Wednesday, October 3, 2012


There is a quote, attributed to Plato, which keeps making the rounds on Pinterest which goes: 

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

This thought goes through my mind a lot.  When I realize I am being critical of another person, it comes to me like a mantra.  Of course, then I want to argue with myself that there are battles and there are battles, but that is the point of this mental exercise.

When I read something like this (I am linking the Jezebel article about this because Psychology Today must have pulled the blog post from it's website) I realize that there is a problem with trying to characterize the "battles" other people are fighting.  The writer of an article titled "Female Obesity: It's Not All Her Fault" suggests that obesity in women stems from a lack of male sexual and flirtatious attention. (I am not sure how this relates to lesbian couples, but perhaps he meant a partner, rather than male attention?)

This "relationship counselor"  is looking around the grocery store and sees all these women in their 20"s and 30's he considers obese and then proclaims that they must  not be getting any love from their husbands because otherwise they would magically be slim - or maybe just large because large can still be sexy according to this guy.

He is not the first to attach sexuality to overeating. But usually the shrinks are saying obese women are avoiding their sexuality by making themselves "larger"  and less attractive.  Frequently this is due to rape or molestation.  This PhD is suggesting that if their guy flirted with them and made them feel sexy, that they wouldn't get so fat.

So I have changed my mind.  Even in his effort to feel empathy for women like me, I feel judged by him.  So I am not so fond of that quote anymore.  Be kind is just fine - no further explanation or judgement is necessary.

1 comment:

knittergran said...

So the woman's body reacts to male sexual attention and is thin the same way a woman's body reacts to a legitimate rape and doesn't get pregnant?
Ain't science wonderful???