note: What I love about reading comments, now that the monsters are illustrating SP, is that all these monsters seem to have the same attitude as Fillyjonk’s running witch. We all look like we’re raising our arms in outrage/dismay/disbelief at the travesties. You look up at the recent comments box, and Tari’s monster is lifting up her lobster arms, like “gargh! I’m going to pull out my last horn, I’m so frustrated!”

    Eat it, Hillary.

  12. Crap! All this time I’ve thought that my weight is because I like food! Thank goodness this stranger in the news got to the heart of the matter and made me see that I actually hate food — in fact, I can’t even taste it! This disregards the deeee-licious artichokes I just had with some pomegranate tea, remnants of which I can still taste on my tongue, but I know now that it’s just a hallucination. Teh fatz have overtaken my tongue, and until I stop eating I’ll never taste anything properly.

    Wait, I mean — I mean, I’ll appreciate food more when I consume much less of it. No, that’s not quite it either. Um, I’ll enjoy being full once I stop eating to satiation? Crap. I’m not saying this right, but it’s on the tip of my tongue…

  13. I just don’t even know what to say. The sheer ignorance and stupidity – not to mention narcissism – astounds me.

    I’m dumbfounded. (Although something tells me I really shouldn’t be.)

  14. Speaking of Feministing, an announcement about Jessica’s new book has turned into a “but fatties are gross and unhealthy” clusterfuck (shortly after turning into a “but what about the menz?” clusterfuck), if anyone’s bored.

  15. I wrote about this over on my journal… glad I’m not the only one appalled by it. I didn’t catch the photo of Clinton, either because it didn’t run in the paper or because I need new glasses.

    There were follow up letters to the editor, one of which opened with the writer expressing how OMG FURIOUS!!! she was at the article, and then went on to compare lol fatties to children who need to just shut the fuck up and eat an apple instead of cookies.

  16. Yeah, I binge so badly without tasting my food that it’s why I ate only half of my piece of cake at my aunt’s party last weekend (it was delicious but custard is a pretty heavy filling, so I had wayyy too much). Incidentally, only my slim cousin and I were only able to eat half of that piece of cake (compared to my other relatives).

    Point is? It’s not because I’m fat that I necessarily am the biggest eater in my family. And I didn’t exactly have a big dinner that night, on the contrary.

    So, fuck you, WSJ and your automatic assumption that my waistline equals a bottomless appetite and bingeing.

  17. All I have to say is that “Eating just a few mouthfuls” crap just brings FLOODING back every little diet “trick and tip” that WW tries to cram down your gullet. “If you just eat 2 bites of cake and SAVOR it then you won’t swallow the whole thing” or “Just tip the TIPS of your fork into the salad dressing; you’ll get the same flavor as using the dressing ON the salad.”

    Yea. Right. Cause your brain (which, hello, is ATTACHED to your body….I’d hope) has NO CLUE what you’re trying to fool it into believing.

    *off to go shovel more tasteless food like a mindless taste-bud free zombie creature* NOM NOM NOM Hmmm…has no flavr…oh wells.. NOM NOM NOM

  18. Ugh Ugh Ugh Ugh Ugh. I mean, I’m not a fan of Hillary politically (meaning I heart Obama), but this just makes me want to throw up. Stupid media being absolutely terrible to her (all throughout the election, too). And gosh, what was the purpose of using a picture of her? She’s eating something, good. Presidential Candidates need nourishment, after all. They’re preparing to run our country!

    I’m so sick of the media. Too bad I’m too busy stuffing food into my mouth (not tasting it, too) to do anything about it.

  19. Oh god FJ, why did you point out that Feministing thread!?!?!?! Sanity Points GONE! I’m going to have to read hours of extra SP just to make it through the weekend and stay on plan.

  20. I will say that there are some foods that are really better if you only have a few bites. Delicately flavored ice creams, in particular, lose some of their interest once the cold takes over. But those “take only a few bites!” rules even ruin those foods, because instead of really savoring the bites that are tasteful, you’re wondering how much you can eat and still be a good person. (And of course it ruins the shit out of food that only gets better, and food that is supposed to actually fill you up.)

    It’s amazing how diet tips can ruin even stuff that should be acceptable by diet standards, like salads. And yogurt.

  21. Tari’s monster is lifting up her lobster arms, like “gargh! I’m going to pull out my last horn, I’m so frustrated!”

    …which is very similar to the fists I waved at the screen upon seeing that wack-tastic stupidity. Or pretty much anytime the WSJ crosses my mind. Fuck them. SO MUCH.

  22. (feminst rant on) OK, before I can even deal with the head-exploding items in the this article, I just have to say WTF is up with a “WOMEN’S” section in the WSJ. As if there isn’t already enough of a bias against women in finance (a field in which I work) without the WSJ perpetuating by putting questions like “should I send people baby pictures at work” and FUCKING DIET TIPS in a WOMEN’S section of the paper? Didn’t “WOMEN’S” sections die out in most papers sometime around the time we stopped wearing white gloves and hats whenever we left the house? Nothing against hats, or gloves, because I think they totally rock, but you know what I mean. (/feminst rant)

    The thing I found most annoying about this is that it’s based on a quote from a psychotherapist at the fucking Duke WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM, hide it behind whatever ridiculous name it’s giving itself today.

    Of course those people will beat themselves up over their supposedly horrendous eating habits: either they (or their employers, in many cases) have paid a LOT of money for the good folks at Duke to tell them how to lose weight. And WTF is up with describing your MENTAL HEALTH PATIENTS as “shoveling” their food? Gee, nice way to describe the folks you’re supposed to be “helping” Ms. Loring.

    Grrr. Can I help Shinobi smash?

  23. Did you hear the one about sitting in a well lit seat in a restaurant? You’ll eat less ’cause you’ll feel like people are watching you. I got that one from Yahoo news.

  24. And great comments they are — what a zinger at the end of yours, shinobi!

    Also I must confess that sparklepants’ “Can I predict that since you’re from Oklahoma, you’re a closed-minded bigot?” made me lol.

    Onwards, fat soldiers!

  25. One needs to only look at who OWNS the WSJ to know that the selection of Hillary for the picture was in NO WAY a coincidence. Just another way to attack her as a person rather than evaluating her objectively as a candidate. Now she has food issues! Look at her “shoveling” that food in! (without tasting it natch). “sigh”

  26. Yeah, who eats with their shrink, anyway? Has Shrinky even SEEN her patients “shovel in food,” or does she just assume they do?

    And I seem to remember Paul Campos’s book talking about HRC’s having to be more or less on a constant diet/heavy duty workout plan to keep herself about 25 pounds thinner than her genetic baseline. So, she’s basically already semistarving herself, but even eating a few lousy bites of food in public enttiles the WSJ to paint a bullseye on her. Stay classy, guys.

  27. Also, They have a handy e-mail address on the journal women site. Here is the letter I am sending:

    To the Editor,
    Today I discovered that the Wall Street Journal has started a “Women’s Journal.” To say that I am disappointed would be a large understatement. Women in financial and other industries struggle on a daily basis to prove that they are qualified and serious about their jobs. We are often patronized, and underestimated by our colleagues, despite our skills and abilities.

    Now the Wall Street Journal, one of the most respected business newspapers in the world has created our own little niche for us, and what is it filled with? Diet and fashion tips. I’m offended and appalled. While some of the articles focusing on the challenges of being a woman in the workplace are interesting, most of the articles in this section as far as I can tell are “fluff” type pieces. (Diet article with a superfluous photo of Hillary Clinton eating, that is just shameful.) My question to you is this, why do women need their own separate section for “fluff” peices? Why is the rest of the journal just naturally assumed to be for men?

    Now women are not only patronized and underestimated by our collegues, we can be patronized and underestimated en masse by the Wall Street Journal, in public, for all of male bosses and coworker’s to enjoy. It is my belief that this attempt to “market” to women with your journal will only cause women to be taken even less seriously by the professional world.

    I was planning to buy a subscription to your paper with my economic stimulus check. But now I have changed my mind. I feel patronized and pandered to by this new section of your journal. I would say that if the content improved I would reconsider, but frankly I am annoyed that women’s issues are being segregated out from the rest of the newspaper. Women are not a minority, or a niche market, we are half of the world.

    Sincerely,
    Me

  28. AprilD: You can’t savor WW food because it doesn’t have any fucking food in it. I bought some WW brownies once because they were dairy-free and I really wanted a dessert that wouldn’t make me sick. There was NO POINT buying them because I could have eaten sawdust and aspartame for the same epicurean high.

  29. Inspired by Shinobi, here’s my bit of activism for today. More emphasis on the feminism than fat, but it’s still FA.

    To the Editor:

    I was willing to give Journal Women a shot. Really, I was.

    My memory of “Women’s Pages” in newspapers was a vague one, dating back to the early 1970s when my mother joined many of her friends in returning to the work force after seeing her youngest child safely ensconsed in elementary school. I remember those pages, sometimes call the “Society” page, filled with helpful tips about fashion and gardening and child-rearing. But that wasn’t what I expected to be reading, not in The Wall Street Journal.

    I thought the Journal, with its focus on business, might actually make a go of a section devoted to issues that involved women in the business world, particularly the world of finance which is, after all, the paper’s focus. And so I read. And I was disappointed.

    I was put off by the majority of the content, with its diet tips, advice for moms (most women I know who read your paper don’t have, never had and don’t particularly want children) and fashion and shopping information. While some of the advice would benefit from a more prominent, gender-neutral place in your paper (some of my male colleagues could use your advice on baby pictures), most of it is more appropriate for the Ladies Home Journal than The Wall Street Journal.

    I’m not sure what the general reaction to this new on-line section of your paper has been, but mine can be summed up by the word “underwhelmed.” And, if I may use a second word, “patronizing.”

    Women in the business world don’t need tips on whether to wear low-cut tops to business dinners or to be advised not to use their Blackberries while their kids are in the pool. They need advice on how to deal with a culture that too often still values testosterone more than hard work, that pays women less than men who do the same jobs and that expects employees to be on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, no matter how long ago they requested a vacation or how sick they, or their children or spouse or parents may be. There are plenty of places women can go to learn how to lose weight, be comfortable in high heels and take care of their kids; there are few resources for the career advice they desperately need.

    I expected better from The Wall Street Journal.

  30. Is it just me or does that sound like a mythological curse. Because you have angered the gods you are cursed to eating but never being allowed to eat that last bite of food that makes you feel full.

    BWAH! Totally!

  31. Warning: Food talk to follow

    Ailbhe – you are so right.

    Ok. So I got sick of sandwiches and Quiznos sammies and bought a crapload of Lean Cuisine frozen meals on Sunday. I happen to think a few LC dinners are tasty, and it meant I could have a hot lunch without going out or doing any cooking. Made a “nice salad” with veggies and fruit as a side and finished it with my old diet-days friend: fat free chocolate jello with fat free whipped cream and graham crackers crumbled into it.

    I’m not on a diet. I just didn’t want the same-old-thing for lunch. I finished my lunch at 2 PM.

    By 5 PM, I was hungry enough to gnaw off my own hand. This “food” has had so much fat and calories stripped out of it that it has no staying power!

    Diet food is not real food.

  32. You sure type good for a chick with one hand. *pats on head*

    Really, I know I shouldn’t have posted that, but I have no self-restraint any more. I think it’s PMS.

  33. Ye gods and little purple fishes! My gob is now well and truly smacked.

    WSJ, FU.

    (attacks WSJ with awesome purple monster of vengeance)

    Grrrr!!

  34. hey meowser — some people with EDs eat with their shrinks.

    what a ridiculous article that was.

    THIS

    Is it just me or does that sound like a mythological curse. Because you have angered the gods you are cursed to eating but never being allowed to eat that last bite of food that makes you feel full.

    is hilarious!!

  35. Sarah, that makes it so much worse for me — the idea that eating with your shrink is part of the recovery process, but then your shrink might go to the national press and talk about how you “shovel” down your food is sickening.

  36. Hill looked so good, I just ate her and my monitor. I didn’t really taste it though, cause I shovelled it in pretty quick.

  37. I am not a rabid Clinton supporter, but it enrages me how much of this kind of ridiculous stuff she gets. She is constantly being subtly or not-so-subtly ripped on for her appearance or audacious vagina-having. Its really disgusting and almost makes me want to vote for her out of sheer disgust with the opposition.

    I have huge, huge amounts of respect for her being able to put up with extra crap she is subjected to merely for being a woman in a presidential race.

    I did hear a quote from Obama on NPR the other morning, saying something along the lines that he is grateful to Clinton for making this a better place for his daughters to grow up in. So true. Even if she’s not going to be our first woman president, her courage and strength getting through this nomination cycle is forging a path for the woman who will one day be president.

  38. Thanks, Sarah, I sit corrected. And yeah, SM, you’re right, that makes it even worse. How can anyone be honest about their eating habits in therapy, knowing that their shrink could blab to the press and humiliate them?

  39. Hey, y’all, be nice to the WSJ, because I think it was a matter of simple copyediting. I’ve taken the liberty of correcting it for them:

    “Putting an End to Mindless Reporting:

    Reporting mindfully means paying attention to what you write and stopping just before you’re full of shit. Writing just a few sentences, and savoring the experience, can be much more satisfying than writing an entire women’s section mindlessly.”

    Do you think I should point the error out to them?

  40. WSJ, what did you say? I was too busy mindlessly eating by shoveling food in my mouth to read. Sorry. Let me get a carrot stick and a 6 oz. glass of water.

  41. A Sarah said:
    Reporting mindfully means paying attention to what you write and stopping just before you’re full of shit. Writing just a few sentences, and savoring the experience, can be much more satisfying than writing an entire women’s section mindlessly.”

    OMGROFFL!
    Whew, now that I’m back on my chair I think I’ll eat an entire cake. /sarcasm

    What the FUCK!?

  42. Lemme tell you, internets… I’ve seen more than a handful of shrinks in my life, and every single one of them has been astonishingly clueless about human behavior, making broad generalizations about entire groups of people based on limited evidence or experience, giving me neat and tidy It’s As Simple As That “solutions” to thorny complicated personal problems, flat-out not listening to me at all blah blah blah. I’m sure there are plenty of compassionate, competent, helpful, lifesaving therapists out there, but I’ve never been a patient of theirs.

    My guess is that Shrinky has probably seen a few fat people shoveling junk food down his/her gullet somewhere and logically assumed that these fat people:

    1) Eat that way all the time
    2) Have a legitimate, diagnosable eating disorder
    3) Are representative of The Way All Fat People Everywhere Eat All The Time

    …Because Shrinky is a Doctor and an Educated Person who Understands Human Behavior and It’s As Simple As That.

    I, too, have seen people (of all sizes!) shoveling junk food into their faces. But you know what? I’m smart enough to realize that maybe that person is just in a hurry, or that all that was available or affordable to them or they were just fucking starving and ate whatever was available because I’ve BEEN that person. Many times.

    Sure, some people absolutely do eat that way all the time, and some of them are binge eaters. But it’s none of my damn business what someone else is eating or how they’re eating it unless they took it from me without asking. Sheesh.

  43. Personally, I have no problem with stopping just before I’m full. I don’t like that full feeling; it makes me sluggish.

    So, two to three hours after I stopped-before-I-was-full I go eat some more, and stop before I’m full. Then, two to three hours after that, I eat a bit more. If you keep this up you find that you get plenty to eat, keep your blood sugar relatively constant, and no more afternoon droops.

    The trick is remembering that hunger is a signal. So is not being hungry anymore.

    The trick is not savoring a couple of bites in the hope that having nasty mushy food in your mouth for a while longer will make you want to stop eating sooner.

  44. Sharn: “I’ve seen more than a handful of shrinks in my life, and every single one of them has been astonishingly clueless about human behavior, making broad generalizations about entire groups of people based on limited evidence or experience, giving me neat and tidy It’s As Simple As That “solutions” to thorny complicated personal problems, flat-out not listening to me at all blah blah blah. I’m sure there are plenty of compassionate, competent, helpful, lifesaving therapists out there, but I’ve never been a patient of theirs.”

    Totally, totally, and this really isn’t meant as an “ah ha!” counterfactual or retort or anything… but I just have to add that I finally (after many attempts) found a, erm, shrink who is TEH AWESOMES!!! In fact, he has actually read SP and really liked it.

    (I am always pimping my shrink here, I realize, but I keep thinking that maybe there’s a shapeling in northern Indiana/southwest Michigan who’s looking for a therapist and it would be a true joy to put that shapeling in touch with him. I’ve seen my share of condescending, dimwitted therapists too, believe me. He’s cut from a whole different cloth.)

  45. A Sarah, that’s beyond awesome that you’ve found a therapist who’s actually, you know, therapeutic. Like I said, just because I personally haven’t seen any doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.

  46. Hill looked so good, I just ate her and my monitor. I didn’t really taste it though, cause I shoveled it in pretty quick.

    I would have laughed at this, but I couldn’t read it because I ate my laptop. Then, for desert, I had 2 dozen baby-flavored donuts. Note: I only know they were baby-flavored because the box said so. Obviously I couldn’t taste them, what with the way I was shoveling them into my gaping maw.

    Fuck you, WSJ!

  47. Hey, Wall Street Journal, eat *this*–

    :: delicately extends middle finger::

    –and be sure to savor it and not gobble it down mindlessly, you hacks.

  48. ““Mindful eating” is the modern version of “chew your food a hundred times” or “put your fork down between every bite.” It’s not normal eating, but another way to control your eating and believe you’re not. It’s not normal to obsess about every bite of food. Its premise is the psychobabble myth that you’re FAAAT because you are a glutton and overeat, and that if you “let yourself go” you’ll get bigger and bigger, forever, amen.”

    Haha, well said. But this advice isn’t modern or new; it’s been around pretty much forever. (Definitely since Edwardian times.) And the bit about stopping *before* you feel full is the theory that it takes something like 20 minutes for your stomach to get the message to your brain that it’s full, so if you just keep “shoveling it in” during that 20 minutes you’re overeating. The only way to get just full enough is to stop actually eating before you feel full.

    That psychotherapist too, I’ve heard that one all my life. Hell, I’ve read lots and lots of dieters back in the 70s women’s magazines my mother always kept around, who said *themselves* that they were just shoveling it in and never tasting anything. What a crock of shit. I am sure that that is true for people with EDs, but normal eating is now being likened to binge eating in the media, so I call bullshit on the not tasting anything.

    I usually read or watch TV when I eat – no, I don’t want to sit there focusing on NOTHING but the food because that gets pretty fucking boring. But hell, that doesn’t mean I don’t taste it, nor do I shovel it in (in fact I really eat really really slow for some reason, usually.) And once in a while – not often, but sometimes, like when I’m out to my favorite restaurant I really will eat until I’m stuffed because that etouffee is the BOMB and I won’t get it again for a while.

    Oh hell, the article is old rehashed bullshit and doesn’t even deserve a blow-by-blow. Just more of the same.

  49. LOL, you guys crack me up. :D

    By the way, I just had a Kit Kat and I could actually taste it, but that’s only because I’m not fat enough to be capable of shoveling things down like that.

  50. “Eating in public makes you a fatty for purposes of illustration?”

    If you’re a girl, it’s built on the chromosome.

    “How can anyone be honest about their eating habits in therapy, knowing that their shrink could blab to the press and humiliate them?”

    What happened to client-therapist privilege? I’d sue so fast. They might be able to eat their office, but they wouldn’t be able to sit in it.

    FJ, you are on fire today.

  51. Wow I should have listened to fillyjonk. I’m out of sanity watchers points for the month now reading that fucking feministing thread. I don’t really get why feminism splits on this issue, except that some people are hypocrites when they go on about privilege while not recognizing their own :) (I’m thinking of Majikthise and Pandagon and such there – thin women who don’t see how that advantages them over fat women, and all that concern about teh obeesss is gonna killz ev1. Gah.)

  52. Hey, littlem? Um, I’ve not been able to figure out an opportune way to say this because you don’t have a blog yourself (at least not one identified in your comments), but I have had the biggest commenter crush on you for weeks now, LOL. I’ll be reading something here at Shapely Prose and thinking, “Gee, that’s a smart thing to say,” and then I’ll look at it’s littlem. Then I’ll be reading something at The Angry Black Woman and thinking, “Wow, well-put!” and I’ll look and again it’s littlem. (Like, for example, your recent rant on the Obama sexism issue was tops.) And then there you were over at Bitch Ph.D too, saying something equally cogent.

    Anyway… I… um… yeah… *trails off dorkily*

  53. I was about to post a comment asking if this might be a “Hillary Sexism Watch,” but then I checked at Shakesville and it already is. Well done, Sweetmachine. I’m so glad that there are people like you all who look out for this stuff, cause I just don’t know if I can read these things by themselves, without the tearing it apart immediately afterward that your blog provides.

  54. And the bit about stopping *before* you feel full is the theory that it takes something like 20 minutes for your stomach to get the message to your brain that it’s full, so if you just keep “shoveling it in” during that 20 minutes you’re overeating.

    I always wondered about that. I mean, it takes me fifteen minutes to eat lunch. So does that mean I’m full before I start?

    And annie, I agree on that feministing thread. I will never understand why it is so hard to get some feminists and other progressives on board with FA. Just don’t get it.

  55. You shouldn’t be eating at all, fat fat fatty mcfatty, you know that lol. But yeah, it never worked for me – once in a while I get overstuffed by accident, but usually if I just eat until I feel done, it works just fine. Maybe fat people don’t have the 20 minute window lol.

  56. I could actually taste it, but that’s only because I’m not fat enough to be capable of shoveling things down like that.

    Total LOL. Your delicate, angular hands can’t bear the strain of shoveling!

  57. I wrote in this morning as well, asking what on earth Senator Clinton’s photo was doing there. Then I had to go to work. I got home to find two emails from the author of the piece. The first said, I have no idea what you’re talking about but yours is the second email I’ve gotten. The next one said, eureka, I now know what you’re talking about and have asked TPTB to remove that photo. And the photo is gone.

    Hey, this activism thing is easy. I should do it more often.

  58. I will never understand why it is so hard to get some feminists and other progressives on board with FA.

    But if they extend human consideration to fat people, who’s left to look down upon?

  59. I don’t taste food?
    Really now? Cause I could have sworn I did. In fact, I thought that was how I determined what I enjoy eating the most.
    And I thought this was the reason us fatties only eat the most unhealthy foods available- cause everyone knows healthy food tastes shitty, no one actually enjoys salads! But good people don’t get pleasure from food so it’s ok.
    I am so confused now….

  60. UURRRGGGGHHHH

    Sexism-based anti-Hillary drivel makes me want to stab something.

    I taste food. That’s why I eat it.

  61. All Hillaristic things aside, I just hate the use of “they.” In this kind of writing, like she has no idea who these people are, because she’s SO NOT obese. It’s writing of the “other,” or someone you can’t relate to that really chaps my ass. If you’re going to write about a sensitive topic, at least try to understand it, instead of just reaffirming to yourself that you’re not that way. It’s like a right-wing conservative writing about gay rights. Come ON!

  62. More on therapy, sorry — My own therapist’s website gives this link for people who are looking for therapists, and it looks really awesome!

    http://www.goodtherapy.org

    (from the website) “GoodTherapy.org maintains high standards for membership, allowing only those practitioners who meet all the membership requirements and who believe people are basically proficient at their core and have the capacity to access their own wisdom and internal resources to overcome the obstacles to health & happiness.”

    Honestly, now that I’ve had such a great experience with the therapist I’ve got, it amazes me that I was in the past willing to pay cash money to be condescended to, patted on the head, and told I was defective. Um, I can get that for free from the MSM, hello?

  63. Um, okay, well, I just looked further on that website’s blog and there’s an article all about the emotionally-damaged fatties who are fat because the want a “protective layer” between them and the big bad world. Because, you know, being fat is a really good way to get the big bad world to leave you alone and respect your right to make decisions about your life.

    Sigh.

    So, um, never mind, maybe.

  64. Bleh, the “fat is a choice” thing, coupled with the old Susie Orbach “obesity” as-tool-to-avoid-men shit that even Susie Orbach doesn’t endorse anymore. Like body size and libido have jackall to do with each other. And like “overeating” alone is going to put anything more than maybe 10 or 15 pounds on most people, tops.

  65. Because, you know, being fat is a really good way to get the big bad world to leave you alone and respect your right to make decisions about your life.

    I think most of us got fat just to get attention – nothing says “you like me” like catcalls, thrown food, and diet books as “gifts”.

  66. Agreeing with all y’all, and… Consider that this is the hapless WSJ. It was formerly a great newspaper. Now it is owned by Newscorp — i.e. Rupert Murdoch.

    He’s apparently not living up to the commitments he made when he bought the paper in terms of keeping the quality of the news high. Staff is leaving.

    He also hates Hilary…

    So… this is one case where we really have to say “Consider the Source”.

    –Andy–

  67. Aaaahhh! Thanks for the reminder of why I don’t read comments at Feministing. Jessica is always completely awesome about respecting fatties as people, and calling out the hate speech, but it seems it’s impossible to stem the tide of fat hatred, even on a feminist site where body autonomy is at least nominally respected.

    On a lighter note, too bad I couldn’t taste that bowl of 10 grain hot cereal with dried cherries I just ate. I bet it was fucking delicious.

  68. It might not be all bad, A Sarah — while the “fat as protective layer” thing alone is a gross oversimplification and/or outright fallacy, there can be some truth to it — Exhibit A would be, well, me. I didn’t get fat to protect myself (I got fat because I had a baby, I might have PCOS, my fibromyalgia raged out of control, and with the arrival of the baby and a new husband I was cooking more and exercising less), but part of why I am consciously choosing to stay fat is that I kind of like this soft, comforting shell. I like… well, let me be blunt: I like not getting all the wolf-whistles, the sexual comments, the gropes. I like not being expected to spend the entire day clothes shopping with my bitchier friends. I like the perspective being fat has given me on a lot of things; the idea that it’s okay not to be perfect that has given me the ability, finally, to relax about my appearance. (This is qualitatively different from just waving my hands in the air and saying fuck it, by the way — I’m not saying “being fat gives me an excuse to be a slob;” I’m just saying that it helped me understand what my body is for and that it’s okay if it isn’t perfect at all times.)

    So… so, you know. Mileage varies, but I think for some people fat can kind of be an insulator. If a therapist approaches that respectfully and doesn’t try to change it, I think it can be a helpful therapeutic tactic. Take heart! Your faith in your therapist is not unjustified! ;)

    *sits back, waits to be flamed*

  69. Er, and the final point that I forgot to type was: This is all positive stuff being fat has done for me. Not negative. I am still damn sexy, and I still get attention — just, now, it’s not the center of my world, and it’s not happening every two seconds.

  70. Hey sarawr, can I just say, I think you’re the bee’s knees? I’ve been within the same 20 pound range since puberty (if you exclude pregnancy); and – this may or may not be a related fact, I suppose – the amount of random male attention I’ve gotten since becoming an adult has more or less held constant. (It has included some unwanted groping by a stranger as well, unfortunately. Shudder. On the other hand there was a time when I was wearing my booty jeans and a random passerby said “Baby got BACK!” and for some strange reason it came across as unproblematically complementary. Anyway.) This is sort of random, but… some of what you said reminds me of some women’s reasons for wearing the hijab. I just wonder what, if any, parallels or differences you think might be there? I’m not trying to bait you; I’m really curious.

    “Your faith in your therapist is not unjustified! ;)”

    :) He is one heckuva great therapist. Just to clarify, though, because I think I may have made it sound otherwise: he didn’t actually write the fat-as-protective-layer thing, but rather linked to a website that has a blog written by a bunch of different people, one of whom wrote the protective layer entry. Thank heaven. Otherwise I’d have had to give him what-for, LOL.

  71. Re: hijab, I actually have kind of complicated feelings and conflicting knowledge about this, because I have friends who wear hijab — a couple who do so voluntarily and one who does so involuntarily. Not that she’s forced despite a desperate desire not to wear hijab, but she’s never known anything else and there would be pretty severe familial and spiritual consequences for her if she ever did decide she just wanted to wear a T-shirt. That said… ooh, great question! And here we go with my (kind of incoherent) answer):

    I think that the parallel with fat as insulator comes into play exactly as you said: sometimes, when you have a healthy, comfortable relationship with fat — i.e., when you get to where you kind of even like it — it’s a very similar power source to that of hijab. It teaches you about hidden beauty and things you keep to yourself, if that makes sense; in a society where skinny is the only way to be beautiful, it’s amazing and empowering to realize that you have all this gorgeousness that not many people see. It’s also, of course, incredibly frustrating, angry-making, and saddening at times, and I can’t help but think that women in hijab might feel the same way. Still, there is this awesome feeling that you know yourself better than you would if you were just another skinny girl or just another girl in a halter top, you know? When you’re fat or when you’re veiled, you spend a lot of time analyzing yourself and finding your comfort/discomfort zones and sort of… sort of thinking about physicality, and eventually you get to where you know a secret, and the secret is that you’re amazingly pretty or amazingly strong or amazingly flexible or maybe you have great skin right there on your ribcage and nobody knows it unless you want them to. I think it’s kind of cool, whether it comes from a burqa or 50 extra pounds.

    Where the parallel falls apart is in the enforcement. Nobody will ever, ever threaten you with a beating or an eternity in hell to make you fat. Many, many women will be threatened with these things and worse if they don’t wear hijab, and that’s where the practice becomes disempowering, sickening, and heartless. The strength you can get from either choosing to hide in a specific way (fat, burqa) or just accepting the way you are (tubby, veiled) only comes when it is a choice — and I’m not saying you can choose to be skinny if you’re fat, because duh, no way — but you can choose to accept it. You can dress it up, dress it down, take it out to yoga, and treat it to ice cream — and if you’re being forced under a veil even though you hate it, even though it makes you miserable, even though it’s just a part of the silencing process, then those benefits don’t apply. It’s a tough line to walk, and it’s an issue that quite honestly I don’t think any Western woman of the 21st century really truly gets, but these are the thoughts I have. And can I say again that I loved this question, A Sarah? You kick ass.

    (Also, please to be excusing mah typos. I am arthritic and exhausted.)

  72. The strength you can get from either choosing to hide in a specific way (fat, burqa)

    And, of course, not that you don’t know this, but just to make totally explicit – there’s also a huge range of hijab. Most women who wear it are not wearing a burqa. And interestingly, in the generation of Muslim women now in their early to late 20s, at least in the U.S. and among the upper and middle classes of Egypt (the populations I’m marginally familiar with), many women are choosing to wear hijab despite not only a lack of familial pressure but actual familial opposition to it. We Love Hijab is an Islamic fashion blog that also includes many profiles of young women describing their decision to wear hijab, and there’s definitely some overlap.

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