PDF | The proposition that fat is a feminist issue is almost an axiom within the feminist literature. And yet, different feminist scholars see fat as a feminist issue for. PDF | Although research and scholarship on weight-based stigma have increased help book, Fat is a Feminist Issue (), perhaps the best. Fat Is a Feminist Issue Paperback – January 1, Reflecting on our increasingly diet and body-obsessed society, Susie Orbach's new introduction explains how generations of women and girls are growing up absorbing the eating anxieties around them. Never before has the "Fat is.
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When it was first published, Fat Is A Feminist Issue became an instant classic and it is as relevant today as it was then. Updated throughout, it. Susie Orbach is a psychotherapist, writer and co-founder of The Women's Therapy Centre in London and New York. In this extract from Fat Is A Feminist Issue. Fat is a feminist issue by Susie Orbach; 19 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Food habits, Mental health, Obesity, Obesity in women, Overweight.
Whether we are religious people or not, that mindset is ingrained in our psyches — unless we take conscious steps to train ourselves out of it. Anybody who has experienced life as a woman knows that we face many of the same issues that fat people face. We are not considered as often for employment, we are often paid less, we are often told that men know more about our health than we do, and so on.
Despite the dramatic improvements society has experienced thanks to the feminist movement, women are still seen as second-class citizens in many areas of life.
Feminism is still necessary and still has a lot of work to do. One of the most important things feminism has provided for women is a collective voice. For women to be treated as people, we need to be seen, heard, and thought of as people, and a collective voice makes that possible. Women are expected to hide in the kitchen, stay at home to look after the family and, when they are seen, to be seen only as a convenient and pretty object for a man to own.
We should not take up space, and we should not be bothersome. We should be nice to look upon when men choose to look upon us.
That is how women have long been expected to be. Whether we want to or not, fat women take up more space. The societal mindset telling most of us that fat people are sinful means that we are bothersome. We are also, by and large, seen as ugly.
Is it that our collective psyche needs a scapegoat? Yet they have the status of accepted truth, even among many feminists and queer activists. Their talk about my impending early death due to my body size is juxtaposed with my experiences and work in black gay communities, which demonstrate that there are far greater enemies to the health and well-being of black lesbian and bisexual women than the fat on our bodies, such as violence, poverty, and psychological oppression.
I am a thin woman, and yet my life gives me many reasons to want to fight fat oppression. My partner and wife-to-be is a fat woman. One day I may be fat myself.
Apr 09, Mar 26, Charley Cook rated it it was ok. This is a hard book to rate because it's so specific to opening a support group and i have no interest in that. I did enjoy the analytical aspect of the first half of the book but yeah.. Jun 12, Leah rated it really liked it.
As a practical manual, Orbach's text is dated it's subtitle in many editions was -- 'a self-help guide for compulsive eaters. But nonetheless, "Fat is a Feminist Issue" remains a keystone in the history of the way bodies have been constructed in American culture. It is surprising, but Orbach was the first to bring a psychoanalytic view of the body to mainstream American culture through this book.
In psychoanalytic terms, Orbach's central claim in this book is that obesity and dieting and comp As a practical manual, Orbach's text is dated it's subtitle in many editions was -- 'a self-help guide for compulsive eaters. Or as Orbach restates many times through the book, in less clinical terms -- sometimes, oftentimes, women are fat because of an unconscious desire to be fat. The fat self is a sort of protection against the vulnerable true self that isn't fat.
Orbach's revolutionary cure is to somehow reconcille the two selfs. I bring up the language of "true" and "false" self because I think, even though she doesn't explicitly pay homage, Orbach's theory and method both must be significantly influenced by Winnicott's in "Ego Distortion in Terms of the True and False Self" From The Maturational Processes and the Facilitating Environment.
In this paper, Winnicott argues that the false self arises in the earliest instances from a failure on the part of the mother to adequately respond to the child.
Orbach gives an example , of a mother who responds to her child's distress in general by giving it food via the nipple. And it is at this point that Orbach both borrows from and extends Winnicott's issue.
The development of a body that eats and eats may have come from the struggling efforts of an inadequate mother, but that mother -- the mother who responds to distress with her own form of unthinking distress -- is herself the victim of a culture that often fails to value women except as a sort of body.
Thus the solution that Orbach offers in "self-help" is also essentially Winnicottean. Stabilizing at a normal weight or losing weight , for Orbach is not about the right diet or the right habit, but a psychicological reorganization in her case facilitated by group theropy.
This is a great book, well argued, and not overly clinical, but nonetheless rigorous and a great introduction to a psychoanalytic way of thinking.
Some things in this book went over my head even if I tried to catch them: That is why I'm only giving this book two stars. Also, it shows how scary the dieting indust Some things in this book went over my head even if I tried to catch them: Jun 25, Amber rated it liked it Shelves: However, this is a very important read for any woman - particularly those who consider themself to be a compulsive eater.
I loved the author eeeeh this is a really difficult book to rate so I'm going to improvise: I loved the author's to-the-point attitude and found her refusal to top toe around important yet sensitive issues really refreshing.
Although my rating may not reflect it, I would recommend this to anyone who is remmotely interested in the topic.
Jan 10, Rachel Kidd rated it it was ok. I really struggled with this book. I've read a few other really good books that refer to it in 'glowing terms' so I really wanted to read it and expected it to totally change how I think! Needless to say this wasn't the case. In some ways I think it is just out of date it was written in the 70s so a lot of it I just couldn't relate to at all. Also it firmly states that people are fat because it benefits them in some way and the 'fat' person is scared of being thin.
Well I have been both overwe I really struggled with this book. Well I have been both overweight and very slim more than once!
Sadly, I just overeat and there wasn't much in the book to deal with that unless you bought into her theories. I skim read the last of it. Jan 30, Pink rated it it was ok. This was okay, but it wasn't quite what I thought it might be. There were some considerations on how fat is viewed in society and how we should see this as a feminist issue, but mostly I found this to be a self help diet book to cure binge eating.
Plus I thought it was quite sexist, which I was not prepared for, though I guess things have moved on somewhat since the s. Aug 09, Laura rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book will piss you off, and then it will set you free. Jul 31, Allison Boyer rated it liked it.
Very interesting. But every once and a while a passage would really resonate with me and make a lot of sense and be enlightening and I think the techniques can be helpful.
I wish I could meet with Susie and talk to her about this, or I wish that she would make another updated version for the modern era.
Feb 10, Faith Neece rated it liked it. This book was definitely a pioneer for its time and helped spark other books on compulsive and intuitive eating. I read the updated version which delved more into practical aspects that Orbach lays out related to eating and hunger, but I was upset that this reissue did not consider more cultural perspectives on eating and the body, instead of still only focusing on gender.
While I understand that this was revolutionary when first published, I don't think it has quite held onto that. But Orbach's main message is slightly over-simplified - I think sometimes she overvalues the role of 'fat' rather than the role of food itself, and as she herself admits, all the women she worked with were white.
Fat as an issue is a very dear to my heart. It is really hard to be a fat woman in a world that is praising thinness as the ideal of health and beauty. It's hard because people closest to you are often the ones that project their fears of fat onto you and constantly hurt emotionally because of this.
I believe that a successf Fat as an issue is a very dear to my heart. I believe that a successful, fat woman, especially successful on the Internet is one of the strongest people on the planet. Hoe much shit she has to endure to just live and enjoy her life. It tackles emotional eating. This is in an essence the topic of the book - why we overeat and how to deal with it.
It all starts when Susie Orbach joins a feminist group that is working on body image and overeating problem. Because of this group, she manages to understand why she sometimes eats more than her body needs, why she eats when she's not hungry.
She then becomes an expert in helping women with overeating problem, and the book is both collection of self-help exercises and histories of women that Orbach worked with. It brings a lot of examples why fat truly is a feminist issue because our overeating has a lot to do with how we are raised, what is expected from us, and from society's pressure for one kind of body to be ideal and visible in public spaces.
This book helped me a lot, I had quite a few illuminating moments when I was reading stories of some women, and Orbach explanations and deep dive into why this issue, if not dealt with, results in overeating as a dealing mechanism.
However, what bothered me when I was reading this book was that no women which history was told in the book, was really fat. They were at most 10 kilogrammes 22 lbs overweight.
How can I relate to that? Or am I wrong? I was just disappointed that there was no story of a fat woman The other thing that bothered me is that the book gets a bit repetitive at times.
I recommend this book to anyone who is trying to work on their eating problems. I wouldn't go so far as to say it will help with eating disorders, but I believe it might help in therapy. Also, if you have a group of like-minded women that want to work out their emotions connected with eating, this book is for you. It's a basic manual on how to start a help group.
I picked this up blindly as part of an online order. As someone who has only recently become acquainted with the notion of body positivity, I had heard Susie Orbach's name mentioned and wanted to read something by her. This is a combination of two books, first published in and respectively. It promises "an updated" version, complete with "new introduction".
I very much enjoyed the new introduction - Susie speaks about the diet industry and its success depending on the failure of its cu I picked this up blindly as part of an online order.
I very much enjoyed the new introduction - Susie speaks about the diet industry and its success depending on the failure of its customers; about unrealistic expectations placed on women from early childhood; about the media pressures and online pressures facing young women today - I marked a lot of passages for re-reading, it spoke to me. I then got to the first book, and was greeted with an outdated account of the role of women in society.
If you plan on never having children - good luck, because you won't find anything here. The notion that "we are fat because of the patriarchy" isn't completely nonsensical, I can see why weight could be used as a shield in order to not be objectified or to succumb to the notion of the "ideal female body".
That, I get. I don't agree with the theory that we are fat because of our mothers - either we're fat because we need them, we're fat because we no longer need them, or we're fat to spite them. I say "theory" - but here, it's presented as fact. You are fat because of your relationship with your mother.
You are fat because you compulsively over eat don't get me wrong, some of the over-eating talk did ring true, I know all too well that eating when I'm not hungry is a massive habit of mine.
I finally put it down when I realised that the second book was all about overcoming compulsive overeating - and when the author described women over lbs as "extremely large". I've been over lbs. I was almost 18 stone and a UK size 20 US I knew I was big but to be labelled "extremely large" was embarrassing and made me feel like it was my fault because I secretly wanted to be fat.
While, yes, there were rare moments of insight, I'm not looking for a self help book that will make me overcome bad eating habits to ultimately achieve "the dream" - losing and maintaining a lower weight. If you are, maybe this would suit you. I was looking for an interesting look at how being fat is seen, or how society treats fat women as if they're less intelligent, less worthwhile, lesser women.