At Home and Abroad

Debbie says:

One of the best links we’ve found recently came from our own comments section. Jacqueline Keeler of Tiyospaye Now commented on Lynne Murray’s recent post here on Cecelia Fire Thunder, referring us to her own illuminating post on the topic:

Because each generation must find their own way. Their own traditions that work for them at this time. Our elders wanted us to do it that way. We cannot as modern Lakota/Dakota/Nakota or even Dine or American women be constrained by them. We can be informed by them, even inspired, but we must make decisions for our bodies, our future, our well-being that are sensible and that show that we value ourselves. We, as women, are more than our biology, we are more than just baby machines for a Lakota Nation, a Dakota Nation, or a Nakota Nation. We are productive members of society, we are the ones earning the college degrees, holding the jobs and are the ones by and large, that must raise the children, earn wages to buy them shoes and pay for their futures. We must be the ones to be able to make these choices concerning our bodies.

In the “why are we not surprised” department, comes this story on the dangers of obesity surgery. Size activists know that “22% of patients had complications within 30 days of leaving the hospital. But by 180 days, this rate had jumped by 81%. More than 18% of patients needed some kind of hospital visit after their initial surgical stay.” However, it’s excellent to see this in the mainstream news.

My reaction, when Lisa Hirsch first pointed this out to me? “Fat, after all, is the ‘illness’ for which you can prescribe a “cure” that fails 99.5% of the time …”


Alan Bostick pointed us to this article, which implies that Austrian scientists have time on their hands. Why else would they be researching the brain effects of sleeping together (not sex, sleeping together)? And in an astonishing dependent in this oversimplified and binary world, the results are gendered.

“Sharing a bed with a partner temporarily confuses men’s brains and reduces their ability to think clearly.

“Of course, women who share their bed don’t have that problem. In fact, they fare much better because they sleep more deeply.”

Right. Would it be unkind to wonder whether the male principal investigator is looking for an excuse to sleep alone when he wants to, and wants to make sure his wife is there when he wants her around? (Oh, and the sample size for this important study? Eight couples.)


And right at home, my body image class begins tomorrow!

If you’re nearby and can come, we’ll be delighted to see you. If you’re not, I’ll report at least some of the results here.

Fire Thunder
Native American
bariatric surgery
sleep research
body image
Body Impolitic

2 thoughts on “At Home and Abroad

  1. One interesting story on the CBS page that has the WLS story (it must be the “obesity crisis story page”) has a very telling headline. In a story about possible causes of this “disease” the headline is “possibly not due to gluttony and sloth.” Those aren’t scientific words, they’re religious words–something about 7 deadly sins, no?

    This interests me because I’ve come to the conclusion that on some deep level all those people recommending diets KNOW that diets don’t work. I just sat down and thought, why would a doctor, who presumably is smart enough to get that a 95-98% failure rate doesn’t make for a good treatment say, “This doesn’t work. Do it anyway.” Then I got it, they don’t expect weight loss, they are going for a much deeper kind of compliance–self-abasement of a deviant body type.

    I’ve just been writing an essay (coming soon to my web page) on The Care and Feeding of Your New Obesity Epidemic. I never know what I really think till I start writing and while writing it I realized, it’s not about changing the weight of fat people–it’s about mortifying the flesh in the grand old tradition of starving, self-flagellation and hair shirts.

    So when people tell us to “do something about our weight problem” they don’t so much mean that they expect a weight loss–they mean they want us to assume the proper posture of abject abasement and suffer for our excessive flesh. The ideal is that while the suffering will not necessarily cause the flesh to go away, it will turn us into more acceptable citizens with the proper negative attitude toward our bodies.

    Weight loss surgery is the heroic version of mortifying the flesh–a sort of mutilation/vision quest for our current body-hating culture.

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