Thursday, July 29, 2004

It's Good to Be Anorexic

That's the opinion of women who run pro-anorexia Web sites.

This article describes these women this way:

"Meet the newest breed of anorexics. They think rail-thin Mary-Kate Olsen didn't need treatment for her eating disorder, that most people are 'fat blobs on legs' and that shunning food to the point of emaciation is a 'lifestyle choice' to be admired."

To be young and female in a post-sexual-revolution world is to run a serious risk of hating yourself. Of course, the causes of eating disorders can be complex, but there's no denying they take place in a cultural context where young woman are taught to see their bodies as mere commodities on the sexual market. When she is told subtly from childhood that promiscuity is normal and healthy, it's easy for a young woman who doesn't get propositioned endlessly to see herself as undesirable. When the sexual marketplace is open 24 hours, you always have to look your best.

Today's young women are living in a sexual environment they did not create. It was handed to them by a previous generation hellbent on overturning the traditional sexual order. Being born into the revolution, and therefore having no choice about whether to participate in it, can certainly leave anyone feeling out of control. The sense of defenselessness is only heightened in a culture where young men are trained to be relentlessly on the hunt for sexual conquest. Eating disorders are understandable because they offer a feeling of control over at least part of a woman's life in a culture sexual chaos.

Here's an article about the same phenomenon in Canada.

Thanks to CPYU for the link.

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