So, I was going to write a great big ole political post about the Founding Fathers and the rule of law and the idea of liberty and my disappointment that it looks like Obama is going to cave on trying accused terrorists in the criminal justice system and try them in military tribunals instead, but it’s the day I start my vacation and I just don’t have it in me. So maybe that post will show up sometime after next week, full of quotes from my favorite Founder, John Adams. In the meantime, you get yet another post about food! Because I’m crazy about food! I talk about it all the time! When I told my boss that my main contribution to my trivia team the other night was knowing that “banh mi” is a type of Vietnamese sandwich (thank you for teaching me that, Anthony Bourdain), he said, “Why am I not surprised that you’d know the answer to a food question?”
The trigger for this particular food post is yet another piece from DoubleX. I promise I’m not going to go on yet another rant about baking my own bread while sacrificing my hopes and dreams and ambitions, so bear with me. Before I get to that, though, I have to talk about the Salon post that inspired the DoubleX post which in turn inspired this one. In a piece for Salon, Kim Brooks writes about pregnancy and weight gain. She describes a moment when, post-partum, a stranger asked her when her baby was due, making her feel ashamed to still be carrying “baby weight.” Now, if you ask me, Kim Brooks really shoulda told that nosy asshole off and then written a post about the GALL some people have to comment on women’s bodies or to ever dare to ask the question “when is your baby due?” But instead, Brooks beats herself up for still carrying baby weight 6 months after her baby was born. (If you ask me, it took you 9 months to put it on, cut yourself a break already, lady.) In fact, she makes the audacious claim that mothers aren’t shamed enough for daring to “get fat,” aka, look like they’ve actually grown a human in their bodies, pushed it out of their vaginas, and then lived to tell the tale. All of this is of course, completely insane, and I’d like to point Brooks and anyone thinks like her in the direction of Shapely Prose and the Healthy at Every Size movement.
But what inspired Amanda Marcotte’s DoubleX response to Brooks, and what inspires my post on the subject, was the guilt Brooks heaped upon herself for daring to LIKE FOOD. Marcotte writes: “Brooks shames herself for loving family meals, the smell of baked bread, and the flavor of cheese. I don’t consider that out of control; I consider that being human.” Marcotte, rightly, I believe, points to a culture that tells women they have no right to enjoy eating actual food (hello 80 calorie soups??) which creates monsters:
“The kind of eating that Brooks describes that causes women to put on way more pregnancy weight than recommended doesn’t sound like the eating of people who just love to eat. It sounds like the eating of women who’ve been deprived of the right to enjoy eating for so long they have no discernment at all—sucking down milkshakes, devouring entire pints of ice cream, vacuuming up white grains and pasta like they’ve never really been allowed to eat before. And in a sense, they haven’t. Not without feeling guilty, and having their enjoyment of the food dramatically compromised by that. I’m inclined to think that binge eating isn’t a matter of being a bad girl who likes food too much, but being a woman who hasn’t been allowed to enjoy it and so goes a little nuts when given even the slightest permission.”
I would liken it to my growing up in a teetotaling household and going a bit nuts with the drinking during my first semester in college. Continue reading “eating is a pleasure”