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Fat Is a Feminist Issue
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GROUP READS > February NON-FICTION Group Read FAT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

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Taylor (seffietay) | 0 comments Non fiction selection for February!!


message 2: by Pink (last edited Feb 13, 2014 01:15AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Pink I finished this yesterday. My first thoughts are that it wasn't quite the book I expected it to be. I liked the aspects that delved into society and culture and how women are made to feel that slim = beauty/happiness/a perfect life. However, the large majority of this book seemed to be a self help guide on binge eating disorder, which I wasn't so interested in. I found it to be quite dated, with 70's psycho babble, that I didn't particularly agree with. Also, there were lots of passages that I found extremely sexist! I wasn't expecting this from a book with the word feminist in the title. The assumption is that everyone is either married, or aspiring to a life with a husband and children, doing domestic chores and possibly having a little side job. There's also a lot mentioned about sexual attention and how women hide within their fat, to put off the many unwanted sexual advances of men! Quite sobering thoughts and I think things have moved on somewhat in the past 35 years, though not far enough. I'd like to have read more about the culture side of fat and feminism, rather than what is essentially a diet book wrapped up with a 70's feminist attitude.


Gayle Noble (outsmartyourshelf) Like the poster above says, this book is not quite what you think it will be and the first part especially is definitely dated in some of its assumptions. I thought that the additional section II really could have been more expansive on certain topics such as the role of the media, societal attitudes towards fat, prejudice in the workplace,and examining what influenced the rise of previous ideal body shapes and why this changed, etc. The author really goes into detail on binge eating whilst only touching on anorexia and emotional eating. That said, there are many things that still make sense - there has to be a reason that so many diets fail and surely empowering people to feel better in their bodies and about their bodies can only be a good thing when you think of all the negative messages we get. It has made me re-examine my attitude towards food and, as someone who has struggled with their weight since becoming ill with a long-term health condition, it has made me feel a little more positive. I've given it a 3-star rating on Goodreads.


Pink I'm glad you liked it Gayle. I agree that making women think positively about their bodies is a good thing, but I'd have liked more of this aspect to the book, rather than so much detail on binge eating. I think the second section could have been expanded as well, to look at more societal issues, like you say.


Gayle Noble (outsmartyourshelf) Pink, I couldn't agree with you more (pity they don't have a 'like' button for comments on here).


Zoli | 3 comments Pink wrote: "I'm glad you liked it Gayle. I agree that making women think positively about their bodies is a good thing, but I'd have liked more of this aspect to the book, rather than so much detail on binge e..."

Agree particularly on the societal factors, but nonetheless I am glad I read it


Zoli | 3 comments Gayle wrote: "Like the poster above says, this book is not quite what you think it will be and the first part especially is definitely dated in some of its assumptions. I thought that the additional section II ..."

Agree and could identify with issue of using food as "protection"


message 8: by Taylor (last edited Mar 10, 2014 04:00PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Taylor (seffietay) | 0 comments Ok I'm late to the discussion but I did get to this book finally, and I'm in agreement with what was said above; this was not what I was expecting. For the most part I didn't take away much from this because it felt so dated and was essentially a self-help guide for compulsive eaters. There were some sections that I felt made good, albeit obvious, points about the relationship between women and their bodies, but there were also some passages that surprised me, particularly the areas in Part 1 where Orbach writes about women in her compulsive eating groups fearing that becoming thin would also make them become "promiscuous". The fact that becoming more sexual in their thinner bodies was presented as a negative consequence really set my head spinning. Did anyone else come away with the impression that Orbach was implying fat=electively non-sexual ("... For many the answer lies in the fact that weight has been experienced as a way to avoid sexuality." pg 74 of Arrow Edition 2006) and thin=slut ("Jill and Margot ... both feared their own 'promiscuity' if they were to lose weight." pg 124)???

What did you, personally, come away with after reading this book?


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