The representation of unrestrained appetite as inappropriate for women, the depiction of female eating as a private, transgressive act, make restriction and denial of hunger central features of the construction of femininity and set up the compensatory binge as a virtual inevitability. Such restrictions on appetite, moreover, are not merely about food intake. Rather, the social control of female hunger operates as a practical ‘discipline’ (to use Foucault‘s term) that trains female bodies in the knowledge of their limits and their possibilities. Denying oneself food becomes the central micro-practice in the education of feminine self-restraint and containment of impulse.
Susan Bordo, Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body [x]
Even as I sit here writing I’m hungry and promising myself that I’m not allowed to eat until I’m done with this project.
But as Bordo suggests, food isn’t the only outlet for this kind of obedience training. The kind of shaming women experience over food is also applied across other avenues of pleasure. Sex, dancing.
It’s hilarious that we live in a society that will shame you for how much sex you have and for the junk food you eat. Like, wow, how dare you eat delicious foods and have orgasms, you’re a monster. Enjoy your miserable life filled with pleasures. [x]
A whole bunch of ladies competing for being the most transgressively indulgent. For, you know, eating.
Pleasure isn’t “bad.” In fact, it’s good. It’s the best.
Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
H. L. Mencken