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December 06, 2004

Comments

zuzu

it would be interesting if hugo had reversed the gender and told the story just to see the reaction. can you see my point, it is all about gender.

The first one to make a big stink about gender was Jeff JP, and then you, Joe.

It comes down to entitlement and control. Steve wants to control Dana and he feels entitled to set these conditions. Whether she goes along with them because she's used to body criticism doesn't change the nature of what drove him to make the comment.

I would have exactly the same reaction of seeing a control freak if Dana had been the one insisting on Steve getting weekly weigh-ins. Or, to take gender out of it, if half of a same-sex couple did the same to his/her partner. The difference is that because of cultural conditioning, it's more common for men to make demands like this and women to accept them as normal.

Amanda

I reversed the gender for you, joe, and even changed up some details to make it more pertinent to male insecurities. If a woman demanded that her boyfriend go through ritualistic penis measurements, how would that make you feel?

This is a classic case of "Women are responsible for male behavior."

Her reaction to him does not determine his behavior. If she walked out on him, he would find another emotionally wounded woman to control. Would you still blame Dana then?

La Lubu

and joe, this conditioning on Dana's part is not "past conditioning". It's present. It's constant. We live in a culture where it is considered acceptable to critique women's bodies. Where women are supposed to go to extreme lengths for an ever-extreme look. And when that look changes, women are supposed to change with it. When you work at a sewage treatment plant, you get used to the smell. It still stinks, of course, but you become somewhat immune to it...your olfactory sense becomes overwhelmed.

The reason we won't be seeing Dana weighing Steve in is not because women are saints and men are sinners. It's because this culture does not have a tradition or practice of men having to alter their bodies in order to please women. Men's magazines do not have "lose those ten pounds and get that girl!" or "is your wife cheating because you've gained weight?" articles. True, they have weight loss articles, or workout articles, but they revolve around actual health...not trying to alter one's body into a shape that is genetically not possible.

Part of the rise of the fat-positive movement can be attributed to the hyper-critical view of the female body. It's not an attempt to say "fat is good, thin is bad". It's an attempt to say "Basta! This is me, take it or leave it." Because I have yet to meet a woman born and raised in the United States who hasn't been called "fat". Not one.

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