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UnbearableWeight,Feminism,WesternCulture,andtheBody
SusanBordo
UniversityofCaliforniaPress BerkeleyLosAngelesLondon

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"TheHeavyBear"isfromDelmoreShwartz, SelectedPoems:SummerKnowledge. Copyright1959byDelmoreSchwartz. Reprintedbypermissionof NewDirectionsPublishingCorp. Figure48isreprintedfromLovefor Sale:TheWordsandPicturesofBarbara KrugerbypermissionoftheMaryBoone Gallery. Figure50isreprintedbypermission ofEssencemagazine.Copyright 1992byEssenceCommunications,Inc. UniversityofCaliforniaPress BerkeleyandLosAngeles,California UniversityofCaliforniaPress,Ltd. London,England 1993by TheRegentsoftheUniversityofCalifornia FirstPaperbackPrinting1995 LibraryofCongressCataloginginPublicationData Bordo,Susan,1947 Unbearableweight:feminism,Westernculture,and thebody/SusanBordo. p.cm. Includesbibliographicalreferencesandindex. ISBN0520088832(pbk.) 1.Femininebeauty(AestheticsUnitedStates. 2.Body,HumanSocialaspectsUnitedStates. 3.BodyimageUnitedStates.4.Selfesteemin womenUnitedStates.5.Feministcriticism UnitedStates.I.Title. HQ1220.U5B671993 305.42dc20 9241582 PrintedintheUnitedStatesofAmerica 9876543 ThepaperusedinthispublicationmeetstheminimumrequirementsofAmericanNationalStandardforInformationSciencesPermanenceof PaperforPrintedLibraryMaterials,ANSIZ39.481984.

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ForEdward

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CONTENTS
Acknowledgments Introduction:Feminism,WesternCulture,andtheBody PartOneDiscoursesandConceptionsOfTheBody WhoseBodyIsThis?Feminism,Medicine,andtheConceptualizationofEating Disorders AreMothersPersons?ReproductiveRightsandthePoliticsofSubjectivity HungerasIdeology PartTwoTheSlenderBodyandOtherCulturalForms AnorexiaNervosa:PsychopathologyastheCrystallizationofCulture TheBodyandtheReproductionofFemininity ReadingtheSlenderBody PartThreePostmodernBodies Feminism,Postmodernism,andGenderSkepticism "MaterialGirl":TheEffacementsofPostmodernCulture PostmodernSubjects,PostmodernBodies,PostmodernResistance Notes Index ix 1

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71 99

139 165 185

215 245 277 301 343

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Itisextremelydifficultforthoseofusatsmallcollegestofind,inourheavyteachingschedules,timeforwriting.Ihavebeenbothfortunateandhighlyprivilegedin havingbeengiventhattime,intheformofmorethangenerousinstitutionalsupportfromavarietyofsources.Tworesidentialfellowships,onetospendthespring semesterof1985inAlisonJaggar'sLaurieseminaratDouglassCollegeandthesecondin198788asaRockefellerHumanistinResidenceattheDuke University/UniversityofNorthCarolinaCenterforResearchonWomen,providednotonlytimetothinkandwritebutwonderfulintellectualenvironmentstostimulate theprocess.AnAmericanCouncilofLearnedSocieties/FordFoundationFellowship,awardedforthesameperiodastheRockefeller,madeitpossibleformeto continueworkingonthisprojectthefollowingyear,whenIwasgenerouslygrantedearlysabbaticalleavebyLeMoyneCollege.ItistoLeMoynethatIowemy greatestdebtforseveralfacultyresearchgrantsandcoursereductionsinthepast,fortheopen,diverse,andwarmintellectualhomethatithasprovidedforme,and foritscourageousdecisiontonameafeministscholartoitsfirstendowedchair,theJosephC.GeorgProfessorship.Frommyperspective,theawardcouldnothave beentimelierannouncedin1991justasIwasenteringthefinalstagesofworkonthisbook,ithasprovidedmewithneededtimeforrevisions,financialresourcesfor preparationofthemanuscriptandillustrations,andaboostofencouragementtoseemethroughtotheculminationofwhathasbeenalongandtaxingalthough absorbingandgratifyingproject. Becausethisbookismadeupofessayswrittenoveraperiodofyears,manydifferentpeoplehavecontributedtoitindifferentways.Ihavetriedtoacknowledge thosecontributionsinanopeningnoteforeachessayIapologizeforanythathavegoneunmentioned

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outofforgetfulness.Whatarenotrepresentedinthosenotes,however,aretheintellectualconversationsandemotionalsupportinformallyprovidedatvariousstages ofthisprojectbyfriendsandcolleaguessuchasLindaAlcoff,SandraBartky,SusanBehuniakLong,JonathanBennett,JanetBogdan,RobertBogdan,Celeste Brusati,JackCarlson,JanetCoy,SandraHarding,EricaHarth,AlisonJaggar,YnestraKing,TedKoditschek,DrewLeder,JaniceMcLane,PaulMattick,Mario Moussa,JeanO'Barr,RobertO'Brien,LindaRobertson,SarahRuddick,JonathanSchonsheck,MaxineSheetsJohnstone,R.J.Sidmore,CynthiaWillett,Bruce Wilshire,DonnaWilshire,IrisYoung,andmysisters,BinnieKleinandMarilynSilverman.IalsothankNaomiSchneider,myeditorattheUniversityofCalifornia Press,forherencouragementandpatience,CarolMillerforherreassuringexpertiseandprofessionalisminthecomputerpreparationofthemanuscript,andJaneEllen Longforherastuteandclarifyingcopyediting. ItisimpossibletomeasurethecontributionsofLynneArnaultandLeeAnnWhitesoradequatelytoexpressmygratitudefortheintellectualandemotionalsustenance theirfriendshiphasprovidedforme.Finally,IthankEdwardLeeforallouryearsofwonderfulconversation,forhisintegrityandindividuality,forhisinsights,his humor,andhiskindness,andforthehavenofourlifetogether.

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INTRODUCTION: FEMINISM,WESTERNCULTURE,ANDTHEBODY
THEHEAVYBEAR "thewithnessofthebody" Whitehead Theheavybearwhogoeswithme, Amanifoldhoneytosmearhisface, Clumsyandlumberinghereandthere, Thecentraltonofeveryplace, Thehungrybeatingbrutishone Inlovewithcandy,anger,andsleep, Crazyfactotum,dishevelingall, Climbsthebuilding,kicksthefootball, Boxeshisbrotherinthehateriddencity. Breathingatmyside,thatheavyanimal, Thatheavybearwhosleepswithme, Howlsinhissleepforaworldofsugar, Asweetnessintimateasthewater'sclasp, Howlsinhissleepbecausethetightrope Tremblesandshowsthedarknessbeneath. Thestruttingshowoffisterrified, Dressedinhisdresssuit,bulginghispants, Tremblestothinkthathisquiveringmeat Mustfinallywincetonothingatall. Thatinescapableanimalwalkswithme, He'sfollowedmesincetheblackwombheld, MoveswhereImove,distortingmygesture, Acaricature,aswollenshadow, Astupidclownofthespirit'smotive, Perplexesandaffrontswithhisowndarkness, Thesecretlifeofbellyandbone, Opaque,toonear,myprivate,yetunknown, Stretchestoembracetheverydear WithwhomIwouldwalkwithouthimnear,

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Toucheshergrossly,althoughaword Wouldbaremyheartandmakemeclear, Stumbles,flounders,andstrivestobefed Draggingmewithhiminhismouthingcare, Amidthehundredmillionofhiskind, Thescrimmageofappetiteeverywhere. DelmoreSchwartz

CulturalExpressionsofMindBodyDualism
Throughhismetaphorofthebodyas"heavybear,"DelmoreSchwartzvividlycapturesboththedualismthathasbeencharacteristicofWesternphilosophyand theologyanditsagonistic,unstablenature.Whitehead'sepigraphsetsoutthedominating,doubleedgedconstruction,theonethatcontainsandregulatesallthe othersthatofdisjunctionandconnection,separatenessandintimacy."Thewithnessofthebody":thebodyasnot"me''but"with"meisatthesametimethebody thatisinescapably"withme."LikeaSiamesetwin,neitheronewithmenorseparablefromme,mybodyhas"followedmesincetheblackwombheld,"movingwhere Imove,accompanyingmyeveryact.Eveninsleep,"he"is"breathingatmyside."Yet,whileIcannotridmyselfofthiscreature,whileIamforcedtolivedwith"him" inintimacy,heremainsastrange,foreignpresencetome:"private,""near,"yet"opaque." Thebodyisabearabrute,capableofrandom,chaoticviolenceandaggression("dishevelingall...kicksthefootball/Boxeshisbrotherinthehateriddencity"), butnotofcalculatedevil.Forthatwouldrequireintelligenceandforethought,andthebearisaboveallelseacreatureofinstinct,ofprimitiveneed.Ruledbyorality,by hunger,blindly"mouthing"experience,seekinghoneyandsugar,heis"inlove"delicate,romanticsentimentbutwiththemostbasic,infantiledesires:tobesoothed bysweetthings,todischargehisanger,tofallexhaustedintostupor.Eveninthatstuporhehungers,hecraves,hehowlsforarepletiondimlyrememberedfromlifein thewomb,whenneedandfulfillmentoccupiedthesamemoment,whenfrustration(anddesire)wasunknown. Thebearwhoisthebodyisclumsy,gross,disgusting,alumberingfoolwhotripsmeupinallmyeffortstoexpressmyself

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clearly,tocommunicatelove.Stupidly,unconsciously,dominatedbyappetite,hecontinuallymisrepresentsmy"spirit'smotive,"myfiner,clearerselflikeanimage makerfromthedarknessofPlato'scave,hecastsafalseimageofmebeforetheworld,aswollen,stupidcaricatureofmy"inner"being.Iwouldbeasensitive,caring lover,Iwouldtellmylovemyinnermostfeelings,butheonly"toucheshergrossly,"heonlydesirescrude,physicalrelease.Iwouldfacedeathbravely,butheis terrified,andinhisterror,seekingcomfort,petting,foodtonumbhimtothatknowledge,heisridiculous,asillyclownperformingtricksonatightropefromwhichhe mustinevitablyfall. Thebearwhoismybodyisheavy,"draggingmewithhim.""Thecentraltonofeveryplace,"heexertsadownwardpulltowardtheearth,andtowarddeath. "Beneath"thetightropeonwhichheperformshisstuntsistheawfultruththatonedaythebearwillbecomemere,lifelessmatter,"meat"forworms.Andhe,''that inescapableanimal,"willdragmetothatdestinyforitishe,notI,whoisincontrol,pullingmewithhimintothe"scrimmageofappetite,"theHobbesianscrambleof instinctandaggressionthatis,inSchwartz'svision,thehumancondition. Thebodyasanimal,asappetite,asdeceiver,asprisonofthesoulandconfounderofitsprojects:thesearecommonimageswithinWesternphilosophy.Thisisnotto saythatanegativeconstructionofthebodyhasruledwithouthistoricalchallenge,orthatithastakenonlyoneform,fortheimaginalshapeofthebodyhasbeen historicallyvariable.Forexample,althoughSchwartzemploysPlatonicimageryinevokingthedistortionsofthebody,hiscomplaintaboutthebodyisquitedifferent fromPlato's.Platoimaginesthebodyasanepistemologicaldeceiver,itsunreliablesensesandvolatilepassionscontinuallytrickingusintomistakingthetransientand illusoryforthepermanentandthereal.ForSchwartz,thebodyanditspassionsareobstaclestoexpressionofthe"inner"lifehischaracteristicallymodernfrustration overtheisolationoftheselfandlongingfor"authenticity"wouldseemveryforeigntoPlato. Plato,arguably(andasanotherexampleofthehistoricalrangeofWesternimagesofthebody),hadamixedandcomplicatedattitudetowardthesexualaspectof bodilylife.InthePhaedopassiondistractsthephilosopherfromthepursuitofknowledge,butintheSymposiumitmotivatesthatpursuit:loveofthebodyisthe essential

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firststeponthespiritualladderthatculminatesinrecognitionoftheeternalformofBeauty.ForChristianthought,ontheotherhand,thesexualbodybecomesmuch moreunequivocallythegross,instinctual"bear"imaginedbySchwartz,theanimal,appetitivesideofournature.Butevenwithinthe"same"dominatingmetaphorofthe bodyasanimal,animalitycanmeanverydifferentthings.ForAugustine,theanimalsideofhumannaturesymbolizedforhimbytherebelliouslytumescentpenis, insistingonits"lawoflust"againsttheattemptsofthespiritualwilltogaincontrolinclinesustowardsinandneedstobetamed.Forthemechanisticscienceand philosophyoftheseventeenthcentury,ontheotherhand,thebodyasanimalisstillasiteofinstinctbutnotprimarilyasiteofsin.Rather,theinstinctualnatureofthe bodymeansthatitisapurelymechanical,biologicallyprogrammedsystemthatcanbefullyquantifiedand(intheory)controlled. Atdifferenthistoricalmoments,outofthepressureofcultural,social,andmaterialchangenewimagesandassociationsemerge.Inthesixteenthcenturythe epistemologicalbodybeginstobeimaginednotonlyasdeceivingthephilosopherthroughtheuntrustworthysenses(aPlatonictheme)butalsoasthesiteofour locatednessinspaceandtime,andthusasanimpedimenttoobjectivity.1 Becauseweareembodied,ourthoughtisperspectivaltheonlywayforthemindto comprehendthingsas"theyreallyare"isbyattainmentofadisembodiedviewfromnowhere.Inourowntime(asanotherexampleoftheemergenceofnew meanings),the"heaviness"ofthebearhasassumedaconcretemeaningwhichitprobablydidnothaveforSchwartz,whousesitasametaphorfortheburdensome dragthebodyexertson"theself"mystudents,interpretingthepoem,understooditasdescribingthesufferingsofanoverweightman.ForSchwartz,thehungerfor foodisjustoneofthebody'sappetitesformyfemalestudents,itisthemostinsistentcravingandthepreeminentsourceoftheirangerandfrustrationwiththebody, indeed,oftheirterrorofit. Notallhistoricalconceptionsviewthebodyasequally"inescapable."TheGreeksviewedsoulandbodyasinseparableexceptthroughdeath.Descartes,however, believedthatwiththerightphilosophicalmethodwecantranscendtheepistemologicallimitationsofthebody.Andcontemporaryculture,technologicallyarmed, seemsbentondefyingaging,ourvariousbiological

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"clocks,"andevendeathitself.Butwhatremainstheconstantelementthroughouthistoricalvariationistheconstructionofbodyassomethingapartfromthetrueself (whetherconceivedassoul,mind,spirit,will,creativity,freedom.)andasunderminingthebesteffortsofthatself.Thatwhichisnotbodyisthehighest,thebest,the noblest,theclosesttoGodthatwhichisbodyisthealbatross,theheavydragonselfrealization.2 WomanasBody Whatistherelationofgendertothisdualism?Asfeministshaveshown,theschemeisfrequentlygendered,withwomancastintheroleofthebody,"weigheddown," inBeauvoir'swords,"byeverythingpeculiartoit."Incontrast,mancastshimselfasthe"inevitable,likeapureidea,liketheOne,theAll,theAbsoluteSpirit."3 AccordingtoDinnerstein,asaconsequenceofourinfantileexperienceofwomanascaretakerofourbodies,"themucky,humblinglimitationsoftheflesh"becomethe provinceofthefemaleontheothersidestands''aninnocentanddignified'he'...torepresentthepartofthepersonthatwantstostandclearoftheflesh,tomaintain perspectiveonit:'I'nesswhollyfreeofthechaotic,carnalatmosphereofinfancy,uncontaminatedhumanness,isreservedforman."4 Thecostofsuchprojectionsto womenisobvious.Forif,whateverthespecifichistoricalcontentoftheduality,thebodyisthenegativeterm,andifwomanisthebody,thenwomenarethat negativity,whateveritmaybe:distractionfromknowledge,seductionawayfromGod,capitulationtosexualdesire,violenceoraggression,failureofwill,evendeath. AlthoughSchwartz'sconceptionofthebodyisindeedgendered,itisnotguiltyofsuchprojections.The"heavybear"isclearlyimagedandcodedasmale(and, arguably,raciallyandclassinflectedaswell).KingKongisevoked("climbsthebuilding"),asismalegangwarfare("boxeshisbrotherinthehateriddencity"),andone ofthemoststrikingmetaphorsofthepoemisthatofstateofnatureasfootballgame("thescrimmageofappetite").Itisnotamaternalorfeminineprimitivitythatis constructed,butalumbering,rough,physicallyaggressiveandemotionallyhelplessmaleanimality.Thefemininepresenceinthepoemconsistsinthenostalgicmemory ofwomblife(the"water'sclasp")andthepresent

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beloved,the"verydear"withwhomheyearnsforrelationsunbefouledbythecrudeinstinctsofthebear.Womanexistsinthispoemasawrenchingreminderbothof pastblissandofpresentlonging,butareminderthatisexperiencedwithoutrancor,resentment,orangerattheobjectofdesire.Schwartz,whileprojectingeverything troublingontothebody,doesnotperformtheadditionalprojectionofthebody'stroublesontothefigureofwoman.Heownsthosetroubles,albeitpainfullyandin estrangement,throughthe"bear"thatishisbody. Inhisownershipoftheinstinctual,infantilebody,SchwartzdistinguisheshimselffrommostoftheChristiantraditionandthedeeplysedimentedimagesandideology thatithasbequeathedtoWesternculture,fromclassicalimagesofthewomanastemptress(Eve,Salome,Delilah)tocontemporarysecularversionsinsuchfilmsas FatalAttractionandPresumedInnocent.Ontelevisionsoapoperas,thesexualtemptressisastandardtype.NoshowcanearnbigratingswithoutaLucyCoeor EricaKanetheSoapOperaAwardsShowevenhasacategoryforBestVillainess.Thesedepictionsofwomenascontinuallyandactivelyluringmentoarousal(and, often,evil)worktodisclaimmaleownershipofthebodyanditsdesires.Thearousalofthosedesiresistheresultoffemalemanipulationandthereforeisthewoman's fault.Thisconstructionissopowerfulthatrapistsandchildabusershavebeenbelievedwhentheyhaveclaimedthatfiveyearoldfemalechildren"ledthemon." Consciousintention,however,isnotarequisiteforfemalestobeseenasresponsibleforthebodilyresponsesofmen,aggressiveaswellassexual.Onejustification givenfortheexclusionofwomenfromthepriesthoodisthattheirmerepresencewillarouseimpurethoughts.Frequently,evenwhenwomenaresilent(orverbalizing exactlytheopposite),theirbodiesareseenas"speaking"alanguageofprovocation(Figure1).Whenfemalebodiesdonoteffacetheirfemaleness,theymaybeseen asinviting,"flaunting":justtwoyearsago,amanwasacquittedofrapeinGeorgiaonthedefensethathisvictimhadwornaminiskirt.Whentheseinvitingfemale bodiesareinaccessibleorunresponsivetomaleovertures,thismaybeinterpretedasteasing,taunting,mocking.InTimothyBeneke'sMenonRape,severalpersonal accountsdemonstratethisinterpretation.Forexample:

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights.
Let'ssayIseeawomanandshelooksreallyprettyandreallyclean andsexy,andshe'sgivingoffveryfeminine,sexyvibes.Ithink, "Wow,Iwouldlovetomakelovetoher,"butIknowshe'snotreally interested.It'satease.Alotoftimesawomanknowsthatshe's lookingreallygoodandshe'llusethatandflauntit,anditmakesme feellikeshe'slaughingatmeandIfeeldegraded.5

Innumerous"slasher"movies,femalesexualindependenceisrepresentedasanenticementtobrutalmurder,andchronicwifebatterersoftenclaimthattheirwives "madethem"beatthemup,bylookingatthemthewrongway,byprojectingtoomuchcheek,orbysomeother(oftenveryminor)bodilygestureofautonomy. Mypointhere,ifitrequiressaying,isnottoaccuseallmenofbeingpotentialrapistsandwifebatterersthiswouldbetoindulgeinaculturalmythologyaboutmenas perniciousasthesexualtemptressmythsaboutwomen.Rather,myaimistodemonstrate

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thecontinuinghistoricalpowerandpervasivenessofcertainculturalimagesandideologytowhichnotjustmenbutalsowomen(sinceweliveinthisculture,too)are vulnerable.Womenandgirlsfrequentlyinternalizethisideology,holdingthemselvestoblameforunwantedadvancesandsexualassaults.Thisguiltfestersintounease withourfemaleness,shameoverourbodies,andselfloathing.Forexample,anorexianervosa,whichoftenmanifestsitselfafteranepisodeofsexualabuseor humiliation,canbeseenasatleastinpartadefenseagainstthe"femaleness"ofthebodyandapunishmentofitsdesires.Thosedesires(asIarguein"Hungeras Ideology")havefrequentlybeenculturallyrepresentedthroughthemetaphoroffemaleappetite.Theextremestowhichtheanorectictakesthedenialofappetite(that is,tothepointofstarvation)suggestthedualisticnatureofherconstructionofreality:eithershetranscendsbodytotally,becomingpure"male"will,orshecapitulates utterlytothedegradedfemalebodyanditsdisgustinghungers.Sheseesnootherpossibilities,nomiddleground. Womenmaybequiteready,too,tobelievetheculturalmythologyaboutsomeotherwomanorwomen,asresponsestothePatriciaBowman/WilliamKennedySmith rapetrialdemonstrated("Whydidshegohomewithhim?""Whydidshelethimkissher?""Why,ifsheonlywantedtospendtheeveningwithhergirlfriends,didthey goouttoabar?").Morestriking,giventhenumbersofwomenwhohadhadsimilarexperiences,wasfemaleskepticismaboutAnitaHill'ssexualharassmentcharges againstthenprospectiveSupremeCourtJusticeClarenceThomas("WhydidshefollowhimtotheEEOC?""Whydidshecallhimonthetelephone?''"Whydidshe drivehimtotheairport?").Generally,suchquestionswereraisedtoattackHill'scredibilityratherthantosuggestthatshehadinitiatedasexualrelationshipwith Thomas.ButitseemedcleartomethatunderlyingthespecificsoftheattackwasageneralizedcondemnationofHill'sbehaviorasinappropriate,insufficientlycautious, overlyambitious,and"askingfor"whateveritwasthathappened.Theintensityandevenvenomwithwhichsomewomenengagedinsuchattacksissuggestiveof powerfulprojectionsatwork,projectionswhichmayservetoprotectwomenagainsttheirownselfdoubts."Whydidshewaitsolongtotell?Ifwhatshesays happenedtoherhadhappenedtome,I'dneverlethimgetawaywithit!"Thus,atHill'sexpense,women

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shoredupbeliefintherobustnessoftheirownselfrespect,selfconfidence,and"purity." ForAfricanAmericancriticsofAnitaHillmaleandfemalethesituationwasmorecomplicatedthanthis,ofcourse.Inthefaceofpervasiveideologythat stereotypesblackmalesasoversexedanimals,manyfeltthattosupportHillwastolendcredencetoracistmythologies.SomeAfricanAmericanwomen,while believingHill'scharges,werefuriousatherforpubliclyexposingablackmanasshedid.Leavingasidethequestionoftowhatdegreethesecriticismswerejust(I discusstheHill/Thomashearingsinmoredetailin"Feminism,Postmodernism,andGenderSkepticism"),whattheyseemtooverlook(andwhatwascertainlyignored bythewhite,malesenatorsandinthemediacoverageofthehearings)isthefactthattheracistideologyandimagerythatconstructnonEuropean"races"as ''primitive,""savage,"sexuallyanimalistic,andindeedmorebodilythanthewhite"races"6 extendstoblackwomenaswellasblackmen. CorrespondingtonotionsthatallblackmenarepotentialrapistsbynaturearestereotypesofblackwomenasamoralJezebelswhocannevertrulyberaped,because rapeimpliestheinvasionofapersonalspaceofmodestyandreservethattheblackwomanhasnotbeenimaginedashaving.Correspondingtothepopularsexual myththatblackmenaregenitallyoverendowedarenotions,harkingbacktotheearlynineteenthcentury,thatAfricanwomen'ssexualorgansaremorehighly developedthan(andconfigureddifferentlyfrom)thoseofEuropeanwomen,explaining(accordingtoJ.J.Virey'sstudyofrace)theirgreater"voluptuousness"and "lascivity."7 "Scientific"representationsoftheblackwoman'sbody,likeevolutionists'comparisonsoftheskullshapesofAfricanmalesandorangutans,exaggerated (andoftencreated)relationsofsimilaritytoanimals,particularlymonkeys.The"HottentotVenus,"aSouthAfricanwomanwhowasexhibitedinLondonandParisat theendoftheeighteenthcentury,waspresentedasa"livingethnographicspecimen"oftheanimallikenatureoftheblackwoman.8 Severalcommissionedportraits depictherwithgrotesquelydisproportionatebuttocks,asthoughshewereinapermanentbodilystateof"presenting"tothemale. A"breeder"totheslaveowner,9 oftendepictedinjunglescenesincontemporaryadvertisements(Figure2),theblackwomancarries

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights.

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atripleburdenofnegativebodilyassociations.Byvirtueofhersex,sherepresentsthetemptationsofthefleshandthesourceofman'smoraldownfall.Byvirtueofher race,sheisinstinctualanimal,undeservingofprivacyandundemandingofrespect.Shedoesnotteaseandthenresist(asinthestereotypeoftheEuropeantemptress) shemerelygoes"intoheat."Hispanicwomenareoftensimilarlydepictedasinstinctualanimals.Butthelegacyofslaveryhasaddedanadditionalelementto effacementsofblackwomen'shumanity.Forinslaveryherbodyisnotonlytreatedasananimalbodybutisproperty,tobe"taken"andusedatwill.Suchabodyis deniedeventhedignityaccordedawildanimalitsstatusapproachesthatofmerematter,thinghood. Throughacynicalandcunningstrategy,ClarenceThomaswasabletoneutralizethedamagethatcouldhavebeendonetohiscasebyunconsciousracistimagesofthe blackmanasoversexedanimalbybringingattentiontotheseimagesandmakinganissueofthem,heengineeredasituationinwhichanywhitesenatorwhodidnot treathimwiththeutmostdelicacyandrespectwouldseemaracist.AnitaHill,bycontrast,boretheweightoftheunexamined(atthehearings)constructionofthe blackwomanasmerebody,whosemoralandemotionalsensibilitiesneednotbetreatedwithconsideration.Inthecontextofthislegacy,thecooldetachmentwith whichthesenatorsinterrogatedHillaboutpenisesandpornography,whileapologizingprofuselytoThomasforthemerementionofsuchsubjects,resonateswiththe historicaleffacementofblackwomen'ssubjectivity. Activity,Passivity,andGender In"TheHeavyBear"thebodyispresentedashauntinguswithitspassivemateriality,itslackofagency,art,orevenconsciousness.Insofarasthe"spirit'smotive"is theguidingforce,clarityandwilldominatethebody,bycontrast,simplyreceivesanddarkly,dumblyrespondstoimpressions,emotions,passions.Thisdualityof activespirit/passivebodyisalsogendered,andithasbeenoneofthemosthistoricallypowerfulofthedualitiesthatinformWesternideologiesofgender.First philosophicallyarticulatedbyAristotle(althoughembodiedinmanycreationmythsandassociativeschemesbeforehim),itstillinformscontemporaryimagesand ideologyconcerning

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reproduction.AccordingtotheAristotelianversion,theconceptionofalivingbeinginvolvesthevitalizationofthepurelymaterialcontributionofthefemalebythe "effectiveandactive"element,themalesperm:
[T]heremustneedsbethatwhichgeneratesandthatfromwhichitgeneratesevenifthesebeone,stilltheymustbedistinctinformandtheiressencemustbedifferentIf,then, themalestandsfortheeffectiveandactive,andthefemale,consideredasfemale,forthepassive,itfollowsthatwhatthefemalewouldcontribute...wouldnotbesemenbut materialforthesementoworkupon.Thisisjustwhatwefindtobethecase,forthecatamenia[menstrualmaterials]haveintheirnatureanaffinitytotheprimitivematter.10

Soconceptuallypowerful(andperceptuallydeterminative)wasthisviewofthingsthatwhenLeeuwenhoekin1677firstexaminedspermunderthenewlyinvented microscope,hesawtiny"animalcules"inittheformofthefuturebeing,tobepressedoutoftheshapelessdoughofthemenstrualmatter. Thedualismofmaleactivityandfemalepassivityisdifferently(butnotincommensurably)representedbyHegelthroughananalogywithanimalsandplants:


Thedifferencebetweenmenandwomenislikethatbetweenanimalsandplants.Mencorrespondtoanimals,whilewomencorrespondtoplantsbecausetheirdevelopmentismore placidandtheprinciplethatunderliesitistherathervagueunityoffeelingWomenareeducatedwhoknowshow?asitwerebybreathinginideas,bylivingratherthanby acquiringknowledge.Thestatusofmanhood,ontheotherhand,isattainedonlybythestressofthoughtandmuchtechnicalexertion.11

Now,noticehowthesedualitiesofmaleasactive,striving,conscioussubjectandfemaleaspassive,vegetative,primitivemattershapethefollowingcontemporary depiction,fromAlanGuttmacher'sdrugstoreguidetoPregnancy,Birth,andFamilyPlanning:
Someofthespermswimstraightuptheoneinch,mucusfilledcanalwithalmostpurposefulsuccess,whileothersbogdownontheway,gettinghopelesslystrandedintissue baysandcoves.Asmallproportionofthetotalnumberejaculatedeventuallyreachthecavityoftheuterusandbegintheirupwardtwoinchexcursionthroughitslength. Whetherthisprogressresultssolelyfromtheswimmingeffortsofthespermatozoaorwhethertheyareaidedbyfluidcurrents

Page13 andmuscularcontractionsoftheuterusisstillunknown.Theundauntedones,thosenotstrandedinthisveritableeverglade,reachtheopeningsofthetwofallopiantubesThe onespermthatachievesitsdestinyhaswonagainstgiganticodds,severalhundredmilliontooneNooneknowsjustwhatselectiveforcesareresponsibleforthevictory. PerhapsthewinnerhadthestrongestconstitutionperhapsitwastheswiftestswimmerofallthecontestantsenteredintheraceIfovulationoccurredwithinseveralminutesto twentyfourhoursbeforethesperm'sjourneyends,theovumwillbeinthetube,awaitingfertilizationifovulationtookplacemorethantwentyfourhoursbeforeinsemination,the eggcellwillalreadyhavebeguntodeteriorateandfragment,renderingitincapableofbeingfertilizedbythetimethespermatozoonreachesit.Ontheotherhand,ifovulationhas notyetoccurred,buttakesplacewithintwoorthreedaysafterintercourse,livingspermatozoawillbecruisingatthetubalsite.12

Soentrenchedisourexpectationthatthemalewillbethe"effectiveandactive"elementandthatthefemalemustbetheonetopassivelywaitforhim,thatmystudents wereshockedtodiscoverthatonmostoccasionswhenfertilizationoccursitisactuallytheeggthattravelstorendezvouswithspermthathavebeenlollingaround,for asmuchasthreedays,waitingforhertoarrive.Guttmacher,indeed,refusestodescribethespermas"waiting"anddepictstheminsteadas"cruising"cruisingdown thestrip,asitwere,lookingtopickupchicks.Suchmetaphorsarecontinuallyreinforcedbypopularrepresentationsofconceptionsuchastheopeningcreditsof LookWho'sTalking,whichdepicttheperilousraceof''theundauntedones"tothetuneof"IGetAround"andpersonifytheonesperm"whoachieveshisdestiny," havinghimprovidearunningoralcommentaryonhisprogress.Thegraphicsimulatestheconsequencesofanactofintercourseatovulation(ourimaginalparadigm, thoughbynomeanstrueofthemajorityoffertilizations)thereattheendofthejourneyisthegiantbeachballofanegg,languorouslybobbing,awaitingthevictor's arrival.SincethevoiceofthetriumphantspermisthesameasthatofMikey,thebabywhoisconceived,Aristotleisconfirmed:themalereallydoesprovidetheform oftheindividual. Clearly,then,mind/bodydualismisnomerephilosophicalposition,tobedefendedordispensedwithbycleverargument.Rather,itisapracticalmetaphysicsthathas beendeployedandsociallyembodiedinmedicine,law,literaryandartisticrepresen

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tations,thepsychologicalconstructionofself,interpersonalrelationships,popularculture,andadvertisementsametaphysicswhichwillbedeconstructedonly throughconcretetransformationoftheinstitutionsandpracticesthatsustainit.Asafinalillustrationofhowculturallysedimented(andoften"innocently"andcovertly reproduced)arethegendereddualitiesthatIhavediscussedinthissection,consideraKmartadvertisementforboy'sandgirl'sbicycles.Theaddescribesthreelevels ofbikes:onefortoddlers(threewheelers),oneforpreteeners,andoneforteenagers.Eachmodelhasaboy'sversionandagirl'sversion,eachwithitsownname. Thetoddler'smodelsarenamed"Lion"and"LittleAngel"thepreteeners,"Pursuit"and''St.Helen."Butwhilethedualityofmaleactivityandfemalepassivityisthus strikinglymappedontopreadolescence,oncesexualmaturityisreachedotherdualitiesemerge:theteenager'smodelsarenamed"GranitePass"and"WhiteHeat"! Thegenderednatureofmind/bodydualism,anditswideranginginstitutionalandculturalexpression,isarecurringthemeofmanyoftheessaysinthisvolume.In"Are MothersPersons?"IexplorehowdespiteanofficialrhetoricthatinsistsontheembodiedsubjectivityofallpersonsWesternlegalandmedicalpracticeconcerning reproductioninfactdividestheworldintohumansubjects(fetusandfather)and"mere"bodies(pregnantwomen).In"HungerasIdeology"Iconsiderhow representationsofmenandwomeneating(forexample,incontemporaryadvertisements)exhibitadualisticpedagogyinstructingwomenandmeninverydifferent attitudestowardthe"heavybear"anditshungers:women'sappetitesrequirecontainmentandcontrol,whereasmaleindulgenceislegitimatedandencouraged.Inthis essay,in"AnorexiaNervosa,"andin"ReadingtheSlenderBody,""thedevouringwoman"isseentobeaspotentanimageofdangerousfemaledesire(particularlyin contemporaryculture)asthesexualtemptress.Iexplore,aswell,thesocialcontextsthathaveencouragedtheflourishingofthisimagery. Inthelattertwoessaysdualismisexplorednotonlyviagenderedrepresentationsbutasamoregeneralcontemporaryconstructionofselfthatshapesmaleexperience aswellasfemale.Dualism,ofcourse,wasnotinventedinthetwentiethcentury.Buttherearedistinctivewaysinwhichitisembodiedincontemporaryculture,giving thelietothesocialmythologythatoursisabodyloving,

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derepressiveera.Wemaybeobsessedwithourbodies,butwearehardlyacceptingofthem.In"AnorexiaNervosa"Iconsiderthewayinwhichanagonistic experienceofmind/bodyregulatestheanorectic'ssenseofembodiment,aswellasotherobsessivebodypracticesofcontemporaryculture.Myaim,however,isnot toportraytheseobsessionsasbizarreoranomalous,but,rather,asthelogical(ifextreme)manifestationsofanxietiesandfantasiesfosteredbyourculture.Idevelop thisthemefurtherin"ReadingtheSlenderBody,"whereIdecodethemeaningsoffatandthininourculturetoexposethemoralsignificancesattachedtothem, revealingtheslender,fitbodyasasymbolof"virile"masteryoverbodilydesiresthatarecontinuallyexperiencedasthreateningtoovertaketheself.Thisconstruction ofselfisthenlocatedwithinconsumercultureanditscontradictoryrequirementthatweembodyboththespiritualdisciplineoftheworkethicandthecapacityfor continual,mindlessconsumptionofgoods. Today,oneoftenhearsintellectualsurgingthatwe"gobeyond"dualisms,callingforthedeconstructionofthehierarchicaloppositions(male/female,mind/body, active/passive)thatstructuredualismintheWest,andscorningothersforengagingin"dualisticthinking."Butitisnotsoeasyto"gobeyonddualism"inthisculture,as Iargueinavarietyofwaysinthisvolume.In"'MaterialGirl'"andin"Feminism,Postmodernism,andGenderSkepticism''Iconsiderpostmodernculture, poststructuralistthought,andsomeaspectsofcontemporaryfeminismasembodyingfantasiesoftranscendenceofthematerialityandhistoricityofthebody,its situatednessinspaceandtime,anditsgender. AngloAmericanFeminism,"Women'sLiberation,"andthePoliticsoftheBody Consideringthepervasivenessofassociationssuchasthosediscussedintheprecedingsection,itisnosurprisethatfeministtheoriststurnedtoWestern representationsofthebodywithananalytic,deconstructiveeye.FromtheireffortswehavelearnedtoreadallthevarioustextsofWesterncultureliteraryworks, philosophicalworks,artworks,medicaltexts,film,fashion,soapoperaslessnaivelyandmorecompletely,educatedandattunedtothehistoricallypervasivepresence ofgender,class,andrace

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codeddualities,alerttotheircontinuedembeddednessinthemostmundane,seeminglyinnocentrepresentations.Sincethesedualities(althoughnotthesealone) mediateagooddealofourculturalreality,fewrepresentationsfromhighreligiousarttodepictionsoflifeatthecellularlevelcanclaiminnocence.13 Feministsfirstbegantodevelopacritiqueofthe"politicsofthebody,"however,notintermsofthebodyasrepresented(inmedical,religious,andphilosophical discourse,artworks,andothercultural"texts"),butintermsofthematerialbodyasasiteofpoliticalstruggle.WhenIusethetermmaterial,Idonotmeanitinthe Aristoteliansenseofbrutematter,nordoImeanitinthesenseof"natural"or"unmediated"(forourbodiesarenecessarilyculturalformswhateverrolesanatomyand biologyplay,theyalwaysinteractwithculture.)ImeanwhatMarxand,later,Foucaulthadinmindinfocusingonthe''directgrip"(asopposedtorepresentational influence)thatculturehasonourbodies,throughthepracticesandbodilyhabitsofeverydaylife.Throughroutine,habitualactivity,ourbodieslearnwhatis"inner"and whatis"outer,"whichgesturesareforbiddenandwhichrequired,howviolableorinviolablearetheboundariesofourbodies,howmuchspacearoundthebodymay beclaimed,andsoon.Theseareoftenfarmorepowerfullessonsthanthosewelearnconsciously,throughexplicitinstructionconcerningtheappropriatebehaviorfor ourgender,race,andsocialclass. TheroleofAmericanfeminismindevelopinga"political"understandingofbodypracticeisrarelyacknowledged.Indescribingthehistoricalemergenceofsuchan understanding,DonHanlonJohnsonleapsstraightfromMarxtoFoucault,effacingtheintellectualroleplayedbythesocialmovementsofthesixties(bothblackpower andwomen'sliberation)inawakeningconsciousnessofthebodyas"aninstrumentofpower":
Anothermajordeconstruction[oftheoldnotionof"thebody"]isintheareaofsociopoliticalthought.AlthoughKarlMarxinitiatedthismovementinthemiddleofthe19th century,itdidnotgainmomentumuntilthelast20yearsduetotheworkofthelateMichelFoucault.Marxarguedthataperson'seconomicclassaffectedhisorherexperienceand definitionof"thebody."...Foucaultcarriedontheseseminalargumentsinhisanalysisofthebodyasthefocalpointforstrugglesovertheshapeofpower.Populationsize, genderformation,thecontrolofchildrenandofthosethoughttobedeviant

Page17 fromthesociety'sethicsaremajorconcernsofpoliticalorganizationandallconcentrateonthedefinitionandshapingofthebody.Moreover,thecultivationofthebodyis essentialtotheestablishmentofone'ssocialrole.14

Notafewfeminists,too,appeartoacceptthisviewofthings.WhilehonoringFrenchfeministsIrigaray,Wittig,Cixous,andKristevafortheirworkonthebody"as thesiteoftheproductionofnewmodesofsubjectivity"andBeauvoirforthe"understandingofthebodyasasituation,"LindaZirellicreditsFoucaultwithhaving "showedushowthebodyhasbeenhistoricallydisciplined"toAngloAmericanfeminismissimplyattributedthe''essentialist"viewofthebodyasan"archaic natural."15 Almosteveryonewhodoesthe"newscholarship"onthebodyclaimsFoucaultasitsfoundingfatherandguidinglight.Andcertainly(asIwilldiscusslaterinthis introduction)Foucaultdidarticulateanddelineatesomeofthecentraltheoreticalcategoriesthatinfluencedthatscholarshipasitdevelopedinthelate1980sandearly 1990s."Docilebodies,""biopower,""micropractices"theseareusefulconcepts,andFoucault'sanalyses,whichemploytheminexploringhistoricalchangesinthe organizationanddeploymentofpower,arebrilliant.16ButneitherFoucaultnoranyotherpoststructuralistthinkerdiscoveredorinventedtheidea,toreferagainto Johnson'saccount,thatthe"definitionandshaping"ofthebodyis"thefocalpointforstrugglesovertheshapeofpower."Thatwasdiscoveredbyfeminism,andlong beforeitenteredintoitsmarriagewithpoststructuralistthought. "Thereisnoprivatedomainofaperson'slifethatisnotpoliticalandthereisnopoliticalissuethatisnotultimatelypersonal.Theoldbarriershavefallen."Charlotte Bunchmadethisstatementin1968,andalthoughmuchhasbeenwrittenabout"personalpolitics"intheemergenceofthesecondwaveoffeminism,notenough attentionhasbeenpaid,Iwouldargue,toitssignificanceasanintellectualparadigm,andinparticulartothenewunderstandingofthebodythat"personalpolitics" usheredin.What,afterall,ismorepersonalthanthelifeofthebody?Andforwomen,associatedwiththebodyandlargelyconfinedtoalifecenteredonthebody (boththebeautificationofone'sownbodyandthereproduction,care,andmaintenanceofthebodiesofothers),culture'sgriponthebodyisaconstant,intimatefact ofeverydaylife.Asearlyas1792,Mary

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Wollstonecrafthadprovidedaclassicstatementofthistheme.Asaprivilegedwoman,shefocusesonthesocialconstructionoffemininityasdelicacyanddomesticity, anditisasclearanexampleoftheproductionofasociallytrained,"docilebody"asFoucaulteverarticulated:
Topreservepersonalbeauty,woman'sglory!thelimbsandfacultiesarecrampedwithworsethanChinesebands,andthesedentarylifewhichtheyarecondemnedtolive,whilst boysfrolicintheopenair,weakensthemusclesandrelaxesthenerves.AsforRousseau'sremarks,whichhavesincebeenechoedbyseveralwriters,thattheyhavenaturally,that issincebirth,independentofeducation,afondnessfordolls,dressing,andtalkingtheyaresopuerileasnottomeritaseriousrefutation.Thatagirl,condemnedtositforhours togetherlisteningtotheidlechatofweaknurses,ortoattendtohermother'stoilet,willendeavortojointheconversation,is,indeed,verynaturalandthatshewillimitateher motherandaunts,andamuseherselfbyadorningherlifelessdoll,astheydoindressingher,poorinnocentbabe!isundoubtedlyamostnaturalconsequenceNorcanitbe expectedthatawomanwillresolutelyendeavortostrengthenherconstitutionandabstainfromenervatingindulgences,ifartificialnotionsofbeauty,andfalsedescriptionsof sensibility,havebeenearlyentangledwithhermotivesofaction...Genteelwomenare,literallyspeaking,slavestotheirbodies,andgloryintheirsubjection,.womenare everywhereinthisdeplorablestate.Taughtfromtheirinfancythatbeautyiswoman'sscepter,themindshapesitselftothebody,and,roamingrounditsgiltcage,onlyseeksto adornitsprison.17

Amoreactivistgenerationurgedescapefromtheprison,and,longbeforepoststructuralistthoughtdeclaredthebodyapoliticalsite,recognizedthatthemost mundane,"trivial"aspectsofwomen'sbodilyexistencewereinfactsignificantelementsinthesocialconstructionofanoppressivefemininenorm.In1914,thefirst FeministMassMeetinginAmericawhosesubjectwas"BreakingintotheHumanRace"poignantlylisted,amongthevarioussocialandpoliticalrightsdemanded, ''Therighttoignorefashion."18Here,already,thematerial"micropractices"ofeverydaylifewhichwouldbeextendedbylaterfeministstoincludenotonlywhatone wearsbutwhocooksandcleans(theclassic"PoliticsofHousework"byPatMainardi),19andeven,morerecently,whatoneeatsordoesnoteathavebeen broughtoutoftherealmofthepurelypersonalandintothedomainofthepolitical.Here,forexample,is

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atrenchant1971analysis,presentedbywayofasetof"consciousnessraising"exercisesformen,ofhowfemalesubjectivityistrainedandsubordinatedbythe everydaybodilyrequirementsandvulnerabilitiesof"femininity":
Sitdowninastraightchair.Crossyourlegsattheanklesandkeepyourkneespressedtogether.Trytodothiswhileyou'rehavingaconversationwithsomeone,butpay attentionatalltimestokeepingyourkneespressedtightlytogether. Runashortdistance,keepingyourkneestogether.You'llfindyouhavetotakeshort,highstepsifyourunthisway.Womenhavebeentaughtitisunfemininetorunlikeaman withlong,freestrides.Seehowfaryougetrunningthiswayfor30seconds. Walkdownacitystreet.Payalotofattentiontoyourclothing:makesureyourpantsarezipped,shirttuckedin,buttonsdone.Lookstraightahead.Everytimeamanwalkspast you,avertyoureyesandmakeyourfaceexpressionless.Mostwomenlearntogothroughthisacteachtimeweleaveourhouses.It'sawaytoavoidatleastsomeofthe encounterswe'veallhadwithstrangemenwhodecidedwelookedavailable.20

UntilItaughtacourseinthehistoryoffeminismseveralyearsago,Ihadforgottenthattheveryfirstpublicactofsecondwavefeministprotestwasthe"NoMore MissAmerica"demonstrationinAugustof1968.Thecritiquepresentedatthatdemonstrationwasfarfromthetheoreticallycrude,essentializingprogramthat caricaturesofthatera'sfeminismwouldsuggest.Rather,thepositionpaperhandedoutatthedemonstrationoutlinedacomplex,nonreductionistanalysisofthe intersectionofsexism,conformism,competition,ageism,racism,militarism,andconsumercultureastheyareconstellatedandcrystallizedinthepageant.21The"No MoreMissAmerica"demonstrationwastheeventthatearned"women'slibbers''thereputationforbeing"braburners,"anepithetmanyfeministshavebeentryingto shedeversince.Infact,nobraswereburnedatthedemonstration,althoughtherewasahuge"FreedomTrashCan"intowhichwerethrownbras,alongwithgirdles, curlers,falseeyelashes,wigs,copiesoftheLadies'HomeJournal,Cosmopolitan,FamilyCircle,etc.Themedia,sensationalizingtheevent,andalsonodoubt influencedbytheparadigmofdraftcardburningastheactofpoliticalresistanceparexcellence,misreportedorinventedtheburningofthebras.Itstucklikecrazy gluetothepopular

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imaginationindeed,manyofmystudentstodaystillrefertofeministsas"braburners."Butwhetherornotbraswereburned,theuneasypublicwithwhomtheimage stucksurelygotitrightinrecognizingthedeeppoliticalmeaningofwomen'srefusalto"discipline"ourbreasts,culturallyrequiredtobesoexclusively"for"theother whetherasinstrumentandsymbolofnurturinglove,oraseroticfetish. And"whitherthebrainthe90's?"AmyCollins,writingin1991forLear'smagazine,posesthisquestion.Sheanswersherself:


Womenareagainplayinguptheirbustlineswithalittleartifice.Togivethebreaststhesolid,roundedshapethatiscurrentlydesirable,LaPerlaisofferingaLycrabrawithpre formed,pressedcottoncups.Toprovideadeepercleavage,anumberoflingeriecompaniesaresellingsidepanelbrasthatgentlynudgethebreaststogether.Perhapsexercising hasmadetheideaofalteringbodycontoursacceptableoncemore.Inanycase,ifanatomyisdestiny,womenarediscoveringnewwaystoreshapeboth.22

Indeed.In1992,withthedangersofsiliconeimplantsonpublictrial,themediaemphasiswasontheirresponsibilityofDow,andthepersonalsufferingsofwomen whobecameillfromtheirimplants.Tomymind,however,themostdepressingaspectofthedisclosureswastheculturalspectacle:thelargenumbersofwomenwho arehavingimplantspurelytoenlargeorreshapetheirbreastsandwhoconsideranyhealthriskworththeresultingboontotheirselfesteemand"marketvalue."These womentaketherisk,notbecausetheyhavebeenpassivelytakeninbymedianormsofthebeautifulbreast(almostalwayssiliconeenhanced),butbecausetheyhave correctlydiscernedthatthesenormsshapetheperceptionsanddesiresofpotentialloversandemployers.Theyareneitherdupesnorcriticsofsexistculturerather, theiroverridingconcernistheirrighttobedesired,loved,andsuccessfulonitsterms.Proposalstobanoreventoregulatesiliconebreastimplantsarethusoften viewedastotalitarianinterferencewithselfdetermination,freedom,andchoice.Manywhoargueinthiswayconsiderthemselvesfeminists,andmanyfeministscholars todaytheorizeexplicitlyasfeminists"ontheirbehalf."ArecentarticleinthefeministphilosophyjournalHypatia,forexample,defendscosmeticsurgeryasbeing"first andforemost...abouttakingone'slifeintoone'sownhands."23

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Iexaminethiscontemporaryconstructionlaterinthisvolume.Fornow,Iwouldonlyhighlighthowverydifferentitisfromthedominantfeministdiscourseonthebody inthelatesixtiesandseventies.Thatimaginationofthefemalebodywasofasociallyshapedandhistorically"colonized"territory,notasiteofindividualself determination.AsAndreaDworkindescribedit:


Standardsofbeautydescribeinprecisetermstherelationshipthatanindividualwillhavetoherownbody.Theyprescribehermotility,spontaneity,posture,gait,theusesto whichshecanputherbody.Theydefinepreciselythedimensionsofherphysicalfreedom.Andofcourse,therelationshipbetweenphysicalfreedomandpsychological development,intellectualpossibility,andcreativepotentialisanumbilicalone. Inourculture,notonepartofawoman'sbodyisleftuntouched,unaltered.Nofeatureorextremityissparedtheart,orpain,ofimprovementFromheadtotoe,everyfeatureofa woman'sface,everysectionofherbody,issubjecttomodification,alteration.Thisalterationisanongoing,repetitiveprocess.Itisvitaltotheeconomy,themajorsubstanceof malefemaledifferentiation,themostimmediatephysicalandpsychologicalrealityofbeingawoman.Fromtheageof11or12untilshedies,awomanwillspendalargepartofher time,money,andenergyonbinding,plucking,paintinganddeodorizingherself.Itiscommonlyandwronglysaidthatmaletransvestitesthroughtheuseofmakeupand costumingcaricaturethewomentheywouldbecome,butanyrealknowledgeoftheromanticethosmakesclearthatthesemenhavepenetratedtothecoreexperienceofbeinga woman,aromanticizedconstruct.24

Here,feminisminvertedandconvertedtheoldmetaphoroftheBodyPolitic,foundinPlato,Aristotle,Cicero,Seneca,Machiavelli,Hobbes,andmanyothers,toa newmetaphor:thepoliticsofthebody.IntheoldmetaphoroftheBodyPolitic,thestateorsocietywasimaginedasahumanbody,withdifferentorgansandparts symbolizingdifferentfunctions,needs,socialconstituents,forces,andsoforththeheadorsoulforthesovereign,thebloodforthewillofthepeople,orthenerves forthesystemofrewardsandpunishments.Now,feminismimaginedthehumanbodyasitselfapoliticallyinscribedentity,itsphysiologyandmorphologyshapedby historiesandpracticesofcontainmentandcontrolfromfootbindingandcorsetingtorapeandbatteringtocompulsoryheterosexuality,forcedsterilization,unwanted pregnancy,

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and(inthecaseoftheAfricanAmericanslavewoman)explicitcommodification:25
[H]erheadandherheartwereseparatedfromherbackandherhandsanddividedfromherwombandvagina.Herbackandmusclewerepressedintofieldlaborwhereshewas forcedtoworkwithmenandworklikemen.Herhandsweredemandedtonurseandnurturethewhitemanandhisfamilyasdomesticservantwhethershewastechnically enslavedorlegallyfree.Hervagina,usedforhissexualpleasure,wasthegatewaytothewomb,whichwashisplaceofcapitalinvestmentthecapitalinvestmentbeingthesex actandtheresultingchildtheaccumulatedsurplus,worthmoneyontheslavemarket.26

Onemightrightlyobjectthatthebody'sliteralbondageinslavery,describedabovebyBarbaraOmolade,isnottobecomparedtothemetaphoricalbondageof privilegednineteenthcenturywomentothecorset,muchlesstothetwentiethcentury"tyrannyofslenderness."Nofeministwritersconsideredthemequivalent.Butat theheartofthedevelopingfeministmodel,formanywriters,wastheextensionoftheconceptofenslavementtoincludethevoluntarybehaviorsofprivilegedwomen. Problematicasthisextensionhascometoseem,Ithinkitiscrucialtorecognizethatastapleoftheprevailingsexistideologyagainstwhichthefeministmodel protestedwasthenotionthatinmattersofbeautyandfemininity,itiswomenalonewhoareresponsiblefortheirsufferingsfromthewhimsandbodilytyranniesof fashion.Accordingtothatideology,men'sdesiresbearnoresponsibility,nordoestheculturethatsubordinateswomen'sdesirestothoseofmen,sexualizesand commodifieswomen'sbodies,andoffersthemlittleotheropportunityforsocialorpersonalpower.Rather,itisinWoman'sessentialfemininenaturetobe(delightfully ifincomprehensibly)drawntosuchtrivialitiesandtobewillingtoendurewhateverphysicalinconvenienceisentailed.Insuchmatters,whetherhavingherfeetbroken andshapedintofourinch"lotuses,"orherwaiststraitlacedtofourteeninches,orherbreastssurgicallystuffedwithplastic,sheisher"ownworstenemy."Setin culturalreliefagainstthisthesis,thefeminist"antithesis''theinsistencethatwomenarethedoneto,notthedoers,herethatmenandtheirdesiresbearthe responsibilityandthatfemaleobediencetothedictatesoffashionisbetterconceptualizedasbondagethanchoicewasa

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crucialhistoricalmomentinthedevelopingarticulationofanewunderstandingofthesexualpoliticsofthebody. BeyondtheOppressor/OppressedModel Thelimitationsofsimpleantithesis,however,ultimatelydisclosedthemselves.Subsumingpatriarchalinstitutionsandpracticesunderanoppressor/oppressedmodel whichtheorizesmenaspossessingandwieldingpoweroverwomenwhoareviewedcorrespondinglyasthemselvesutterlypowerlessprovedinadequatetothe socialandhistoricalcomplexitiesofthesituationsofmenandwomen,andmanydifferentfociofcriticismemergedinthe1980sand1990s.Agoodmanycritics emphasizedthenecessityofconstructingtheorythatwoulddobetterjusticetoracial,economic,andclassdifferencesamongwomen.Othersprotestedagainstwhat theyviewedasadepictionofwomenaspassive,withoutagency,adepictionthatoverlooksbothwomen'scollusionswithpatriarchalcultureandtheirfrequentefforts atresistance.Correlatively,the"old"feministdiscoursehasbeenchargedwithportrayingmenastheenemyand"essentializing"themassexualbrutesandcultural dominators.Frommoredeconstructionistquarters,ithasbeencriticizedforitslackoftextualsophisticationthatis,itsinsensitivitytothemultiplicityofmeaningsthat canbereadineveryculturalactandpractice.Withinthistypeofcritique,onemayfindargumentsforthe''creative"or"subversive"natureofpracticesandcultural forms,suchasmakeup,highheels,orcosmeticsurgery,whichthe"old"feministdiscoursewouldviewassimplyoppressivetowomen.Ingeneral,the"old"discourse isseenashavingconstructedaninsufficientlytextured,undiscerninglydualistic,overlypessimistic(ifnotparanoid)viewofthepoliticsofthebody. Myownperspectiveonthesecriticismswillemergeindetailthroughoutthisbook.Inthisintroduction,however,Iwanttoprovidesomeverygeneralremarks, focusinginparticularonthestrengthsandweaknessesoftheoldfeministdiscourseinthecontextofourincreasinglyimagedominatedculture.Iagreewiththetextual critiquethatthe"old"discoursedidnotdealadequatelywiththemultiplicityorcontextualityofmeaning.Rather,itlaiddownaninitiallexicon,whichothershave elaboratedandcomplicated.SusanBrownmiller'sexcellentbookFemininity,forexample,

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isextremelyvaluableinitsexaminationofthebodyasatextsaturatedwithgenderedsymbolsandmeanings.27Thelexiconthroughwhichsheinterpretsthistext, howeverforexample,longhair,skirts,andhighheelsassymbolicoffemininityoftencriesoutforfurtherelaboration,bothhistoricalandcontextual.Withthe exceptionofthoseerasinwhichcertainstyleswererigorouslymarkedasmasculineandforbiddentowomen(forexample,trousersinthenineteenthcentury),the demonstrationof"femininity"hasinvolvedthearrangementofitemswithinasystemthatgivesthemtheirmeaning.Contextiseverything,especiallyinourpostmodern cultureofpasticheandrearrangement.So,forexample,acrewcutmaybeseenas"feminine"ifthemodel'smouthisvividlycoloredandalacyblouseisworn,but "masculine"whenwornwithnomakeup,butwithoverallsandaconfidentbodyposturemen'sjacketsarehardly"masculine''whentheyoverwhelmthebodyofan extremelypetitesixteenyearold,buttheydocarryconnotationsofmalenesswhentheyaretailored,accompaniedbybriefcaseandanononsensedemeanor.Long haironmenhasfunctionedasasymbolofresistanceagainstestablishmentauthority(asamonghippies,rockstars,andbikers),anditalsomayfunctiontohighlighta man's"masculinity":long,straightponytailsarefrequentlywornbyextremelymuscularmen.Astomusclesthemselves,aretheyinvariablymale,asBrownmillersays? Certainlytheyhavebeendominantlycodedinthisway,but(asIarguein"ReadingtheSlenderBody"),theyhavealsobeenraceandclasscoded,andtodaythey frequentlysymbolizequalitiesofcharacterratherthanclass,race,orgenderstatus. Giventhedifferencesthatrace,class,gender,ethnicity,andsoforthmaketothedeterminationofmeaning,"reading"bodiesbecomesanextremelycomplexbusiness. However,Idonotagreewiththosewhoclaimthatimagesmustalwaysbereadfor"difference."Readerswillindeedexperiencemultipleresponsestothesameimage oriconalesbian's"reading"ofMadonna,forexample,maybeverydifferentfromthatofaheterosexual"wannabe."Buttofocusonlyonmultipleinterpretationsisto missimportanteffectsoftheeverydaydeploymentofmassculturalrepresentationsofmasculinity,femininity,beauty,andsuccess. First,therepresentationshomogenize.Inourculture,thismeansthattheywillsmoothoutallracial,ethnic,andsexual"differences"

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thatdisturbAngloSaxon,heterosexualexpectationsandidentifications.Certainly,highfashionimagesmaycontaintouchesofexotica:collagenplumpedlipsorcorn rowsonwhitemodels,BarbraStreisandnoses,"butch"stylesofdress.Consumercapitalismdependsonthecontinualproductionofnovelty,offreshimagesto stimulatedesire,anditfrequentlydropsintomarginalizedneighborhoodsinordertofindthem.Butsuchelementswilleitherbeexplicitlyframedasexoticaor,within theoverallsystemofmeaning,theywillnotbepermittedtooverwhelmtherepresentationandestablishatrulyalternativeor"subversive"modelofbeautyorsuccess. (Whitemodelsmaycollagentheirlips,butblackmodelsareusuallylightskinnedandAnglofeatured.)Adefinite(albeitnotalwaysfixedordeterminate)systemof boundariessetslimitsonthevalidationof"difference." Second,thesehomogenizedimagesnormalizethatis,theyfunctionasmodelsagainstwhichtheselfcontinuallymeasures,judges,"disciplines,"and"corrects"itself. Cosmeticsurgeryisnowa$1.75billionayearindustryintheUnitedStates,withalmost1.5millionpeopleayearundergoingsurgeryofsomekind,fromfaceliftsto calfimplants.Theseoperationshavebecomemoreandmoreaffordabletothemiddleclass(theaveragecostofanosejobis$2,500),andalmostallcanbedoneon anoutpatientbasissomeduringlunchhour.Lestitbeimaginedthatmostofthesesurgeriesaretocorrectdisfiguringaccidentsorbirthdefects,itshouldbenoted thatliposuctionisthemostfrequentlyrequestedoperation(averagecost$1,500),withbreastenlargement(averagecost$2,000)aclosesecond.Arediverseethnic andracialstylesofbeautyassertingtheir"differences"throughsuchsurgery?Farfromit.Doesanyoneinthisculturehavehisorhernosereshapedtolookmore "African"or''Jewish"?Cheristypicalherehervarioussurgerieshavegraduallyreplacedastrong,decidedly(ifindeterminately)"ethnic"lookwithamuchmore symmetrical,delicate,AngloSaxonversionofbeauty.Shealsolooksmuchyoungeratfortysixthanshedidatforty,asdomostactressesofhergeneration,forwhom faceliftsarevirtuallyroutine.Theseactresses,whoseimagessurroundusontelevisionandinvideosandfilms,arechangingculturalexpectationsofwhatwomen "should"looklikeatfortyfiveandfifty.Thisistoutedinthepopularcultureasaliberatingdevelopmentforolderwomeninthenineties,itisdeclared,fiftyis

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stillsexy.ButinfactCher,JaneFonda,andothershavenotmadetheagingfemalebodysexuallymoreacceptable.Theyhaveestablishedanewnormachievable onlythroughcontinualcosmeticsurgeryinwhichthesurfaceofthefemalebodyceasestoagephysicallyasthebodygrowschronologicallyolder. Evenwithinthecontextofhomogenizingimagery,decipheringmeaningiscomplicated.Femaleslenderness,forexample,hasawiderangeofsometimescontradictory meaningsincontemporaryrepresentations,theimageryoftheslenderbodysuggestingpowerlessnessandcontractionoffemalesocialspaceinonecontext,autonomy andfreedominthenext.Itisimpossibleadequatelytounderstandwomen'sproblemswithfoodandbodyimageunlessthesesignificationsareunpacked,andthis requiresexaminingslendernessinmultiplecontexts.Althoughonlyoneoftheessaysinthisbookclaimsto"read"theslenderbody,infactalloftheessaysthatdiscuss eatingdisordersdoso.Theseare:"HungerasIdeology,""AnorexiaNervosa,''"TheBodyandtheReproductionofFemininity,""ReadingtheSlenderBody,"and "WhoseBodyIsThis?" Totheextentthatfeministdiscoursehasemployedaframeworkofoppressorsandoppressed,villainsandvictims(andthis,ofcourse,isnotequallytrueofall writers),itrequiresreconstructionifitistobeableadequatelytotheorizethepathwaysofmodernpower.Inthisreconstruction,theworkofMichelFoucaulthas provedusefultomuchfeministthought,includingmyownwork.SinceseveralessaysinthisvolumemakeuseofFoucauldiancategoriesandperspectives,itmaybe usefulformetoprovideanoverview,inconnectionwiththethemesunderdiscussioninthisintroduction.ForFoucault,modern(asopposedtosovereign)poweris nonauthoritarian,nonconspiratorial,andindeednonorchestratedyetitnonethelessproducesandnormalizesbodiestoserveprevailingrelationsofdominanceand subordination.Understandingthisnewsortofpowerrequires,accordingtoFoucault,twoconceptualchanges.First,wemustceasetoimagine"power"asthe possessionofindividualsorgroupsassomethingpeople"have"andinsteadseeitasadynamicornetworkofnoncentralizedforces.Second,wemustrecognize thattheseforcesarenotrandomorhaphazard,butconfiguretoassumeparticularhistoricalforms,withinwhichcertaingroupsandideologiesdohavedominance. Dominancehere,however,issustainednotbydecreeordesign

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"fromabove"(assovereignpowerisexercised)butthroughmultiple"processes,ofdifferentoriginandscatteredlocation,"regulatingthemostintimateandminute elementsoftheconstructionofspace,time,desire,embodiment.28 HereisonejuncturewhereFoucauldianinsightsproveparticularlyusefultosocialandhistoricalanalysisof"femininity"and"masculinity."Wherepowerworks"from below,"prevailingformsofselfhoodandsubjectivity(genderamongthem)aremaintained,notchieflythroughphysicalrestraintandcoercion(althoughsocialrelations maycertainlycontainsuchelements),butthroughindividualselfsurveillanceandselfcorrectiontonorms.Thus,asFoucaultwrites,"thereisnoneedforarms, physicalviolence,materialconstraints.Justagaze.Aninspectinggaze,agazewhicheachindividualunderitsweightwillendbyinteriorisingtothepointthatheishis ownoverseer,eachindividualthusexercisingthissurveillanceover,andagainsthimself."29 Now,notallfemalesubmissionisbestunderstoodintermsofsuchamodelwomenarefrequentlyphysicallyandemotionallyterrorizedandfinanciallytrappedin violentrelationshipsanddegradingjobs.Butwhenitcomestothepoliticsofappearance,suchideasareaptandilluminating.30Inmyownwork,theyhavebeen extremelyhelpfulbothtomyanalysisofthecontemporarydisciplinesofdietandexerciseandtomyunderstandingofeatingdisordersasarisingoutofandreproducing normativefemininepracticesofourculture,practiceswhichtrainthefemalebodyindocilityandobediencetoculturaldemandswhileatthesametimebeing experiencedintermsofpowerandcontrol.WithinaFoucauldianframework,powerandpleasuredonotcanceleachother.Thus,theheadyexperienceoffeeling powerfulor"incontrol,"farfrombeinganecessarilyaccuratereflectionofone'ssocialposition,isalwayssuspectasitselftheproductofpowerrelationswhoseshape maybeverydifferent. Foucaultalsoemphasized,inlaterdevelopmentsofhisideas,thatpowerrelationsareneverseamlessbutarealwaysspawningnewformsofcultureandsubjectivity, newopportunitiesfortransformation.Wherethereispower,hecametosee,thereisalsoresistance.31Dominantformsandinstitutionsarecontinuallybeing penetratedandreconstructedbyvalues,styles,andknowledgesthathavebeendevelopingandgatheringstrength,energy,and

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distinctiveness"atthemargins."(Thisiswhy,Iwouldargue,affirmativeactionshouldnotbeunderstoodasonlyaboutredressinghistoricalexclusionsintheinterestsof justicetothosegroupsexcluded,butasessentialtothediversificationandreinvigorationofthedominantculture.)Suchtransformationsdonotoccurinonefellswoop theyemergeonlygradually,throughlocalandoftenminuteshiftsinpower.Theymayalsobeserved,paradoxically,throughconformitytoprevailingnorms.So,for example,thewomanwhogoesintoarigorousweighttrainingprograminordertoachievethecurrentlystylishlookmaydiscoverthathernewmusclesgiveherthe selfconfidencethatenableshertoassertherselfmoreforcefullyatwork.Modernpowerrelationsarethusunstableresistanceisperpetualandhegemonyprecarious. WithinaFoucauldian/feministframework,itisindeedsenselesstoviewmenastheenemy:todosowouldbetoignore,notonlypowerdifferencesintheracial,class, andsexualsituationsofmen,butthefactthatmostmen,equallywithwomen,findthemselvesembeddedandimplicatedininstitutionsandpracticesthattheyas individualsdidnotcreateanddonotcontrolandthattheyfrequentlyfeeltyrannizedby.(Thebestworkbeingdoneoutofthemen'smovementtodayexploresthis enmeshment32unfortunately,ithasfrequentlybeeneclipsedbybestsellingandsensationalistic"reclamations"ofmasculinity.)Moreover,suchaframeworkforcesus torecognizethedegreetowhichwomencolludeinsustainingsexismandsexiststereotypes.Forexample,thecontinuedpopularityofthesoapoperavillainess, mentionedearlier,isinsuredbythethousandsoffemaleviewerswhodelightbothinthepowerandagencysuchcharactersmanifestandintheirinevitable neutralization(eitherthroughdefeatorthroughpersonalityconversion)bytheforcesofmoreconventionalfemalebehavior. Many,ifnotmost,womenalsoarewilling(often,enthusiastic)participantsinculturalpracticesthatobjectifyandsexualizeus.Here,initsfailuretoadmitfemale responsibility,Idothinkthatmuchfeministanalysishasbeen,andcontinuestobe,inadequatethoughunderstandablyso,giventheswiftnesswithwhichthe acknowledgmentthatwomenparticipateinreproducingsexistculturegetsconvertedtotheideasthatwe"areourownworstenemies,""doittoourselves,""askfor it."Inthisclimateofsedimentedsexistideologyreadytobecomeactivatedontheshallowestpretext,certain

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importantdiscussionsmaybecomeverbotenbecausesostrewnwithdangerousminesthreateningtogooff.Forexample,Ihavealwaysfeltextremelytorn,discussing TheAccusedinclass,abouthowtodealwithJodieFoster'seroticdanceinthebar.Ontheonehand,Ithinkitisextremelyimportantthatweunderstandhowbeauty andsexualitycanfunctionasamediumofpowerandcontrolfortheotherwisepowerless,andthesceneprovidesanopportunitytodiscussthis.Ontheotherhand,I knowthatassoonaswebegintodiscussthedanceinsuchterms,manystudentswillimmediatelyseethisascorroboratingthatthewomanwasindeedasexual temptresswholedthesementorape.Inthefaceofsuchcrudebutculturallypowerfulideas,therelevantdistinctionswhichIwouldthenmakestandagoodchanceof beingutterlylostonmystudents. FeminismasSystemicCritique ThevaluablereconceptualizationofpowersuggestedbyFoucaultshouldnotbeinterpretedasentailingtheviewthatallplayersareequal,orthatpositionsof dominanceandsubordinationarenotsustainedwithinnetworksofpower.Menarenottheenemy,buttheyoftenmayhaveahigherstakeinmaintaininginstitutions withinwhichtheyhavehistoricallyoccupiedpositionsofdominanceoverwomen.Thatiswhytheyhaveoftenfeltlike"theenemy"towomenstrugglingtochange thoseinstitutions.(Suchadualrecognitionseemsessential,inparticular,totheorizingthesituationofmenwhohavebeenhistoricallysubordinatedonthebasisoftheir race,class,orsexuality.)Moreover,thefactthatculturalresistanceiscontinualdoesnotmeanitisonanequalfootingwithformsthatareculturallyentrenched.Itis simplyabsurdtosuggest,asDianneJohnsondoesinreviewingNaomiWolf'sTheBeautyMyth,thatthedevelopmentofa"HappytoBeMe"Barbiestyledollof nonanorexicproportionssignifiesthatfeministconcernsovertheculturaltyrannyofslendernessare"outofdate."33In"'MaterialGirl'"Istronglyargue,against proponentsoftheabsoluteheterogeneityofculture,thatincontemporaryWesternconstructionsofbeautytherearedominant,strongly"normalizing''(racialand gendered)formstocontendwith.Tostruggleeffectivelyagainstthecoercivenessofthoseformsitisfirstnecessarytorecognizethattheyhavedominance,andnotto effacesuchrecognition

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throughafacileandabstractcelebrationof"heterogeneity,""difference,""subversivereading,''andsoforth. Recognizingthatnormalizingculturalformsexistdoesnotentail,assomewritershaveargued,theviewthatwomenare"culturaldopes,"blindlysubmittingto oppressiveregimesofbeauty.34Althoughmanypeoplearemystified(insisting,forexample,thatthecurrentfitnesscrazeisonlyabouthealthorthatplasticsurgeryto "correct"a"Jewish"or"black"noseisjustanindividualpreference),oftentherewillbeahighdegreeofconsciousnessinvolvedinthedecisiontodietortohave cosmeticsurgery.Peopleknowtheroutestosuccessinthisculturetheyareadvertisedwidelyenoughandtheyarenot"dopes"topursuethem.Often,giventhe racism,sexism,andnarcissismoftheculture,theirpersonalhappinessandeconomicsecuritymaydependonit. In1990Ilosttwentyfivepoundsthroughanationalweightlossprogram,achoicethatsomeofmycolleaguesviewedasinconsistentandevenhypocritical,givenmy work.Butinmyview,feministculturalcriticismisnotablueprintfortheconductofpersonallife(orpoliticalaction,forthatmatter)anddoesnotempower(orrequire) individualsto"riseabove"theircultureortobecomemartyrstofeministideals.Itdoesnottelluswhattodo(althoughIcontinuallygetaskedsuchquestionswhenI speakatcolleges)whethertoloseweightornot,wearmakeupornot,liftweightsornot.Itsgoalisedificationandunderstanding,enhancedconsciousnessofthe power,complexity,andsystemicnatureofculture,theinterconnectedwebsofitsfunctioning.Itisuptothereadertodecidehow,when,andwhere(orwhether)to putthatunderstandingtofurtheruse,intheparticular,complicated,andeverchangingcontextthatishisorherlifeandnooneelse's. Thegoalofconsciousnessraisingmayseem,perhaps,tobelongtoanotherera.Ibelieve,however,thatinourpresentcultureofmystificationaculturewhich continuallypullsusawayfromsystemicunderstandingandinclinesustowardconstructionsthatemphasizeindividualfreedom,choice,power,abilitysimply becomingmoreconsciousisatremendousachievement.(AsMarxinsisted,changesinconsciousnessarechangesinlife,andinaculturethatcountsonourremaining unconscioustheyarepoliticalaswell.)Feministculturalcriticismcannotmagicallyliftusintoatranscendentrealmofimmunitytoculturalimages,butitoughttohelp

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guardagainstthefeelingofcomfortableonenesswithcultureandtofosterahealthyskepticismaboutthepleasuresandpowersitoffers.Iknow,forexample,that althoughmyweightlosshasbenefitedmeinavarietyofways,ithasalsodiminishedmyefficacyasanalternativerolemodelformyfemalestudents.Iusedto demonstratethepossibilityofconfidence,expressiveness,andsuccessinalessthanadequatelynormalizedbody.Today,myfemalestudentsmaybemorelikelyto seemeasconfirmationthatsuccesscomesonlyfromplayingbytheculturalrules.Thismayaffirmsomeofthem,butwhataboutthosewhocannotplaybytherules? Asmallbutpossiblyimportantsourceofselfvalidationandencouragementhasbeentakenfromthem.Eventhoughmychoicetodietwasaconsciousand"rational" responsetothesystemofculturalmeaningsthatsurroundme(nottheblindsubmissionofa"culturaldope"),Ishouldnotdeceivemyselfintothinkingthatmyown feelingofenhancedpersonalcomfortandpowermeansthatIamnotservicinganoppressivesystem. The"old"feministdiscoursemayhavebeeninsufficientlyattentivetothemultiplicityofmeaning,thepleasuresofshapinganddecoratingthebody,ortheroleoffemale agencyinreproducingpatriarchalculture.Whatitdidofferwasasystemiccritiquecapableofrousingwomentocollectiveactionsomethingwedonothavetoday. True,womenaremobilizingaroundotherissuesreproductiverights,forexample.Butonthesexualizationandobjectificationofthefemalebodycontemporary feminism(withsomenotableexceptions)35isstrikinglymuted.Someformsofpostmodernfeminism(asIarguein"'MaterialGirl'")areworsethanmuted,theyare distressinglyatonewiththecultureincelebratingthecreativeagencyofindividualsanddenyingsystemicpattern.Itseemstomethatfeministtheoryhastakenavery strangeturnindeedwhenplasticsurgerycanbedescribed,asithasbeenbyKathyDavis,as"firstandforemost...abouttakingone'slifeintoone'sownhands."I agreewithDavisthatasanindividualchoicethatseekstomakelifeaslivableandenjoyableaspossiblewithincertainculturalconstraintsanddirectives,ofcourse suchsurgerycanbeexperiencedasliberating.Butsincewhenhasthefeministcritiqueofnormalizingbeautypracticeeverbeendirectedagainstindividualsandtheir choices?UnlikeDavis,Idonotviewcosmeticsurgeryasbeingfirstandforemost"about"selfdeterminationor

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selfdeception.Rather,myfocusisonthecomplexlyanddenselyinstitutionalizedsystemofvaluesandpracticeswithinwhichgirlsandwomenand,increasingly, menandboysaswellcometobelievethattheyarenothing(andarefrequentlytreatedasnothing)unlesstheyaretrim,tight,lineless,bulgeless,andsagless.Ina culturalmomentsuchasthepresent,withinwhichahighlevelofphysicalattractivenessiscontinuallypresentedasaprerequisiteforromanticsuccessandveryoftenis demandedbyemployersaswell,Ibelievethatwedesperatelyneedthecriticaledgeofsystemicperspective. Myanalysisofeatingdisordersthecoreofthecritiqueofnormalizingpracticespresentedinthisbookisdeeplyinformedbymyexperiencesasawomanwhohas herselfstruggledwithweightandbodyimageissuesallherlife.However,IdonotrecountthatpersonalstoryinanyofmypiecesIwastrainedasaphilosopher,and thatmodeofwritingdoesnotcomeeasilytome.Instead,Itrytopreservethecriticaledgeofthe"old"feministdiscourse,whileincorporatingamorepostmodern appreciationofhowsubtleandmultifacetedfeministdiscoursemustbeifitistoringtruetothecomplexexperiencesofcontemporarywomenandmenandprovide systemicperspectiveonthoseexperiences.Ratherthanattemptto"explain"eatingdisordersthroughoneoranotheravailablemodel,IconstructwhatFoucaulthas calleda"polyhedronofintelligibility."Iexplorefacetsandintersections:culturalrepresentationsoffemalehungerandfemaleeating,theroleofconsumerculture,long standingphilosophicalandreligiousattitudestowardthebody,similaritiestootherpredominantlyfemaledisorders(agoraphobia,hysteria),connectionswithother contemporarybodyobsessions,continuitieswith"normal"femaleexperienceinourculture,andsoforth.Eachoftheseexplorationsissystemicallylocated.Idonot wantthereadertolosesightofthefactthattheescalationofeatingdisordersintoasignificantsocialphenomenonarisesattheintersectionofpatriarchalcultureand postindustrialcapitalism. Myanalysisisinthisway"political."Itisnot,however,reductionist,andIhopeitwillhelpdispelthemisperception,fosteredbyJoanBrumberg36andothers,thatthe feministculturalmodelreduceseatingdisorderstoasimplepursuitofslenderness.Rather,suchfeminist/culturalanalysisasSusieOrbach'sHungerStrikeandKim Chernin'sTheObsessionandTheHungrySelfhasalwaysstressed

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theintersectionofculturewithfamily,economic,andhistoricaldevelopmentsandpsychologicalconstructionsofgender.37InsofaraswhatCherninfirstnamedthe "tyrannyofslenderness"hasbeenseenascrucialtounderstandingeatingdisorders,thattyrannyhasrarelybeenviewedbyfeministssimplyasamatterofarbitrary mediaimagesbuthas,rather,beenseenasrequiringculturalandhistoricalanalysisandinterpretation.Idealmorefullywiththefeministparadigm,competingmodels, andongoingresistancetotheculturalperspectiveoneatingdisordersintheessay"WhoseBodyIsThis?" Nature,Culture,andtheBody Takentogether,thefeministcritiquesofgenderedrepresentationsandofthepoliticsofthematerialbodycanalsobeseenasanextendedargumentagainstthenotion thatthebodyisapurelybiologicalornaturalform.Inthisway,AmericanfeminismhascontributedsignificantlytowhatisarguablyamajortransformationinWestern intellectualparadigmsdefiningandrepresentingthebody.Withinthetraditionalparadigms,despitesignificanthistoricalvariationscertainfeatureshavebeenconstant. Firstandforemost,thebodyislocated(whetheraswildbeastorphysiologicalclockwork)onthenaturesideofanature/culturedivide.Assuch,itisconceivedas relativelyhistoricallyunchanginginitsmostbasicaspects,andunitary.Thatis,wespeakof"theBody"aswespeakof"Reason"or"Mind"asthoughonemodel wereequallyandaccuratelydescriptiveofallhumanbodilyexperience,irrespectiveofsex,race,age,oranyotherpersonalattributes.Thatmodelisassumedtobea sortofneutral,genericcore. Overthepasthundredandfiftyyears,undertheinfluenceofavarietyofculturalforces,thebodyhasbeenforcedtovacateitslongtermresidenceonthenatureside ofthenature/culturedualityandencouragedtotakeupresidence,alongwitheverythingelsethatishuman,withinculture.KarlMarxplayedacrucialrolehere,in reimaginingthebodyasahistoricalandnotmerelyabiologicalarena,anarenashapedbythesocialandeconomicorganizationofhumanlifeand,often,brutalizedby it.Marxcutthefirstgreatsliceintotheunitaryconceptionof"theBody"assumedbythosewhoprecededhim.Itmakesadifference,heinsisted,whosebodyyouare

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talkingaboutonethattillsitsownfield,oronethatworksonanassemblylineallday,oronethatsitsinanofficemanagingthelaborofothers. Genderandrace,too,makeadifference.The"generic"coreisusuallyinrealityawhiteormalebodypassingasthenormforall.Forexample,whenthedepartment ofhealthlists"dairyproducts"asoneofthefourmajorfoodgroupsessentialtohealthforallpeople,itexcludesfromitsconceptionofthehumannormthose populations(AfricanAmerican,MexicanAmerican,AsianAmericans)amongwhomlargenumbersofindividualsarelactoseintolerant.(Advisingtheinclusionof calciuminthedietwouldbelessethnocentric.)Thedefinitionofthe"normal"humanbodytemperatureas98.6excludesmostwomenduringtheirfertileyearsfor abouttwoweekseverymonth(beforeovulation,whenprogesteronelevelsshouldbelowandbodytemperaturebelow98.6).Eventherepresentationofgroupswho arethemselvesfrequentlyrenderedinvisibleinculturalconstructionsas,forexample,inassumptionsofheterosexualityindiscussionsofsexuality,marriage,and parenthoodexhibitadditionaleffacementsofraceandgender.Controversialfindingsonpossiblegeneticfactorsinmalehomosexuality,forexample,havecontinually beenmisrepresentedinmassmediaheadlinesasproposingageneticbasisforallhomosexuality.A1992Newsweekcoverstory,forexample,depictstwomen holdinghandsbuttheboldtypeaskstheuninflectedquestion,"Homosexuality:BornorBred?" TheoldmetaphoroftheBodyPoliticpresenteditselfasa"generic"(thatis,ostensiblyhumanbutcovertlymale)form.(Itisinterestingtonote,however,thatwhenthe naturalworldwaslikenedtoabodyasitisinPlato'sTimaeusandinmanyotherancientcreationstoriesitisgendered,andfrequentlyfemale.Itisonlywhena manmaderationalformlikethestateissymbolized,aculturalinventionimaginedtobringordertothechaosofthe"natural,"thatthefictionofgenderlessnesscomes intoplay.)Agooddealoffeministscholarshiphasfocusedonexposingsuchfictionsandrevealingtheirspecificity(aswhite,male,historicallylocatedinvariousways, andsoforth).Othershavefocusedontheculturalconstructionandhistoricalexperiencesofthefemalebody.Thecritiqueofculturalrepresentations,discussedinthe firstsectionofthisintroduction,hasalsocontributedtothefeministrelo

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cationofthebodytotheculturesideofthenature/culturedualism.Foroneeffectofthiscritiqueofthepervasivedualismsandmetaphorsthatanimaterepresentations ofthebodyistocallintoquestiontheassumptionthatweeverknoworencounterthebodynotonlythebodiesofothersbutourownbodiesdirectlyorsimply. Rather,itseems,thebodythatweexperienceandconceptualizeisalwaysmediatedbyconstructs,associations,imagesofaculturalnature. Invariousways,alltheessaysinthisvolumeexemplifyaculturalapproachtothebody.Myanalysisofeatingdisorders,mostexplicitly,offerssuchacultural perspective.Therelevantessaysspanalmostadecadeofmythinkingaboutanorexia,bulimia,andrelatedissuesandreflectdifferentstagesofinformationand understanding(bothmyownandtheculture's).Butalthoughmyanalysiscametoincorporatenewelementsovertime(forexample,myearliestessay,"Anorexia Nervosa,"reflectsmyinitiallackofknowledgeaboutnineteenthcenturyanorexia),myunderstandingofeatingdisordersascomplexcrystallizationsofculturehas remainedunaltered.Indeed,themorewelearnabouteatingdisordersandaboutwomenandtheireatingproblems,bothinthenineteenthcenturyandtoday,themore theculturalmodelhasbeenborneout,asIarguein"WhoseBodyIsThis?" Inthecaseofeatingdisorders,theculturalevidenceisbynowsooverwhelming,andbyitselfsooverdeterminesthephenomena,thatthehuntforbiological explanations(Idonotdenythattherearebiologicaldynamicsandeffectsinvolved)canonlybeunderstoodasblindallegiancetothemedicalmodel.However, althoughIamconvincedthatanorexiaandbulimia(asmassphenomena,notastheisolatedcasesthathavebeenreportedthroughouthistory)havebeenculturally produced,Iresistthegeneralnotion,quitedominantinthehumanitiesandsocialsciencestoday,thatthebodyisatabularasa,awaitinginscriptionbyculture.When bodiesaremadeintomereproductsofsocialdiscourse,theyremainbodiesinnameonly.Unless,asRichardMohrargues,wearewillingtograntthatour corporealityismorethana"barrenfield,"an"unchalkedblackboard,""ineffective"apartfromthesocialforcesanddiscoursesthatscriptandshapeit,thenthose forcesarethe"truebody,"andtheylet'sfaceitlooksuspiciouslymorelike''mind"thanbody,"emanating"(asMohrdescribesit)"fromthegascloudlikesocial

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mindorwhateveritisthatspeakssocial'discourses'asitbrushesacrossthetabularasaofthebody."38Insomeareasbiologymayplayaverygreatroleinour destinies,anditalwaysinformsourlivestovaryingdegrees.However,eveninthoseareaswherebiologymayplayamoreformidablerole,itseffectisnever"pure," neveruntouchedbyhistory.Wearecreaturesswaddledinculturefromthemomentwearedesignatedonesexortheother,oneraceoranother. Transcendence,"Difference,"andCulturalTransformation Manyfeministsremainagnosticorambivalentabouttheroleofbiologyandsexual"difference"justifiablyfearfulofideasthatseemtoassertanunalterable,essential femalenature,theyarenonethelessconcernedthattooexclusiveanemphasisonculturewillobscurepowerful,andpotentiallyculturallytransformative,aspectsof women'sexperience.Ispregnancymerelyaculturalconstruction,capableofbeingshapedintomultitudinoussocialforms?Ordoestheuniqueconfigurationof embodimentpresentedinpregnancythehavingofanotherwithinoneself,simultaneouslybothpartofoneselfandseparatefromoneselfconstituteadistinctively femaleepistemologicalandethicalresource?IsPMSmerelyonemoredeploymentintheeveradvancingmedicalizationofthebody?Orisitalsoanopportunity(as EmilyMartinargues)toaccessreservesofemotion,understanding,andcreativitythatnormallyremaindormant,repressed?39 Onecouldreasonablyanswerthatthefemalebodyisbothconstructionandresource.Itisimportanttorecognize,however,thattheseideascarryheavyideological andpersonalfreight.Womenwhosufferfromblindingheadaches,incapacitatingbackpain,andviolentmoodswingsjustbeforetheirperiodsmayresentany suggestionthatPMSistotheslightestdegreeculturallyconstructed.Womenwhohaveminimalornosymptomsbutwhosemalepartnersandemployerscontinually sneerormakejokesaboutwomen'sbehaviorbeingdominatedbytheirovaries(ideasthatharkbacktonineteenthcenturynotionsthatwomen'sphysiologyand psychologyareruledbytheirreproductivesystems)mayfindthemselvesarguingthatPMSissimplyaculturalmythperpetuatingmaledom

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inanceinthepublicworkplace.Moreover,thepolarizingeffectsoftheoutbreakofphobiasabout"essentialism"haveoftenfoundfeministsliningup(orbeinglinedup) ondifferentsidesofadivide.JoanPeters,inherwittyaccountofthelong,slowslideintomenopause,sardonicallydescribesthisdivide.Ontheonesidearethe "Transcenders"forwhomthefemalebody,undeterminedbynatureorhistory,canberecreatedanewbyfeminism.Ontheothersidearethe''RedBloomers"for whomthefemalebodyisasourceofpleasure,knowledge,andpower,toberevaluedratherthanremade.Ofcourse,Petersintendsthesetermsascaricatures.40But theyareusefulinhighlighting,withinthespecificcontextofperspectivesonthefemalebody,thetensionthatAnnSnitowdescribesasbeing"asoldasWestern feminism":thetensionbetween"needingtoactaswomenandneedinganidentitynotoverdeterminedbyourgender."41 Clearly,bothpolesofthistensionarenecessarytofeministstruggleandsocialchange.Iftheeffortsof"RedBloomers"areneededforthedeeptransformationof culture,theargumentsof"Transcenders"areneededtodismantlethebarriersthatprohibitentrancetodomainsreservedformenonly.NowthatIamatenured professor,the"female"aspectsofmyidentity,Ihope,canoperatetransformatively,disturbingreceivednotionsofprofessorialandphilosophicalexpertiseand authority.WhenIwasagraduatestudent,however,itwasnecessarytomyprofessionalsurvivalthatIdemonstratethatIcouldargue"liketheboys."Decidinghow muchonemay"bloom"andhowmuchonehasto"transcend"inanygivencontextisatricky,subtlebusiness(formovementsaswellasforindividuals),anditiseasy tolosetrackofwhoyouareandwhatyouwantedwhenyoustarted,particularlyifyouwereambivalenttobeginwith.Andwhatwoman,growingupinasexist culture,isnotambivalentabouther"femaleness"? Today,asIargueinseveralessaysinthisvolume,theforcesof"transcendence"seemtobeinascendancewithinpostmodernfeminism.Intheorizingthatascendancy, ImakeuseofmuchthesamemethodologyIapplyinmyanalysisofeatingdisorders.Ratherthanofferacausalexplanation,Iexaminevariouselementsasthey intersectorcrystallizeinthephenomenonIamtryingtounderstand.Someoftheseelementsaregeneralculturalattitudesothershavetodowithacademiccultures stillothershavespecifi

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callytodowithcontemporaryfeminism.Throughout,myperspectiveoncontemporaryacademicparadigmssuchasdeconstructionismistoexploretheir participation,theirembeddedness,incultureastheexpression,inanacademicarena,offantasies,anxieties,andfashionsbeingplayedoutinother,more"popular" orpubliccontexts. Althoughmylanguagemaynotconsistentlyreflectthis,myoverallanalysisdependsonadistinctionbetweenpostmoderncultureandpoststructuralistthought. Postmodern,inthemostgeneralculturalsense,referstothecontemporaryinclinationtowardtheunstable,fluid,fragmented,indeterminate,ironic,and heterogeneous,forthatwhichresistsdefinition,closure,andfixity.Withinthisgeneralcategorization,manyideasthathavedevelopedoutofpoststructuralistthought theemphasisonsemioticindeterminacy,thecritiqueofunifiedconceptionsofsubjectivity,fascinationwiththeinstabilitiesofsystems,andthetendencytofocuson culturalresistanceratherthandominantformsaredecidedlypostmodernintellectualdevelopments.Butnotallpoststructuralistthoughtispostmodern.Foucault,asI readhim,hasbothmodernandpostmodernmoments.Inhisdiscussionsofthediscipline,normalization,andcreationof"docilebodies,"forinstance,heisverymuch thedescendantofMarx,whereaslaterrevisionstohisconceptionofpoweremphasizetheubiquityofresistanceacharacteristicallypostmoderntheme. Iviewcurrentpostmoderntendenciesthoroughlyto"textualize"thebodyexemplifiedinJudithButler'sanalysisofdragasparody(see"PostmodernSubjects, PostmodernBodies,PostmodernResistance")andSusanMcClary'sreadingofMadonna'smusicvideos(see"'MaterialGirl'")asgivingakindoffree,creativerein tomeaningattheexpenseofattentiontothebody'smateriallocatednessinhistory,practice,culture.Ifthebodyistreatedaspuretext,subversive,destabilizing elementscanbeemphasizedandfreedomandselfdeterminationcelebratedbutoneisleftwondering,isthereabodyinthistext?In"'MaterialGirl'"Iexplorehowa similareffacementofthebody'smaterialityisplayedoutconcretelyinourpostmodernimaginationofthebodyasmalleableplastic,tobeshapedtothemeaningswe choose. Culturalexpressionsareallaroundus.KlanleaderDavidDukeevenhadhiseyesandnosereshapedtoappear"kinderandgentler"

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toprospectivevoters.Contemporarymoviesarecontinuallyexperimentingwiththeplasticityanddeconstructivepossibilitiesofthebody:oldbodiesmagicallybecome young(SixteenAgain),youngbodiesbecomeold(Big),deathistranscended(Cocoon)ortemporarilysuspended(Truly,Madly,Deeply),reincarnationthemesare playedout(HeavenCanWait,MadeinHeaven,DeadAgain).TheextremelypopularGhostevenplayswiththenotionthatawelldisciplinedandhighlymotivated (dead)spiritcanpushmaterialobjects(andlivingpeople)aroundwithouttheaidofbody.Talkshowsevidenceaspecialfascinationwithsexchangesonefrequent guestisapersonwhohasgonebackandforthfrommantowomantomanseveraltimes.And,ofcourse,therearetheextravagantclaims,madethroughoutthe popularliteratureon"thenewreproductivetechnologies,"thatanywoman,regardlessofageormedicalproblem,canbecomepregnant.Inthisliterature,thedifficult, painful,anddisruptiveregimesdemandedbythenewtechnologyarecontinuallyeffacedortrivialized:"Youcanstillcarryyourownbaby"evenaftermenopause, assuresShermanSilber(currentlytheleadingfertilityexpert/darlingofthemassmedia)"Allthatisneededisaneggdonor"(emphasismine).42 Mypointhere,Ihopeitisapparent,isnottocriticizepeoplewhohaveplasticsurgery,sexchangeoperations,orgameteintrafallopiantransfers.Itistohighlighta discoursethatisgraduallychangingourconceptionandexperienceofourbodies,adiscoursethatencouragesusto"imaginethepossibilities"andcloseoureyesto limitsandconsequences.Apostmodernintoxicationwithpossibilitiesisexpressedinsomeofthemethodologicalandepistemologicalidealsofpostmodernthoughtas well,asIarguein"Feminism,Postmodernism,andGenderSkepticism."EarlierinthisintroductionIspokeoftheCartesianfantasyofthephilosopher'stranscendence oftheconcretelocatednessofthebody(andsoofitsperspectivallimitations)inordertoachievetheGod'seyeview,the"viewfromnowhere."Today,Iargue,ano lessdisembodiedidealisimaginedbythosewhoadvocate"heterogeneity"and"indeterminacy''asprinciplesforinterpretingculture,history,andtexts.Thisisnotto denythathistoryandcultureareindeedheterogeneous.Rather,Itakeissuewiththefantasyofcapturingthatheterogeneityinour"readings"bycontinuallyseeking differenceforitsownsake,bybeingguidedbythepurepossibilitiesofinterpre

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tationratherthananembodiedpointofview.Icallthisthe"viewfromeverywhere"fantasy. Thus,althoughIamstronglyskepticalofcertaintendenciesinpostmoderncultureandpoststructuralistthought,myperspectiveisbynomeansthoroughlynegative. Foronething,aswillbeobvioustothereader,myownworkmakesliberaluseoftheinsightsofpoststructuralistthought,particularlythoseofFoucault.Moredeeply, myapproachtounderstandingculturalphenomenahasbeenshapedbytheexperienceoflivingin"postmoderntimes,"andtheunavoidableencounterwithcomplexity, multiplicity,ambiguitythatthishasmeantforme.InsortingoutmyownambivalentrelationshiptopostmodernityIhavebeengreatlyaidedbybellhooks'sYearning andJaneFlax'sThinkingFragments,whichIdiscussin"PostmodernSubjects,PostmodernBodies,PostmodernResistance"andwhichmodelwhatIthinkofasan embodiedpostmodernism,incorporatingthebestofpostmodernmultiplicitywithaconstantacknowledgmentofboththelimitationsoftheselfandtheweightof collectivehistory. ForneitherFlaxnorhooksdoesthefragmentednatureofpostmodernsubjectsandpostmodernknowledgemeanthatwecannotorshouldnottalkabout"black identity"or"women'sexperiences"ashistoricallyconstituted.Inthis,theirapproachistobecontrastedsharplytothatofJeanGrimshawandotherwritersforwhom generalizationsaboutgender,race,andclasshavebecometaboo,notonly"politically''butmethodologically.AlthoughIrecognizethevalidityofaspectsof Grimshaw'scritique,Ihavemanyconcernsaboutthetabooongeneralization,whichIexploreinconnectionwiththeThomas/Hillhearingsin"Feminism, Postmodernism,andGenderSkepticism."InthatessayIalsoconsidertherelatedcontemporarypanicover"essentialism,"suggesting,amongothercriticisms,thatwe lookatthatpanicwithamorepsychoculturaleye,asapossibleexpressionoffeministanxietyoverbeingidentifiedwithmarginalizedanddevaluedaspectsoffemale identity.Suchanxiety,however,cannotbeadequatelytheorizedonlyintermsofpsychologicalambivalenceorinnerconflictaboutourfemaleness,ourmothers,our bodies.Rather,itisalsothoroughlycontinuouswiththeinsistenceoncreativeselffashioningthatismanifestthroughoutpostmodernculture.Anditmustbelocatedin thecontextoftheinstitutionswepracticeininstitutionsstilldominatedbymasculinist,Eurocentricnormsof"professional"behaviorandaccomplishment.

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Itisinthisinstitutionalcontext,Iwouldargue,thatwemostneedto"bloom"ratherthan"transcend."Thisdoesnotmeanalliancewithdeterminist,essentializing ontologies.Themostpowerfulrevaluationsofthefemalebodyhavelooked,nottonatureorbiology,buttotheculturallyinscribedandhistoricallylocatedbody(orto historicallydevelopedpractices)forimaginationsofalterityratherthan"thetruth''aboutthefemalebody.ThisisoneoftheelementsthatIreadintheworkofLuce Irigaray,HlneCixous,AdrienneRich,SarahRuddick,ecofeministYnestraKing,AliceWalker,ToniMorrison,AudreLorde,andagooddealoflesbianfeminist and"culturalfeminist"artandliterature.Withoutimaginations(orembodiments)ofalterity,fromwhatvantagepointcanweseektransformationofculture?Andhow willweconstructtheseimaginationsandembodiments,ifnotthroughalliancewiththatwhichhasbeensilenced,repressed,disdained?So,forexample,feminist philosophershavefrequentlychallengeddominantconceptionsofrationality,morality,andpoliticsthroughrevaluationsofthose"female"qualitiesspontaneity, practicalknowledge,empathyforbidden(ordeemedirrelevant)tothe"manofreason." Therearethosewhowouldclaimthatrevaluing"female"resourcesonlyinvertstheclassicdualismsratherthanchallengingdualisticthinkingitself.Thisposition,which soundsincisiveandwhichfrequentlyhasbeenpronouncedauthoritativelyandreceivedasgospelincontemporarypoststructuralistfeministwriting,infactdepends uponsoabstract,disembodied,andahistoricalaconceptionofhowculturalchangeoccursastobeworthyofinclusioninthemoststerilephilosophytext.The ongoingproduction,reproduction,andtransformationofcultureisnotaconversationbetweentalkingheads,inwhichmetaphysicalpositionsareacceptedorrejected wholesale.Rather,themetaphysicsofacultureshiftspiecemealandthroughreal,historicalchangesinrelationsofpower,modesofsubjectivity,theorganizationoflife. Dualismthuscannotbedeconstructedinculturethewayitcanbeonpaper.Tobeconcretelythatis,culturallyaccomplishedrequiresthatwebringthe"margins" tothe"center,"thatwelegitimateandnurture,inthoseinstitutionsfromwhichtheyhavebeenexcluded,marginalizedwaysofknowing,speaking,being.Because relocationsofthissortarealwaysconcrete,historicalevents,enactedbyreal,historicalpeople,theycannotchallengeeveryinsidiousdualityinonefellswoop,but neithercantheyreproduce

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exactlythesameconditionsasbefore,"inreverse."Rather,whenwebringmarginalizedaspectsofouridentities(racial,gendered,ethnic,sexual)intothecentral arenasofculturetheyarethemselvestransformed,andtransforming.Bellhooks(see"PostmodernSubjects,PostmodernBodies,PostmodernResistance"inthis volume)providestheexampleoftheAfricanAmericanphilosopherCornelWest,whobypresentingatheoretical,academictalkinapassionate,dramaticsermon modepopularinblackcommunitiesconcretelydeconstructed,onthatoccasionandforthataudience,theoppositionsbetweenintellectandpassion,substanceand style.Didhealsodeconstructthegendereddualitywhichhasdominantlyreservedthesermonmodeformen?No.Thatchallengerequiresotheroccasions,other players. Ifwedonotstruggletoforceourworkandworkplacestobeinformedbyourhistoriesofembodiedexperience,weparticipateintheculturalreproductionofdualism, bothpracticallyandrepresentationally.Thecontinuingmasculinismofourpublicinstitutions(manifestnotonlyinthestylesofprofessionalismthattheyrequirebutin theircontinuedfailuretoaccommodateandintegratetheprivateforinstance,parentingintothepublicsphere)hasbeenexploited,clearly,inwhatSusanFaludi describesasthemediaconcoctedfictionofamassive"flight"ofunhappywomenfromthoseinstitutionsandbacktothehometheonlyplacewecantrulyrealizeour femininenatureandcompletelyfulfillourmaternalresponsibilities.43Mostwomen,ofcourse,couldnotaffordtoleavetheirjobeveniftheywantedto.Andwhatever actualflighttherehasbeen,Faludiargues,islargelytheresultofpaniccausedbythemediacampaignratherthantheotherwayaround.Butwhateverthecausality,the olddualitiesareclearlybeingculturallyreinscribed.Glossymagazinesandcommercialsarecurrentlyfilledwithimagesofdomestic,reproductivebliss,ofhomeasa cozy,plantfilledhavenofbabies,warmth,andlight,skillfullymanagedandlovinglytendedbywomen.Therealmofthematerial,thecareandreproductionofthe body,wearereminded,isappropriatelywoman's.Onlymen,asHegelsaid,aredesignedforthe"stress"and''technicalexertions"ofthepublicdomain.

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PARTONE DISCOURSESANDCONCEPTIONSOFTHEBODY

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WhoseBodyIsThis? Feminism,Medicine,andtheConceptualizationofEatingDisorders
TheFeministChallenge Bythe1983meetingsoftheNewYorkCenterfortheStudyofAnorexiaandBulimia,palpabledissatisfactionwasevidentlargelyamongfemalecliniciansover theabsenceofanytheoreticalfocusongenderissues.In1973,whenHildeBruchpublishedherlandmarkworkEatingDisorders,shemadelittleuseoftheconcept ofgenderinherinterpretationofanorexia.KimChernin,inTheObsession,wasthefirsttonotethatthevividdescriptionsBruchprovidesoftheanorectic's"battle" againsttheadultdevelopmentofherbodyconsistentlylackonecrucialelement:recognitionofthesignificanceofthefactthatthisisafemalebodywhose developmentisbeingresisted1 FollowingBruch,theetiologicalmodelsthatdominatedoverthenextdecadeemphasizeddevelopmentalissues,familyproblems,and perceptualand/orcognitive"dysfunction."Ineach,theunderstandingoftheroleplayedbytheconstructionofgenderandothersocialfactorswas,atbest,shallowand unsystematic. Developmentalandfamilyapproachesconceptualizedinteractionsbetweenmotherandchildasoccurringoutsideculturaltimeandspacethefather'srolewassimply ignored.Perceptual/cognitivemodelstheorizedtheroleof"socioculturalfactors"solelyintermsof"thepressuretowardthinness,""indoctrinationbythethinethic'' whatpassedforculturalanalysiswerestatisticalstudiesdemonstratingthedwindlingproportionsofPlayboycenterfoldsandMissAmericawinnersthroughoutthe 1980s.And,inallofthis,transactionswereimaginedasoccurringonlybetweenmediaimagesandfemales,orfemalesandotherfemales(peerpressureto

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conformcriticismsfromthemother)thevulnerabilityofmenandboystopopularimagery,thecontributionoftheirdesiresandanxieties,thepressuresthusbroughtto bearongirlsandwomen,remainedasfather/daughterincestwasforFreudahiddenandsomehowunspeakablesecretintheprevailingnarratives. Innoplacewasthemeaningoftheidealofslendernessexplored,eitherinthecontextoftheanorectic'sexperienceorasaculturalformationthatexpressesideals, anxieties,andsocialchanges(somerelatedtogender,somenot)muchdeeperthanthemerelyaesthetic.Rather,"themedia,""MadisonAvenue,"and"thefashion industry''typicallywerecollectivelyconstructedasthesoleenemyawhimsicalandcapriciousenemy,capableofindoctrinatingandtyrannizingpassiveand impressionableyounggirlsbymeansofwhateverimageryitarbitrarilydecidedtopromotethatseason.Whythinnessshouldhavebecomesuchadominantcultural idealinthetwentiethcenturyremainedunaddressedtheinterpretationofrepresentationswasviewedasoutsidethedomainofclinicalinvestigation. Theoneclinicalmodelforwhichgenderwasakeyanalyticalcategory,thepsychoanalytic,theorizedtheanorectic'sresistancetodevelopingafemalebodyinthe termsoftraditionalFreudianism,asexpressinganxietiesandfantasiesofapurelypsychosexualnature,suchasfearofpregnancyorofattractingthesexualattention ofmen.TraditionalFreudianismhasbeenfarmoreattunedthanothermodelstothesymbolicnatureoftheanorectic'ssymptoms,recognizing,forexample,thatthe fearoffatonstomachsandbreastshasgenderassociationsthatdemandinterpretationandisnotmerelyindicativeofcompulsiveslaverytothelatestfashiontrend.But Freudiantheorynonetheless(andcharacteristically)hasfailedtosituatethecategoriesofitsanalysisinasocioculturalsettingtoappreciate,forexample,thatfearof pregnancymayhavemoretodowithfearofdomesticentrapmentthanwithsuppressedElectrafantasies,orthatanxietiesaboutthedangersofsexualinvolvement mightbearealisticresponsetothedisclosureoftheabusiveandviolentpatternsthatarealltoocommonwithindomesticrelationships.(Researchhasdisclosed,too, thatjustasmanyofFreud'shystericswereverylikelyactuallysexuallyabused,ashehadoriginallyhypothesized,soincidentsofsexualabuselieinthebackgroundof thesocalledflightfromsexualityofmanyanorectics,andinthehistoriesofbulimicsaswell.)2

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Thus,in1983,gendereitherwasabsentorwastheorizedinessentialisttermsbytheleadingauthoritiesoneatingdisordersasituationthatorganizersofthe conferenceonanorexiaandbulimiasoughttorectify.Todoso,theyhadtocallonfeministswhohadbeenworkingatthemarginsoftheofficialestablishment:writing foraudiencesotherthanmedicalprofessionals,practicingtherapyoutsidetheframeworkofthendominantmodels,anddeveloping,overtheprecedingtenyears,a verydifferentapproachtotheunderstandingofeatingdisorders.Thethemechosenforthe1983conferencewas"EatingDisordersandthePsychologyofWomen," andCarolGilliganandSusieOrbachwereinvitedtobekeynotespeakers. Gilligan'stalkintroducedtheaudiencetoCatherineSteinerAdair'sprovocativestudyofhighschoolwomen,whichrevealedastrikingassociationbetweenproblems withfoodandbodyimageandemulationofthebeautiful,independent,coolsuperwomanofmediaimagery3 SusieOrbach'stalkwasamovingargument,groundedin objectrelationstheoryandsituatedinthesocioculturalcontextoftheconstructionoffemininity,thattheanorecticembodies,inanextremeandpainfullydebilitating way,apsychologicalstrugglecharacteristicofthecontemporarysituationofwomen.Thatsituationisoneinwhichaconstellationofsocial,economic,and psychologicalfactorshavecombinedtoproduceagenerationofwomenwhofeeldeeplyflawed,ashamedoftheirneeds,andnotentitledtoexistunlesstheytransform themselvesintoworthynewselves(read:withoutneed,withoutwant,withoutbody).4 Themotherdaughterrelationisanimportantmediumofthisprocess.Butitis notmotherswhoaretoblame,stressedOrbach,fortheytooarechildrenoftheirculture,deeplyanxiousovertheirownappetitesandappearanceandawareofthe factcommunicatedinamultitudeofwaysthroughoutourculturethattheirdaughters'abilityto"catchaman"willdependlargelyonphysicalappearance,andthat satisfactionintheroleofwifeandmotherwillhingeonlearningtofeedothersratherthantheselfmetaphoricallyandliterally. ForOrbach,anorexiarepresentsoneextremeonacontinuumonwhichallwomentodayfindthemselves,insofarastheyarevulnerable,toonedegreeoranother,to therequirementsoftheculturalconstructionoffemininity.Thisnotionprovokedheatedcriticismfromthe(allmale)panelofcommentators,twopsychiatristsand

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oneclinicalpsychologist.ThepoliticalimplicationsofGilligan'stalkhadbeenmissedbyherrespondents(andbyOrbach's),allofwhomchosetohearthepapersolely asalamentforourculture'slackofesteemforthe"female"valuesofconnectedness,empathy,andotherdirectedness.Gilligan'stalkwas(mis)interpreted(asher workfrequentlyis)asasimplecelebrationoftraditionalfemininityratherthanasacritiqueofthesexualdivisionoflaborthatassigns"female"valuestoaseparate domesticspherewhilekeepingthepublic,malespace(and"masculinity")abastionofautonomousselves. Orbach'stalk,unambiguousinitsindictmentofthenormativeconstructionoffemininityinourculture,wasmuchmoretroublingtothepanelists.Itelicitedfromthema passionatedefenseof"traditionalwomen,"withOrbachthefeministportrayedasunsisterlyandunmotherlyandthepanelistscastassympatheticprotectorsofthose groupsthatOrbachhadabused.So,forexample,DavidGarner,coauthorofAnorexiaNervosa:AMultidimensionalPerspective,feltobligedtodefendmothers againstthe"blame"Orbachhadattributedtothemandthe"guilt"shehadinflictedonthemfor''choosingtraditionalvalues"andbeingfulfilledby"nurturing."Steven Levenkron,authorofTheBestLittleGirlintheWorld,cametotherescueoftheanorecticherselfthat"skinnykidinyouroffice,"ashecalledher,whosesuffering Orbachhadfailedtoappreciateadequately(insuggestingthatherpaincouldbeunderstoodonacontinuumwithnormativefemalesuffering).Here,thefeminist critiquewaschargedwithsacrificingthecareof"helpless,chaotic,andfloundering"childrenintheinterestsofa"rational"politicalagenda.Thepaneliststhus representedthemselvesbothasbetterfeministsthanOrbach(thatis,moreconcernedwithactualwomen'slives),better"women"(moreempathic,morecaring),and atthesametimedazzlinglymasculinePrinceCharmings,rescuingwomenfromtheabstractanduncaringpoliticsoffeminism. EvenmoreprovocativethanOrbach'scritiqueoftheconstructionoffemininity,however,washerquestioningofthedesignationofeatingdisordersas"pathology."All thepanelists,whileremarkingonhowperfectlyherinterpretationtalliedwithandilluminatedtheirownclinicalexperience,wereuniformincriticizingheranalysisfor(as WilliamDavisputit)its"[lackof]specificexplanatoryconceptions"and"indistinctandunconvincing"theorizing.How

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canitbethatheranalysisbothexplainedandfailedtoexplain?Thisapparentcontradictionintheestimationofthepanelcanbeaccountedforonlybythehidden stipulationthattheory,nomatterhowwellitilluminatesagivenphenomenon,isinadequateunlessitalsosetsdowngeneralcriteriatoenableclearandprecise distinguishingbetween"normal"and"pathological"membersofapopulation.This,ofcourse,iswhatOrbach'stheorylackedor,rather,contested.Assuch,itissued aprofoundchallengetooneofthemostbasicandmostthoroughlyentrenchedpremisesofthemedicalmodel. Pathology,Culture,andtheMedicalModel Intheclinicalliteratureoneatingdisorders,thetaskofdescription,classification,andelaborationof"pathology"hasdrivenvirtuallyallresearch.Intheleadingjournals, attemptstolinkeatingdisorderstooneoranotherspecificpathogenicsituation(biological,psychological,familial)proliferate,alongwithstudiespurportingto demonstratethateatingdisordersaremembersofsomeestablishedcategoryofdisorder(depressive,affective,perceptual,hypothalamic).Anorexiaandbulimiaare appearinginincreasinglydiversepopulationsofwomen,reducingthelikelihoodofdescribingadistinctiveprofileforeach.5 Yetthesearchforcommonpathologies stillfuelsmuchresearch.6 Aseachproposedmodelisunderminedbytheactualdiversityofthephenomena,evermoreeffortisputintopreciseclassificationof distinctivesubtypes,andnew"multidimensional"categoriesemerge(forinstance,bulimiaasa''biopsychosocial"illness)7 thatsatisfyfantasiesofprecisionand unificationofphenomenathathavebecomelessandlessamenabletoscientificclarityanddistinctness. Whereaunifyingelementdoesclearlyexistintheculturalcontext,andespeciallyintheideologyandimagerythatmediatetheconstructionofgendertheetiological significanceisdescribedasmerelycontributory,facilitating,ora"modulatingfactor."8 Theprevailingunderstandingisthatcultureprovokes,exacerbates,andgives distinctiveformtoanexistingpathologicalcondition.Suchanunderstandingfailstocometogripswithtwostrikingfactsabouteatingdisorders.First,likehysteriain thenineteenthcentury,theincidenceofeatingdisordershasalwaysbeendisproportionately

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highamongfemales:approximately90percentofsufferersaregirlsorwomen.Second,andagainlikehysteria,eatingdisordersareculturallyandhistoricallysituated, inadvancedindustrialsocietieswithinroughlythepasthundredyears.9 Individualcaseshavebeendocumented,infrequently,throughouthistory,butitisnotuntilthe secondhalfofthenineteenthcenturythatsomethinglikeaminorepidemicofanorexianervosaisfirstdescribedinmedicalaccounts10andthatincidencepalesbeside thedramaticescalationofanorexiaandbulimiainthe1980sand1990s.11 Theseelementspointtocultureworkingnotonlythroughideologyandimagesbutthroughtheorganizationofthefamily,theconstructionofpersonality,thetraining ofperceptionasnotsimplycontributorybutproductiveofeatingdisorders.Aparallelexistsintheformationoffemalehysteria.Thankstothebenefitofhistorical distanceandtheworkoffeministscholars,almostallcliniciansandtheoriststodayagreethattheultimatesourcesofhysteriaandneurastheniaascharacteristic disordersofeliteVictorianwomenarelocatedinVictorianculture,andespecially(althoughnotexclusively)inideologyandupheavalsrelatedtogender.Most Victorianphysicians,weshouldremember,lackedthisperspective.Itisonlyashysteriahassheditssymbolic,emotional,andprofessionalfreight,asithasbecomea historicalphenomenon,thatithasbecomepossibletoseeit,insomeways,forthefirsttime.Amongtheimportantelementsnowrevealedistheclearcontinuumon whichthenormativeandthedisorderedwerelocatedforVictorianwomenitbecomespossibletoseethedegreetowhichfemininityitselfrequiredtheholdingof breath,thelossofair,thechokingdownofangeranddesire,therelinquishingofvoice,thedenialofappetite,theconstrictionofbody. Allthisisvisibleinpartbecause,fromtheperspectiveofthepresent,Victorianidealsofmasculinityandfemininityandthestylesofbehaviorthatregulatedthemseem themselvesasdustyanddistantasthedisordersoftheera.Theyaredenaturalizedforus,asourownconstructionsofgendercannotbe,nomatterhowintellectually committedwemaybetoasocialconstructionistview.Too,contemporarymedicine,protectedbyitsmythofprogressbeyondtheantiquatedmodelsandmethodsof thepast,isablecomfortablytoacknowledgethethralldomofVictorianmedicinetobiologisticparadigmsanditsimplicationinadualisticgenderpoliticsthatwe

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prideourselvesonhavingtranscended.Ourcontemporarymedicalmodels,genderidentities,andotherideologicalbeliefsarenolongerenmeshedinastruggleto "conquer"hysteriaandthemysterious,rebelliousfemaleworlditoncerepresentedtomechanisticscienceandpatriarchalculture.Theculturaldeconstructionof hysteriaasahistoricallylocatedintersectionofVictoriangendercultureandVictorianmedicinehasthusbecomepossible. Aswasnotedearlier,itwasinthenineteenthcenturythatselfstarvationamongelitewomenfirstsurfacedwithenoughfrequencytoengagethegeneralattentionofthe medicalprofession.Butforthenineteenthcentury,"hysterical"symptomssuchasparalysisandmutenessexpressedbetterthanselfstarvationdidthecontradictions facedbyeliteVictorianwomen,forwhomtheideologyofthecompliant,refined,andthoroughlydomesticladywasacoercivefeminineideal.Certainly,foodrefusal wasanappropriatesymptominthisculturalcontext,withitsrigidprohibitions,bothmetaphoricalandliteral,againstfemaleappetiteanddesire,prohibitionsthatwere lockedinunstableandpainfulantithesiswithadevelopingbourgeoiscultureofaffluenceandindulgence.But(foravarietyofreasonsdiscussedinessaysthroughout thisvolume)eatingdisordershaveemergedasanoverdeterminedcrystallizationofculturalanxietyonlyinthesecondhalfofthetwentiethcentury.Thecontemporary woman,whostrugglestocopewithsocialcontradictionsthatfirstemergedintheVictorianerabutwhoconfrontsthosecontradictionslaterintheirhistorical developmentandastheyintersectwithspecificallycontemporaryelements,isfarmorelikelytodevelopaneatingdisorderthananhystericalparalysis. Itisonething,apparently,toacknowledgetheroleplayedbycultureintheproductionofavirtuallyextinctdisorder,wrestledwithbylongdeadphysicianswhowere workingwithnowdiscreditedmodels.12Itisanotherthingaltogetherforcontemporarymedicinesimilarlytointerrogatethestatusofdisordersitisstilltryingto subdue.Researchersdonowacknowledgethepreeminentroleplayedbyculturalideologyintheproductionofhysteria,buttheystillresistapplyingthathistorical lessontotheunderstandingofanorexiaandbulimia.Althoughitisfrequentlyacknowledgedthatculturalpressuresmaymakewomen"especiallyvulnerabletoeating disorders,"13thatacknowledgmentisusuallyquicklyfollowedbythecommentthatnotallindividualsexposedtothese

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pressuresdevelopanorexiaorbulimia.Hence,itisclaimed,other"nonsociocultural"factorsmustberequiredinorderforthedisordertobe"produced"inaparticular individual.Thesenonsocioculturalfactors(amongthosemostfrequentlylisted:''deficits"inautonomy,tendencytoobesity,perfectionistpersonalitytraitsanddefective cognitivepatterns,perceptualdisturbances,biologicalfactors,emotionallyrepressedfamilialinteractions)arethenweightedalongsidesocioculturalfactorsasequally determinativeofthedisorders.Inthiswayweslidefromtheunderstandingthatculturealoneisnotsufficientto"cause"anorexiaorbulimiainanindividual(whichis true,andwastrueofhysteriaaswell)tomystificationandeffacementofculture'spreeminentroleinprovidingthenecessarygroundforthehistoricalflourishingofthe disorders.Eatingdisordersareindeed"multidimensional,"asDavidGarnerdescribesthem.Butthatdoesnotimplythatalldimensionsthereforeplayanequalrolein theproductionofanorexiaandbulimia. Often,too,itisemphasizedthat"factorsotherthanculturemaybeatworkproducingthehighratiooffemalestomales."AstheeditorsoftheHandbookofEating Disordersputit:


Whatcanexplainthelowprevalenceofeatingdisordersinmen?Certainlymanymenhavethepersonalityfactorsandfamilybackgroundofanorexicwomen.Thesemenmayalso haveroleconflictsaboutprofessionandfamily,andtheyliveinaculturethatexertsnosmallpressureonmalestobethinTherecouldbecomplexphysiologicaldifferencesinthe waymalesandfemalesrespondtochronicenergyrestriction.Itispossible,forexample,thatmaleshaveastrongercounterresponsetodeprivationthandofemales,sothat hunger,satiety,metabolism,orotherfactorsexertstrongerpressureforweightrestoration.Maleswhoarepotentiallyanorexicmayencounterstrongerresistancetotheself imposedstarvation,sofewermalesprogressfromtheearlysignstothechroniccondition.14

Similarly,inNewHopeforBingeEatersHarrisonPopeandJamesHudsonsuggestthatbulimiamaybebiological("Perhapsthehypothalamus,orsomeotherpartof thecentralnervoussystemconcernedwitheatingbehavior,ismoreeasilyaffectedinwomenthaninmen")ormaybe"thecharacteristic'female'expressionof[an] underlyingdisorder"whichmenexpressindifferentways.Thesehypothesesareoffered,equallyvalancedalongsidesocioculturalexplanations,aspartofafascinating panoplyof"possibilities,"suggestingdiverse"newareasofresearch."15

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Mypointisnottodenythatbiologicalfactorsmayplayacontributoryroleindeterminingwhichindividualswillprovemostvulnerabletoeatingdisorders.(Itseems, however,virtuallyimpossibletosortoutcauseandeffectheremostproposedbiologicalmarkersarejustaslikelytobetheresultofstarvationasthecause.)Butto suggestthatbiologymayprotectmenfromeatingdisordersisnottobeopentopossibilitiesitistocloseone'seyestotheobvious.AretheeditorsoftheHandbook unawareofthestatisticsondietinginthiscountry?Dotheynotknowthattheoverwhelmingmajorityofthoseattendingweightlossclinicsandpurchasingdiet productsarewomen?Mendodevelopeatingdisorders,bytheway,and,strikingly,thosewhodosoarealmostalwaysmodels,wrestlers,dancers,andotherswhose professiondemandsarigidregimeofweightcontrol.Lookingtobiologytoexplainthelowprevalenceofeatingdisordersamongmenislikelookingtogeneticsto explainwhynonsmokersdonotgetlungcancerasoftenassmokers.Certainly,geneticandotherfactorswillplayaroleindetermininganindividual'slevelof vulnerabilitytothedisease.Butwhentobaccocompaniestrytodenythatsmokingisthepreeminentsourceoflungcanceramongsmokersasagroup,diverting attentionbypointingtoalltheotherfactorsthatmayhaveenteredinparticularcases,wearelikelytoseethisasawillfulobfuscationintheserviceoftheirprofessional interests. Iamnotsuggestingthat,likethetobaccoindustry,eatingdisordersresearchershaveavestedinterestinkeepingpeopleaddictedtotheirdestructivebehaviors.Nor doImeantosuggestthatmedicalexpertisehasnoplaceinthetreatmentofeatingdisorders.Theconceptualizationofeatingdisordersaspathologyhasproduced somevaluableresearch.Butthemedicalmodelhasadeepprofessional,economic,andphilosophicalstakeinpreservingtheintegrityofwhatithasdemarcatedasits domain,andtheresulthasfrequentlybeenblindnesstotheobvious.Thisisnotaconspiracyrather,eachdisciplineteachesaspiringprofessionalswhattolookatand whattoignore,astheychoosetheirspecialtiesandlearnwhatliesoutsidethescopeoftheirexpertise,andastheycomeincreasinglytoconverse"professionally"only witheachother. Argumentshavebeenmade,however,thataredeeplythreateningtotheverypresuppositionsofthemedicalmodelandarethereforeresistedmoreconsciouslyand deliberately.WhatIwill

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termthefeminist/culturalperspectiveoneatingdisordersissuchanargument,andinalatersectionofthisessayIwilldiscusstheresistancetoitinmoredetail.Before Idothat,however,Iwillfirstdescribethebroadcontoursofthefeminist/culturalmodel,examinesomespecificcontextsinwhichithasclearlyissuedachallengetothe medicalmodel,andattempttocorrectsomecommonmisconceptionsaboutfeminist/culturalcriticism. "BodyImageDisturbance"and"BulimicThinking" Thepicturesketchedinthelastsectionisnotseamless.ThegroundbreakingworkofsuchinvestigatorsasKimChernin,SusieOrbach,andMarleneBoskindWhite hashelpedtoshapeaverydifferentparadigmwhichhasbeenadoptedbymanyeatingdisordersprofessionals. Thatfeminist/culturalparadigmhas:(1)castintodoubtthedesignationofanorexiaandbulimiaaspsychopathology,emphasizinginsteadthelearned,addictive dimensionofthedisorders(2)reconstructedtheroleofcultureandespeciallyofgenderasprimaryandproductiveratherthantriggeringorcontributoryand(3) forcedthereassignment,tosocialcauses,offactorsviewedinthestandardmedicalmodelaspertainingtoindividualdysfunction.Inconnectionwith(3),manyofthe "nonsociocultural"factorsthathavebeendominantlyconceptualizedas"distortions"and"delusions"specifictothe"pathology"ofanorexiaandbulimiahavebeen revealedtobeprevalentamongwomeninourculture.Theultimateconsequenceofthis,foreatingdisorders,hasbeentocallintoquestiontheclinicalvalueofthe normative/pathologicaldualityitself. Thefeministperspectiveoneatingdisorders,despitesignificantdifferencesamongindividualwriters,hasingeneralbeendistinguishedbyaprimafaciecommitment bothtotakingtheperceptionsofwomenseriouslyandtothenecessityofsystemicsocialanalysis.Theseregulatoryassumptionshavepredisposedfeministstoexplore thesocalledperceptualdisturbancesandcognitivedistortionsofeatingdisordersaswindowsopeningontoproblemsinthesocialworld,ratherthanasthepatient's "idiosyncratic"and"idiopathic...distortionsofdatafromtheoutsideworld."16Fromthelatterperspective,whenapatientcomplainsthatherbreastsaretoolarge andinsiststhattheonlywaytosucceedinourcultureis

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tobethinbecause,asonewomandescribedit,"people.thinkthatsomeonethinisautomaticallysmarterandbetter,"17itisdescribedasflawedreasoning,a misperceptionofrealitythatthetherapistmustworktocorrect.Fromafeminist/culturalperspective,thisapproachignoresthefactthatformostpeopleinourculture, slendernessisindeedequatedwithcompetence,selfcontrol,andintelligence,andfemininecurvaceousness(inparticular,largebreasts)withwideeyed,giggly vapidity.18 Virtuallyeveryproposedhallmarkof"underlyingpsychopathology"ineatingdisordershasbeendeconstructedtorevealamorewidespreadculturaldisorder.A dramaticexampleisthecaseofBIDS,orBodyImageDistortionSyndrome,firstdescribedbyHildeBruchas"disturbanceinsizeawareness,"19andforalongtime seenasoneofthehallmarksofanorexianervosa,bothinthepopularimaginationandinthediagnosticcriteria.InbothcontextsBIDShasfunctionedtoemphasizea discontinuitybetweenanorexicand"normal"attitudestowardweightandbodyimage.Intheclinicalliterature,theinitialtheorizingofBIDSasavisuospatialproblem, aperceptualdefect,firmlyplacedanorexiawithinamedical,mechanisticmodelofillness(andapositivisticconceptionofperception,aswell).Apersonwhohadthis "defect"(sometimesconceivedastheresultofimpairedbrainfunctionsometimes,asbyBruch,aspartofamoregeneralpatternofdefectiveprocessingofbody experiencesduetoinadequateinfantdevelopment)wasunabletoseeherbody''realistically."Inmorepopularrenditions,the"bizarre"andmysteriousnatureofthe symptomwasemphasizedsuchdescriptionswereoftenaccompaniedbylinedrawingsoftheanorecticstandinginfrontofamirrorthatreflectedbacktoheragrossly inflatedanddistortedimage(Figure3).Asonenotatypical1984article,fromamagazinefornurses,describedit:
Inaway,"anorexia"isamisnomer.Afflictedpersonsdon'tsufferfromalossofappetite.Instead,theyhaveabizarrepreoccupationwitheatingcoupledwithanobsessive desiretoattainpencillikethinnessthroughrestrictedfoodintakeandrigorousexercise.Evenmorebizarreistheirdistortedselfimageit'snotunusualtohearahaggard, emaciatedanorecticcomplainthatshe'sstill"toofat."20

In1984,however,astudyconductedbyGlamourmagazineandanalyzedbySusanWooleyandWayneWooleyrevealedthat75

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. percentofthe33,000womensurveyedconsideredthemselves"toofat,"despitethefactthatonlyonequarterweredeemedoverweightbystandardweighttables, and30percentwereactuallyunderweight.21Similarstudiesfollowed,somespecificallyattemptingtomeasureperceptionofbodysize,allwiththesame extraordinaryresults.AstudybyKevinThompson,forexample,foundthatoutof100women"freeofeatingdisordersymptoms"morethan95percent overestimatedtheirbodysizeonaverageonefourthlargerthantheyreallywere.22Suchfindings,ofcourse,madethepostulationofstrictlyperceptualdefect problematicunlessitwassupposedthatmostAmericanwomenweresufferingfromperceptualmalfunction. Theclinicalresponsetothesestudieswastotransferthesiteof"distortion"fromperceptualmechanismtoaffective/cognitivecoloration:thecontributiontoperception ofthemind'seye.23Accordingtothismodel,itisnotthatwomenactuallyseethemselvesasfatrather,theyevaluatewhattheyseebypainfullyselfcriticalstandards. Lackofselfesteemnowbecamethecauseofwomen'sbodyimageproblems:"Thebetterpeoplefeelaboutthemselves,"asThompsonconcluded,"thelesstheytend tooverestimatetheir

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size."Butwomen,asstudyafterstudyhasshown,donotfeelverygoodabouttheirbodies.24Mostwomeninourculture,then,are"disordered"whenitcomesto issuesofselfworth,selfentitlement,selfnourishment,andcomfortwiththeirownbodieseatingdisorders,farfrombeing"bizarre"andanomalous,areutterly continuouswithadominantelementoftheexperienceofbeingfemaleinthisculture. AttemptstoreconceptualizeBIDSasaffectiveorcognitiveratherthanperceptualdonot,ofcourse,resolvetheproblemwiththemedicalmodelrather,theymakeit moreapparent.Foroncesuchasymptomisreclassifiedasaffectiveorcognitivetheroleofculturecannolongerbeeasilyeffacedormystified.Ultimately,thatroleis perceptualaswell.Culturenotonlyhastaughtwomentobeinsecurebodies,constantlymonitoringthemselvesforsignsofimperfection,constantlyengagedinphysical "improvement"italsoisconstantlyteachingwomen(and,letusnotforget,menaswell)howtoseebodies.Asslendernesshasconsistentlybeenvisuallyglamorized, andastheidealhasgrownthinnerandthinner,bodiesthatadecadeagowereconsideredslenderhavenowcometoseemfleshy.Consider,forexample,thedramatic contrastbetweenthe"Maidenformwoman"circa1990andcirca1960(Figures4and5).Whatwasconsideredanidealbodyin1960iscurrentlydefinedas"full figure"(Figure6),requiringspecialfashionaccommodations!Moreover,asourbodilyidealshavebecomefirmerandmorecontained(weworshipnotmerely slendernessbutflablessness),anysoftnessorbulgecomestobeseenasunsightlyasdisgusting,disorderly"fat,"whichmustbe"eliminated''or"busted,"aspopular exerciseequipmentadsputit.Ofcourse,theonlybodiesthatdonottransgressinthiswayarethosethataretightlymuscledorvirtuallyskeletal.Shortofmeeting thesestandards,theslimmerthebody,themoreobtrusivewillanylumpsandbulgesseem.Giventhisanalysis,theanorecticdoesnot"misperceive"herbodyrather, shehaslearnedalltoowellthedominantculturalstandardsofhowtoperceive.25 ThecaseofBIDSisparadigmaticratherthanexceptional.Consider,asanotherexample,whathavebeentermedthe"disorderedcognitions"or"distortedattitudes" proposedasdistinctivetothepsychopathologyofanorexiaandbulimia.Theseelementsof"faultythinking"or"flawedreasoning"standardlyinclude:"magicalthoughts" or"superstitiousthinking"aboutthepowerofcer

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. tain"forbidden"foodssuchassweetstosetoffabinge,whichperpetuatesuch"myths"as"IfIhaveonecookie,I'lleatthemall"''selectiveabstraction"ofthinness,as "thesoleframeofreferenceforinferringselfworth"and"essentialtoherhappinessandwellbeing"(IamspecialifIamthin),abeliefwhichpersists"indefianceof examplestothecontrary""dichotomousreasoning"concerningfood,eating,andweight("IfI'mnotincompletecontrol,Iloseallcontrol"or"IfIgainonepound,I'll goonandgainahundredpounds")and"personalization"and"egocentric"interpretationsof"impersonalevents"("Iamembarrassedwhenotherpeopleseemeeat").


26

Eachoftheseelementsmayindeedbecharacteristicofthesortofthinkingthattormentsthelivesofwomenwitheatingdisorders.WhatIquestionhereisthe constructionofsuchthinkingas"faulty,""flawed,""distorted,""myths,"theproductofinvalidlogic,poorreasoning,ormythologicalthinking.Theseconstructions portraytheanorecticandbulimicasincorrectlyprocessing"data"27fromanexternalrealitywhoseactualfeaturesareverydifferentfromhercognitionsand perceptions.Butinfacteachofthese"distortedattitudes"isafairlyaccuraterepresentationof

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. socialattitudestowardslendernessorthebiologicalrealitiesinvolvedindieting. Forexample,manyofthe"faultybeliefs"associatedwitheatingdisordersareaccuratedescriptionsofpsychologicalandphysiologicaldynamicsthatwenowknow areendemictodietingitself,particularlytotheextremesreachedbyanorecticsandbulimics.Itisnowwellknown,forexample,thatthebodyhasapowerfulsystem ofautomaticcompensationsthatrespondtofooddeprivationasthoughtostarvation,bysettingoffcravings,bingebehavior,andobsessionalthoughtsaboutfood.28 Ithasbeenshown,moreover,thatpeoplearebetterabletostayondietsiftheyarepermittednosolidfoodatallratherthanlimitedamountsoffood29thebulimicis thusnotsounreasonableinthinkingthattotalcontroloverfoodisrequiredinorderforanycontroltobemaintained.Butofcoursetotalcontrolisultimately unsustainablemostpeopleonverylowcaloriedietseventuallygainbackalltheweighttheylose.30Thegeneralpointhereisthat"thediet"isitselfaprecarious, unstable,selfdefeatingstateforabodytobeinarealitythatthe"disorderedcognitions"ofbulimicsandanorecticsareconfrontingalltooclearlyandpainfully.

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Toturntothebulimic's"flawedreasoning"concerningtheimportanceofslendernessinourculture:theabsurdityofcategorizingthebeliefthat"IamspecialifIamthin" andwomen'sembarrassmentoverbeingseeneatingas"distorted"attitudesoughttobeapparent.Whatrealitydotheydistort?OurcultureisoneinwhichOprah Winfrey,adazzlingrolemodelforfemalesuccess,hassaidthatthemost''significantachievementofherlife"waslosingsixtysevenpoundsonaliquiddiet.(She gaineditallbackwithinayear.)Itisacultureinwhichcommercialaftercommercialdepictsfemaleeatingasafurtiveactivity,properlyengagedinbehindclosed doors,andevenunderthosecircumstancesrequiringrestrictionandrestraint(see"HungerasIdeology"inthisvolume).Itisacultureinwhichmy"noneating disordered"femalestudentswriteintheirjournalsofbeingembarrassedtogototheicecreamcounterforfearofbeinglaughedatbytheboysinthecafeteriaa cultureinwhichSylvesterStallonehassaidthathelikeshiswomen"anorexic"(histhengirlfriend,CorneliaGuest,immediatelylosttwentyfourpounds)31aculturein whichpersonaladsconsistentlylist"slim,""lean,"or"trim"asrequiredofprospectivedates.Theanorecticthusappears,notasthevictimofauniqueand"bizarre" pathology,butasthebearerofverydistressingtidingsaboutourculture. TheCulturalArgument:MythsandMisconceptions InthissectionIwillattempttoanswersomefrequentlyraisedconcernsaboutandcriticismsoffeminist/culturalapproachestoeatingdisorders.Ihopetherebyto clarifywhatisbeingclaimedbytheculturalargument. Atthe1983meetingsoftheNewYorkCenterfortheStudyofAnorexiaandBulimia,StevenLevenkronchargedfeminismwithsacrificingthecareof"helpless, chaotic,andfloundering"childrenintheinterestsofa"rational"politicalagenda.Isheright?Doesmaintainingacontinuitybetweeneatingdisordersand"normal" femalebehaviorentailadenialofthefactthatanorexiaandbulimiaareextremeanddebilitatingdisorders?Ithinknot.Thefeministperspectivehasneverquestioned therealityoftheanorectic'sdisorderortheseverityofhersuffering.Rather,whatisatstakeisthe

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conceptionofthepathologicalastheindicatorofaspecial"profile"(psychologicalorbiological)thatdistinguishestheeatingdisorderedwomanfromthewomenwho "escape"disorder.Feministanalystsseenofirmboundaryononesideofwhichastateofpsychologicalcomfortandstabilitymaybesaidtoexist.Theysee,rather, onlyvaryingdegreesofdisorder,somemore"functional"thanothers,butallunderminingwomen'sfullpotential. Atoneendofthiscontinuumwefindanorexiaandbulimia,extremeswhichsetintoplayphysiologicalandpsychologicaldynamicsthatleadthesuffererintoaddictive patternsandmedicalandemotionalproblemsoutsidethe"norms"ofbehaviorandexperience.Butitisnotonlyanorecticsandbulimicswhoselivesareledinto "disorder."Thisisacultureinwhichrigorousdietingandexercisearebeingengagedinbymoreandyoungergirlsallthetimegirlsasyoungassevenoreight, accordingtosomestudies.32Theselittlegirlsliveinconstantfearafearreinforcedbytheattitudesoftheboysintheirclassesofgainingapoundandthusceasing tobe"attractive."Theyjogdaily,counttheircaloriesobsessively,andriskseriousvitamindeficienciesanddelayedreproductivematuration.Wemaybeproducinga generationofyoung,privilegedwomenwithseverelyimpairedmenstrual,nutritional,andintellectualfunctioning. Buthowcanaculturalanalysisaccountforthefactthatonlysomegirlsandwomendevelopfullblowneatingdisorders,despitethefactthatweareallsubjecttothe samesocioculturalpressures?Don'twerequirethepostulationofadistinctiveunderlyingpathology(familialorpsychological)toexplainwhysomeindividualsare morevulnerablethanothers?Thefirstofthesequestionsisfrequentlypresentedbymedicalprofessionalsasthoughitdealtadecisiveblowtotheculturalargument, anditisextraordinaryhowoftenitisindeedacceptedasadevastatingcritique.Itisbased,however,onanimportantandcommonmisunderstanding(or misrepresentation)ofthefeministpositionasinvolvingthepositingofanidenticalculturalsituationforallwomenratherthanthedescriptionofideologicaland institutionalparametersgoverningtheconstructionofgenderinourculture.Thedifferenceiscrucial,yetevensuchasophisticatedthinkerasJoanBrumbergmissesit completely."Currentculturalmodels,"Brumbergargues,"failtoexplainwhysomanyindividualsdonotdevelopthedisease,eventhoughtheyhave

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beenexposedtothesameculturalenvironment."33Butofcoursewearenotallexposedto"thesameculturalenvironment."Whatweareallexposedto,rather,are homogenizingandnormalizingimagesandideologiesconcerning"femininity"andfemalebeauty.Thoseimagesandideologypressforconformitytodominantcultural norms.Butpeople'sidentitiesarenotformedonlythroughinteractionwithsuchimages,powerfulastheyare.Theuniqueconfigurations(ofethnicity,socialclass, sexualorientation,religion,genetics,education,family,age,andsoforth)thatmakeupeachperson'slifewilldeterminehoweachactualwomanisaffectedbyour culture. Thesearchfordistinctivepatterns,profiles,andabnormalitiesunderlyinganorexianervosaandbulimiaisthusnot,asmanyresearchersclaim,conceptually demandedamyriadofheterogeneousfactors,"familyresemblances"ratherthanessentialfeatures,unpredictablecombinationsofelements,maybeatworkin determiningwhoturnsouttobemostsusceptible.Itmaybe,too,thatpatternsandprofilescouldoncebeassembledbutarenowbreakingapartunderthepressureof anincreasinglycoercivemassculturewithitscompelling,fabricatedimagesofbeautyandsuccess. Forexample,fromitsnineteenthcenturyemergenceasaculturalphenomenon,anorexiahasbeenaclassbiaseddisorder,appearingpredominantlyamongthe daughtersoffamiliesofrelativeaffluence.34Thereasonsforthisareseveral.Slendernessandrejectionoffoodhave,ofcourse,verydifferentmeaningsinconditionsof deprivationandscarcitythaninthoseofplenty.Demonstratinganabilityto"riseabove"theneedtoeatimpartsmoraloraestheticsuperiorityonlywhereothersare pronetooverindulgence.Wherepeoplearebarelymanagingtoputnutritiousfoodonthetable,thefleshless,"dematerialized"bodysuggestsdeath,notsuperior detachment,selfcontrol,orresistancetoparentalexpectations.Moreover,thepossibilityofsuccessinattainingdominantideals(forexample,thatoftheglamorous superwomansomanyanorecticsemulate)35dependsoncertainmaterialpreconditionswhicheconomicallystrugglingwomenlackhence,theymaybe"protected"(so tospeak)againsteatingdisordersbytheirdespairofeverembodyingtheimagesoffemininesuccessthatsurroundthem.However,studiessuggestthateating disordershaveforsometimebeenontheriseamongallsocioeconomicgroups36withinaculturewhichiscontinuallydrawingusintoaninventedworldofattainable

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power,actualmaterialrestrictionsonourlivesmaynotlimittheimaginationasdecisivelyastheyoncedid. Togiveanotherexampleofthetensionbetween"difference"andhomogenizingculture:ithasbeenarguedthatcertainethnicandracialconceptionsoffemalebeauty, oftenassociatedwithdifferentculturalattitudestowardfemalepowerandsexuality,mayprovideresistancetonormalizingimagesandideologies.Thishasbeen offeredasanexplanation,forexample,astowhyeatingdisordershavebeenlesscommonamongblacksthanwhites.37Withoutdisputingthesignificanceofsuch arguments,weshouldbecautiousaboutassumingtoomuch"difference"here.Theequationofslendernessandsuccessinthisculturecontinuallyunderminesthe preservationofalternativeidealsofbeauty.AlegacyofreverenceforthezaftigbodyhasnotprotectedJewishwomenfromeatingdisordersthepossibilityofgreater upwardmobilityisnowhavingasimilareffectonyoungAfricanAmericanwomen,asthenumerousdietandexercisefeaturesappearinginEssencemagazinemake clear.ToimaginethatAfricanAmericanwomenareimmunetothestandardsofslendernessthatreigntodayis,moreover,tocomeveryclosetotheracistnotionthat theartandglamourthecultureoffemininitybelongtothewhitewomanalone.Theblackwoman,bycontrast,iswomaninherearthy,"natural,"state,uncorseted bycivilization."Fatisablackwoman'sissue,too,''insistedtheauthorofa1990Essencearticle,bitterlycriticizingthehighschoolguidancecounselorwhohadtold hershedidnothavetoworryaboutmanagingherweightbecause"blackwomenaren'tseenassexobjectsbutaswomen.Soreally,you'reluckybecauseyoucango beyondthestereotypesofwomanassexobject....Also,fat[women]aremoreacceptableintheblackcommunity."Apparently,astheauthornotes,theguidance counselorhadherselfnot"gonebeyond"stereotypesofthematernal,desexualizedMammyastheprototypeofblackwomanhood.Saddledwiththeseprojected racialnotions,theyoungwoman,whohadstruggledwithcompulsiveeatingandyoyodietingforyears,wasleftalonetodealwithaneatingdisorderthatshewasn't "supposed"tohave.38 ResponsestotheFeministChallenge:ChangeandResistance Thefeminist/culturalcontributiontothestudyofeatingdisordershas,aswassaidearlier,alteredtheclinicalterrain.Clinicianshave

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becomemuchmoreawareofhowwidespreadarewomen'sproblemswithfood,eating,andbodyimageandofhowstressfulandfragmentingarethecontradictory roledemandsplacedoncontemporarywomen.Familyinteractionsarenolongerimagined,astheyoncewere,asconsistingsolelyofrelationsbetweenthepatientand anovercontrolling,overlydependentmother.Studiesarebeginningtoexploretheroleplayedbytheteasingandcriticismoffathersandboyfriends,39aswellasthe disturbingincidenceofsexualabuseinthebackgroundsofeatingdisorderedwomen.40Someclinicianspreviouslyhostiletofeminismareevenbeginningtotalkabout thehypervaluationofmasculinistvaluesinourculture.41 Butthedeepestimplicationsofthefeministchallengetotheconceptofpathologyarecontinuallyresisted.Forexample,ratherthanacknowledgehownormativethe obsessionwithbodyweightisinourculture,MichaelStrober,editoroftheJournalofEatingDisorders,suggeststhat"theintensifyingpreoccupationwithbody shapeanddietingsocommoninnonclinicaladolescentpopulations"maybe"indicativeofasymptomaticallymilderorpartialexpressionoftheillness."42The difference,Iwouldsuggest,isnotmerelysemantic.Rather,Stroberissointentonretainingthenotionsof"illness"and"disease"thatheiswillingto''medicalize"the majorityofadolescentwomenintothebargain. OrconsidertheworkofJoanBrumberg.Unlikedominantclinicalmodels,Brumberg'sworkoffersitselfasaculturalanalysisandisespeciallynotableforitsfine, historicalaccountofthemedicalizationofanorexianervosainthenineteenthcentury,whichreconstructedthebizarrebehaviorof"fastinggirls"frommiraculous occurrencetopathologicalcondition."Disease,"Brumbergconcludes,"isaculturalartifact,definedandredefinedovertime."43Butdespitethehistoricaldetachment Brumbergbringstoherdiscussionofthetransformationoftheanorecticfromsainthoodtopatienthood,sheisfullofsanctimoniousoutrageatwhatsheseesasthe attemptsofcontemporaryfeministsto"demedicalize"anorexia.Constructingastrawwomandistortionoffeministargumentsthatanorexiaisavoiceless,unconscious, selfdestructivescreamofprotest,Brumbergchargesfeministswith"venerating"and"romanticizing"anorecticsas"heroicfreedomfighters"who"freelychoose"a hungerstrikeasaformofintentionalpoliticalaction.44Feminists,shegoeson,arguethat"merelybyspeakingup

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aboutsexismandsubordination,womenwitheatingdisorderscancurethemselvesandsociety."AgainstthesefabricatedandinaccurateclaimsBrumbergpositions herself,muchasthepanelofcommentatorspositionedthemselvesatthe1983conferenceonanorexiaandbulimia.Theanorectic,sheinsists,isa"helplessand desperate"individualwhosevoiceisnotthatof"socialprotest"butexpressesonly"frustrationandfear."Insteadof"dignifying''herdisorder,weshouldacknowledge the"infantile,"selfpreoccupied,deludednatureofanorecticbehavior(atonepointBrumbergcomparesthepursuitofthinnessto"aparanoidschizophrenic'sattempts toeludeimaginedenemies")andrecognizethateatingdisorderswillonlybe"cured"throughtreatmentofthe"biomedicalcomponentofthisdestructiveillness."45 AllofBrumberg'scriticismsmightbesummedupbytheheadlineofaletterthatwaspublishedseveralyearsagoinNewsday,inangryresponsetoacolumnbyKaren DeCrowandRobertSeidenberg(whohadarticulatedaversionofthe"socialprotest"thesis).Theheadlineread:"AnorexiaNervosaIsaDisease,NotaProtest."46 Theopposition(either"disease"or"protest")presupposesamodelwithinwhichtorecognizethedebilitating,selfconsumingnatureofadisorderisthereforetosituate itoutsidetherealmofthepolitical.Withinthismodel,helplessnessanddesperation,frustrationandfeardefineandexhausttherealityofthedisorderedbodyitis deemedincompatiblethatthesubjectbeboth"helplessanddesperate"andlockedinastrugglethathassomemeaning,tryingtofindhonorontheruinoustermsofher cultureandthereforecommunicatinganexcruciatingmessageaboutthegenderpoliticsthatregulateourlives.Ofcourse,toacknowledgethatadeepandembodied understandingofwhatculturedemandsmightbethesourceoftheanorectic's(orhysteric's)sufferingistosupposethatthepatientmighthaveasmuchtoteachthe "experts"astheotherwayaround. Insteadofthisrecognition,wefindmedicalreassertionsofexpertise.Newdemarcationsof"true"illnessanddiseasearestakedout,andaseachanomalyhasemerged tochallengethedominantparadigms,morerigorouscriteriaandstifferdefinitionsaredemandedtodistinguishbetweenanorexiaand"anorexiclikebehaviors,""true anorectics"and"me,too,anorectics,""bulimicthinking"andnormalfemale"weightpreoccupation,""truebulimics"

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andthosewomenwhodonotbingeandpurgefrequentlyenoughtothreatentheirlives,or"vocationalbulimics"(forexample,balletdancers)whoexhibitthesame behaviorsbutlacktheaccompanying"pathology."47 Itisnotthatsomeofthesedistinctionscannotbemade.Distinctionscanalwaysbemade.Andbecausedistinctionscanalwaysbemade,itiscrucialthatwealways asknotmerelywhetheradistinctionholdsatsomelevelofanalysisordescriptionbutwhatpurposesitservesandwhatelementsitobscures.Whatisobscuredbythe medicalizationofeatingdisorders,whether"fullblown"anorexiaandbulimiaor"ordinary"weightpreoccupation,isanadequateunderstandingoftheubiquitousand thoroughlyroutinegripthatculturehashadandcontinuestohaveonthefemalebody,howcommonplaceexperiencesofdepreciation,shame,andselfhatredare, andwhythissituationhasgottenworse,notbetter,inthecultureoftheeighties.48Inthishistoricalera,whentheparametersdefiningwomen's"place"haveindeed beenchallenged,itisdisturbingthatwearespendingsomuchofourtimeandenergyobsessed,depressed,andengaginginattemptsatanxioustransformation(most frequently,reduction)ofourbodies.Itishardtoescapetherecognition,asissuggestedthroughouttheessaysinthisvolume,thatapoliticalbattleisbeingwagedover theenergiesandresourcesofthefemalebody,abattleinwhichatleastsomefeministagendasforwomen'sempowermentarebeingdefeated(or,ataminimum, assaultedbybacklash). BeyondtheMedicalModel Sincetheseventeenthcentury,sciencehas"owned"thestudyofthebodyanditsdisorders.Thisproprietorshiphasrequiredthatthebody'smeaningsbeutterly transparentandaccessibletothequalifiedspecialist(aidedbytheappropriatemethodologyandtechnology)andutterlyopaquetothepatientherself.Ithasrequired, too,theexorcisingofallpremodernnotionsthatthebodymightobeyaspiritual,emotional,orassociationalratherthanapurelymechanicallogic.Inthecontextof suchrequirements,hysteriaandanorexiahavechallengedmodernscience,notonlywiththeirseeminginsistenceonthepowerofthebodytobehaveirrationallyand inexplicably(WeirMitchelloncecalledhysteria"Mysteria"anorexia

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wasan"enigma"toHildeBruch),49butalsobecauseofthespectacleeachpresentsofthepatient(howeverunconsciouslyorselfdestructively)creatingand bestowingmeaningonherownbody,inaformthatisopaqueandbafflingtotheCartesianmindofthescientist.Ultimately,Freudenabledpsychoanalysisto rationalizeandmakeclearthemeaningsofhysteriaandtobringthehystericalbodyundertheproprietorshipofthescientist/analyst.Todaythesamesortofstruggleis beingwagedoverthebodyoftheeatingdisorderedwoman. Inthemedicalmodel,thebodyofthesubjectisthepassivetabletonwhichdisorderisinscribed.Decipheringthatinscriptionisusuallyseenasamatterofdetermining the"cause"ofthedisordersometimes(aswithpsychoanalysis)interpretationofsymptomswillbeinvolved.Butalwaystheprocessrequiresatrainedthatisto say,highlyspecializedprofessionalwhoseexpertisealonecanunlockthesecretsofthedisorderedbody.Forthefeministanalyst,bycontrast,thedisorderedbody, likeallbodies,isengagedinaprocessofmakingmeaning,of"laboronthebody."Fromthisperspective,anorexia(forexample)isnevermerelyregressive,never merelyafallintoillnessandchaos.Norisitfacilitatedsimplybybedazzlementbyculturalimages,"indoctrination"bywhathappens,arbitrarily,tobeinfashionatthis time.Rather,the"relentlesspursuitofexcessivethinness''50isanattempttoembodycertainvalues,tocreateabodythatwillspeakfortheselfinameaningfuland powerfulway. Thetoolsofthislaboraresupplied:thevocabularyandthesyntaxofthebody,likethoseofalllanguages,areculturallygiven.Theanorecticcannotsimplydecideto makeslendernessmeanwhatevershewishesitto.Thisisnottosay,however,thatthemeaningofslendernessisunivocalorfixedorclear.Onthecontrary,thefact thatslendernessissocompellinginthecontemporarycontext(andnotonlytoanorectics,ofcourse)suggeststhatinourcultureslendernessis,rather, overdetermined,freightedwithmultiplesignificances.Assuch,itiscapableofbeingusedasavehiclefortheexpressionofarangeof(sometimescontradictory) anxieties,aspirations,dilemmas.Withinsuchaframework,interpretinganorexiarequires,nottechnicalorprofessionalexpertise,butawarenessofthemanylayersof culturalsignificationthatarecrystallizedinthedisorder.

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Amongsuchsignifications,whichIexploreindetailinotheressaysinthisvolume,are:(1)thepromiseoftranscendenceofdomesticfemininityandadmissiontothe privilegedpublicworld,aworldinwhichadmirationisgrantednottosoftnessbuttowill,autonomy,andrigor(2)thesymbolicandpracticalcontroloffemalehunger (read:desire),continuallyconstructedasaprobleminpatriarchalcultures(particularlyintimeswhengenderrelationshavebecomeunsettled)andinternalizedin women'sshameovertheirownneedsandappetites(3)thesymbolicrecircumscriptionofwoman'slimited"place"intheworldand(4)thetantalizing(andmystifying) idealofaperfectlymanagedandregulatedself,withinaconsumerculturewhichhasmadetheactualmanagementofhungeranddesireintenselyproblematic.Inthis lastcontext,foodrefusal,weightloss,commitmenttoexercise,andabilitytotoleratebodilypainandexhaustionhavebecomeculturalmetaphorsforself determination,will,andmoralfortitude. Thedecodingofslendernesstorevealdeepassociationswithautonomy,will,discipline,conquestofdesire,enhancedspirituality,purity,andtranscendenceofthe femalebodysuggeststhatthecontinuitiesproposedbyRudolphBellbetweencontemporaryanorexiaandtheselfstarvationofmedievalsaintsarenotsofarfetchedas suchcriticsasBrumberghaveclaimed.51Brumbergarguesthatattemptstofindcommonpsychologicalorpoliticalfeaturesintheanorexiaofmedievalsaintsandthat ofcontemporarywomenfounderonthefactthatanorexiamirabiliawascenteredonaquestforspiritualperfection,"whilethemodernanorecticstrivesforperfection intermsofsociety'sidealofphysicalratherthanspiritualbeauty."52ButBrumberghereoperatesontheassumptionanassumptionchallengedbytheessaysinthis volumethatthereissuchathingaspurely"physical"beauty. Granted,themedievalsaintwasutterlyuninterestedinattainingaslenderappearance.Butitdoesnotfollowthatthecontemporaryobsessionwithslendernessis withoutdeep"spiritual"dimensions,andthatthesecannotshareimportantthatis,illuminatingaffinitieswiththeasceticambitionsofmedievalsaints.Here,one anorecticexplicitlymakestheconnection:"Mysoulseemedtogrowasmybodywaned,"sherecalls.''IfeltlikeoneofthoseearlyChristiansaintswhostarved themselvesinthedesertsun."53Thisisnottosaythatthemeaningofselfstarvationforthefastingnuns

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oftheMiddleAgescanbesimplyequatedwithitsmeaningforadolescentanorecticsoftoday.Butinthecontextofenduringhistoricaltraditionsthathavedominantly codedappetite,lackofwill,temptation,and,indeed,thebodyitselfasfemale,surelywewouldexpectthatwomen'sprojectstotranscendhungeranddesirewould revealsomecontinuouselements. Theshallowandunanalyzedconceptionofslendernessasmerely"anexternalbodyconfigurationratherthananinternalspiritualstate,"54anidealwithout psychologicalormoraldepth,stillpredominatesintheliteratureonanorexiaandbulimia.Why?Oneexplanationisthatsolongaseatingdisordersremainsituated withinamedicalmodel,thosewhoareentrustedwiththeconceptualizationofanorexiaandbulimiawillbemedicalprofessionalswhohavelittleexperienceinor inclinationtowardculturalinterpretationandcriticism.Butmoreimportantisthefactthattobegintoincorporatesuchinterpretationandcriticismwithinthemedical modelwouldbetotransformthatmodelitself.Susceptibilitytoimagescanstillbeconceptualizedintermsofapassivesubjectandamechanicalprocess.To acknowledge,however,thatmeaningiscontinuallybeingproducedatalllevelsbytheculture,bythesubject,bytheclinicianaswellandthatinafundamental sensethereisnobodythatexistsneutrally,outsidethisprocessofmakingmeaning,nobodythatpassivelyawaitstheobjectivedecipheringoftrainedexperts,isto questionthepresuppositionsonwhichmuchofmodernscienceisbuiltandaroundwhichourhighlyspecialized,professionalized,andcompartmentalizedculture revolves.Or,toputthisanotherway:itistosuggestthatthestudyofthedisorderedbodyisasmuchtheproperprovinceofculturalcriticsineveryfieldandof nonspecialists,ordinarybutcriticallyquestioningcitizens,asitisofthe"experts."Thisaudaciouschallengeisthelegacyofthefeministreconceptualizationofeating disorders.

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AreMothersPersons? ReproductiveRightsandthePoliticsofSubjectivity
Manypeople,bothinacademicandnonacademiccircles,havecometoregardfeministargumentsconcerningthebiasesandexclusionsofWesterncultureeitheras outmodedbyprogressivechangesingenderrelations,orasparanoiddelusions,fueledbyamaniafor"politicalcorrectness"ratherthantruth.Thesenotionspersist despiteincreasinglystrongculturalevidencetothecontrary.AstheClarenceThomas/AnitaHillhearingsdemonstrated,imagesofthewomanaslyingtemptressstill triumphinthiscultureoverwomen'srightstoanequalhearingunderthelaw.Womenstillearnsignificantlylessthanmenforequalwork.Andthefeministidealofan egalitariandomesticdivisionoflaborsofarappearsnomatchforanideologythatinsistswomenmustcontinuetobearthemajorresponsibilityforcooking,cleaning, andchildcareevenwhentheyarealsoworkingfulltimeinjobsandprofessionsformerlyreservedformen. Someofthemostresilientinequalitiesinourlegalandsocialtreatmentofwomenlieinthedomainofreproductivecontrol.Butdespitethehighlypublicizedand turbulentnatureofthebattlesthathavebeenfoughtinthisdomain,themostglaringinequalitieshaveyettoreceivetheexposureandemphasistheydeserve.This omissionresultsatleastinpart,Iwouldargue,fromthefactthat,althoughabortionrightsareaprominentissue,bothprochoiceandprolifeargumentsarelocked intorhetoricandstrategiesthatfailtosituatethestrugglewithinthebroadercontextofreproductivecontrol.InthisessayIwillattempttolocatethestruggleover abortionrightswithinthatcontext. Thefirstthreesectionsoftheessaywillbelargelydevotedtoexposingandinterpretingsomeremarkable,perniciouscontradic

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tionsinlegalandmedicalpracticesconcerningtheprotectionofthe"subject"andtoexaminingsomeoftheculturalideology,metaphors,andimagesthatanimatethose contradictions.Althoughlawandmedicineclaimtohaveaunifiedandcoherenttraditionconcerningindividualrights,infacttwodifferenttraditionshavebeen established,oneforembodiedsubjects,andtheotherforthosewhocometobetreatedasmerebodiesdespiteanofficialrhetoricthatvehementlyforswearssuch treatmentofhumanbeings.Iwillalsoexploretheexpressionofthispracticalmetaphysicsthisdeeplysedimented,culturaldualityinmoreeverydayarenas,andasit hascrystallizedinmovementsforfetalandfather'srights.InthelastsectionoftheessayIwillbrieflyconsidersomeimplicationsmyanalysisholdsforfeminist discourseonreproduction. Myexaminationsofthelegaldoublestandardconcerningthebodilyintegrityofpregnantandnonpregnantbodies,theconstructionofwomenasfetalincubators,the bestowalof"supersubject"statustothefetus,andtheemergenceofafather'srightsideologywillreveal,Ibelieve,thatfeministangerandfrustrationarefarfrom paranoidoranachronistic.Ihopetheywilldemonstrate,aswell,thatthecurrenttermsoftheabortiondebateasacontestbetweenfetalclaimstopersonhoodand women'srighttochoosearelimitedandmisleading.Inthecontextofmyanalysisinthisessay,thecurrentbattleoverreproductivecontrolemergesasanassaulton thepersonhoodofwomen. EmbodiedSubjectsandDeSubjectifiedBodies Ourlegaltraditionofficiallyplacesahighsomemightsayinordinatelyhighvalueonbodilyintegrity.AstheUnitedStatesSupremeCourtacknowledgedoverone hundredyearsago:
Norightisheldmoresacred,orismorecarefullyguarded,bythecommonlaw,thantherightofeveryindividualtothepossessionandcontrolofhisownperson,freefromall restraintorinterferenceofothers,unlessbyaclearandunquestionableauthorityoflaw.AswellsaidbyJudgeCooley,"Therighttoone'spersonmaybesaidtobearightof completeimmunity:tobeletalone."1

Bodilyintegrityandthe"righttoone'sperson"arephilosophicallyknittogetherbytheCartesianconceptionofthehumanbodyasthe

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"home"ofthepersonthe"ghostinthemachine,"asGilbertRylehascalledit2 theselfconscious,willing,desiring,dreaming,creating''inner"self,the"I."The historicalinfluenceofthisconstructiononWesternmodernity,especiallyonlegalconceptionsofbodilyintegrity,privacy,andpersonhood,hasbeensweepingand profound.Yet,aswewillsee,the"ghostinthemachine"isnotalwaysthelegislatingmetaphorinconcretesocialpracticesometimesentirelymechanisticconceptions ofthebodydominate,conceptionsfromwhichallconcernfortheinnerselfhavevanished.Inpractice,ourlegaltraditiondividesthehumanworldasDescartes dividedallofreality:intoconscioussubjectsandmerebodies(resextensa).Andinthesocialexpressionofthatduality,somegroupshaveclearlybeenaccorded subjectstatusanditsprotections,whileothershaveregularlybeendeniedthoseprotections,becomingforallmedicalandlegalpurposespureresextensa,bodies strippedoftheiranimating,dignifying,andhumanizing"subjectivity." Firstletusexaminethetraditionregardingembodiedsubjects.Thisisoneinwhichbodilyintegrityisprivilegedsohighlythatjudgeshaveconsistentlyrefusedtoforce individualstosubmitwithoutconsenttomedicaltreatmenteventhoughthelifeofanotherhangsinthebalance.So,forexample,inthecaseofMcFallv.Shimp (1979),Shimp'sbodilyintegritywaslegallyprotectedtotheextentthathewaspermittedtorefuseaprocedure(abonemarrowextractionanddonation)thatcould havepreventedhiscousin'sotherwisecertaindeathfromaplasticanemia.(McFalldidindeeddietwoweeksafterthedecisionwashandeddown.)Othersimilarsuits havebeenequallyunsuccessful,includinghighlypublicizedonessuchasthatpressedbyaSeattlewomantohavethefatherofherleukemicchilddonatehismarrow, andthatofanIllinoisfatherwhosuedthemotherofhisson'stwinhalfsiblingstohavetestsdonetoseeiftheirmarrowmatchedhisson's.3 ManyofusandIinclude myselfmayfindShimp'sactionandsimilarrefusalsmorallyrepugnant.Theyare,however,thoroughlysanctionedbylaw,whichinsistsoninformedconsentforany medicalprocedure,andwhichpermitsustobeBadSamaritansintheinterestsofpreservingprinciplesthatareviewedasconstituting(inthewordsoftheMcFall decision)"theveryessence...ofoursociety."4 Thedoctrineofinformedconsentis,inaveryrealsense,aprotectionofthesubjectivityofthepersoninvolvedthatis,itisan

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acknowledgmentthatthebodycanneverberegardedmerelyasasiteofquantifiableprocessesthatcanbeassessedobjectively,butmustbetreatedasinvestedwith personalmeaning,history,andvaluethatareultimatelydeterminableonlybythesubjectwholives"within"it.Accordingtothedoctrineofinformedconsent,even whenitis"forthegood"ofthepatient,nooneelseneitherrelativenorexpertmaydeterminefortheembodiedsubjectwhatmedicalrisksareworthtaking,what proceduresareminimallyorexcessivelyinvasive,whatpainisminor.Whenthatmeaningbestowingfunctionisindangerofbeingtakenawayfromthesubject,the prevailingideology(andtheaccompanyinglegalresponse)conceptualizesthesituationasaviolentinvasionofthepersonalspaceofthebody.Forexample,physicians performingunconsentedtotreatmentarelegallyguiltyofbattery.5 OrconsidertheimpassionedjustificationforhisdecisiongivenbythejudgewhoruledonMcFall v.Shimp:


Forasocietywhichrespectstherightsofoneindividual,tosinkitsteethintothejugularveinorneckofoneofitsmembersandsuckfromitsustenanceforanothermember,is revoltingtoourhardwroughtconceptsofjurisprudence.Forcibleextractionoflivingbodytissuecausesrevulsiontothejudicialmind.Suchwouldraisethespecterofthe swastikaandtheInquisition,reminiscentofthehorrorsthisportends.6

Thekeymetaphorofthisdescription,vampirism,notonlyevokesthepulsing,flowing,vitalnatureofthehumanbodybutsuggeststhattoinvadeitistantamountto parasitism,astealingoftheinneressenceoftheperson.Thebodyhere,clearly,isnomerephysicalentitybutaselfembodied,or(toputittheotherwayaround)a bodysuffusedwithsubjectivity.ThesystemwhichwouldcountenanceitsinvasionislikenedtoNaziGermanyandtheInquisition,or(asinRochinv.California [1952]),tomedievaltorture:


Illegallybreakingintotheprivacyofthepetitioner,thestruggletoopenhismouthandremovewhatwasthere,theforcibleextractionofhisstomachcontentsthiscourseof proceedingbyagentsofgovernmenttoobtainevidenceisboundtooffendevenhardenedsensibilities.Theyaremethodstooclosetotherackandthescrewtopermitof constitutionaldifferentiation.7

Rochin,asuspecteddrugdealer,hadmerelybeenmadetoregurgitatetwocapsuleshehadswallowed.Moreover,theinvasionof

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Rochin'sprivacyfallswithinaclearlyrecognizedcategoryofpossibleexceptiontotheprotectionofbodilyintegrity:invasionofaminimalnaturemaybepermitted whenitisrequiredtopromotethestate'sinterestintheprosecutionofcriminals.8 So,forexample,bloodalcoholtestsmayberequiredofdriverssuspectedof intoxication.9 Butevenforsuspectedcriminals,thelawhasemphaticallydrawnthelineatmajorsurgery.InWinstonv.Lee(1985),lawenforcementauthorities neededabullet,lodgedinthedefendant'schest,asevidenceagainsthim.BoththecircuitcourtandtheSupremeCourtruledagainstthestate,theSupremeCourt arguingthat"surgerywithoutthepatient'sconsent,performedunderageneralanesthetictosearchforevidenceofacrime,involvesavirtuallytotaldivestmentofthe patient'sordinarycontroloversurgicalprobingbeneathhisskin."BoththecircuitcourtandtheSupremeCourt,interestingly,wereespeciallyemphaticconcerningthe degradingand"demeaning"natureof"drugging"thiscitizen"intoastateofunconsciousness"againsthiswill.10 Incontrasttoallthisprivilegingofthehallowedgroundof"thesubject's"body11isthecasualandmorallyimperiousapproachmedicineandlawhavetakento nonconsensualmedicalinterferenceinthereproductivelivesofwomenparticularlywhentheyareofnonEuropeandescent,poor,ornonEnglishspeaking.Inthis arenaweseeracism,classism,andsexisminterlockvirulently,whetherwearelookingatthehistoryofinvoluntarysterilizationinthiscountry,thestatisticsoncourt orderedobstetricalintervention,ortheSupremeCourt'sRustv.Sullivandecision,whichforbidsdoctorsinfederallyfundedclinicstodiscussorofferinformation aboutabortionortoindicatewheresuchinformationmightbeavailable,evenwhenawomanhasnootheraccesstomedicaladvice.12 Thehistoryofinvoluntarysterilization,overwhelminglyaimedatthe"mentallydefective"("feebleminded,""retarded,""mentallyill")andoneofthemostblatant examplesofmedicalandlegaldisregardforthepersonhoodofcertaingroupsinthiscountry,hasbeenstronglyshapedbythepoliticsofrace,class,andgender.From 1900to1960,60,000personsintheUnitedStatesweresterilizedwithouttheirconsent,manynevereveninformedofthenatureoftheoperation.13Initiallyfueledby nineteenthcenturyversionsofevolutionarytheory(almostinvariablyracist)andtheeugenics

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inspiredvisionofasocietypurgedof"defectivegenes,"thehistoryofinvoluntarysterilizationofthe"mentallydefective"inthiscountryhasinpracticelargelyaffected thosegroupsconsideredgeneticallysuspectandraciallyinferior:thoseconvictedofcrimes,thepoor,AfricanAmericans,NativeAmericans,SpanishAmericans,and PuertoRicans.14 Lessoftennotedistheoverwhelminggenderbiasthatbegantodevelopinthe1930sand1940s,astheDepressionshiftedtheconcernsofthoseofficialsempowered tosterilizefromthepreventionofgeneticdefecttothepreventionofparenthoodinthoseindividualsdeemedunabletocareadequatelyfortheirchildren.PhilipReilly, inTheSurgicalSolution,notesthechangeinideologyandtheincreasinglyglaringdisparitybetweenthenumbersofmenandofwomensterilized.15Hefails, however,toseetheconnectionbetweenthetwo.Today,virtuallyallsterilizationabuse(aswellasproposalsforlessdrasticbodilyinvasions,suchastheuseof Norplant)isdirectedagainstwomenonwelfare,andisrationalizedbythe"inabilitytocare"model.Often,asinthecaseofRust,thereproductiverightsofpoor womenarethreatenedwithoutoutrightlegaldeprivationofthoserights.InWalkerv.Pierce,forexample,thedefendantadmittedthathispracticewastorequire consentforpostpartumsterilizationofhisMedicaidpatientswhocametohimpregnantwithathirdchild.Ifconsentwasnotgiven,hewouldrefusetotreatthepatient, andonoccasionhethreatenedtotrytohavetheirstateassistanceterminated.HedidnotinsistontheseconditionsforpatientsnotonMedicaid,nomatterhowmany childrentheyhad.16 Turningtocourtorderedobstetricalinterventionsandtheseincludeforcedcesareansections,detentionofwomenagainsttheirwill,andintrauterinetransfusions thestatisticsmakeclearthatinthisculturethepregnant,poorwoman(especiallyifsheisofnonEuropeandescent)comesascloseasahumanbeingcangettobeing regarded,medicallyandlegally,as"merebody,"herwishes,desires,dreams,religiousscruplesoflittleconsequenceandeasilyignoredin(thedoctor'sorjudge's estimationof)theinterestsoffetalwellbeing.In1987,theNewEnglandJournalofMedicinereportedthatoftwentyonecasesinwhichcourtordersforobstetrical interventionweresought,86percentwereobtained.Eightyonepercentofthewomeninvolvedwereblack,Asian,orHispanic.17

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Inoneofthemostextremeandrevealingoftheforcedcesareancases,GeorgeWashingtonUniversityHospitalwonacourtorderrequiringthatacesareansectionbe performedonaterminallyillpatient,AngelaCarder,beforeherfetuswasviable,andagainstthewishesofthewoman,herhusband,andthedoctorsonstaff.Boththe womanandherbabydiedshortlyaftertheoperation.TheDistrictofColumbiaCourtofAppeals,inaffirmingtheorderagainstarequestedstay,ruledthatthe woman'srighttoavoidbodilyintrusioncouldjustifiablybeputaside,asshehad"atbesttwodaysleftofsedatedlife."18Here,clearly,astilllivinghumansubjecthad become,forall'legalpurposes,deadmatter,amerefetalcontainer.Awomanwhomnocourtinthecountrywouldforcetoundergoabloodtransfusionfora dyingrelativehadcometobelegallyregarded,whenpregnant,asamerelifesupportsystemforafetus. Itisimportanttoemphasizeherethatthelegalanaloguestocasessuchasthesearenotinterventionssuchasthoseinvolved,forexample,whenaJehovah'sWitnessis orderedtopermitadependentchildtoreceiveabloodtransfusion,butpreciselycasessuchasMcFallv.Shimp,inwhichthebodyofthepersonsubjecttothecourt orderisrequiredfortheintervention.Thisiswhytheprotectionofbodilyintegrityisanissueincasesofthislattersort,butnotincasessolelyinvolvingtheoverriding ofparentalwishes,wherethebodyoftheparentisnotitselfinvolved.Withthecorrectmoralanaloguesinmind,itisclearthatevengrantingfullpersonhoodtothe fetusdoesnotmutetheforceanddepthofthelegalandmoralinconsistencyhere.Ontheonehand,wehaveShimp'srefusaltosubmittoaprocedurethatcouldhave savedhiscousin'slife,arefusalwhichwasupheldbylawonthegroundsthattodootherwisewouldbeagrossinvasionoftheprivilegedterritoryofthesubject'sown body.Ontheotherhand,wehavenumerouscasesinwhichjudgesnotonlyhaveorderedpregnantwomentosubmittohighlyinvasiveprocedures19buthave conceptualizedtheseinterventionsastheprotectionofthefetus'srightsagainsttheinappropriateandselfishmaternalevaluationsofthephysical,emotional,and religiousacceptabilityofthoseprocedures. Considerthelanguageofcourtordersformedicaltreatmentofpregnantwomen.Theseorders,instrikingcontrasttotherhetoricofviolentsubjugation,themetaphors oftherackandthescrew,theanalogieswithfascistregimesemployedintherulingsonMcFallv.

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ShimpandRochinv.California,oftendismisstheproposedinterventionasminor,inconsequential,ofsignificanceonlytoanindividualwhosedesiresforpersonal freedomand"convenience"areexcessive.So,thejudgeinTaftv.Taft(1982),inissuinganorderforcervicalsurgeryagainstthewillofthewoman(theorderhad beensoughtbyherhusband),referredtotheprocedureas"theoperationofafewsutures...toholdthepregnancy."20Thisisclearlytosidesteputterly,inthecase ofthepregnantwoman,thedoctrineofinformedconsent,whichrequiresthattheindividualaffectedbethefinaljudgeofthedegreeofinvasivenessandriskthatis acceptable.Withoutthatrequirement,informedconsenthasnomeaningatall. Even,however,ifwearelikelytoagreethatcerclageisaminimallyinvasiveprocedure,21letusnotforgetthejudicialhorrorexpressedatevenlessintrusive procedurescarriedoutonthebodiesofsuspectedcriminals(suchastheforcedregurgitationthatwastheissueinRochin).Thediscomfort,risk,andinvasivenessof cesareansareanothermatter.Thecourtrecordhasmadeitabundantlyclear(cf.Winston)thatmajorsurgerywithoutconsentisanextremeanddemeaningviolation ofbodilyintegrityandcontrolitisalsorisky,nomatterhow"routine"theprocedure.Ifmarrowtransfusionsandevenbloodtestshavenotbeenrequired,surelya refusaltoundergothe"massiveintrusion"22ofamajorsurgicalproceduresuchasacesareansectionshouldbehonored.YetwhenAyeshaMadyunrefuseda cesareanonreligiousgroundsthejudgeruledthatforhimnottoissueacourtorderforcinghertohavetheoperationwouldbeto"indulge"Madyun's"desires"atthe expenseofthesafetyofherfetus.23 Asanumberofanalystshavepointedout,therearenolegaljustificationsforthediscrepanciesbetweenthetreatmentaccordedpregnantwomenandthatgivento nonpregnantpersons.24Rather,toexplainsuchcontradictionswemustleavetherealmofrationalityandentertherealmofgenderideology(and,inmanycases,of racialprejudiceaswell).Thesedecisions,clearly,aremediatedbynormativeconceptionsofthepregnantwoman'sappropriateroleandfunction.Notethejudge's choice,intheMadyuncase,ofthetermdesires(over,forexample,themorelegallyconventionalwishes).Theideaoffemale"desire"ispotentandthreateninginour culture,withitssexualovertonesandsuggestionsofpersonalgratificationandcapriciousselfinterestparticularlywhenpairedwiththeno

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tionofindulgence,asinthisjudge'sruling.Madyun'sobjections,weshouldremember,werereligious(asaremostmaternalrefusalsofobstetricalintervention).25For thejudge,however,religiousscruplesareonaparwiththeflightiestofpersonalwhimswhentheycomeintoconflictwiththesupremerolethepregnantwomanshould beplaying:thatofincubatortoherfetus.Infulfillingthatfunction,thepregnantwomanissupposedtoeffaceherownsubjectivity,ifneedbe.Whensherefusestodo so,thatsubjectivitycomestobeconstruedasexcessive,wicked.(Theculturalarchetypeofthecold,selfishmothertheevilgoddesses,queens,andstepmothersof mythandfairytaleclearlylurksintheimaginationsofmanyofthejudgesissuingcourtordersforobstetricalintervention.) Thus,ontologicallyspeaking,thepregnantwomanhasbeenseenbyourlegalsystemasthemirrorimageoftheabstractsubjectwhosebodilyintegritythelawisso determinedtoprotect.Forthelatter,subjectivityistheessenceofpersonhood,nottobesacrificedevenintheinterestsofthepreservationofthelifeofanother individual.Personalvaluation,choice,andconsciousnessitself(remembertheWinstoncourt'shorroratunconsentedtoanesthesia)arethegivenvalues,againstwhich anyclaimstostateinterestorpublicgoodmustberigorouslyarguedandarerarelygranted.Theessenceofthepregnantwoman,bycontrast,isherbiological,purely mechanicalroleinpreservingthelifeofanother.Inhercase,thisisthegivenvalue,againstwhichherclaimstosubjectivitymustberigorouslyevaluated,andtheywill usuallybefoundwantinginsofarastheyconflictwithherlifesupportfunction.Inthefaceofsuchaconflict,hervaluations,choices,consciousnessareexpendable.26 Intersectingwiththisgenderideology,incasessuchasMadyun,isourhistoricaltraditionofeffacementofthepersonhoodofpeopleofcolor,racistbeliefsabouttheir "irresponsibility,"anddisdainforreligiousandculturaldiversity.Theseelementscancomeintoplayatbothendsofthespectrumofreproductiveabusecoerced sterilization,andcoercedcesareans.Incoercedsterilizationcasesthemediatingracistimageisoftenthatofthepromiscuousbreeder,populatingtheworld irresponsibly,likeanunspayedanimal.OneofthewitnessesinWalkerv.PiercesaidthatPiercelecturedher:"And,hesaid,'Listenhereyounglady...thisismytax moneypayingforsomethinglikethisIamtiredofpeoplegoing

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aroundherehavingbabiesandmytaxmoneypayingforit.'"27InforcedcesareancaseslikeMadyun,themediatingracistimagemaybethatoftheignorant, uncivilizedprimitivewhoseatavisticreligiousbeliefsareinconflictwiththeenlightenedattitudesofmodernscience. FetalSuperSubjectsandMaternalIncubators

Asaonetimecocaineabuser,Debbieabusedhersoninthe womb.Now,thankstosupportfromAlliance,she'slearned howtobetheresponsibleparentlittleRickyneeds. Fromthe1991UnitedWaybrochure Clearly,therehasbeenonelegaltraditionforthosewhooccupytheculturallocationofthesubjectandanotherforthosewhoaremarkedas"other."Some acknowledgmentoftheinjusticeofforcedcesareanswasfinallymadewhentheDistrictofColumbiaCourtofAppeals,inawidelypublicizeddecision,setasidethe originalrulingonAngelaCarder'scaseandevenraisedthequestionofwhether"therecouldeverbeasituationextraordinaryorcompellingenoughtojustifyamassive intrusionintoaperson'sbody,suchasacesareansection,againstthatperson'swill."(Itisnottodepreciatethecourt'srulingtonotethatAngelaCarderwasawhite woman.)TheappealhadbeenfiledbytheAmericanMedicalAssociationandthirtynineotherorganizations,whoseconsciousnesshadbeensignificantlyraisedbythe effortsofLynnPaltrowoftheAmericanCivilLibertiesUnion,GeorgeAnnasoftheBostonUniversitySchoolofMedicine,andseveralotherswhobroughttheCarder caseandotherstonationalattention.28In1987,47percentoftheobstetricianssurveyedbytheNewEnglandJournalofMedicinehadapprovedofforced cesareansandhadagreedthattheprecedentsetbythecourtsincasesrequiringemergencycesareansectionsforthesakeofthefetusshouldbeextendedtoinclude otherproceduressuchasintrauterinetransfusion.29SincetheAngelaCardercase,theseattitudesmaybechanging.Yetthereareextremelyvocalandpowerful advocatesofpervasiveobstetricalintervention,30andpregnantwomencontinuetobetreatedasfetalincubatorsinotherwaysaswell.Thepastfewyearshaveseen increasingnumbersofcasesinwhichbraindeadpregnantwomenhavebeenkeptalivefor

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aslongassevenoreightweeks,untilthefetusismatureenoughtodeliverbycesareansection,31andtheCatholicchurchhasdeclaredlifesustainingtreatmenttobe mandatoryforapregnantpatient"ifcontinuedtreatmentmaybenefitherunbornchild."32 Indeed,Ibelievetheideologyofwomanasfetalincubatorisstrongerthaneverandismakingevergreaterencroachmentsintopregnantwomen'slives.Thedifference isthattodayitismostlikelytoemergeinthecontextofissuesconcerningthe"lifestyles"ofpregnantwomen.In1986,LawrenceNelsonandhiscolleagueswarned that"compellingpregnantwomentoundergomedicaltreatmentsetsanunsavoryprecedentforfurtherinvasionsofawoman'sprivacyandbodilyintegrity."Asthough imaginingthehorrifyingterrainofafuturedystopia(suchasthatdepictedinMargaretAtwood'sTheHandmaid'sTale),theylistsuchpotentialintrusions:


[These]couldincludecourtordersprohibitingpregnantwomenfromusingalcohol,cigarettes,orotherpossiblyharmfulsubstances,forbiddingthemfromcontinuingtowork becauseofthepresenceoffetaltoxinsintheworkplace,forcingthemtotakedrugsoracceptintrauterinebloodtransfusions,requiringpregnantanorexicteenagerstobeforce fed,forcingwomentoundergoprenatalscreeninganddiagnosticproceduressuchasamniocentesis,sonography,orfetoscopy,ormandatingthatwomensubmittoinuttersor extrauterinesurgeryforthefetusTheprospectofcourtsliterallymanagingthelivesofpregnantwomenandextensivelyintrudingintotheirdailyactivitiesisfrighteningand antitheticaltothefundamentalrolethatfreedomofactionplaysinoursociety.33

Justfiveyearslater,thislandscapenolongerseemssofuturistic.AlthoughtheSupremeCourthasbannedemployersfromadopting"fetalprotection"policiesthat wouldbarwomenofchildbearingagefromhazardousjobs,thisdecisionseemsalmostanomalousinthecontemporaryzeitgeist,withinwhichtheprotectionoffetal rightshasburgeonedintoanationalobsession.Prosecutionsandpreventivedetentionsofpregnantwomenforfetalendangerment,onceararity,arebecomingmore andmorecommon.SincethePamelaRaeStewartcaseof1985,inwhichStewartwaschargedwithcriminalneglectofherchildforfailingtofollowmedicaladvice duringpregnancy,suchcaseshavemultiplied.In1989,aFloridajudgesentencedtwentythreeyearoldJenniferJohnsontofifteen

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years'probationonherconvictionofdeliveringillegaldrugsviatheumbilicalcordtohertwobabies.AMassachusettswomanwhomiscarriedafteranautomobile accidentinwhichshewasintoxicatedwasprosecutedforvehicularhomicideofherfetus.AConnecticutwomanwaschargedwithendangeringherfetusby swallowingcocaineaspolicemovedtoarresther.AWashingtonjudgesentBrendaVaughantojailfornearlyfourmonthstoprotectherfetus,becauseadrugtest, takenaftershewasarrestedforforgingacheck,revealedcocaineuse.34In1990,aWyomingwomanwaschargedbythepolicewiththecrimeofdrinkingwhile pregnantandwasprosecutedforfelonychildabuse.InSouthCarolina,adozenwomenhavebeenarrestedafterthehospitalstheywenttoformaternitycaretested themforcocaineuseandturnedthemintothepoliceforfetalabuse.35 Insomewaysevenmoredisturbingthantheselegalactionsarechangesintheeverydayattitudesofpeople.InMarch1991,twowaiterswerefiredfromtheirjobs whentheytriedtopersuadeaninemonthspregnantcustomernottoorderarumdaiquiribecausedrinkingalcoholcouldharmherfetus.36Soonafter,theyappeared onthe"OprahWinfrey"show,wheremanymembersoftheaudienceindicatedtheirstrongsupportforthewaiters'action.Asmightbeexpected,thecustomer'saction wasconstruedasrecklessand"selfish,"eventhoughitishighlyunlikelythatonedrinkatheradvancedstageofpregnancycouldaffectthefetus'shealth.Audience memberswereinsistent,aswascolumnistCalThomas,thatpregnantwomenwhoengageinanyactivitiesthathaveeventheslightestriskarebehaving"selfishly"and thatothersareonlyactingresponsiblyinpointingthisouttothem.InThomas'scondemnationofthecustomer,alldistinctionsbetweenlevelsofharm,between fetusesandchildren,betweenprohibitionsthataffectthedeploymentofthemother'sownbodyandthosethatdonotareeffaced:
Whatifthewomanhadcomeinamonthfromnowwithhernewbornchildandorderedtwodrinks,oneforherandonetoputinthebaby'sbottle,becausethechildhadbeen cryingandthemotherthoughtthiswasagoodwaytogetittosleep?Wouldthewaiterhavebeenjustifiedinrefusingservicetothebabybecauseitisunderage?Ofcourse. Thenwhat'sthedifferencebetweenwantingtoprotectachildthatisnewlybornandonethatisabouttobeborn?37

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Onceagainthespecteroftheevilmotherloomslarge.ThebitinginjusticeisthatpregnantwomenareingeneralprobablytheBestSamaritansofourculture.The overwhelmingmajoritywillsufferconsiderablepersonalinconvenience,pain,risk,andcurtailmentoftheirfreedomtodowhattheirdoctorsadviseisinthebest interestsoftheirfetuses.Asoneobstetricalsurgeonputit,mostofthewomenhesees''wouldcutofftheirheadstosavetheirbabies."38Inthespecificcaseofthe customerwhoorderedthedaiquiri,byherownaccountshehadbeenextremelycarefulthroughoutherpregnancyandthoughthardbeforeorderingthedrink:


Iwasaweekoverdue.andIthoughtitwouldbesafetohavejustthisonedrink,whichIorderedwithdinnerI'vealwaysmadeitapointtoreadeverythingIcouldfindabout alcoholinpregnancy.IfeltguiltyenoughasitwasfororderingthedrinkTheytriedtomakemefeellikeachildabuser.39

Mostpoignantaboutthisquoteisthewoman'sinternalsenseoftransgression,whichIinterpretasanindication,notofherrecognitionoftheactualthreatofonedrink toherfetus'shealth,butoftheextraordinarylevelsofvigilancenowexpectedofandtakenuponthemselvesbypregnantwomen.Yetatthesametimeas supererogatorylevelsofcarearedemandedofthepregnantwoman,neitherthefathernorthestatenorprivateindustryisheldresponsibleforanyoftheharmsthey maybeinflictingondevelopingfetuses,noraretheyrequiredtocontributetotheircare.Fathers'drughabits,smoking,alcoholism,recklessdriving,andpsychological andphysicaltreatmentofpregnantwivesarepartofthefetus's"environment,"toosometimesindirectly,throughtheireffectonthemother'swellbeing,but sometimesdirectlyaswell(throughtheeffectsofsecondhandsmokeandcrackdustintheair,physicalabuse,andalcohol'sdeleteriouseffectonthequalityofsperm, togiveafewexamples).Butfathersarenonethelessoffthehook,asisthehealthsystemthatmakesitsodifficultforpoorwomentoobtainadequateprenatalcare andforaddictedmotherstogethelp.40AsKathaPollittpointsout:


Judgesorderpregnantaddictstojail,buttheydon'torderdrugtreatmentprogramstoacceptthem,orMedicaid,whichpaysforherointreatment,tocovercrackaddictionlet aloneorderlandlordsnottoevictthem,orobstetricianstotakeuninsuredwomenaspa

Page84 tients,orthefederalgovernmenttofundfullytheWomen,Infants,andChildrensupplementalfeedingprogram,whichreachesonlytwothirdsofthosewhoareeligible.The policiesthathaveunderwrittenmaternalandinfanthealthinmostoftheindustrializedwestsinceWorldWarIIanationalhealthservice,paidmaternityleave,directpayments tomothers,governmentfundeddaycare,homehealthvisitorsfornewmothers,welfarepaymentsthatreflectthecostoflivingarestillregardedintheUnitedStatesbyeventhe mostliberalashopelesscauses,andbyeveryoneelseasbudgetbreakinggiveawaystotheundeserving,pieintheskyitemsfromamadsocialist'swishlist.41

Whilepublicserviceannouncementsontelevisiontargetthesmokingandalcoholhabitsofpregnantwomenasthoughtheywerethesolecausesoflowbirthweight andinfantdisability,ataskforcecommissionedbythegovernmentconcludedthat"ifwejustdeliveredroutineclinicalcareandsocialservicestopregnantwomen,we couldpreventonequartertoonethirdofinfantmortality."Asthingsnowstand,oneoutofeverythreepregnantwomengetsinsufficientprenatalcare(asituationthat isnothelped,ofcourse,ifdrugaddictedmothersavoidseekingmedicalhelp,forfeartheywillbeturnedintothepolice).Amongotherimprovements,thetaskforce recommendsapublicinformationcampaignanda"nurturingapproach"topregnantwomen'sneeds,withhomevisitsbynurses,socialworkers,andothercounselors. TheBushWhiteHouse,however,actedonnoneofthis,withholdingmostofthereportfromCongressintheinterestsofpreserving"theconfidentialityofthe deliberativeprocess"intheExecutivebranch.42 Onlythepregnantwoman,apparently,hasthe"dutyofcare."43Indeed,accordingtotheconstructionexaminedinthefirstsectionofthisessay,thisisheressential function.Thatitisframed,moreover,inentirelymechanistictermsasfleshyincubatorisrevealedbytheexclusiveattentiongiventoherphysiologicalstate.The factsthatadrinknowandthenmightrelaxandsootheher,andthatcontinualvigilanceoverthe"environment"sheisproviding(ifnotthethreatofpublicscrutinyand condemnationitself)maymakeherperpetuallytenseandworried,andthatsuchfactorsmayalsoaffectthewellbeingofthefetusarenotconsidered.Rather,a crudelymechanisticportrayalofherbodilyconnectionwiththefetusprevails.Onedaiquiritakenbythemotherisimaginedasequivalenttoservingthefetusacocktail. Thisimageissodistasteful

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thatitistheneasytoleaptothefurtherequation:onedrink=fetalalcoholsyndrome. Sometimesthewombisdescribednotasincubatorbutasprison."Theviableunbornchildisliterallycaptivewithinthemother'sbody,"arguedthedissentingjudgein theappealoftheCardercase.AntichoicespokespersonBarnardNathansondescribesthefetusas"brickedin,asitwere,behind...animpenetrablewallofflesh, muscle,boneandblood."44Perhapssuchimagescanbedismissedasthoseofanideologue.MichaelHarrison'sdescription,then,willserveasanexampleofthe increasingsubjectificationoffetalbeing.For,strikingly,asthepersonhoodofthepregnantwomanhasbeendrainedfromherandherfunctionasfetalincubator activated,thesubjectivityofthefetushasbeenelevated:


Thefetuscouldnotbetakenseriouslyaslongasheremainedamedicalrecluseinanopaquewombanditwasnotuntilthelasthalfofthiscenturythatthepryingeyeofthe ultrasonogramrenderedtheonceopaquewombtransparent,strippingtheveilofmysteryfromthedarkinnersanctum,andlettingthelightofscientificobservationfallontheshy andsecretivefetusThesonographicvoyeur,spyingontheunwaryfetus,findshimorherasurprisinglyactivelittlecreature,andnotatallthepassiveparasitewehadimagined Thefetushascomealongwayfrombiblical"seed"andmystical"homunculus"toanindividualwithmedicalproblemsthatcanbediagnosedandtreated,thatis,apatient. Althoughhecannotmakeanappointmentandseldomcomplains,thispatientwillatalltimesneedaphysician.45

Thegenderideologythatpermeatesthisquotationisvariousandobvious,andneednotbebelaboredhere.Here,IneedonlyhighlightthedualityHarrisonconstructs betweenthe"opaque,"impenetrablewomb,aterritoryitselfbereftofthelightofconsciousness,acave,aplacemerelytosleep,andthepsychologicallycomplex,fully personifiedfetus,atonce"shyandsecretive"andvitally"active."(And,ofcourse,unlikehismother,he"seldomcomplains"anideal"patient''!)RuthHubbardnotes, aswell,theremarkablearroganceoftheassumptionthatbeforedevelopmentsinultrasound,"we"hadimaginedthefetustobea"passiveparasite."Whoisthis"we"? sheasks."Surelynot,"shepointsout,"womenwhohavebeenawakenedbythepainfulkicksofafetus!"46Thosewomen,ofcourse,havebeenrendered metaphoricallyunconsciousbyHarrisononlytheirinert,shroudedwombsremain.

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Ofcourse,theincreasinglyroutineuseofultrasoundhasmadethefetusseemmoreofaperson,bothtothedoctorandtothemother.47Becauseofsuchchangesin theperceptionofthefetus'sstatus,combinedwiththeadvancingtechnologiesthatenablethedoctortotreatthefetusdirectly,asanautonomouspatient,doctorshave cometofeelconfused,angry,and,perhaps,morallyoutragedwhenmothersrefusearecommendedtreatment.Icanunderstandtheirdiscomfortandfrustration.But thedisturbingfactremainsthatincreasedempathyforthefetushasoftengonehandinhandwithdecreasedrespectfortheautonomyofthemother.48And,ingeneral, theNewReproductiveTechnologyhasbeenaconfusinglymixedbagasfarasthesubjectivityofwomenisconcerned.Ontheonehand,womennowhaveabooming technologyseeminglyfocusedonfulfillingtheirdesires:toconceive,topreventmiscarriage,todeliverahealthybabyatterm.Ontheotherhand,proponentsand practitionerscontinuallyencouragewomentotreattheirbodiesaspassiveinstrumentsofthosegoals,readyandwilling,"iftheywantachildbadlyenough,"toendure howevercomplicatedandinvasivearegimeofdiagnostictesting,dailymonitoring,injections,andoperativeproceduresmayberequired.Thus,oneelementof women'ssubjectivityisindeednurtured,whileallotherelements(investmentincareer,otheremotionalneeds,importanceofotherpersonalrelationships,etc.)are minimized,marginalized,and(whentheyrefusetoberepressed)madeanoccasionforguiltandselfquestioning. OneofthemostdisturbingexamplesispresentedbyDr.StefanSemchyshyn.Semchyshynarguesforanextremelyaggressiveapproachtothepreventionof miscarriage,dismissingthe(generallyaccepted)beliefthatmanyearlymiscarriagesaretheinevitableresultofgeneticdefectandoughtnottoberigorouslyprevented. Hereassuresreadersthatgenetictesting(amniocentesisandultrasound)willpickupthosedefectsatthebeginningofthesecondtrimester,whenthewomencanstill electtohaveanabortion.49Semchyshynis,Ipresume,awareofthephysicalpainand(welldocumented)psychologicaltraumainvolvedinasecondtrimester abortionyet,apparently,thesefactorsaretootrivialforhimtomentionevenaspossibleconsiderations.50Inourpresentculturalcontext,theNewReproductive Technologiesdocatertowomen'sdesires(thatis,tothedesiresofwomenwhocanaffordthem),but

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onlywhentheyaretherightdesires,desiresthatwillsubordinateallelse(eveninthefaceoftechnologicalsuccessrateswhichcontinuetobeverydiscouraging)tothe projectofproducingachild. Graduallyoverthelastcentury,andsteeplyacceleratingoverthedecadeofthe1980s,thelegalstatusofthefetushasbeengreatlyenhancedaswell.51Foroverhalf acentury,theDietrichrule(1884),whichestablishedthatdamages(forinstance,accidentaldeathorinjury)incurredonafetuswerenotseparatelyrecoverable, becausethefetuswas"apartofthemother,"prevailed.52Then,in1946,inwhathasbeendescribedas"themostspectacularabruptreversalofawellsettledrulein thewholehistoryofthelawoftorts,"53afederaldistrictcourtinBonbrestv.Kotzheldthattheremayberecoveryforinjurytoaviablefetussubsequentlyborn alive.54Nelsonpointsoutthateventhischange,however,didnotrecognizethefetusasapersonwithfulllegalrightsthepointoftherulingwastoallowdamaged bornpersonsinneedofspecialmedicaltreatment,schooling,andsoforthtobecompensatedforinjurieswronglysufferedwhentheywerenotyetlegalpersons. Thesameintent,onNelson'sanalysis,isbehindtheNewJerseySupremeCourt'sunfortunatelywordedstatement,inSmithv.Brennan(1960)that"achildhasa legalrighttobeginlifewithasoundmindandbody."Smith,recognizingachild'scauseofactionfornegligentlyinflictedprenatalinjury,explicitlydeniesthatthisentails recognitionoffetalpersonhood.Thepointissimplytoestablishthelegitimacyofthelivebornchild'sinjuryclaim.55Yetthephrasetakenbyitself(outofcontextof thedecision)isproblematic,notonlysuggestinganunprecedentedscopeofrights,butambiguousconcerningtowhomtheybelong.Overthepastthirtyyearsthis ambiguityhasbeenfrequentlyexploitedattheexpenseoftheintentoftheruling,asadvocatesofobstetricalinterventionhavefreelyinvokedthefetus'srightto"begin lifewithasoundmindandbody"asjustificationfortheirsuits.Theslippagehere,fromalivebornchild'srighttobringactionagainstinjuriessufferedwheninthefetal statetotherightofthefetustoforceitsmothertoaccepttreatmentagainstherwill,isprofoundandpernicious. Butletus,forthesakeofargument,layasidetheissueofmisapplicationoftortlaw.Letusgrantafetus'srighttobebornhealthyandsoundandtobeprovidedwitha safe,healthyenvironmenttopromotethisend.Ifwegrantthis,weareobligedtorecognizealso

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thatthisgivesthefetusrightsthatnooneelseinthissocietyhas.Hereweareonceagainconfrontedwiththestrangesetofaffairsentailedbyfetalrightsarguments, thatatwoyearoldchildhasfarfewerrightsthanasixmontholdfetus!56 Mypointhereisnottodenyprotectionordignitytothefetusortosuggestthatitisnomorethantissueoranappendagetothemother.Infact,Iwilllaterarguevery stronglyagainstsuchperspectives.Rather,myobjectistobringattentiontotheontologicalconstructionthatisentailed(butneveropenlyacknowledged)bythefetal rightsposition,apositionthatisincreasinglybecomingconventionalwisdominmanyquartersofourculture.Verysimplyput,thatconstructionisoneinwhichpregnant womenarenotsubjectsatall(neitherunderthelawnorinthezeitgeist)whilefetusesaresupersubjects.Itisasthoughthesubjectivityofthepregnantbodywere siphonedfromitandemptiedintofetallife. Father'sRights


ThisoffspringwasbegotwithoutaMother Montesquieu,epigraphto TheSpiritoftheLaw OwhydidGod, Creatorwise,thatpeopl'dhighestHeav'n WithSpiritsMasculine,createatlast ThisnoveltieonEarth,thisfairdefect OfNature,andnotfilltheWorldatonce WithMenasAngelswithoutFeminine, Orfindsomeotherwaytogenerate Mankind? Milton,ParadiseLost, BookX,lines888895

Alongsideattemptstodefinethepregnantwoman'sstatusasthatofmereincubator,wehaveseenacorrespondingemergenceofamoreandmorevocalmovement forfather'srights.JamesBopp,ahighlyvisibleadvocateofthismovementandgeneralcounseloftheNationalRighttoLifeCommittee,hasmarketeda"Father's RightsLitigationKit,"ahowtoguideforbringingsuitagainstwivesandgirlfriends.57Andalthoughsuchcaseshavethusfarinvariablybeendefeatedinhighercourts, inNovemberof1989thePennsylvaniaStateSenatepassedlegislationthathasgonefurtherthananyother

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inaddressingfather'srights,requiringthatwomennotifytheirhusbandsofabortionplansandholdingphysicianswhoperformanabortionwithoutaformshowingthat thehusbandhasbeennotifiedliableforcivildamagestothehusbandandpunitivedamagesof$5,000.58 Onereasonwhythemovementforfather'srightshasgrownsorapidlyistheculturallypowerfulrhetoricof"equality"withwhichthemovementhastrumpetedits cause."It'sabalancingofrights,"saysJamesBopp.59Butitisamystificationtoconceptualizefather'srightscasesinthisway,asthoughequitabledistributionisthe goal,liketheallocationofachild'stimeinacustodycase.Forthebasisforthesecasesisalwaysaconcreteoccasionwhenthemother'sandthefather'sgoalsare mutuallyexclusive.Inthatcontext,equaltreatmentcannotbeachieved.Rather,onemustprevailovertheotherinthedispute.Anyfatherseekinghis"rights''insucha caseisclaimingthathisdesiresshouldnotmerelyequalbutsupersedethoseofthemother.Thatis,whatisbeingsoughtinfather'srightscasesisnotequalityfor fathersbuttheprivilegingofpaternalinterests. TheimaginationofthefatherasnotmerelyhalfpartnerinthecreationoflifebutthetrueparentofthechildisaconstructionthathasdeeprootsinWesternculture.In TheFuries,whichdramatizesthetriumphofrational,impartialApollonicjusticeovermatriarchal"blood"justice,AeschylushasApolloargue,pointingtothe motherlessPallasAthene,whosprangfullyformedfromtheheadofZeus,thatthe"trueparent"is"hewhomounts":
Themotherisnoparentofthatwhichiscalledherchild,butonlynurseofthenewplantedseedthatgrows.Theparentishewhomounts.Astrangershepreservesastranger's seed,ifnogodinterfere.IwillshowyouproofofwhatIhaveexplained.Therecanbeafatherwithoutanymother.Thereshestands,thelivingwitness,daughterofOlympian Zeus,shewhowasneverfosteredinthedarkofthewombyetsuchachildasnogoddesscouldbringtobirth.60

JamesHillmanhasarguedthattheGenesisstory,whichreversestheactualitiesofbirth,makingthe"male...thepreconditionofthefemaleandthegroundofits possibilityratherthanviceversa,"isanotherversionofthe"maleastrueparent"fantasy.61And

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certainlythedominantseventeenthcenturyaccountofreproduction,whichsprucesuptheAristoteliantheoryofgenerationwithmodern,mechanisticdress,isanother. FromAristotletocontemporaryrepresentationsoftheromanceofthespermandtheegg,62themalecontributionhasbeenportrayedasthe"effectiveandactive" elementinreproduction,63thefemaleaspassive,unformedmatter,waitingtobeindividuatedandvivifiedbythevaliantspermwhowinsher.Butthemechanistic theoryofpreformationandembodimentwentstillfurther,representingthefemalebodynotevenasprovidingthematerialstuffoutofwhichthehumanbeingis formed(Aristotle'sview),butmerelyasacontainerforthehousingandincubationofalreadyformedhumanbeings,originallyplacedinAdam'ssemenbyGod,and parceledout,overtheages,toallhismaledescendants.64In1577theDutchmicroscopistAntonievanLeeuwenhoekreceivedwhatwasforhimdecisive confirmationofthistheory,whenhediscoveredtinytadpolelikecreatures"animalcules"inthesemenofmaleanimals.Hedeclaredthatthisdiscoveryempirically establishedAristotle'sintuition"thatitisexclusivelythemalesementhatformsthefetus,andthatallthatthewomanmaycontributeonlyservestoreceivethesemen andfeedit.''65Theimaginationofwomanasfetalincubator,indisturbingascendancetoday,andofmaleastrueparent(clearlyattemptingacomeback)has,then, deephistoricalroots. In1976theSupremeCourtclearlyandresoundinglyrejectedthefather'srightsargument,rulinginPlannedParenthoodofCentralMissouriv.Danforththata spousehasnorightthatcompeteswith,balances,orlimitsthewoman'srighttochooseabortion.Thecourtrecognizedboth"thedeepandproperconcernandinterest thatadevotedandprotectivehusbandhasinhiswife'spregnancyandinthegrowthanddevelopmentofthefetus"andthefactthatanimplicationoftheDanforth ruling(asofRoe)wasthattherewouldbecaseswhenthemothermightactunilaterally,withouttheapprovalofherhusband.Butthecourtinsistedthatsince"onlyone ofthetwomarriagepartnerscanprevail"andsince"itisthewomanwhophysicallybearsthechildandwhoisthemoredirectlyandimmediatelyaffectedbythe pregnancy...thebalanceweighsinherfavor."66

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Theseeminglyincontrovertiblefactthatonlythemotherexperiencespregnantembodiment(obscuredbythecurrentfashionofspeakingofcouplesaspregnant)isa powerfulimpedimenttothefather'srightsposition,asthosewhohavebroughtsuitagainsttheirwiveshaveobviouslyrecognized,judgingfromtherhetoricand strategyoftheirarguments.Listen,forexample,toErinConn,oneofJamesBopp'sclients,ashedescribeshiscaseona"Nightline"showofJuly,1988:


MyrightsI'mthefatherofthechild.MywifeandIwerejoinedinmatrimony,andthere'sabondtherewhichmakesmethefatherofthechildrenthatcomeoutofourfamily. Godyouknow,thewaythesystem'ssetup,thewomancarriesthechild.AndifIcouldcarrythechild,Iwould.Butthat'snotthewaythesystem'ssetup.Butthethingis,that afterthatchildisborn,halfofthatchildpartofthatchildisme.AndI'mpartofthatchild.AndIfeellikebyherhavingtherighttoabortthatchildisherhavingtherightto destroyapartofmewithoutmehavinganysayso.Andsheyouknow,shewantscontrolofherbody.Butwhataboutme?AmInotallowedtohavecontrolofmybody? Thatbabyisapartofmybodyalso.67

ForErinConn,thebiologicalrealityofpregnancyisdescribedas"thewaythesystem'ssetup."Thismechanisticimagery,Iwouldsuggest,althoughinstinctivelyrather thanmethodicallychosenbyConn,isnotaccidental.Connhasinchoatelyrecognizedthathemustdivestpregnancyofallemotional,spiritual,religioussignificance,of allevocationofhardshiporburden,ofallconnectionwiththeexperienceofthepregnantwoman.Hemustturnthefactthatwomenbearchildrenintomerelyone instanceoftheimpersonal,arbitraryfunctioningofanimpersonal,arbitrary"system."Inthisimaginationofthings,therearenofemalesubjects,only"carriers''(asConn putsit)offetuses,andtheonlytruelociofsubjectiveexperiencearethemenwho(itisimplied)havebeensocruellyandunfairlyexcluded(bythe"system")from servingas"carriers."It'sbeen"setup"thatwaywhat'sapoorfellowtodo? Itiseasy,ofcourse,forConntosaythatifhecouldcarrythechild,hewouldforhecan't.ButdetailslikethispalealongsideConn'simpassioneddescriptionof himselfassointertwinedandinterconnectedwiththefetusthatnotonlyishe"partofthatchild"whichistruebutthechildisa"partof[Conn's]body"aswell whichis

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nottrue.TheslippagefromfatheraspartofthechildtochildaspartofthefatherallowsConnactuallytoevoketheimageemotional,ifnotvisualofhimselfas pregnant,andfromtheretoappropriateandemotionallymanipulatetherhetoricoftheprochoicemovement(andindeedofhisownwife'scase):"Shewantscontrol ofherbody.Butwhataboutme?AmInotallowedtohavecontrolofmybody?"Suchexploitationofideasthatfeministshaveintroducedtothecultureisatypical strategyoffather'srightsarguments.InaSeptember,1989,hearing,onelitigantwentsofarastoclaimshamelesslyequatinghissituationwiththatofawoman whosebodyhasbeeninvadedagainstherwillthathewouldfeel"rapedofhisreproductiverights"ifhelostthecase.68 Suchrhetoricattemptstostranglefeminismwithitsownrope("reproductiverights")andtowinsympathyforthemanasbrutalized"rape"victim.Moredeeply,it attemptstocreateanimageofthemanaswoman(thatis,aswomenhavebeenimaginedinourculture).As"woman''hecanlayclaimtosensitivity,nurturinginstinct, tenderness,andcaringtheconstructionofsubjectivitythathasbeenassignedtous,andinmanypeople'smindsthejustificationforprivilegingmaternaloverpaternal claims.Towinfather'srightscases,thatjustificationmustbeundercutthus,themenwhohavebroughtthesecasestocourthaverarelybeenashamedtocry,tospeak oftheirhelplessness,to"feminize"themselves."Ijustfelthelpless,"saidGaryBell,describinghisfeelingsafterhisgirlfriendhadanabortion."Icriedforhours.Ihurtso badinside."69 Thestrategyistounderscorethatmenhavetenderfeelingstoo,especiallytenderfeelingsofaparentalnature.Thattheydohavesuchfeelings(andmanyothers discouragedfromfullexpressionbydominantWesternconstructionsofmasculinity)isindisputablytrue.Mypoint,onceagainasinmyargumentconcerningfetal rightsisnottodehumanizemenorchallengetheirclaimstoenhancedsubjectivity,buttopointoutthecorrespondingpricethatwomen'ssubjectivityhasbeen requiredtopay.Inthefather'srightscases,everyassertionofmalefeelinghasbeenaccompaniedbyacorrespondingdenialoffemalesensibilityeveryattemptto provethatmencanbenurturers,too,hasinvolvedanattempteddiscreditationofthewoman'snurturingcapabilitiesforinstance,picturingheraslackingthequalities ofcaring,selflessness,andsoforththat

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arerequiredofa"trueparent."Whilethemendescribethemselvesastenderflowers,easilybruisedanddamaged,thewomenareportrayedascold,ruthless destroyersoffetallife,runningroughshodoverpaternalsensibilities. Inoneofthemoststrikingofthesecases,anIndianamansoughtaninjunctionprohibitinghisgirlfriend'sabortion,arguingthatherreasonsforwantinganabortionwere that"shewishestolookniceinabathingsuitthissummer.nottobepregnantinthesummertimeandnottosharethepetitionerwiththebaby."Thejudgegrantedthe man'spetition(withouthearingfromthewoman),rulingthatsincethewomanwasnotinschool,wasunemployed,andwaslivingwithhermother,"thecontinuanceof herpregnancywouldnotinterferewitheitherheremploymentoreducation."Moreover,hewenton,"Theappearanceanddemeanoroftherespondent...indicated thatsheisaverypleasantyounglady,slenderinstature,healthy,andwellabletocarryababytodeliverywithoutanundueburden."70Areweinacourtroom,orat anauctionforprizeheifers? ReclaimingReproductiveSubjectivity ThefutureofRoev.Wadeisnowthecentralculturalarenaforthebattleoverreproductivecontrol.Inthisessay,however,Ihaveemphasizedthenecessityoflocating thestruggleforabortionrightsinabroadercontext.Whatgetsobscuredwhenabortionrightsareconsideredinabstractionfromissuesinvolvingforcedmedical treatment,legalandsocialinterferenceinthemanagementofpregnancy,andsoforth,isthefactthatitisnotonlywomen'sreproductiverightsthatarecurrentlybeing challengedbutwomen'sstatusassubjects,withinasysteminwhichforbetterorworsetheprotectionof"thesubject"remainsacentralvalue.Whatalsomayget obscuredaretheinterlockingandmutuallysupportingeffacementsofsubjectivitythatareinvolvedwhenthewomanisperceivedasaracialoreconomic"other"as well.Solongasthedebateoverreproductivecontrolisconceptualizedsolelyinthedominanttermsoftheabortiondebatethatis,asaconflictbetweenthefetus's righttolifeandthewoman'srighttochoosewearefooledintothinkingthatitisonlythefetuswhoseethicalandlegalstatusisatissue.Thepregnantwoman(whose ethicaland

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legalstatusasapersonisnotconstructedasaquestionintheabortiondebate,andwhichmostpeoplewronglyassumeisfullyprotectedlegally)isseenasfighting,not forherpersonhood,but"only"forherrighttocontrolherreproductivedestiny. Thenatureofpregnancyissuch,however,thattodeprivethewomanofcontroloverherreproductivelifewhetherbymeansofinvoluntaryorcoercedsterilization, courtorderedcesarean,orforbiddenabortionisnecessarilyalsotomountanassaultonherpersonalintegrityandautonomy(theessenceofpersonhoodinour culture)andtotreathermerelyaspregnantresextensa,materialincubatoroffetalsubjectivity.Unfortunately,feministshaveinthepastsometimescolludedinsuch constructions,arguingthatreproductionandpregnancyare"functions"thataredisengagablefromthebeingofthesubjectandlikeallalienatedlaboramenableto beingsoldorrentedtoanother.Overtime,theseverelimitationsofthismodel,crystallizedformanyfeministsbythe"BabyM"/MaryBethWhiteheadsurrogacycase, havebecomeclear.Itiscrucial,Ibelieve,thatwenowshiftourdiscourseandstrategiesawayfromanabstractrhetoricofchoicetoonefocusedon(1)exposingthe contradictionsinourlegaltraditionregardingbodilyintegrityandinsistingthatwomen'sequalprotectionunderthelawrequiresthattheyberesolved,71and(2) challengingthefetalcontainerconception,byreclaiming(fromtherightwing,whichnowholdsamonopolyonsuchideas)theviewofpregnancyandabortionas experientiallyprofoundevents.Onlyonthebasisofsuchareclamationcanweassertwomen'smoralauthority,notonlybyvirtueofourdistinctiveembodimentbut alsobyvirtueofoursocialhistories,toadjudicatethecomplexethicaldilemmasthatariseoutofourreproductivity. Theforegoingcontainsseveralnotionsthatmaygivecontemporaryfeministspause,andthatrequiresomefurtherexplanation.First,thereistheproblematicnotionof women's"experience,"andtheconcomitantdangerofessentializingtheexperiencesofsomegroupsofwomenwhileeffacingthehistoriesandexperiencesofothers. AlthoughIacknowledgethatdanger,Ibelievethatinvokingwomen'sembodiedexperienceneednotbeequivalenttoanalliancewith"essentialism,"solongaswe remainmindfulofthehistorical,racial,andculturaldiversityofthatexperienceforexample,solongaswerecognizethedifferentsocialhistorieswithinwhichthe

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freedomandeconomicconditionsthatpermitwomentohavechildrenhavebeenastenuousastherightnottohavethem.Atthesametime,consciousnessofour diversityoughtnottobepermittedtodiluterecognitionthat,aswomen,weallhavean"authorityofexperience"thatmenlack,andthatgivesus"aprivilegedcritical locationfromwhichtospeak"concerningreproduction.72Women'svariedhistoricalexperiencesofreproductionandbirthsuchasthosedescribedbyEmily Martin73andAngelaDavis,74andincludingtheexperiencesoftheinfertileandthevoluntarilychildlessprovidesuchlocationsofauthorityforus.So,too,domore philosophical,reconstructiveaccounts,suchasIrisYoung'sstudyof"pregnantembodiment."75 Feministsmaybemadequeasy,too,bytheideaofemphasizingtheexperientialsignificanceofpregnancyandbirth,outofafearoftheconceptualproximityofsuch notionstoconstructionsofmotheringastheonetruedestinyforwomen.Ibelieve,however,thatwestandabetterchanceofsuccessfullycontestingsuchideologyif weengageintheconstructionofapublic,feministdiscourseonpregnancyandbirthratherthanleavingitinthehandsofthe"prolifers."Itnowseemstome,for example,thatfeministsshouldneverhavepermitteddebateoverthestatusofthefetustohaveachievedcenterstageinthepublicimagination,butought,rather,to haveattemptedtopreemptthatdebatewithastrongfeministperspectiveacknowledgingandarticulatingtheethicalandemotionalvalueofthefetus.76(Isuspectthat wewouldhavedevelopedsuchaperspectiveifAfricanAmericanwomen,withtheirhistoricalexperienceofhavingnotonlytheirbodiesbuttheirchildren appropriatedfromthem,hadplayedamorecentralroleinframingtherhetoricandargumentsofearlierfeministpolitics.)Grantingvalue,evenpersonhood,tothefetus doesnotmakesocialcontrolofwomen'sreproductionanylessproblematic,asIhavearguedinthisessay.Attemptstodevaluefetallife,ontheotherhand,havefed powerfullyintotherightwingimaginationofapossibleworldinwhichwomenwouldbecallouslyandcasuallyscrapingfetusesoutoftheirbodieslikeleftoversoffa plate.Thisimagesocruellyunrepresentativeofmostwomen'sexperiencesmustbechallenged,mustbeshowntobeaprojectionof"evilmother"archetypes, reflectiveofdeepculturalanxietiesaboutwomen'sautonomyratherthantherealitiesofitsexercise.

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And,finally,thereisthecurrentlyproblematicstatusofconceptssuchasauthorityandthesubject,conceptswhichhaveplayedacrucialroleinWesternmodernitybut arenowinvariousphilosophicalandliteraryquartersbeingdeclareddecentered,dying,ordead.Thisisnottheplacetodetailthosearguments.Butitiseasy,I believe,tocallforthewholesaledeconstructionofconceptssuchassubjectivity,authority,andidentityonlysolongasweremainontheplaneofhightheory,where theyfunctionasabstractions.Oncewebegintoexaminetheroleplayedbysuchconceptsastheyareinstitutionallyandsociallyembodiedincontextssuchaslawand medicine,inwhichthephilosophicalblueprintistransformedintorealsocialarchitecture,adifferentagendamaysuggestitself.ThisiswhatIhavearguedinthisessay withregardtothepoliticsandrhetoricofsubjectivityastheyareplayedoutinthearenaofthecurrentlegalandsocialbattleoverreproductivecontrol. Withinthisbattle,wecannotafford,whetherintheinterestsoftheoreticalavantgardismorpoliticalcorrectness,toabandonconceptionssuchassubjectivity, authority,embodiedconsciousness,andpersonalintegrity.Butthisdoesnotmeanthatwewillbereproducingtheminpreciselytheforminwhichwehaveinherited them.Weneedtorememberthatwhenpoststructuralistwritersdeclarethatthe"author"or"man"(or"metaphysics"or"philosophy")isdead,theyrefertoconceptions thatwerehistoricallydevelopedbyEuropeanmen,underconditionsoftheirculturaldominance.Underthoseconditions,subjectivitytookaveryparticularformby virtueoftheexperiencesexcludedfromit.IrisYoung'sstudyofpregnantembodiment,forexample,suggeststhatpregnancymakesuniquelyavailable(althoughitdoes notguarantee)averydifferentexperienceoftherelationshipbetweenmindandbody,innerandouter,selfandotherthanthatpresumedbyDescartes,Hobbes, Locke,andotherarchitectsofthemodernistsubject.Theconceptionofautonomyassumedbythatmodel,forexample,ischallengedbyanembodimentthatliterally houses''otherness"withintheself. Young'sargumentmakesusawareofthefactthatinvokingtheauthorityofmarginalizedsubjectsmayultimatelyresultinareconstructionofsubjectivityitself.Thisis nottosaythatthe(historical)subjectivitiesofsubordinategroupshavedevelopedfullyoutsideoforunaffectedbydominantconstructionsofthesubject.(It

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isnotasthough,forexample,womenhavenotsoughtautonomyorcherishedpossibilitiesforindividuationandselfdevelopment.)Butourrelationtothesevalueshas beendifferent:moreambivalent,lesspurelyidentifiedonecouldevensay,lessoppressed.77Historicallyexcludedfromparticipationinthemakingofphilosophy, law,andpolitics,wehavenonethelesscreatedcultureinourownassigned"spheres,"andtheseculturesnowprovideavaluableresourceforusaswebegintomake philosophy,law,andpoliticsinthepublicarena.

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HungerasIdeology
TheWomanWhoDoesn'tEatMuch Inatelevisioncommercial,twolittleFrenchgirlsareshowndressingupinthefeatheryfineryoftheirmother'sclothes.Theyareexquisitelittlegirls,flawlessand innocent,andthesceneemphasizesboththeiryouthandthenaturalsenseofstyleoftenassociatedwithFrenchwomen.(TheadisdoneinFrench,withsubtitles.)One ofthegirls,spyingapictureoftheothergirl'smother,exclaimsbreathlessly,"Yourmother,sheissoslim,sobeautiful!Doessheeat?"Thedaughter,giggling,replies: "Silly,justnotsomuch,"anddisplayshermother'shelper,abottleofFibreThin."Aren'tyoujealous?"thefriendasks.Dimpling,shyyetselfpossessed,deeply knowing,thedaughteranswers,''NotifIknowhersecrets." Admittedly,womenarecontinuallybombardedwithadvertisementsandcommercialsforweightlossproductsandprograms,butthiscommercialmakesmanyofus particularlyangry.Onthemostobviouslevel,thecommercialaffrontswithitssuggestionthatyounggirlsbeginearlyinlearningtocontroltheirweight,andwithits romanticmystificationofdietpillsaspartoftheobscure,eternalarsenaloffeminineartstobepassedfromgenerationtogeneration.Thisromanticization,asoftenis thecaseinAmericancommercials,tradesonourcontinuinginfatuationwith(whatweimaginetobe)thecivility,tradition,andsavoirfaireof"Europe"(seenasthe stylishantithesistoourownAmericanclumsiness,aggressiveness,crudeness).Thelittlegirlsarefreshanddemure,inawaythatisundefinablybutabsolutely recognizably"European"asdefined,thatis,withinthevisualvocabularyofpopularAmericanculture.AndFibreThin,inthiscommercial,isnothingsocrassand "medical"andpragmatic(read:American)asadietpill,butamysterious,prized(and,itisimplied,ageold)"secret,"knownonlytothosewithbothhistoryandtaste.

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Butweexpectsuchhypefromcontemporaryadvertisements.Farmoreunnervingisthepsychologicalacuityofthead'sfocus,notonthesizeandshapeofbodies,but onacertainsubjectivity,representedbytheabsentbutcentralfigureofthemother,thewomanwhoeats,only"notsomuch."Weneverseeherpictureweareleftto imagineheridealbeautyandslenderness.Butwhatshelookslikeisnotimportant,inanycasewhatisimportantisthefactthatshehasachievedwhatwemightcalla "cool"(thatis,casual)relationtofood.Sheisnotstarvingherself(anobsession,indicatingthecontinuingpoweroffood),butneitherisshedesperatelyandshamefully binginginsomeprivatecorner.Eatinghasbecome,forher,nobigdeal.InitsevocationofthelovelyFrenchmotherwhodoesn'teatmuch,thecommercial'smetaphor ofEuropean"difference''revealsitselfasameansofrepresentingthatenviableandtrulyforeign"other":thewomanforwhomfoodismerelyordinary,whocantakeit orleaveit. Anotherversion,thistimeembodiedbyasleek,fashionableAfricanAmericanwoman,playfullypromotesVirginiaSlimsMenthol(Figure7).Thisad,whichappeared inEssencemagazine,isoneofaseriesspecificallytargetedattheAfricanAmericanfemaleconsumer.IncontrasttotheVirginiaSlimsseriesconcurrentlyappearingin CosmoandPeople,aserieswhichcontinuestoassociatetheproductwithhistoricallyexpandedopportunitiesforwomen("You'vecomealongway,baby"remains themotifandslogan),VirginiaSlimspitchestotheEssencereaderbymockingsolemnityandselfimportanceaftertherealizationofthoseopportunities:"Whyclimb theladderifyou'renotgoingtoenjoytheview?""Biggirlsdon'tcry.Theygoshopping."And,inthevariantdepictedinFigure7:"Decisionsareeasy.WhenIgettoa forkintheroad,Ieat." Arguably,thegeneralsubtextmeanttobeevokedbytheseadsisthefailureofthedominant,whiteculture(thosewhodon't"enjoytheview")torelaxandtake pleasureinsuccess.Theupwardlymobileblackconsumer,itissuggested,willdoitwithmorepanache,withmorecoolandofcoursewithacool,VirginiaSlims Mentholinhand.Inthisparticularad,thespeakerscornsobsessiveness,notonlyoverprofessionalorinterpersonaldecisionmaking,butoverfoodaswell.Implicitly contrastingherselftothosewhoworryandfret,shepresentsherselfasutterly"easy"inherrelationshipwithfood.UnliketheFibreThinmother,sheeatsany

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights.

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timeshewants.ButliketheFibreThinmother(andthisisthekeysimilarityformypurposes),shehasachievedastatebeyondcraving.Undominatedbyunsatisfied, internalneed,sheeatsnotonlyfreelybutwithoutdeepdesireandwithoutapparentconsequence.It's"easy,"shesays.Presumably,withoutthoseforksintheroadshe mightforgetaboutfoodentirely. TheVirginiaSlimswomanisafantasyfigure,hercoolattitudetowardfoodasremotefromthelivesofmostcontemporaryAfricanAmericanwomenasfromany others.True,ifwesurveyculturalattitudestowardwomen'sappetitesandbodysize,wefindgreatvarietyavarietyshapedbyethnic,national,historical,class,and otherfactors.Myeightyyearoldfather,thechildofimmigrants,asksattheendofeverymealifI"gotenoughtoeat"heconsidersmeskinnyunlessIamplumpby myownstandards.HisattitudereflectsnotonlymemoriesofeconomicstruggleandaheritageofJewishRussianpreferenceforzaftigwomen,butthelingering,well intothiscentury,ofaoncemoregeneralAngloSaxonculturalappreciationforthebuxomwoman.Inthemidnineteenthcentury,hotelsandbarswereadornedwith BouguereauinspiredpaintingsofvoluptuousfemalenudesLillianRussell,themostphotographedwomaninAmericain1890,wasknownandadmiredforherhearty appetite,amplebody(overtwohundredpoundsattheheightofherpopularity),and"challenging,fleshlyarresting"beauty.1 Evenassuchfleshlychallengesbecame lesswidelyappreciatedinthetwentiethcentury,menofGreek,Italian,EasternEuropean,andAfricandescent,influencedbytheirowndistinctiveculturalheritages, werestilllikelytofindfemalevoluptuousnessappealing.Andeveninthelate1960sandearly1970s,asTwiggyandJeanShrimptonbegantosetanewnormfor ultraslenderness,lesbianculturesintheUnitedStatescontinuedtobeacceptingevencelebratingoffleshy,spaceclaimingfemalebodies. Evenmoreexamplescouldbeproduced,ofcourse,ifwecastourglancemorewidelyovertheglobeandbackthroughhistory.Manycultures,clearly,haverevered expansivenessinwomen'sbodiesandappetites.Somestilldo.Butinthe1980sand1990sanincreasinglyuniversalequationofslendernesswithbeautyandsuccess hasrenderedthecompetingclaimsofculturaldiversityeverfeebler.Menwhowereteenagersfromthemidseventieson,whatevertheirethnicrootsoreconomic class,arelikelytoviewlong,slimlegs,aflatstomach,andafirmrearendasessentialsoffemalebeauty.

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Unmuscledheftisnolongerasacceptableasitoncewasinlesbiancommunities.EvenMissSovietUnionhasbecomeleanandtight,andtherobust,earthyactresses whousedtostarinRussianfilmshavebeenreplacedbyslender,Westernizedtypes. Arguably,acasecouldoncebemadeforacontrastbetween(middleclass,heterosexual)whitewomen'sobsessiverelationswithfoodandamoreacceptingattitude towardwomen'sappetiteswithinAfricanAmericancommunities.Butinthenineties,featuresondiet,exercise,andbodyimageproblemshavegrownincreasingly prominentinmagazinesaimedatAfricanAmericanreaders,reflectingtheculturalrealitythatformostwomentodaywhatevertheirracialorethnicidentity,and increasinglyacrossclassandsexualorientationdifferencesaswellfreeandeasyrelationswithfoodareatbestarelicofthepast.(MorefrequentlyinEssencethan inCosmo,theremaybeafocusonhealthproblemsassociatedwithoverweightamongAfricanAmericans,inadditiontotheglamorizationofslenderness.)Almostall ofuswhocanaffordtobeeatingwellaredietingandhungryalmostallofthetime. ItisthusDexatrim,notVirginiaSlims,thatconstructsthemorerealisticrepresentationofwomen'ssubjectiverelationswithfood.InDexatrim'scommercialthatshows awoman,herappetitesuppressantwornoff,hurtlingacrosstheroom,drawnlikealivingmagnettothebreathing,menacingrefrigerator,hungerisrepresentedasan insistent,powerfulforcewithalifeofitsown.Thisconstructionreflectsthephysiologicalrealityofdieting,astatethebodyisunabletodistinguishfromstarvation.2 Anditreflectsitspsychologicalrealityaswellfordieters,wholiveinastateofconstantdenial,foodisaperpetuallybeckoningpresence,itspowergrowingever greaterasthesanctionsagainstgratificationbecomemorestringent.Aslenderbodymaybeattainablethroughhardwork,buta"cool"relationtofood,thetrue "secret"ofthebeautiful"other"intheFibreThincommercial,isatantalizingreminderofwhatliesbeyondthereachoftheinadequateandhungryself.(Ofcourse,asthe adssuggest,apsychoculturaltransformationremainspossible,throughFibreThinandVirginiaSlims.) PsychingOuttheFemaleConsumer Sometimes,whenIamanalyzingandinterpretingadvertisementsandcommercialsinclass,studentsaccusemeofakindofparanoia

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aboutthesignificanceoftheserepresentationsascarriersandreproducersofculture.Afterall,theyinsist,thesearejustimages,not"reallife"anyfoolknowsthat advertisersmanipulaterealityintheserviceofsellingtheirproducts.Iagreethatonsomelevelwe"know"this.However,wereitameaningfulorusableknowledge,it isunlikelythatwewouldbewitnessingthecurrentspreadofdietandexercisemaniaacrossracialandethnicgroups,ortheexplosionoftechnologiesaimedatbodily "correction"and"enhancement." JeanBaudrillardoffersamoreaccuratedescriptionofourculturalestimationoftherelationandrelativeimportanceofimageand"reality."InSimulations,herecalls theBorgesfableinwhichthecartographersofamightyempiredrawupamapsodetailedthatitendsupexactlycoveringtheterritoryoftheempire,amapwhichthen fraysanddisintegratesasasymbolofthecomingdeclineoftheempireitperfectlyrepresents.Today,Baudrillardsuggests,thefablemightbeinverted:itisnolonger theterritorythatprovidesthemodelforthemap,butthemapthatdefinestheterritoryanditistheterritory"whoseshredsareslowlyrottingacrossthemap." Thinkingfurther,however,hedeclareseventheinvertedfabletobe"useless."Forwhatitstillassumesispreciselythatwhichisbeinglosttodaynamely,the distinctionbetweentheterritoryanditsmap,betweenrealityandappearance.Today,allthatweexperienceasmeaningfulareappearances.3 Thus,weall"know"thatCherandvirtuallyeveryotherfemalestarovertheageoftwentyfiveistheplasticproductofnumerouscosmeticsurgeriesonfaceandbody. But,intheeraofthe"hyperreal"(asBaudrillardcallsit),such"knowledge"isasfadedandfrayedastheoldmapintheBorgestale,unabletocastashadowofdoubt overthedazzling,compelling,authoritativeimagesthemselves.Liketheknowledgeofourownmortalitywhenweareyoungandhealthy,theknowledgethatCher's physicalappearanceisfabricatedisanemptyabstractionitsimplydoesnotcompute.Itisthecreatedimagethathastheholdonourmostvibrant,immediatesenseof whatis,ofwhatmatters,ofwhatwemustpursueforourselves. Inconstructingtheimages,ofcourse,continualuseismadeofknowledge(oratleastwhatisimaginedtobeknowledge)ofconsumers'lives.Indeed,acareful readingofcontemporaryadvertisementsrevealscontinualandastutemanipulationofproblems

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thatpsychologyandthepopularmediahavetargetedascharacteristicdilemmasofthe"contemporarywoman,"whoisbesetbyconflictingroledemandsand pressuresonhertime."Control"awordthatrarelyusedtoappearincommercialcontextshasbecomeacommontropeinadvertisementsforproductsas disparateasmascara("PerfectPenEyeliner.Putsyouincontrol.Andisn'tthatniceforachange?")andcatboxdeodorant("Control.Istriveforit.Mycatachieves it")."Softfelttipgivesyouabsolutecontrolofyourline''(Figure8).Itisvirtuallyimpossibletoglancecasuallyatthisadwithoutreading"line"as"life"whichis, ofcourse,thesubliminalcodingsuchadsintend."Mastery"alsofrequentlyfiguresinadsforcosmeticsandhairproducts:"MasteryourcurlswithnewAdaptable Perm."Therhetoricoftheseadsisinterestinglycontrastedtotherhetoricofmasteryandcontroldirectedatmaleconsumers.Here,themessageisalmostalwaysone ofmasteryandcontroloverothersratherthantheself:"Nowit'seasierthanevertoachieveapositionofpowerinManhattan"(anadforaManhattanhealthclub),or "Don'tjustserve.Rule"(anadforSpeedotennisshoes). Advertisersareaware,too,ofmorespecificwaysinwhichwomen'slivesareoutofcontrol,includingourwelldocumentedfooddisorderstheyfrequently incorporatethethemeoffoodobsessionintotheirpitch.TheSugarFreeJellOPuddingcampaignexemplifiesatypicalcommercialstrategyforexploitingwomen's eatingproblemswhileobscuringtheirdarkrealities.(Theadvertisersthemselveswouldputthisdifferently,ofcourse.)Inthe"tipofmytongue"ad(Figure9),the obsessivementalstateofthecompulsiveeaterisdepictedfairlyaccurately,guaranteeingrecognitionfrompeoplewiththatproblem:"IfI'mnoteatingdessert,I'm talkingaboutit.IfI'mnottalkingaboutit,I'meatingit.AndI'malwaysthinkingaboutitIt'sjustalwaysonmymind." Thesethoughts,however,belongtoaslender,confident,andmostimportantdecidedlynotdepressedindividual,whoseupbeat,open,andacceptingattitude towardherconstanthungerisfarfromthatofmostwomenwhoeatcompulsively."Theinsideofabinge,"GeneenRothwrites,"isdeepanddark.Atthecore...is deprivation,scarcity,afeelingthatyoucannevergetenough."4 Astudentdescribedherhungeras"ablackholethatIhadtofillup."IntheSugarFreeJellOad,by contrast,thementalstatedepictedismostlikethatofagrowingteenageboytobecontinuallyhungry

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isrepresentedasanormal,ifsomewhathumorousandoccasionallyannoying,statewithnodisastrousphysicaloremotionalconsequences. Theuseofamalefigureisonestrategy,incontemporaryads,forrepresentingcompulsiveeatingas"natural"andevenlovable.Menaresupposedtohavehearty, evenvoracious,appetites.Itisamarkofthemanlytoeatspontaneouslyandexpansively,andmanlinessisafrequentcommercialcodeforamplyportionedproducts: "Manwich,""HungryManDinners,"''Manhandlers."Evenwhenmenadvertisedietproducts(astheymorefrequentlydo,nowthatphysicalperfectionisincreasingly beingdemandedofmenaswellaswomen),theybragabouttheirappetites,asintheTommyLasordacommercialsforSlimFast,whichfeaturethreeburlyfootball players(theirmasculinitybeyondreproach)declaringthatifSlimFastcansatisfytheirappetites,itcansatisfyanyone's.Thedisplacementofthefemalebyamale figure(displacementwhenthetargetedconsumerisinfactawoman)thusdispelsthoughtsofaddiction,danger,unhappiness,andreplacesthemwithaconstructionof compulsiveeating(orthinkingaboutfood)asbenignindulgenceofa"natural"inclination.ConsidertheadshowninFigure10,depictingamalefiguredivingwith abandonintothe"temperedtofullflavorconsistency"joysofHagenDazsdeepchocolate. Emotionalheights,intensity,love,andthrills:itiswomenwhohabituallyseeksuchexperiencesfromfoodandwhoaremostlikelytobeoverwhelmedbytheir relationshiptofood,tofinditdangerousandfrightening(especiallyrich,fattening,soothingfoodlikeicecream).ThemarketersofHagenDazsknowthistheyare awareofthewellpublicizedprevalenceofcompulsiveeatingandbingebehaviorsamongwomen.Indeed,thisadexploits,withartfulprecision,exactlythesortsof associationsthatarelikelytoresonatewithapersonforwhomeatingisinvestedwithdeepemotionalmeaning.Why,then,amalediver?Inpart,asIhavebeen arguing,thedisplacementisnecessarytoinsurethatthegrimactualitiesofwomen'seatingproblemsremainobscuredthepoint,afterall,istosellicecream,notto remindpeopleofhowdangerousfoodactuallyisforwomen.Too,theadvertisersmayreckonthatwomenmightenjoyseeingamandepictedinswooningsurrender toicecream,

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asametaphorfortheemotionalsurrenderthatsomanywomencravefromtheirhusbandsandlovers. Food,Sexuality,andDesire Iwouldargue,however,thatmorethanapurelyprofitmaximizing,ideologicallyneutral,MadisonAvenuementalityisatworkintheseads.Theymustalsobe consideredasgenderideologythatis,asspecifically(consciouslyorunconsciously)servicingtheculturalreproductionofgenderdifferenceandgenderinequality, quiteindependentof(althoughattimescoincidingwith)marketingconcerns.Asgenderideology,theadsIhavebeendiscussingarenotdistinctivelycontemporarybut continueawellwornrepresentationaltradition,arguablyinauguratedintheVictorianera,inwhichthedepictionofwomeneating,particularlyinsensuoussurrenderto rich,excitingfood,istaboo.5 Inexploringthisdimension,wemightbeginbyattemptingtoimagineanadvertisementdepictingayoung,attractivewomanindulgingasfreely,assalaciouslyasthe maninthePostcerealadshowninFigure11.Suchanimagewouldviolatedeeplysedimentedexpectations,wouldbeexperiencedbymanyasdisgustingand transgressive.Whenwomenarepositivelydepictedassensuouslyvoraciousaboutfood(almostneverincommercials,andonlyveryrarelyinmoviesandnovels),their hungerforfoodisemployedsolelyasametaphorfortheirsexualappetite.IntheeatingscenesinTomJonesandFlashdance,forexample,theheroines'unrestrained delightineatingoperatesassexualforeplay,awayofprefiguringtheabandonthatwillshortlybeexpressedinbed.Womenarepermittedtolustforfooditselfonly whentheyarepregnantorwhenitiscleartheyhavebeennearstarvationas,forexample,inMcCabeandMrs.Miller,inthesceneinwhichMrs.Miller,playedby JulieChristie,wolfsdownhalfadozeneggsandabowlofbeefstewbeforetheamazedeyesofMcCabe.Significantly,thesceneservestoestablishMrs.Miller's "manliness"awomanwhoeatslikethisistobetakenseriously,isnottobetrifledwith,themoviesuggests. Themetaphoricalsituationisvirtuallyinvertedintherepresentationofmaleeaters.Althoughvoraciouseatingmayoccasionallycodemalesexualappetite(asinTom Jones),wefrequentlyalsofind

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. sexualappetiteoperatingasametaphorforeatingpleasure.Incommercialsthatfeaturemaleeaters,themenareshowninastateofwild,sensualtransportover heavilyfrosted,rich,gooeydesserts.Theirtotallackofcontrolisportrayedasappropriate,evenadorablethelanguageofthebackgroundjingleisunashamedly aroused,sexualanddesiring:


I'mthinkingaboutyouthewholedaythrough[croonedtoaPillsburycake].I'vegotapassionforyou. You'remyoneandonly,mycreamydeluxe[BettyCrockerfrosting]. Youbuttermeup,Ican'tresist,youleavemebreathless[BettyCrockerfrosting]. Yourbrowniesgivemefever.Yourcakegivesmechills[assortedBettyCrockermixes].

Page112 I'mafoolforyourchocolate.I'mwild,crazy,outofcontrol[assortedBettyCrockermixes]. I'vegotitbad,andIshouldknow,'causeIcraveitfrommyheadrightdowntomypotato[forPillsburyPotatoesAuGratin]. Can'thelpmyself.It'sDuncanHines[assortedcakemixes]andnobodyelse.

Inthesecommercialsfoodisconstructedasasexualobjectofdesire,andeatingislegitimatedasmuchmorethanapurelynutritiveactivity.Rather,foodissupposed tosupplysensualdelightandsuccornotasmetaphoricallystandingforsomethingelse,butasaneroticexperienceinitself.Womenarepermittedsuchgratification fromfoodonlyinmeasureddoses.InanotheradfromtheDietJellOseries,eatingismetaphoricallysexualized:"I'magirlwhojustcan'tsayno.Iinsistondessert," admitstheinnocentlydressedbutflirtatiouslyposedmodel(Figure12).Butatthesametimethateatingismildlysexualizedinthisad,itisalsocontained.Sheis permittedto"feelgoodaboutsaying'Yes'"buteversodemurely,andtoaharmlesslowcalorieproduct.Transgressionbeyondsuchlimitsisfloridlysexualized,as anactof"cheating"(Figure13).Womenmaybeencouraged(likethemanontheHagenDazshighboard)to"divein''not,however,intoadangerouspoolof HagenDazsDeepChocolate,butfora"refreshingdip"intoWeightWatcherslinguini(Figure14).Targetedattheworkingwoman("Justwhatyouneedtorevive yourselffromtheworkdayroutine"),thisadalsoexploitstheaquaticmetaphortoconjureupimagesoffemaleindependenceandliberation("Isn'titjustlikeusto makewaves?"). Allofthismayseempeculiarlycontemporary,revolvingasitdoesaroundthemassmarketingofdietproducts.Butinfactthesamemetaphoricaluniverse,aswellas thesamepracticalprohibitionsagainstfemaleindulgence(for,ofcourse,theseadsarenotonlysellingproductsbutteachingappropriatebehavior)werecharacteristic ofVictoriangenderideology.VictoriansdidnothaveCosmoandtelevision,ofcourse.Buttheydidhaveconductmanuals,whichwarnedelitewomenofthedangers ofindulgentandoverstimulatingeatingandadvisedhowtoconsumeinafeminineway(aslittleaspossibleandwiththeutmostprecautionagainstunseemlyshowof desire).Godey'sLady'sBookwarnedthatitwasvulgarforwomentoloadtheirplatesyounggirlswereadmonished

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. to"befrugalandplaininyourtastes."6 Detailedlexiconsofferedcomparisonsoftheeroticandcoolingeffectsofvariousfoods,oftenwithspecificprescriptionsfor eachsex.7 Sexualmetaphorspermeatedescriptionsofpotentialtransgression:


Everyluxurioustableisasceneoftemptation,whichitrequiresfixedprinciplesandanenlightenedmindtowithstandNothingcanbemoreseducingtotheappetitethanthis arrangementoftheviandswhichcomposeafeastasthestomachisfilled,andthenaturaldesireforfoodsubsides,thepalateistickledbymoredelicateandrelishingdishesuntil itisbetrayedintoexcess.8

Today,thesamemetaphorsoftemptationandfallappearfrequentlyinadvertisementsfordietproducts(seeFigure15).AndintheVictorianera,astoday,the forbiddennessofrichfoodoftenresultedinprivatebingebehavior,describedinTheBazaarBookofDecorum(1870)asthe"secretluncheon,"atwhich"manyofthe mostabstemiousattheopendinnerarethemostvoracious.swallowingcreamtartsbythedozen,andcaramelsandchocolatedropsbythepound'sweight."9 Theemergenceofsuchrigidandhighlymoralizedrestrictionsonfemaleappetiteandeatingare,arguably,partofwhatBramDijkstra

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. hasinterpretedasanineteenthcentury"culturalideologicalcounteroffensive"againstthe"newwoman"andherchallengetoprevailinggenderarrangementsandtheir constraintsonwomen.10Mythological,artistic,polemical,andscientificdiscoursesfrommanyculturesanderascertainlysuggestthesymbolicpotencyoffemale hungerasaculturalmetaphorforunleashedfemalepoweranddesire,fromthebloodcravingKali(whoinonerepresentationisshowneatingherownentrails)tothe MalleusMalificarum("Forthesakeoffulfillingthemouthofthewomb,[witches]consortevenwiththedevil")toHallandOates'scontemporaryrocklyrics:"Oh, oh,hereshecomes,watchoutboys,she'llchewyouup.''11 InTomJonesandFlashdance,thetropeoffemalehungerasfemalesexualityisembodiedinattractivefemalecharactersmorefrequently,however,femalehungeras sexualityisrepresentedbyWesterncultureinmisogynistimagespermeatedwithterrorand

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loathingratherthanaffectionoradmiration.Inthefigureofthemaneaterthemetaphorofthedevouringwomanrevealsitsdeeppsychologicalunderpinnings.Eatingis notreallyametaphorforthesexualactrather,thesexualact,wheninitiatedanddesiredbyawoman,isimaginedasitselfanactofeating,ofincorporationand destructionoftheobjectofdesire.Thus,women'ssexualappetitesmustbecurtailedandcontrolled,becausetheythreatentodepleteandconsumethebodyandsoul ofthemale.Suchimagery,asDijkstrahasdemonstrated,flourishesintheWestintheartofthelatenineteenthcentury.Arguably,thesameculturalbacklash(ifnotin thesameform)operatestodayforexample,intheascendancyofpopularfilmsthatpunishfemalesexualityandindependencebyrapeanddismemberment(asin numerousslasherfilms),lossoffamilyandchildren(TheGoodMother),madnessanddeath(FatalAttraction,PresumedInnocent),andpublichumiliationand disgrace(DangerousLiaisons). Ofcourse,Victorianprohibitionsagainstwomeneatingwerenotonlyabouttheideologyofgender.Or,perhapsbetterput,theideologyofgendercontainedother dimensionsaswell.Theconstructionof"femininity"hadnotonlyasignificantmoralandsexualaspect(femininityassexualpassivity,timidity,purity,innocence)buta classdimension.Inthereigningbodysymbolismoftheday,afrailframeandlackofappetitesignifiednotonlyspiritualtranscendenceofthedesiresofthefleshbut socialtranscendenceofthelaboring,striving"economic"body.Then,astoday,tobearistocraticallycoolandunconcernedwiththemerefactsofmaterialsurvivalwas highlyfashionable.Thehungeringbourgeoiswishedtoappear,likethearistocrat,abovethematerialdesiresthatinfactruledhislife.Theclosesthecouldcomewasto possessawifewhoseetherealbodybecameasortoffashionstatementofhisaristocratictastes.Ifhecouldnotbeormarryanaristocrat,hecouldhaveawifewho lookedlikeone,awifewhosenonrobustbeautyanddelicateappetitesignifiedherlackofparticipationinthetaxing"publicsphere."12 MenEatandWomenPrepare Themetaphoricaldualitiesatworkhere,whatevertheirclassmeanings,presupposeanidealized(andrarelyactualized)gendereddivisionoflaborinwhichmenstrive, compete,andexertthemselves

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inthepublicspherewhilewomenarecocoonedinthedomesticarena(whichisromanticizedandmystifiedasaplaceofpeaceandleisure,andhenceconnotes transcendenceofthelaboring,bourgeoisbody).Inthenecessitytomakesuchadivisionoflaborappearnaturalwefindanotherpowerfulideologicalunderpinning (perhapsthemostimportantinthecontextofindustrializedsociety)fortheculturalcontainmentoffemaleappetite:thenotionthatwomenaremostgratifiedbyfeeding andnourishingothers,notthemselves.Asaliteralactivity,ofcourse,womenfedotherslongbeforethe"home"cametobeidentifiedaswomen'sspecialplace CarolineBynumarguesthatthereisreasontobelievethatfoodpreparationwasalreadyastereotypicallyfemaleactivityintheEuropeanMiddleAges.13Butitwasin theindustrialera,withitsidealizationofthedomesticarenaasaplaceofnurtureandcomfortformenandchildren,thatfeedingothersacquiredtheextendedemotional meaningithastoday. In"AnOdetoMothers"columnistBudPoloquindefinesMomsas"thosefolkswho,uponseeingthereareonlyfourpiecesofpieforfivepeople,promptlyannounce theyneverdidcareforthestuff."14Denialofselfandthefeedingofothersarehopelesslyenmeshedinthisconstructionoftheidealmother,astheyareinthe nineteenthcenturyversionoftheidealwifeas"shewhostandsfamishedbeforeherhusband,whilehedevours,stretchedatease,theproduceofherexertionswaits histardypermissionwithoutawordoralookofimpatience,andfeeds,withthehumblestgratitude,andtheshortestintermissionoflabor,onthescrapsandoffals whichhedisdains."15Noneofthisselfsacrifice,however,isfeltassuchbythe"paragonofwomanhood"(asCharlesButlercallsher),foritishere,inthecareand feedingofothers,thatwomanexperiencestheoneformofdesirethatisappropriatelyhers:asEliasCanettisosuccinctlyputsit,"Herpassionistogivefood.''16 Overadecadeago,JohnBergertrenchantlyencapsulatedthestandardformulahesawasregulatingtherepresentationofgenderdifference,boththroughoutthe historyofartandincontemporaryadvertising:"Menact,andwomenappear."17Today,thatoppositionnolongerseemstoholdquiteasrigidlyasitoncedid(women areindeedobjectifiedmorethanever,but,inthisimagedominatedculture,menincreasinglyaretoo).Butifthisdualitynolongerstrictlyapplies,theresilienceof othersisallthemoreinstructive.Let

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mereplaceBerger'sformulationwithanother,apparentlymoreenduringone:"Meneatandwomenprepare."Atleastinthesphereofpopularrepresentations,this divisionoflaborisasprescriptivein1991asin1891.Despitetheincreasingparticipationofwomenofallagesandclassesinthe"public"sphere,her"private"roleof nurturerremainsideologicallyintact. Tobesure,wehaveinheritedsomeoftheserepresentationsfromaformereraforexample,theplump,generousMammysandGrandmaswhosymbolicallyhave preparedsomanyproducts:AuntJemima,Mrs.Smith,Mrs.Paul,GrandmaBrown.Butourculturalpenchantfornostalgiadoesnotgetusoffthehookhere.Atthe startofthe1990s(andthisseemstobeevenmorestrikingnowthanfiveyearsago),popularrepresentationsalmostneverdepictamanpreparingfoodasan everydayactivity,routinelyperformedintheunpaidserviceofothers.Occasionally,menareshownservingfoodintheroleofbutlerorwaiter.Theymaybe depictedroastingvariousitemsaroundacampfire,barbecuingmeat,preparingasaladforaspecialcompanydinner,ormakinginstantcoffee(usuallyinagetaway cabinorvacationboat).Butallofthesearenonroutine,andtheirexceptionalnatureisfrequentlyunderscoredinthead.Inonecommercial,amanfixesinstantcoffee toservetohiswifeinbedonherbirthday."Howtoughcanitbe?"heasks."Shemakesbreakfasteverymorning."Inanotherad,amanisshownpreparingpancakes forhisson'sbreakfast(Figure16)."MypancakesdeservetherichmapleflavorofLogCabinSyrup,"readstheboldtype,suggesting("mypancakes")male proprietorshipandeaseinthekitchen.Thevisualimageofthefatherlovinglyservingthesonundoubtedlydestabilizesculturalstereotypes(racialaswellasgendered). Butinthesmallerprintbelowtheimagewearetoldthatthisisa''specialmoment"withhisson.Immediatelythedestabilizingimagereconfiguresintoafamiliarone:like Dad'ssecretrecipeforbarbecuesauce,thisfather'spancakesmaketheirappearanceonlyonspecialoccasions.OrperhapsitistheveryfactthatDadisdoingthe cookingthatmakesthisasignificant,intimateoccasionforsharing.(Imagineawomaninsteadofamanintheadwould"specialmoment"notthenseemodd?) Continually,inrepresentationsthatdepictmenpreparingfood,therewillbeaconspicuouslyabsentwifeormother(forinstance,inthehospitalhavingababy)who,it isimplied,isnormallyre

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sponsibleforthedailylaboroffoodpreparationandservice.Evenwhenmenorboysareusedtoadvertiseconveniencefoods,theproducthasusuallybeenleftfor themwithexpertinstructionsaddedbyMom.IntheJellOHeritagead(Figure17),thisabsentmaternalfigure(whethermotherorgrandmotherisnotclear)appears inthesmallinserttotheupperrightofthelargerimage,whichdepictsayoungmanawayatcollege,wellsuppliedwithJellOpuddingsnacks.Significantly(although somewhatabsurdly),sheisassociatedwiththeprovisionofa"strongfoundation"byvirtueofthefactthatshepreparesinstantpuddingfromamixratherthanmerely openingupanalreadypreparedpuddingsnack.JellO,ofcourse,couldnotpresentnostalgicimagesofGrandmapreparingreal"scratch"pudding,sinceitdoesnot wanttoevokelongingforatimewhenwomendidnotdependonitsproducts.Butintermsoftheoppositionsexploitedinthisad,instantpuddingworksjustaswell comparedtoflippingthelidoffapuddingsnack,preparinginstantpuddingisalaborioustask.Itthusbelongstowomen'sworld.Menarealmostnevershown lavishingtimeoncooking.Realcoffeeisalwayspreparedbywomen,asareallthecakesandcasserolesthatrequiremorethanamomenttoputtogether.Whenmen areshowncookinganelaboratemeal,itisalwayswithoneortwootheryuppiemen,convertingtheactivityfromanactofeverydayserviceintoafestive,"BigChill'' occasion.Buteventheserepresentationsarerare.InallthemanydinnerpartiesthatHopeandMichaelhostedon"Thirtysomething,"nomanhaseverappearedinthe kitchenexcepttosneakabitofthemealbeingpreparedbyHope,Nancy,andMelissa. FoodandLove Atthebeginningofthe1992U.S.presidentialcampaign,HillaryClinton,badgeredbyreporters'endlessquestionsconcerningherpursuitofaprofessionalcareer,shot backdefensivelyandsarcastically:"Well,IsupposeIcouldhavestayedhomeandbakedcookiesandhadteas..."Mediaaudiencesnevergottoheartheendofher remark(orthequestioningthatprecededit)the"cookiesandteas"soundbitebecamethegendertransgressionofthecampaign,replayedoverandover,and presentedbyopponentsasevidenceofHillary'srabidfeminismanddisdainfortraditionalmaternal

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. values.Rightlyprotestingthisinterpretation,HillaryClintontriedtoprovehertruewomanhoodbyproducingherfavoriterecipeforoatmealchocolatechipcookies. BarbaraBush,apparentlyfeelingthatagauntlethadbeenthrowndown,respondedinkindwitharicher,lessfibreconsciousrecipeofherown.Newspapersacross thecountryaskedreaderstopreparebothandvoteonwhichFirstLadyhadthebettercookie. ThatthecookieitselfshouldhavebecomethesymbolandcenterofthenationaldebateaboutHillaryClinton'sadequacyaswifeandmotherisnotsurprising.Foodis equatedwithmaternalandwifelylovethroughoutourculture.Innearlyallcommercialsthatfeaturemeneatingsuchasthecakecommercialswhosesexualized rhetoricwasquotedearlierthereisawomaninthebackground(eithervisibleorimplied)whohaspreparedthefood.(The"BettyCrocker,YouSweetTalker" serieshastwowomen:thepossessoroftheclearlyfemininehandsofferingthecakes,andBettyCrockerherself,to

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whomallthepassionatecroonings"I'mafoolforyourchocolate.I'mwild,crazy,outofcontrol"areaddressed.)Mostsignificantly,always,thewomaninthe backgroundspeaksthelanguageofloveandcarethroughtheofferingoffood:"Nothin'sayslovin'likesomethingfromtheoven"''Givemethatgreattasteoflove" "Nothingsays'Cookie,Iloveyou'likeNestle'sTollHouseCookiesDo."Inthesecommercials,maleeatingisinextricablytiedtofemaleofferingsoflove.Thisisnot represented,however,asfemaleselfabnegation.Rather,itissuggestedthatwomenreceivetheirgratificationthroughnourishingothers,eitherintheoldfashioned way(tasteandemotionalpleasure)orinthehealthconsciousmode:


Hervoice,heardoff:He'slikealittleboynormallyserious,thenheeats Englishmuffinswithbutter[shotofman'sfacetransportedwith childlikedelight]andIgettoenjoywatchinghim.Alittlebutter bringsalotofjoy. He:Whatareyoudoing? She:I'mlisteningtoyourheart. He:Whatdoesitsay? She:Itsaysthatit'sgladthatyou'vestartedjogging,andthat you'reeatinghealthier.It'shappythatI'mgivingusnewPromise margarine.Eatingfoodslowincholesterolisgoodforyouandyour heart. He:Knowwhatelseisgoodforme? She:What? He:You. Shebeams,snugglingdeeperintoman'schest.

Myanalysis,Iwanttoemphasize,isnotmeanttodisparagecaringforthephysicalandemotionalwellbeingofothers,"maternal"workthathasbeenscandalously sociallyundervaluedevenasithasbeenidealizedandsanctified.NoramIcounterposingtotheargumentoftheseadstheconstructionthatwomenaresimply oppressedbysuchroles.Thiswouldbeuntruetothepersonalexperiencesofmanywomen,includingmyself.Iremembertheprideandpleasurethatradiatedfrommy mother,whowasanxiousandunhappyinmostotherareasofherlife,whenherfamousstuffedcabbagewasdevouredenthusiasticallyandinvoluminousquantitiesby myfather,mysisters,andme.Asalittlegirl,Ilovedwatchingherrolleachpiece,enclosingjusttherightamountoffilling,skillfullyavoidingtearingthetendercabbage leavesasshefoldedthemaroundthemeat.Ineverfeltsosafeandsecureasat

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thosemoments.ShewasvisiblypleasedwhenIaskedhertoteachmeexactlyhowtomakethedishandthrilledwhenIevenwentsofarastowritethequantitiesand instructionsdownasshetriedtoformulatethemintoanofficialrecipe(untilthen,ithadbeenpassedthroughdemonstrationfrommothertodaughter,andmymother consideredthatinwritingitdownIwasconferringahigherstatusonit).ThoseperiodsinmylifewhenIhavefoundmyselftoobusywriting,teaching,andtravelingto findthetimeandenergytopreparespecialmealsforpeoplethatIlovehavebeenperiodswhenadeepaspectofmyselfhasfeltdeprived,depressed. NorwouldIwantmycritiquetobeinterpretedaseffacingthecollective,historicalexperiencesofthosegroups,forcedintoservitudeforthefamiliesofothers,who havebeensystematicallydeprivedofthefreedomtocarefortheirownfamilies.Bellhookspointsout,forexample,thatblackwomen'screationof"homeplace,"of fragileandhardwon"spacesofcareandnurturance"forthehealingofdeepwoundsmadebyracism,sexism,andpoverty,waslessamatterofobediencetoa tyrannicalgendernormthantheconstructionofa''siteofculturalresistance."18Withthisinmind,itisclearthattheJellOHeritageaddiscussedearlierismore complexthanmyinterpretationhasthusfarallowed.PartofanextensiveGeneralFoodsseriesaimedattheAfricanAmericanconsumerandpromotingAmerica's historicallyblackcolleges,thead'sassociationofthematernalfigurewith"strongfoundations"runsfardeeperthananostalgicevocationofMom'straditionalcooking. Inthisad,thematernalfigureislinkedwithablack"heritage,"withthepreservationandcommunicationofculture. However,atthesametimethathooksurgesthatcontemporaryblackcultureshouldhonortheblackwoman'shistoryofservicetoherfamilyandhercommunity,she alsocautionsagainsttheideologicalconstructionofsuchserviceaswoman'snaturalrole.(DespitethepleasureItakeincooking,inrelationshipswhereithasbeen expectedofmeIhaveresenteditdeeply.)ItisthisconstructionthatisreinforcedintherepresentationsIhavebeenexamining,throughtheirfailuretodepictmalesas "naturally"fulfillingthatrole,andmoreperniciouslythroughtheirfailuretodepictfemalesasappropriaterecipientsofsuchcare.Onlyoccasionallyarelittlegirls representedasbeingfedmoreoften,they(butneverlittleboys)areshownlearninghowtofeedothers(Figure18).Inthis

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. way,caringisrepresentationally"reproduced"asaquintessentiallyandexclusivelyfemaleactivity.ItissignificantanddisquietingthattheGeneralFoodsseriesdoes notincludeanyadsthatportrayfemalestudentsdiscoveringtheirblackheritage(orlearninghowtorelyonconveniencefoods!)atcollege.Itispossiblethatthead seriesisverydeliberatehere,exploitingcontemporarynotionsthatthe"crisisinblackmanhood"isthefaultofblackwomenandidentifyingitsproductswithan imaginedworldinwhichopportunitiesforblackmengohandinhandwith"natural,"prefeministgenderrelations.Blackmenwillfindtheirwaytocollege,itis suggested,solongaswomenremaininthebackground,encouragingandsupportingratherthancompetingandundermining. Theubiquitousconfigurationofwomanfoodman,withfoodexpressingthewoman'sloveforthemanandatthesametimesatisfyingwoman'sdesiretobestowlove, establishesmalehungerasthoroughlysociallyintegratedintothenetworkofheterosexualfamilyandloverelations.Mencaneatandbelovedindeed,acentralmode bywhichtheyreceiveloveisthroughfoodfromwomen.Forwomen,bycontrast(whoarealmostnevershownbeingfedby

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others),eatingintheformofprivate,selffeedingisrepresentedasasubstituteforhumanlove.WeightWatcherstransparentlyoffersitselfassuchinits"Who saysyoucan'tliveonlove?"ad(Figure19).Inotherads,itoffersitslowcalspaghettisauceas"AFriend."DietCoke,emphasizingthesexual,insiststhat"sometimes thebestrelationshipsarepurelyfizzical."MiracleWhipLightoffersitselfas"alightthatturnsyouon." Noticethatintheseadsthereisnopartner,visibleorimplied,offeringthefoodandthusoperatingasthetruebestowerof"love."Inmanyadsvirtuallyagenre,in facttheabsenceofthepartnerisexplicitlythematized,acentralaspectofthenarrativeofthead.Onecommercialfeaturesawomaninbed,onthephone,refusing dateafterdateinfavorofaneveningalonewithhericecreambonbons:"YourHighness?Nottonight!""Theinauguration?Anotheryear!"Inanother,awoman admitstospendingalotoftimealonewithher"latestobsession,"achocolatedrink,becauseitgivesher''thesamefeelingasbeinginlove"and"satisfiesherinnermost cravingsanytime[she]wants."Shepleadswithus,theviewers,nottotellMichael,herboyfriend. Thesecommercialshitapainfulnerveforwomen.Thebonboncommercialmayseemmerelysilly,butthechocolatedrinkadbeginstoevoke,darklyanddisturbingly, thepsychologicalandmaterialrealitiesofwomen'sfoodproblems.Thetalkof"obsession"and"innermostcravings,"thefurtiveness,thesecrecy,theuseoffoodto satisfyemotionalneeds,allsuggestcentralelementsofbingebehavior.FrusenGldjsuppliesanotherpieceandgivesanimportantlietotheother,moreupbeat commercials(Figure20):"Henevercalled.So,BenandIwentoutforawalktopickupapintofFrusenGldj.Ben'sbetterlookinganyway."FrusenGldj:"It feelssogood."Here,asintheHaganDazsaddiscussedearlier,thesensuousnessoftheicecreamexperienceisemphasizedunliketheHaganDazsad,however, FrusenGldjofferssolacefromemotionaldepthsratherthanthethrillofemotionalheights.Thisis,indeed,theprevailinggenderreality.Forwomen,theemotional comfortofselffeedingisrarelyturnedtoinastateofpleasureandindependence,butindespair,emptiness,loneliness,anddesperation.Foodis,asonewomanputit, "theonlythingthatwilltakecareofme."19

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights.

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. FoodasTransgression Anextremelyinterestingfactaboutmalebulimics:theyrarelybingealone.Theytendtobingeatmealtimeandinpublicplaces,whereaswomenalmostalwayseat minimallyatmealsandgorgelater,inprivate.20Eveninourdisorders(orperhapsespeciallyinourdisorders)wefollowthegenderrules.InthecommercialsIhave been

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discussing,femaleeatingisvirtuallyalwaysrepresentedasprivate,secretive,illicit.Thewomanhasstolenawayfromtheworldofhusband,family,friendstoasecret cornerwheresheandthefoodcanbealone.A"DoNotDisturb"signhangsonthedoortotheroomwherethewomensitsmunchingonher"purplepassion,"New YorkDeliPotatoChips.Ahusbandreturnshometodiscoverthatinhisabsencehiswife,sittingonthefloor,haseatenalltheFrusenGldjhervoiceismildly defiant,althoughsoft"IatealltheFrusenGldj"butherfaceissheepishandherglanceaverted.MensingopenlyoftheirwildcravingsforBettyCrockercakes women'scravingsareadirty,shamefulsecret,tobeindulgedinonlywhennooneislooking. Moreoftenthannot,however,womenarenotevenpermitted,eveninprivate,indulgencessoextravagantinscopeasthefullsatisfactionoftheirhungers.Most commonly,womenareusedtoadvertise,noticecreamandpotatochips(foodswhoseintakeisverydifficulttocontainandcontrol),butindividuallywrappedpieces oftiny,bitesizecandies:Andescandies,Hershey'skisses,MonCheribonbons.Insteadofthemoundsofcakeandoozingfrostingtypicalofcommercialsfeaturing maleeaters,womenareconfinedtoa"tinyscoop"offlavor,a"tinypiece"ofchocolate.AsintheWeightWatcherslinguiniadvertisement("Divein"),therhetoricof indulgenceisinvoked,onlytobecontainedbytheproductitself:"Indulgealittle,''urgesAndesCandies."Satisfyyoururgetosplurgeinfivedeliciousbitesizeways." Thelittlenessofthecandyandtheamountoftastethatispackedwithinitstinyboundariesarefrequentlyemphasized:"Eachbitesizepiecepacksawallopofmilk chocolatecrunch."Insteadoftheemphasisonundifferentiatedfeelingsofsensuousdelightthatweseeincommercialsshowingmen,thepitchaimedatwomenstresses theexquisitepleasuretobehadfromasensuallyfocusedandlimitedexperience.Themessagetowomenisexplicit:"Indulgealittle."(Andonlyoutofsighteven theseminusculebonbonsareeatenprivately,inisolation,behindcloseddoors.) Ifonegenreofcommercialshintsatthedarksecretsofbingebehaviortherefusaloffemaledesiretoremaincircumscribedandrepressedthefrustrationsof "feeding"othersandneverbeingfedyourselfthe"bitesize"candygenrerepresentsfemalehungerassuccessfullycontainedwithintheboundsofappropriate femininebehavior.Itissignificant,surely,thatinallthesecommercialsthe

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womanisfound"indulging"onlyafteradayspentservingothers.Inthesecommercials,itispermissibleforwomentofeedtheself(ifsuchdaintynibblingmeritsthis description)onlyafterfirstfeedingothers:
Formyangel,Isewedfordays.NowIdeservealittlepraise.IthankmeverymuchwithAndesCandies. Chancesareyouspentthedaydoingthingsforothers.Don'tyoudeservesomethingforyourself?TryaMonCheri.[Thewomanisinthebathtubinthebackground,dimlyheard arethevoicesofthedaygoneby:"Honey,didyoupickupmydrycleaning?""Mrs.Jones,willyoutypethisletter?""Mommy,wewanttogotothepark!"Shesinksdowninto thetub,unwrappingthecandy,inexquisiteanticipation.

Thesecommercials,nolessthantheVictorianconductmanuals,offeravirtualblueprintfordisorderedrelationstofoodandhunger.Therepresentationofunrestrained appetiteasinappropriateforwomen,thedepictionoffemaleeatingasaprivate,transgressiveact,makerestrictionanddenialofhungercentralfeaturesofthe constructionoffemininityandsetupthecompensatorybingeasavirtualinevitability.Suchrestrictionsonappetite,moreover,arenotmerelyaboutfoodintake. Rather,thesocialcontroloffemalehungeroperatesasapractical"discipline"(touseFoucault'sterm)thattrainsfemalebodiesintheknowledgeoftheirlimitsand possibilities.Denyingoneselffoodbecomesthecentralmicropracticeintheeducationoffeminineselfrestraintandcontainmentofimpulse. Victorianwomenweretoldthatitwasvulgartoloadtheirplatesin1990,womenstudentsofminecomplainofthetorturesofthecafeteriatheembarrassmentof eatingicecreaminfrontofthemalestudents,thepressuretotakejustasalador,betteryet,refusefoodaltogether.Lateratnight,whentheyarealone,theyconfront thedeprivedandemptyfeelingleftinthewakeofsucharegimen.Asinthecommercials,theselfrewardandsolaceisfood.Theproblem,however,afteradayof restraintistherequirementforanyfurthercontainmentofthenowravenousself.UnlikethewomenintheAndescandycommercials,fewwomenwhohavespentthe daysubmergingtheirdesires,eitherforthesakeoftheirfamiliesortoprojecttheappropriatelyattractivelackofappetitetoacafeteriafullofadolescentboys,really feelrewardedbyabitesizepieceof

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candy,nomatterhowmuchchocolate"wallop"itpacks.Inprivate,shamefullyandfurtively,webinge. DestabilizingImages? When,inmyclasses,wediscusscontemporaryrepresentations,Iencouragemystudentstobringinexamplesthatappeartoviolatetraditionalgenderdualitiesandthe ideologicalmessagescontainedinthem.Frequently,mystudentsviewourexaminationofthese"subversive"representationsasaninvestigationanddeterminationof whetherornot"progress"hasbeenmade.Mystudentswantverymuchtobelievethatprogressisbeingmade,andsodoI.But"progress"isnotanadequate descriptionoftheculturalstatusofthecounterexamplestheybringme.Rather,theyalmostalwaysdisplayacomplicatedandbewitchingtangleofnewpossibilities andoldpatternsofrepresentation.Theyreflecttheinstabilitiesthattroublethecontinuedreproductionoftheolddualitiesandideologies,buttheydonotshowclearly justwherewearegoing. AtelevisioncommercialforHormelmicrowaveableKid'sKitchenMeals,forexample,openswithtwoyounggirlstryingtofixabicycle.Alittleboy,watchingthem, offerstohelp,claimingthat"Icanfixanything.Mydadletsmefixhiscar.Mymomletsmefixdinner."Whenthegirlsareskeptical("Yeah?Well,proveit!"),hefixes aHormel'sKid'sKitchenMealforthem.Utterlyimpressedwithhisculinaryskillandonthebasisofthisreadytotrusthismechanicalaptitude,theyask,"Youknow howtofixabike?""What?Yeah,Ido!"heeagerlyreplies.Now,isthisad''progressive"or"regressive"?Thelittlegirlscannotfixtheirownbike,ahighlytraditional, "feminine"limitation.Yettheydonotbehaveinhelplessorcoquettishwaysinthecommercial.Farfromit.Theyspeakinroughvoicesandchallengingwordstothe boy,whoisphysicallysmaller(and,itappears,younger)thanthey"Givemeabreak!"theymutterscornfullywhenheclaimshecan"fixanything."Despitetheir mechanicalinability,theydonotactdeferential,andinacuriouswaythisneutralizesthegenderedmeaningsoftheactivitiesdepicted.Notbeingabletofixabikeis somethingthatcouldhappentoanyone,theyseemtobelieve.Andsowemaybegintoseeitthiswaytoo. Then,too,thereistheunusualrepresentationofthemalecookingforandservingthefemales.True,itonlyrequiredatouchofthe

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. microwavepanel.Butthisis,afterall,onlyalittleboy.Onemessagethiscommercialmaybedeliveringisthatmalescanengageintraditionally"feminine"activities withoutthreattotheirmanhood.Cookingforawomandoesnotmeanthatshewon'trespectyouinthemorning.Shewillstillrecognizeyourauthoritytofixherbike (indeed,shemaybecomefurtherconvincedofitpreciselybyyourmasteryof"her"domain).Theexpansionofpossibilitiesforboysthusextractsfromgirlsthepriceof continuedineptitudeincertainareas(oratleasttheshowofit)anddependenceonmales.Yet,inanerainwhichmostworkingwomenfindthemselveswithtwofull timejobstheirsecondshiftbeginningatfiveo'clock,whentheyreturnfromworktomeettheirhusband'sexpectationsofdinner,acleanandcomfortablehome,a sympatheticearthemessagethatcookingandservingothersisnot"sissy,"thoughitmaybeproblematicandnonprogressiveinmanyways,isperhapsthesingle mostpracticallybeneficial(towomen)messagewecanconveytolittleboys. Initsprovisionofambiguousanddestabilizingimagery,thein

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. fluxofwomenintotheprofessionalarenahashadasignificanteffectontherepresentationofgender.Seekingtoappealtoapopulationthatwishestoberegarded(at leastwhileonthejob)asequalinpowerandabilitytothemenwithwhomtheywork,advertisershavetriedtoestablishgendersymmetryinthoserepresentationsthat depictorevokethelivesofprofessionalcouples.MinuteRicethushastwoversionsofits"Iwonderwhat'Minute'iscookin'upfordinnertonight?"commercial.In one,fatherandchildrencomehomefromworkandschooltofindmother"cookin'up"anelaboratechickenstirfrytoserveoverMinuteRice.Intheother,aworking womanreturnstofindhermalepartner"cookin'up"thedinner.Theconfigurationisindeeddestabilizing,ifonlybecauseitmakesusawareofhowveryrareitisto see.But,significantly,therearenochildreninthiscommercial,asthereareinthemoretraditionalversiontheabsenceofchildrencodesthefactthatthisisayuppie couple,thegrouptowhichthisversionisdesignedtoappeal. AndnowHagenDazs,theoriginalyuppieicecream,hasdesignedanadseriesforthismarket(Figures21and22).Theseads

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perfectlyillustratetheunstablelocationofcontemporarygenderadvertisements:theyattempttosatisfyrepresentationalconventionsthatstillhaveadeeppsychicgrip onWesternculture,whileatthesametimeregisteringeverynewrhythmofthesocialheartbeat."EntertheStateofHagenDazs"aclearinvocationofthepublic worldratherthanthedomesticdomain.Themanandwomanaredressedvirtuallyidentically(makingsmallallowancesforgendertailoring)inequallynononsense, darkbusinesssuits,styledforpower.Theirhairstylesareequivalent,brushedbackfromtheface,clippedshortbutnotpunky.Theyhavesimilarexpressions:slightly playful,caughtintheactbutcertainlynotfeelingguilty.Theyappeartobeindulgingintheiricecreambreakinthemiddleofaworkdaythissetsupboththefetching representationalincongruityoftheadanditsrealism.Icecreamhasalwaysbeenrepresentedasrelaxationfood,tobeindulgedinitbelongstoadifferentuniverse thantheworkethic,performanceprinciple,orspiritofcompetition.Toeatitinabusinesssuitislikehaving"quickie"sexintheoffice,irregularandnaughty.Yet everyoneknowsthatpeopledoeaticecreamontheirbreaksandduringtheirlunchhours.Theadthusappearsbothrealisticandrepresentationallyoddwerealize thatweareseeingimageswehavenotseenbeforeexceptinreallife.And,ofcourse,inreallife,womendoeatHagenDazs,asmuchas,ifnotmorethan,men. Andyet,intrudingintothisworldofgenderequalityandeatingrealismthatisdesignedtoappealtothesensibilitiesof"progressive"youngmenandwomenisthe inescapabledisparityinhowmuchandhowthemanandwomanareeating.He:anentirepintofvanillafudge,withsufficientabandontotopplethecarton,andgreedy enoughtosuckthespoon.She:arestrainedEvebite(alreadytakennolicksorsucksinprocesshere),outofasinglebrittlebar(aestheticizedas"artfully"nutty,in contrasttohisbold,unaccessorized"VanillaFudge."Whetherunconsciouslyreproducedordeliberatelycraftedtoappealtothepsychiccontradictionsand ambivalenceofitsintendedaudience,thedisparitycomesfromtherecessesofourmostsedimented,unquestionednotionsaboutgender.

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PARTTWO THESLENDERBODYANDOTHERCULTURALFORMS

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In1983,preparingtoteachaninterdisciplinarycoursein"Gender,Culture,andExperience,"Ifelttheneedforatopicthatwouldenablemetobringfeministtheory aliveforagenerationofstudentsthatseemedincreasinglysuspiciousoffeminism.Mysister,BinnieKlein,whoisatherapist,suggestedthatIhavemyclassreadKim Chernin'sTheObsession:ReflectionsontheTyrannyofSlenderness.Idid,andIfoundmyReaganerastudentssuddenlysoundinglikethewomeninthe consciousnessraisingsessionsthathadfirstmademeawareofthefactthatmyproblemsasawomanwerenotminealone.Whiledelightedtohavehappenedona topicthatwassointenselymeaningfultothem,IwasalsodisturbedbywhatIwasreadingintheirjournalsandhearingintheprivacyofmyoffice.Ihadidentified deeplywiththegeneralthemesofChernin'sbook.Butmyowndisorderedrelationswithfoodhadneverreachedthepointofanorexiaorbulimia,andIwasnot preparedforthediscoverythatlargenumbersofmystudentswerestarving,binging,purging,andfilledwithselfhatredanddesperation.IbegantoreadeverythingI couldfindoneatingdisorders.Ifoundthatwhilethewordsanddiariesofpatientswereenormouslyilluminating,mostoftheclinicaltheorywasnotveryhelpful.The absenceofculturalperspectiveparticularlyrelatingtothesituationofwomenwasstriking. Asaphilosopher,Iwasalsointriguedbytheclassicallydualisticlanguagemystudentsoftenusedtodescribetheirfeelings,andIdecidedtoincorporateasectionon contemporaryattitudestowardthebodyinmymetaphysicscourse.There,Idiscoveredthatalthoughitwaspredominantlymyfemalestudentswhoexperiencedtheir livesasaperpetualbattlewiththeirbodies,quiteafewofmymalestudentsexpressedsimilarideaswhenwritingaboutrunning.Ifoundmyselffascinatedbywhat seemedtometobetheculturalemergenceofasetofattitudesaboutthebodywhich,whilenotnewasideas,werefindingaspecialkindofembodimentin contemporaryculture,andIbegantoseeallsortsofevidenceforthisculturalhypothesis.Sobeganaprojectthathassinceoccupiedagooddealofmyattentionand thathas,Ibelieve,progressivelybeenvalidated.

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In1983,thebodypracticesandattitudesthatIviewedassupportingmytentativeintuitionswereamererippleontheculturalscenecomparedtotheplaceIhave watchedthemassumesincethen. "AnorexiaNervosa:PsychopathologyastheCrystallizationofCulture,"firstpublishedin1985,wastheresultofmyinitialexplorationofthevariousculturalaxesto whichmystudents'experiencesguidedmeinmy"Gender,Culture,andExperience"andmetaphysicscourses."TheBodyandtheReproductionofFemininity"and "ReadingtheSlenderBody,"bothfirstpublishedin1989,areinasenseanextensionofthatearlierpiece,inthattheyexplorethedynamicsoffurtheraxesonwhich eatingdisordersarelocated:thehistoricallyfemalepsychologicaldisorders,changesinhistoricalattitudestowardwhatconstitutes"fat''and"thin,"andthestructural tensionsofconsumersociety.Theseaxesarenot,however,meantmakeupanexhaustivelist.Ultimately,theseessaysdonotsomuchexplaineatingdisordersas followthemthroughaseriesofculturalinterconnectionsandintersections. Sincethe"AnorexiaNervosa"essayfirstappeared,in1985,therehas,ofcourse,beenanexplosionofwrittenmaterial,mediaattention,andclinicalstudydevotedto eatingdisorders.Ihavenotattemptedtoincorporatenewstudiesorstatisticsintothesepreviouslypublishedpieces,althoughmuchofthenewinformationstrongly bearsoutmyobservationsandinterpretations.NorhaveItriedtobringmyoriginalformulationsintolinewithdevelopmentsinmythinking.Ihavechoseninsteadtolet theevolutionofmyideasandinsomecasestheevolutionofthephenomenathemselvesmanifestthemselvesthroughtheessays.Somesectionsoftheoriginalessays havebeendeletedtoavoidredundancy,afewformulationsclarified,anumberofnewillustrationsadded,andendnotesrevisedwhenaccuracydemandedit. Otherwise,theessaysinthissectionofthebookappearsubstantiallyastheydidintheiroriginalversions.

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AnorexiaNervosa PsychopathologyastheCrystallizationofCulture
Historianslongagobegantowritethehistoryofthebody.Theyhavestudiedthebodyinthefieldofhistoricaldemographyorpathologytheyhaveconsidereditastheseatof needsandappetites,asthelocusofphysiologicalprocessesandmetabolisms,asatargetfortheattacksofgermsorvirusestheyhaveshowntowhatextenthistoricalprocesses wereinvolvedinwhatmightseemtobethepurelybiological"events"suchasthecirculationofbacilli,ortheextensionofthelifespan.Butthebodyisalsodirectlyinvolvedina politicalfieldpowerrelationshaveanimmediateholduponittheyinvestit,markit,trainit,tortureit,forceittocarryouttasks,toperformceremonies,toemitsigns MichelFoucault,DisciplineandPunish IbelieveinbeingthebestIcanbe,Ibelieveinwatchingeverycalorie. CrystalLighttelevisioncommercial

EatingDisorders,Culture,andTheBody Psychopathology,asJulesHenryhassaid,"isthefinaloutcomeofallthatiswrongwithaculture."1 Innocaseisthismorestrikinglytruethaninthatofanorexia nervosaandbulimia,barelyknownacenturyago,yetreachingepidemicproportionstoday.Farfrombeingtheresultofasuperficialfashionphenomenon,these disorders,Iwillargue,reflectandcallourattentiontosomeofthecentralillsofourculturefromourhistoricalheritageofdisdainforthebody,toourmodernfearof lossofcontroloverourfuture,tothe

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disquietingmeaningofcontemporarybeautyidealsinaneraofgreaterfemalepresenceandpowerthaneverbefore. Changesintheincidenceofanorexia2 havebeendramatic.3 In1945,whenLudwigBinswangerchronicledthenowfamouscaseofEllenWest,hewasabletosay that"fromapsychiatricpointofviewwearedealingherewithsomethingnew,withanewsymptom."4 In1973,HildeBruch,oneofthepioneersinunderstandingand treatingeatingdisorders,couldstillsaythatanorexiawas"rareindeed."5 Today,in1984,itisestimatedthatasmanyasoneinevery200250womenbetweenthe agesofthirteenandtwentytwosufferfromanorexia,andthatanywherefrom12to33percentofcollegewomencontroltheirweightthroughvomiting,diuretics,and laxatives.6 TheNewYorkCenterfortheStudyofAnorexiaandBulimiareportsthatinthefirstfivemonthsof1984itreceived252requestsfortreatment,as comparedtothe30requestsreceivedinallof1980.7 Evencorrectingforincreasedsocialawarenessofeatingdisordersandagreaterwillingnessofsufferersto reporttheirillnesses,thesestatisticsarestartlingandprovocative.So,too,isthefactthat90percentofallanorecticsarewomen,andthatofthe5,000peopleeach yearwhohavepartoftheirintestinesremovedasanaidinlosingweight80percentarewomen.8 Anorexianervosaisclearly,asPaulGarfinkelandDavidGarnerhavecalledit,a"multidimensionaldisorder,"withfamilial,perceptual,cognitive,and,possibly, biologicalfactorsinteractinginvaryingcombinationsindifferentindividualstoproducea"finalcommonpathway."9 Intheearly1980s,withgrowingevidence,notonly ofanoverallincreaseinfrequencyofthedisease,butofitshigherincidenceincertainpopulations,attentionhasbeguntoturn,too,toculturalfactorsassignificantin thepathogenesisofeatingdisorders.10Untilveryrecently,however,themostthatcouldbeexpectedinthewayofculturalorsocialanalysis,withveryfew exceptions,wasthe(unavoidable)recognitionthatanorexiaisrelatedtotheincreasingemphasisthatfashionhasplacedonslendernessoverthepastfifteenyears.11 This,unfortunately,isonlytoreplaceonemysterywithanother,moreprofoundthanthefirst. Whatweneedtoaskiswhyourcultureissoobsessedwithkeepingourbodiesslim,tight,andyoungthatwhen500peoplewereaskedwhattheyfearedmostinthe world,190replied,"Gettingfat."12Inanagewhenourchildrenregularlyhavenightmares

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ofnuclearholocaust,thatasadultsweshouldgivethisanswerthatwemostfear"gettingfat"isfarmorebizarrethantheanorectic'smisperceptionsofherbody image,orthebulimic'scompulsivevomiting.Thenightmaresofnuclearholocaustandourdesperatefixationonourbodiesasarenasofcontrolperhapsoneofthe fewavailablearenasofcontrolwehaveleftinthetwentiethcenturyarenotunconnected,ofcourse.Theconnection,ifexplored,couldbesignificant,demystifying, instructive. So,too,weneedtoexplorethefactthatitiswomenwhoaremostoppressedbywhatKimChernincalls"thetyrannyofslenderness,"andthatthisparticular oppressionisapost1960s,postfeministphenomenon.Inthefifties,bycontrast,withmiddleclasswomenonceagainoutofthefactoriesandsafelyimmuredinthe home,thedominantidealoffemalebeautywasexemplifiedbyMarilynMonroehardlyyourandrogynous,athletic,adolescentbodytype.Atthepeakofher popularity,Monroewasoftendescribedas"femininityincarnate,""femalenessembodied"lastterm,astudentofminedescribedheras''acow."Isthismerelya changeinwhatsizehips,breasts,andwaistareconsideredattractive,orhastheveryideaofincarnatefemalenesscometohaveadifferentmeaning,different associations,thecapacitytostirupdifferentfantasiesandimages,forthecultureoftheeighties?Thesearethesortsofquestionsthatneedtobeaddressedifweareto achieveadeepunderstandingofthecurrentepidemicofeatingdisorders. Thecentralpointofintellectualorientationforthisessayisexpressedinitssubtitle.Itakethepsychopathologiesthatdevelopwithinaculture,farfrombeinganomalies oraberrations,tobecharacteristicexpressionsofthatculturetobe,indeed,thecrystallizationofmuchthatiswrongwithit.Forthatreasontheyareimportantto examine,askeystoculturalselfdiagnosisandselfscrutiny."Everyage,"saysChristopherLasch,"developsitsownpeculiarformsofpathology,whichexpressin exaggeratedformitsunderlyingcharacterstructure."13TheonlyaspectofthisformulationwithwhichIwoulddisagree,withrespecttoanorexia,istheideaofthe expressionofanunderlying,unitaryculturalcharacterstructure.Anorexiaappearslessastheextremeexpressionofacharacterstructurethanasaremarkably overdeterminedsymptomofsomeofthemultifacetedandheterogeneousdistressesofourage.Justasanorexiafunctionsinavarietyofwaysinthepsychicecon

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omyoftheanorexicindividual,soavarietyofculturalcurrentsorstreamsconvergeinanorexia,findtheirperfect,preciseexpressioninit. Iwillcallthosestreamsorcurrents"axesofcontinuity":axesbecausetheymeetorconvergeintheanorexicsyndromecontinuitybecausewhenwelocateanorexia ontheseaxes,itsfamilyresemblancesandconnectionswithotherphenomenaemerge.Someoftheseaxesrepresentanorexia'ssynchronicitywithother contemporaryculturalpracticesandformsbodybuildingandjogging,forexample.Otheraxesbringtolighthistoricalconnections:forinstance,betweenanorexia andearlierexamplesofextrememanipulationofthefemalebody,suchastightcorseting,orbetweenanorexiaandlongstandingtraditionsandideologiesinWestern culture,suchasourGrecoChristiantraditionsofdualism.ThethreeaxesthatIwilldiscussinthisessay(althoughtheybynomeansexhaustthepossibilitiesforcultural understandingofanorexia)arethedualistaxis,thecontrolaxis,andthegender/poweraxis.14 Throughoutmydiscussion,itwillbeassumedthatthebody,farfrombeingsomefundamentallystable,aculturalconstanttowhichwemustcontrastallculturally relativeandinstitutionalforms,isconstantly"inthegrip,"asFoucaultputsit,ofculturalpractices.Notthatthisisamatterofculturalrepressionoftheinstinctualor naturalbody.Rather,thereisno"natural"body.Culturalpractices,farfromexertingtheirpoweragainstspontaneousneeds,''basic"pleasuresorinstincts,or "fundamental"structuresofbodyexperience,arealreadyandalwaysinscribed,asFoucaulthasemphasized,"onourbodiesandtheirmateriality,theirforces,energies, sensations,andpleasures."15Ourbodies,nolessthananythingelsethatishuman,areconstitutedbyculture. Often,butnotalways,culturalpracticeshavetheireffectonthebodyasexperienced(the"livedbody,"asthephenomenologistsputit)ratherthanthephysicalbody. Forexample,Foucaultpointstothemedicalizationofsexualityinthenineteenthcentury,whichrecastsexfrombeingafamilymatterintoaprivate,dark,bodilysecret thatwasappropriatelyinvestigatedbysuchspecialistsasdoctors,psychiatrists,andschooleducators.Theconstantprobingandinterrogation,Foucaultargues, ferretedout,eroticizedandsolidifiedallsortsofsexualtypesandperversions,whichpeoplethenexperienced(althoughtheyhadnotdonesooriginally)asdefining

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theirbodilypossibilitiesandpleasures.Thepracticeofthemedicalconfessional,inotherwords,initsconstantforagingforsexualsecretsandhiddenstories,actually creatednewsexualsecretsanderoticizedtheactsofinterrogationandconfession,too.16Here,socialpracticechangedpeople'sexperienceoftheirbodiesand theirpossibilities.Similarly,asweshallsee,thepracticeofdietingofsayingnotohungercontributestotheanorectic'sincreasingsenseofhungerasadangerous eruptionfromsomealienpartoftheself,andtoagrowingintoxicationwithcontrollingthateruption. Thephysicalbodycan,however,alsobeaninstrumentandmediumofpower.Foucault'sclassicexampleinDisciplineandPunishispublictortureduringtheAncien Rgime,throughwhich,asDreyfusandRabinowputit,"thesovereign'spowerwasliterallyandpubliclyinscribedonthecriminal'sbodyinamannerascontrolled, scenicandwellattendedaspossible."17Similarly,thenineteenthcenturycorsetcauseditsweareractualphysicalincapacitation,butitalsoservedasanemblemofthe powerofculturetoimposeitsdesignsonthefemalebody. Indeed,femalebodieshavehistoricallybeensignificantlymorevulnerablethanmalebodiestoextremesinbothformsofculturalmanipulationofthebody.Perhapsthis hassomethingtodowiththefactthatwomen,besideshavingbodies,arealsoassociatedwiththebody,whichhasalwaysbeenconsideredwoman's"sphere"in familylife,inmythology,inscientific,philosophical,andreligiousideology.Whenwelaterconsidersomeaspectsofthehistoryofmedicineandfashion,wewillsee thatthesocialmanipulationofthefemalebodyemergedasanabsolutelycentralstrategyinthemaintenanceofpowerrelationsbetweenthesexesoverthepast hundredyears.Thishistoricalunderstandingmustdeeplyaffectourunderstandingofanorexiaandofourcontemporarypreoccupationwithslenderness. ThisisnottosaythatItakewhatIamdoingheretobetheunearthingofalongstandingmaleconspiracyagainstwomenorthefixingofblameonanyparticular participantsintheplayofsocialforces.InthisIonceagainfollowFoucault,whoremindsusthatalthoughaperfectlyclearlogic,withperfectlydecipherableaimsand objectives,maycharacterizehistoricalpowerrelations,itisnonetheless"oftenthecasethatnoonewastheretohaveinvented"theseaimsandstrategies,either throughchoiceofindividualsor

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throughtherationalgameplanofsomepresiding"headquarters."18Wearenottalking,then,ofplots,designs,oroverarchingstrategies.Thisdoesnotmeanthat individualsdonotconsciouslypursuegoalsthatinfactadvancetheirownposition.Butitdoesdenythatindoingsotheyareconsciouslydirectingtheoverall movementofpowerrelationsorengineeringtheirshape.Theymaynotevenknowwhatthatshapeis.Nordoesthefactthatpowerrelationsinvolvedominationby particulargroupssay,ofprisonersbyguards,femalesbymales,amateursbyexpertsentailthatthedominatorsareinanythinglikefullcontrolofthesituationor thatthedominateddonotsometimesadvanceandextendthesituationthemselves.19Nowhere,asweshallsee,isthiscollaborationinoppressionmoreclearthanin thecaseofanorexia. TheDualistAxis Iwillbeginwiththemostgeneralandattenuatedaxisofcontinuity,theonethatbeginswithPlato,windsitswaytoitsmostluridexpressioninAugustine,andfinally becomesmetaphysicallysolidifiedandscientizedbyDescartes.Iamreferring,ofcourse,toourdualisticheritage:theviewthathumanexistenceisbifurcatedintotwo realmsorsubstances:thebodilyormaterial,ontheonehandthementalorspiritual,ontheother.DespitesomefascinatinghistoricalvariationswhichIwillnotgointo here,thebasicimageryofdualismhasremainedfairlyconstant.Letmebrieflydescribeitscentralfeaturestheywillturnout,aswewillsee,tocomprisethebasic bodyimageryoftheanorectic. First,thebodyisexperiencedasalien,asthenotself,thenotme.Itis"fastenedandglued"tome,"nailed"and"riveted"tome,asPlatodescribesitinthePhaedo.20 ForDescartes,thebodyisthebrutematerialenvelopefortheinnerandessentialself,thethinkingthingitisontologicallydistinctfromthatinnerself,isasmechanical initsoperationsasamachine,is,indeed,comparabletoanimalexistence. Second,thebodyisexperiencedasconfinementandlimitation:a"prison,"a"swamp,"a"cage,"a"fog''allimagesthatoccurinPlato,Descartes,and Augustinefromwhichthesoul,will,ormindstrugglestoescape."Theenemy["themadnessoflust"]heldmywillinhispowerandfromithemadeachainand shackledme,"saysAugustine.21Intheworkofallthreephilosophers,imagesof

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thesoulbeing"dragged"bythebodyareprominent.Thebodyis"heavy,ponderous,"asPlatodescribesititexertsadownwardpull.22 Third,thebodyistheenemy,asAugustineexplicitlydescribesittimeandagain,andasPlatoandDescartesstronglysuggestintheirdiatribesagainstthebodyasthe sourceofobscurityandconfusioninourthinking."Asourceofcountlessdistractionsbyreasonofthemererequirementoffood,"saysPlato"liablealsotodiseases whichovertakeandimpedeusinthepursuitoftruthitfillsusfullofloves,andlusts,andfears,andfanciesofallkinds,andendlessfoolery,andinverytruth,asmen say,takesawayfromusthepowerofthinkingatall.Whencecomewars,andfightings,andfactions?Whencebutfromthebodyandthelustsofthebody."23 And,finally,whetherasanimpedimenttoreasonorasthehomeofthe"slimydesiresoftheflesh"(asAugustinecallsthem),thebodyisthelocusofallthatthreatens ourattemptsatcontrol.Itovertakes,itoverwhelms,iteruptsanddisrupts.Thissituation,forthedualist,becomesanincitementtobattletheunrulyforcesofthe body,toshowitwhoisboss.For,asPlatosays,"Natureordersthesoultoruleandgovernandthebodytoobeyandserve."24 AllthreePlato,Augustine,and,mostexplicitly,Descartesprovideinstructions,rules,ormodelsofhowtogaincontroloverthebody,withtheultimateaimfor thisiswhattheirregimenfinallyboilsdowntooflearningtolivewithoutit.25Bythatismeant:toachieveintellectualindependencefromthelureofthebody's illusions,tobecomeimpervioustoitsdistractions,and,mostimportant,tokilloffitsdesiresandhungers.Oncecontrolhasbecomethecentralissueforthesoul,these aretheonlypossibletermsofvictory,asAlanWattsmakesclear:
Willedcontrolbringsaboutasenseofdualityintheorganism,ofconsciousnessinconflictwithappetiteButthismodeofcontrolisapeculiarexampleoftheproverbthat nothingfailslikesuccess.Forthemoreconsciousnessisindividualizedbythesuccessofthewill,themoreeverythingoutsidetheindividualseemstobeathreatincludingthe uncontrolledspontaneityofone'sownbodyEverysuccessincontrolthereforedemandsafurthersuccess,sothattheprocesscannotstopshortofomnipotence.26

Dualismhereappearsastheoffspring,thebyproduct,oftheidentificationoftheselfwithcontrol,anidentificationthatWattssees

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aslyingatthecenterofChristianity'sethicofantisexuality.Theattempttosubduethespontaneitiesofthebodyintheinterestsofcontrolonlysucceedsinconstituting themasmorealienandmorepowerful,andthusmoreneedfulofcontrol.Theonlywaytowinthisnowingameistogobeyondcontrol,tokilloffthebody's spontaneitiesentirelythatis,toceasetoexperienceourhungersanddesires. Thisiswhatmanyanorecticsdescribeastheirultimategoal."[Iwant]toreachthepoint,"asoneputit,"whenIdon'tneedtoeatatall."27KimCherninrecallsher surprisewhen,afterfasting,herhungerreturned:"Irealized[then]thatmysecretgoalindietingmusthavebeentheintentiontokilloffmyappetitecompletely."28Itis notusuallynoted,inthepopularliteratureonthesubject,thatanorexicwomenareasobsessedwithhungerastheyarewithbeingslim.Farfromlosingherappetite, thetypicalanorecticishauntedbyitinmuchthesamewaythatAugustinedescribesbeinghauntedbysexualdesireandisinconstantdreadofbeingoverwhelmed byit.Manydescribethedreadofhunger,"ofnothavingcontrol,ofgivingintobiologicalurge,''to"thecraving,neversatisfiedthing,"29asthe"originalfear"(asone putsit),30or,asEllenWestdescribesit,"therealobsession.""Idon'tthinkthedreadofbecomingfatisthereal...neurosis,"shewrites,"buttheconstantdesirefor food[H]unger,orthedreadofhunger,pursuesmeallmorning.EvenwhenIamfull,Iamafraidofthecominghourinwhichhungerwillstartagain."Dreadof becomingfat,sheinterprets,ratherthanbeingoriginary,servedasa"brake"toherhorrorofherownunregulatable,runawaydesireforfood.31Bruchreportsthather patientsareoftenterrifiedattheprospectoftakingjustonebiteoffood,lesttheyneverbeabletostop.32Bulimicanorectics,whobingeonenormousquantitiesof foodsometimesconsumingupto15,000caloriesaday33indeedcannotstop.) Thesewomenexperiencehungerasanalieninvader,marchingtothetuneofitsownseeminglyarbitrarywhims,disconnectedfromanynormalselfregulating mechanisms.Indeed,itcouldnotpossiblybesoconnected,foritisexperiencedascomingfromanareaoutsidetheself.OnepatientofBruch'ssayssheatebreakfast because"mystomachwantedit,"expressingherethesamesenseofalienationfromherhunger(andherphysicalself)asAugustine'swhenhespeaksofhis"captor," "thelawofsinthatwasinmymember."34

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Bruchnotesthatthis"basicdelusion,"asshecallsit,"ofnotowningthebodyanditssensations"isatypicalsymptomofalleatingdisorders."Thesepatientsact,"she says,"asifforthemtheregulationoffoodintakewasoutside[theself]."35Thisexperienceofbodilysensationsasforeignis,strikingly,notlimitedtotheexperienceof hunger.Patientswitheatingdisordershavesimilarproblemsinidentifyingcold,heat,emotions,andanxietyasoriginatingintheself.36 Whilethebodyisexperiencedasalienandoutside,thesoulorwillisdescribedasbeingtrappedorconfinedinthisalien"jail,"asonewomandescribesit.37"Ifeel caughtinmybody,""I'maprisonerinmybody":38thethemeisrepeatedagainandagain.Atypicalfantasy,evocativeofPlato,imaginestotalliberationfromthe bodilyprison:"IwishIcouldgetoutofmybodyentirelyandfly!"39"PleasedearGod,helpme....Iwanttogetoutofmybody,Iwanttogetout!''40EllenWest, astuteasalways,seesacentralmeaningofherselfstarvationinthis"idealofbeingtoothin,ofbeingwithoutabody."41 Anorexiaisnotaphilosophicalattitudeitisadebilitatingaffliction.Yet,quiteoftenahighlyconsciousandarticulateschemeofimagesandassociationsvirtuallya metaphysicsispresentedbythesewomen.TheschemeisstrikinglyAugustinian,withevocationsofPlato.Thisdoesnotindicate,ofcourse,thatanorecticsare followersofPlatoorAugustine,butthattheanorectic'smetaphysicsmakesexplicitvariouselements,historicallygroundedinPlatoandAugustine,thatrundeepinour culture.42AsAugustineoftenspeaksofthe"twowills"withinhim,"onetheservantoftheflesh,theotherofthespirit,"who"betweenthemtoremysoulapart,"sothe anorecticdescribesa"spiritualstruggle,"a"contestbetweengoodandevil,"oftenconceivedexplicitlyasabattlebetweenmindorwillandappetiteorbody.43"Ifeel myself,quitepassively,"saysWest,"thestageonwhichtwohostileforcesaremanglingeachother."44Sometimesthereisamoreaggressivealliancewithmindagainst body:"WhenIfailtoexerciseasoftenasIprefer,IbecomeguiltythatIhaveletmybody'win'anotherdayfrommymind.Ican'twait'tilthissemesterisoverMy bodyisgoingtopaythepriceforthelackofworkitiscurrentlygetting.Ican'twait!"45 Inthisbattle,thinnessrepresentsatriumphofthewilloverthebody,andthethinbody(thatistosay,thenonbody)isassociated

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with"absolutepurity,hyperintellectualityandtranscendenceoftheflesh.MysoulseemedtogrowasmybodywanedIfeltlikeoneofthoseearlyChristiansaintswho starvedthemselvesinthedesertsun.Ifeltinvulnerable,cleanandhardasthebonesetchedintomysilhouette."46Fat(thatistosay,becomingallbody)isassociated withthetaintofmatterandflesh,"wantonness,"47mentalstuporandmentaldecay.48Onewomandescribeshowaftereatingsugarshefelt"polluted,disgusting,sticky throughthearms,asifsomethingbadhadgotteninside."49Veryoften,sexualityisbroughtintothisschemeofassociations,andhungerandsexualityarepsychically connected.CherryBooneO'Neilldescribesalatenightbinge,eatingscrapsofleftoversfromthedog'sdish:


Istartedslowly,relishingtheflavorandtextureofeachmarvelous bite.SoonIwasrippingthemeagerremainsfromthebones,stuffing themeatintomymouthasfastasIcoulddetachit. [Herboyfriendsurprisesher,withalookof"totaldisgust"onhisface.] Ihadbeencaughtredhanded...inananimalisticorgyonthefloor,inthe dark,alone.HerewasthehorridtruthforDantosee. Ifeltsoevil,tainted,paganInDan'smindthatday,Ihadbeen whoringafterfood.50

Ahundredpagesearlier,shehaddescribedherfirstromanticinvolvementinmuchthesameterms:"Ifeltsecretive,deceptive,and...taintedbytheongoing relationship"(whichneverwentbeyondkisses).51Sexuality,similarly,is"anabominablebusiness"toAimeeLiuforher,stayingreedthinisseenasawayofavoiding sexuality,bybecoming"androgynous,"assheputsit.52Inthesameway,Sarah,apatientofLevenkron's,connectsherdreadofgainingweightwith"notwantingtobe a'temptation'tomen."53InLiu'scase,andinSarah's,thedesiretoappearunattractivetomenisconnectedtoanxietyandguiltoverearliersexualabuse.Whetheror notsuchepisodesarecommontomanycasesofanorexia,54''theavoidanceofanysexualencounter,ashrinkingfromallbodilycontact,"is,accordingtoBruch, characteristicofanorectics.55 TheControlAxis HavingexaminedtheaxisofcontinuityfromPlatotoanorexia,weshouldfeelcautionedagainsttheimpulsetoregardanorexiaas

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expressingentirelymodernattitudesandfears.Disdainforthebody,theconceptionofitasanalienforceandimpedimenttothesoul,isveryoldinourGreco Christiantraditions(althoughithasusuallybeenexpressedmostforcefullybymalephilosophersandtheologiansratherthanadolescentwomen!). ButalthoughdualismisasoldasPlato,inmanywayscontemporarycultureappearsmoreobsessedthanpreviouseraswiththecontroloftheunrulybody.Looking nowatcontemporaryAmericanlife,asecondaxisofcontinuityemergesonwhichtolocateanorexia.Icallitthecontrolaxis. Theyounganorectic,typically,experiencesherlifeaswellasherhungersasbeingoutofcontrol.Sheisaperfectionistandcannevercarryoutthetasksshesets herselfinawaythatmeetsherownrigorousstandards.Sheistornbyconflictingandcontradictoryexpectationsanddemands,wantingtoshineinallareasofstudent life,confusedaboutwheretoplacemostofherenergies,whattofocuson,asshedevelopsintoanadult.Characteristically,herparentsexpectagreatdealofherin thewayofindividualachievement(aswellasphysicalappearance),yethavemademostoftheimportantdecisionsforher.56Usually,theanorexicsyndrome emerges,notasaconsciousdecisiontogetasthinaspossible,butastheresultofherhavingbegunadietfairlycasually,oftenatthesuggestionofaparent,having succeededsplendidlyintakingofffiveortenpounds,andthenhavinggottenhookedontheintoxicatingfeelingofaccomplishmentandcontrol. Recallingheranorexicdays,AimeeLiurecreatesherfeelings:
Thesenseofaccomplishmentexhilaratesme,spursmetocontinueonandon.ItprovidesasenseofpurposeandshapesmylifewithdistractionsfrominsecurityIshallbecome anexpert[atlosingweight]Theconstantdownwardtrend[ofthescale]somehowcomfortsme,givesmevisibleproofthatIcanexertcontrol.57

Thediet,sherealizes,"istheonesectorofmylifeoverwhichIandIalonewieldtotalcontrol."58 Thefrustrationsofstarvation,therigorsoftheconstantphysicalactivityinwhichanorecticsengage,thepainofthenumerousphysicalcomplicationsofanorexia:these donottroubletheanorectic.Indeed,herabilitytoignorethemisfurtherprooftoherofhermasteryofherbody."ThiswassomethingIcouldcontrol,"says

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oneofBruch'spatients."Istilldon'tknowwhatIlooklikeorwhatsizeIam,butIknowmybodycantakeanything."59"Energy,discipline,myownpowerwillkeep megoing,"saysLiu."Psychicfuel,Ineednothingandnooneelse,andIwillproveitDroppingtothefloor,Iroll.MytailbonecrunchesonthehardfloorIfeelno pain.Iwillbemasterofmyownbody,ifnothingelse,Ivow.''60And,finally,fromoneofBruch'spatients:"Youmakeofyourownbodyyourveryownkingdom whereyouarethetyrant,theabsolutedictator."61 Surelywemustrecognizeinthislasthonestandexplicitstatementacentralmodusoperandiforthecontrolofcontemporarybourgeoisanxiety.Considercompulsive joggingandmarathonrunning,oftendespiteshinsplintsandotherpainfulinjuries,withintenseagitationovermissingadayornotmeetingagoalforaparticularrun. ConsidertheincreasingpopularityoftriathloneventssuchastheIronMan,whosecentralpurposeappearstobetoallowpeopletofindouthowfartheycanpush theirbodiesthroughlongdistanceswimming,cycling,andrunningbeforetheycollapse.ConsiderlawyerMikeFrankfurt,whorunstenmileseverymorning:"Torun withpainistheessenceoflife."62Orconsiderthefollowingexcerptsfromstudentjournals:


ThebesttimesIliketorunareunderthemostunbearableconditions.Ilovetoruninthehottest,mosthumidandsteepestterrainIcanfindFormerunningandthepain associatedwithitaren'tenoughtomakemestop.IamalwaystryingtoovercomeitandthebiggestfailureIcanmakeistostoprunningbecauseofpain.OnceIranfiveofaten milerunwithaseverelegcrampbutwouldn'tstopitwouldhavemeantfailure.63 WhenIrunIamfreeThepleasureisclosingoffmybodyasiftheincessantpoundingofmylegsissototalthatthepainceasestoexist.Thereisnograce,nobeautyinthe runningthereisthejarringrealityofsneakerandpavement.Brightpainthatshiversandsplinterssendingitswhitehotarrowsintomystomach,mylung,butitcannotpiercemy mind.Iamonautomaticpilotthereisnoremembranceofpain,thereisfreedomIamlosingmyself,peelingoutofthisheavyfleshPowersurgesthroughme.64

Noneofthisistodisputethatthecontemporaryconcernwithfitnesshasnonpathological,nondualistdimensionsaswell.Particularlyforwomen,whohavehistorically sufferedfromtheubiq

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uityofrapeandabuse,fromtheculturallyinstilledconvictionofourownhelplessness,andfromlackofaccesstofacilitiesandprogramsforrigorousphysicaltraining, thecultivationofstrength,agility,andconfidenceclearlyhasapositivedimension.Noraretheobjectivebenefitsofdailyexerciseandconcernfornutritioninquestion here.Myfocus,rather,isonasubjectivestance,becomeincreasinglyprominent,which,althoughpreoccupiedwiththebodyandderivingnarcissisticenjoymentfrom itsappearance,takeslittlepleasureintheexperienceofembodiment.Rather,thefundamentalidentificationiswithmind(orwill),idealsofspiritualperfection,fantasies ofabsolutecontrol. Noteveryone,ofcourse,forwhomphysicaltrainingisapartofdailyroutineexhibitssuchastance.Here,anexaminationofthelanguageoffemalebodybuildersis illustrative.Bodybuildingisparticularlyinterestingbecauseonthesurfaceitappearstohavetheoppositestructuretoanorexia:thebodybuilderis,afterall,building thebodyup,notwhittlingitdown.Bodybuildingdevelopsstrength.Weimaginethebodybuilderassomeonewhoisproud,confident,andperhapsmostofall, consciousofandacceptingofherphysicality.Thisis,indeed,howsomefemalebodybuildersexperiencethemselves:


Ifeeltranquilandstronger[saysLydiaCheng].Workingoutcreatesahigheverywhereinmybody.Ifeeltheheat.Ifeelthemusclesrise,Iseethemblowout,flushedwithlotsof bloodMywholebodyissweatingandthere'sfewthingsIlovemorethanworkingupagoodsweat.That'swhenIreallyfeellikeawoman.65

YetasenseofjoyinthebodyasactiveandaliveisnotthemostprominentthemeamongthewomeninterviewedbyTrixRosen.Manyofthem,rather,talkabout theirbodiesinwaysthatresonatedisquietinglywithtypicalanorexicthemes. Thereisthesameemphasisonwill,purity,andperfection:"I'velearnedtobeastrongerpersonwithamorepowerfulwill...pureconcentration,energyandspirit.""I wanttobeasphysicallyperfectaspossible.""Bodybuildingsuitstheperfectionistinme.""Mygoalistohavemuscularperfection."66Compulsiveexerciserswhom DinitiaSmith,inanarticleforNewYorkmagazinecalls''TheNewPuritans"speakinsimilarterms:KathyKrauch,aNewYorkartdirectorwhobikestwelvemiles adayandswimstwoandahalf,

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sayssheisengagedin"aquestforperfection."MikeFrankfurt,indescribinghismotivationformarathonrunning,speaksof"thepurityaboutit."Thesepeople,Smith emphasizes,carelittleabouttheirhealth:"Theypursueselfdenialasanendinitself,outofanalmostmysticalbeliefinthepurityitconfers."67 Manybodybuilders,likemanyanorectics,unnervinglyconceptualizethebodyasalien,notself:


I'mconstantlyamazedbymymuscles.ThefirstthingIdowhenIwakeupinthemorningislookdownatmy"abs"andflexmylegstoseeifthe"cuts"arethereMylegshave alwaysbeenmymoststubbornpart,andIwantthemtodevelopsobadly.EverydayIcanseethingshappeningtothemIdon'tflauntmymusclesasmuchasIthoughtIwould.I feeldifferentlyaboutthemtheyaremyproductandIprotectthembywearingsweaterstokeepthemwarm.68

Moststrikingly,bodybuildersputthesameemphasisoncontrol:onfeelingtheirlifetobefundamentallyoutofcontrol,andonthefeelingofaccomplishmentderived fromtotalmasteryofthebody.Thatsenseofmastery,liketheanorectic's,appearstoderivefromtwosources.First,thereisthereassurancethatonecanovercome allphysicalobstacles,pushoneselftoanyextremesinpursuitofone'sgoals(which,aswehaveseen,isacharacteristicmotivationofcompulsiverunners,aswell). Second,andmostdramatic(itisspokenoftimeandagainbyfemalebodybuilders),isthethrillofbeingintotalchargeoftheshapeofone'sbody."Createa masterpiece,"saysFitmagazine."Sculptyourbodycontoursintoaworkofart."Asfortheanorecticwholiterallycannotseeherbodyasotherthanherinnerreality dictatesandwhoisrelentlesslydrivenbyanidealimageofasceticslendernesssoforthebodybuilderapurelymentalconceptioncomestohavedominanceover herlife:"Youvisualizewhatyouwanttolooklike...andthencreatetheform.""Thechallengepresentsitself:torearrangethings."''It'suptoyoutodothechiseling youbecomethemastersculptress.""Whatafantasy,foryourbodytobechanging!...IkeepapictureinmymindasIworkoutofwhatIwanttolooklikeand what'shappenedtomealready."69Dictationtonatureofone'sownchosendesignforthebodyisthecentralgoalforthebodybuilder,asitisfortheanorectic. Thesenseofsecurityderivedfromtheattainmentofthisgoalappears,firstofall,asthepleasureofcontrolandindependence.

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"Nowadays,"saysMichaelSacks,associateprofessorofpsychiatryatCornellMedicalCollege,"peoplenolongerfeeltheycancontroleventsoutsidethemselves howwelltheydointheirjobsorintheirpersonalrelationships,forexamplebuttheycancontrolthefoodtheyeatandhowfartheycanrun.Abstinence,testsof endurance,arewaysofprovingtheirselfsufficiency."70Inaculture,moreover,inwhichourcontinuedsurvivalisoftenatthemercyof"specialists,"machines,and sophisticatedtechnology,thebodyacquiresaspecialsortofvulnerabilityanddependency.Wemaylivelonger,butthecircumstancessurroundingillnessanddeath mayoftenbeperceivedasmorealien,inscrutable,andarbitrarythaneverbefore. Ourcontemporarybodyfetishismexpressesmorethanafantasyofselfmasteryinanincreasinglyunmanageableculture,however.Italsoreflectsouralliancewith cultureagainstallremindersoftheinevitabledecayanddeathofthebody."Everybodywantstoliveforever"istherefrainfromthethemesongofPumpingIron.The mostyouthworshippingofpopulartelevisionshows,"Fame,"openswithasongthatbegins,"Iwanttoliveforever."Anditisstrikingthatalthoughtheanorecticmay comeveryclosetodeath(and15percentdoindeeddie),thedominantexperiencethroughouttheillnessisofinvulnerability. Thedreamofimmortalityis,ofcourse,nothingnew.Butwhatisuniquetomodernityisthatthedefeatofdeathhasbecomeascientificfantasyratherthana philosophicalorreligiousmythology.Wenolongerdreamofeternalunionwiththegodsinstead,webuilddevicesthatcankeepusaliveindefinitely,andweworkon keepingourbodiesassmoothandmuscularandelasticatfortyastheywereateighteen.Weevenentertaindreamsofhaltingtheagingprocesscompletely:"Oldage," accordingtoDurkPearsonandSandyShaw,authorsofthepopularLifeExtension,"isanunpleasantandunattractiveaffliction."71Themegavitaminregimethey prescribeisable,theyclaim,topreventandeventoreversethemechanismsofaging. Finally,itmaybethatinculturescharacterizedbygrossexcessesinconsumption,the"willtoconquerandsubduethebody"(asChernincallsit)expressesanaesthetic ormoralrebellion.72Anorecticsinitiallycamefromaffluentfamilies,andthecurrentcrazeforlongdistancerunningandfastingislargelyaphenomenonofyoung, upwardlymobileprofessionals(DinitiaSmithcallsit"Dep

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rivationChic").73Tothosewhoarestarvingagainsttheirwills,ofcourse,starvationcannotfunctionasanexpressionofthepowerofthewill.Atthesametime,we shouldcautionagainstviewinganorexiaasatrendyillnessoftheeliteandprivileged.Rather,itsmostoutstandingfeatureispowerlessness. TheGender/PowerAxis Ninetypercentofallanorecticsarewomen.Wedonot,ofcourse,needtoknowthatparticularstatistictorealizethatthecontemporary"tyrannyofslenderness"isfar fromgenderneutral.Womenaremoreobsessedwiththeirbodiesthanmen,lesssatisfiedwiththem,74andpermittedlesslatitudewiththembythemselves,bymen, andbytheculture.Ina1984Glamourmagazinepollof33,000women,75percentsaidtheythoughttheywere"toofat."YetbyMetropolitanLifeInsuranceTables, themselvesnotoriouslyaffectedbyculturalstandards,only25percentofthesewomenwereheavierthantheiroptimalweight,andafull30percentwerebelowthat weight.75Theanorectic'sdistortedimageofherbodyherinabilitytoseeitasanythingbuttoofatalthoughmoreextreme,isnotradicallydiscontinuous,then,from fairlycommonfemalemisperceptions. Consider,too,actorslikeNickNolteandWilliamHurt,whoarepermittedacertainamountofsoftening,ofthickeningaboutthewaist,whilestillretainingromantic leadstatus.Individualstyle,wit,theprojectionofintelligence,experience,andeffectivenessstillgoalongwayformen,eveninourfitnessobsessedculture.Butno femalecanachievethestatusofromanticorsexualidealwithouttheappropriatebody.Thatbody,ifweusetelevisioncommercialsasagauge,hasgottensteadily leanersincethemid1970s.76Whatusedtobeacknowledgedasanextremerequiredonlyofhighfashionmodelsisnowthedominantimagethatbeckonstohigh schoolandcollegewomen.Overandover,extremelyslenderwomenstudentscomplainofhatingtheirthighsortheirstomachs(theanorectic'smostdreadeddanger spot)often,theyexpressconcernandangeroverfrequentteasingbytheirboyfriends.Janey,aformerstudent,is5'0"andweighs132pounds.YetherboyfriendBill, alsoastudentofmine,callsher"Fatso"and"BigButt"andinsistssheshouldbe110poundsbecause(asheexplainsinhisjournalformyclass)"that's

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whatBrookeShieldsweighs."Hecallsthis"constructivecriticism"andseemstoexperienceextremeanxietyoverthepossibilityofhergaininganyweight:"Icantellit bothersheryetIstillcontinuetobadgerheraboutit.IguessthatIthinkthatifIcontinuetoremindherthingswillchangefaster."77Thissortofrelationship,inwhich thewoman'sweighthasbecomeafocalissue,isnotatallatypical,asIhavediscoveredfromstudentjournalsandpapers. HildaBruchreportsthatmanyanorecticstalkofhavinga"ghost"insidethemorsurroundingthem,"adictatorwhodominatesme,"asonewomandescribesit"alittle manwhoobjectswhenIeat"isthedescriptiongivenbyanother.78Thelittleghost,thedictator,the"otherself"(asheisoftendescribed)isalwaysmale,reports Bruch.Theanorectic'sotherselftheselfoftheuncontrollableappetites,theimpuritiesandtaints,theflabbywillandtendencytomentaltorporisthebody,aswe haveseen.Butitisalso(andheretheanorectic'sassociationsaresurelyinthemainstreamofWesternculture)thefemaleself.Thesetwoselvesareperceivedasat constantwar.Butitisclearthatitisthemalesidewithitsassociatedvaluesofgreaterspirituality,higherintellectuality,strengthofwillthatisbeingexpressedand developedintheanorexicsyndrome.79 Whatisthemeaningofthesegenderassociationsintheanorectic?Iproposethattherearetwolevelsofmeaning.Onehastodowithfearanddisdainfortraditional femalerolesandsociallimitations.Theotherhastodo,moreprofoundly,withadeepfearof"theFemale,"withallitsmorenightmarisharchetypalassociationsof voracioushungersandsexualinsatiability. Adolescentanorecticsexpressacharacteristicfearofgrowinguptobemature,sexuallydeveloped,andpotentiallyreproductivewomen."Ihaveadeepfear,"says one,"ofhavingawomanlybody,roundandfullydeveloped.Iwanttobetightandmuscularandthin."80CherryBooneO'Neillspeaksexplicitlyofherfearof womanhood.81Ifonlyshecouldstaythin,saysyetanother,"Iwouldneverhavetodealwithhavingawoman'sbodylikePeterPanIcouldstayachildforever."82 ThechoiceofPeterPanistellingherewhatshemeansis,stayaboyforever.Andindeed,asBruchreports,manyanorectics,whenchildren,dreamtandfantasized aboutgrowinguptobeboys.83SomearequiteconsciousofplayingoutthisfantasythroughtheiranorexiaAdrienne,oneofLevenkron'spatients,wasextremely proudofthegrowthoffacialand

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bodyhairthatoftenaccompaniesanorexia,andespeciallyproudofher"skinny,hairyarms."84Manypatientsreport,too,thattheirfatherhadwantedaboy,were disappointedtoget"lessthan"that,orhademotionallyrebuffedtheirdaughterwhenshebegantodevelopsexually.85 Inacharacteristicscenario,anorexiadevelopsjustattheoutsetofpuberty.Normalbodychangesareexperiencedbytheanorectic,notsurprisingly,asthetakeover ofthebodybydisgusting,womanishfat."Igrabmybreasts,"saysAimeeLiu,"pinchingthemuntiltheyhurt.IfonlyIcouldeliminatethem,cutthemoffifneedbe,to becomeasflatchestedasachildagain."86Theanorecticisexultantwhenherperiodsstop(astheydoinallcasesofanorexia87andastheydoinmanyfemale runnersaswell).Disgustwithmenstruationistypical:"Isawapictureatafeministartgallery,"saysanotherwoman."Therewasawomanwithlongredyarncoming outofher,likeshewasmenstruatingIgotthatfeelinginthatpartofmybodythatIhavetroublewith.mystomach,mythighs,mypelvis.Thatrevoltedfeeling."88 Someauthorsinterpretthesesymptomsasaspeciesofunconsciousfeministprotest,involvingangeratthelimitationsofthetraditionalfemalerole,rejectionofvalues associatedwithit,andfiercerebellionagainstallowingtheirfuturestodevelopinthesamedirectionastheirmothers'lives.89Inherportraitofthetypicalanorexic familyconfiguration,Bruchdescribesnearlyallofthemothersassubmissivetotheirhusbandsbutverycontrollingoftheirchildren.90Practicallyallhadhadpromising careerswhichtheyhadgivenuptocarefortheirhusbandsandfamiliesfulltime,atasktheytakeveryseriously,althoughoftenexpressingfrustrationand dissatisfaction. Certainly,manyanorecticsappeartoexperienceanxietyaboutfallingintothelifestyletheyassociatewiththeirmothers.ItisaprominentthemeinAimeeLiu's Solitaire.Anotherwomandescribesherfeelingthat"[Iam]fullofmymother...sheisinmeevenifsheisn'tthere"innearlythesamebreathasshecomplainsofher continuousfearofbeing"nothuman...ofceasingtoexist."91AndEllenWest,nearlyacenturyearlier,hadquiteexplicitlyequatedbecomingfatwiththeinevitable (foranelitewomanofhertime)confinementsofdomesticlifeandthedomesticstuporsheassociateswithit:

Page157 Dreadisdrivingmemad...theconsciousnessthatultimatelyIwillloseeverythingallcourage,allrebelliousness,alldrivefordoingthatitmylittleworldwillmakemeflabby, flabbyandfaintheartedandbeggarly.92

Severalofmystudentswitheatingdisordersreportedthattheiranorexiahaddevelopedaftertheirfamilieshaddissuadedthemfromchoosingorforbiddenthemto embarkonatraditionallymalecareer. Hereanorexiafindsatruesisterphenomenonintheepidemicoffemaleinvalidismand"hysteria"thatsweptthroughthemiddleanduppermiddleclassesinthesecond halfofthenineteenthcentury.93Itwasatimethat,inmanyways,wasverylikeourown,especiallyintheconflictingdemandswomenwereconfronting:theopeningup ofnewpossibilitiesversusthecontinuinggripoftheoldexpectations.Ontheonehand,theoldpreindustrialorder,withthefatherattheheadofaselfcontainedfamily productionunit,hadgivenwaytothedictatorshipofthemarket,openingupnew,nondomesticopportunitiesforworkingwomen.Ontheotherhand,itturnedmanyof themostvalued"female"skillstextileandgarmentmanufacture,foodprocessingoutofthehomeandovertothefactorysystem.94Inthenewmachineeconomy, thelivesofmiddleclasswomenwerefaremptierthantheyhadbeenbefore. Itwasanera,too,thathadbeenwitnessingthefirstmajorfeministwave.In1840,theWorldAntiSlaveryConferencehadbeenheld,atwhichthefirstfeminists spokeloudlyandlongontheconnectionsbetweentheabolitionofslaveryandwomen'srights.Theyear1848sawtheSenecaFallsConvention.In1869,JohnStuart Millpublishedhislandmarkwork"OntheSubjectionofWomen."Andin1889thePankhurstsformedtheWomen'sFranchiseLeague.Butitwasanera,too(andnot unrelatedly,asIshallarguelater),whentheprevailingidealoffemininitywasthedelicate,affluentlady,unequippedforanythingbutthemostsheltereddomesticlife, totallydependentonherprosperoushusband,providingapeacefulandcomfortablehavenforhimeachdayafterhisreturnfromhislaborsinthepublicsphere.95Ina nowfamousletter,Freud,criticizingJohnStuartMill,writes:
Itreallyisastillbornthoughttosendwomenintothestruggleforexistenceexactlyasmen.If,forinstance,Iimaginemygentlesweet

Page158 girlasacompetitoritwouldonlyendinmytellingher,asIdidseventeenmonthsago,thatIamfondofherandthatIimplorehertowithdrawfromthestrifeintothecalm uncompetitiveactivityofmyhome.96

Thisisexactlywhatmaledoctorsdiddowhenwomenbeganfallingill,complainingofacutedepression,severeheadaches,weakness,nervousness,andselfdoubt.97 AmongthesewomenweresuchnotedfeministsandsocialactivistsasCharlottePerkinsGilman,JaneAddams,ElizabethCadyStanton,MargaretSanger,British activistJosephineButler,andGermansuffragistHedwigDohm."IwaswearymyselfandsickofaskingwhatIamandwhatIoughttobe,"recallsGilman,98wholater wentontowriteafictionalaccountofhermentalbreakdowninthechillingnovellaTheYellowWallpaper.Herdoctor,thefamousfemalespecialistS.WeirMitchell, instructedher,asGilmanrecalls,to"liveasdomesticalifeaspossible.HaveyourchildwithyouallthetimeLiedownanhoureverydayaftereachmeal.Havebut twohoursintellectuallifeaday.Andnevertouchpen,brushorpencilaslongasyoulive."99 Freud,whofavorablyreviewedMitchell's1887bookandwhoadvisedthatpsychotherapyforhystericalpatientsbecombinedwithMitchell'srestcure("toavoidnew psychicalimpressions"),100wasasblindasMitchelltothecontributionthatisolation,boredom,andintellectualfrustrationmadetotheetiologyofhysteria.Nearlyall ofthesubjectsinStudiesinHysteria(aswellasthelaterDora)areacknowledgedbyFreudtobeunusuallyintelligent,creative,energetic,independent,and,often, highlyeducated.(BerthePappenheim"AnnaO."asweknow,wentonafterrecoverytobecomeanactivefeministandsocialreformer.)Freudevencomments, criticizingJanet'snotionthathystericswere"psychicallyinsufficient,"onthecharacteristiccoexistenceofhysteriawith"giftsoftherichestandmostoriginalkind."101 YetFreudnevermakestheconnection(whichBreuerhadbeguntodevelop)102betweenthemonotonousdomesticlivesthesewomenwereexpectedtoleadafter theycompletedtheirschooling,andtheemergenceofcompulsivedaydreaming,hallucinations,dissociations,andhystericalconversions. CharlottePerkinsGilmandoesmakethatconnection.InTheYellowWallpapershedescribeshowaprescribedregimeofisolationandenforceddomesticity eventuates,inherfictionalheroine,inthe

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developmentofafullblownhystericalsymptom,madness,andcollapse.Thesymptom,thehallucinationthatthereisawomantrappedinthewallpaperofher bedroom,strugglingtogetout,isatonceaperfectlyarticulatedexpressionofprotestandacompletelydebilitatingidefixethatallowsthewomancharacterno distanceonhersituation,nofreedomofthought,nochanceofmakinganyprogressinleadingthekindofactive,creativelifeherbodyandsoulcrave. Sotoofortheanorectic.Itisindeedessentialtorecognizeinthisillnessthedimensionofprotestagainstthelimitationsoftheidealoffemaledomesticity(the"feminine mystique,"asBettyFriedancalledit)thatreignedinAmericathroughoutthe1950sandearly1960stheerawhenmostoftheirmotherswerestartinghomesand families.Thiswas,weshouldrecall,theerafollowingWorldWarII,aneraduringwhichwomenwerefiredenmassefromthejobstheyhadheldduringthewarand shamelesslypropagandizedbackintothefulltimejobofwifeandmother.Itwasanera,too,whenthe"fullerfigure,"asJaneRussellnowcallsit,cameintofashion oncemore,aperiodof"mammarymadness"(or"resurgentVictorianism,"asLoisBannercallsit),whichglamorizedthevoluptuous,largebreastedwoman.103This remainedtheprevailingfashiontyrannyuntilthelate1960sandearly1970s. Butwemustrecognizethattheanorectic'sprotest,likethatoftheclassicalhystericalsymptom,iswrittenonthebodiesofanorexicwomen,notembracedasa consciouspoliticsnor,indeed,doesitreflectanysocialorpoliticalunderstandingatall.Moreover,thesymptomsthemselvesfunctiontoprecludetheemergenceof suchanunderstanding.Theidefixestayingthinbecomesatitsfarthestextremesopowerfulastorenderanyotherideasorlifeprojectsmeaningless.Liu describesitas"allencompassing."104Westwrites:"Ifeltallinnerdevelopmentwasceasing,thatallbecomingandgrowingwerebeingchoked,becauseasingleidea wasfillingmyentiresoul."105 Paradoxicallyandoftentragicallythesepathologiesoffemaleprotest(andwemustincludeagoraphobiahere,aswellashysteriaandanorexia)actuallyfunctionas ifincollusionwiththeculturalconditionsthatproducedthem.106Thesameistrueformoremoderateexpressionsofthecontemporaryfemaleobsessionwith slenderness.Womenmayfeelthemselvesdeeplyattractedbytheaura

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offreedomandindependencesuggestedbytheboyishbodyidealoftoday.Yet,eachhour,eachminutespentinanxiouspursuitofthatideal(foritdoesnotcome naturallytomostmaturewomen)isinfacttimeandenergytakenfrominnerdevelopmentandsocialachievement.Asafeministprotest,theobsessionwithslenderness ishopelesslycounterproductive. Itisimportanttorecognize,too,thattheanorecticisterrifiedandrepelled,notonlybythetraditionalfemaledomesticrolewhichsheassociateswithmentallassitude andweaknessbutbyacertainarchetypalimageofthefemale:ashungering,voracious,allneeding,andallwanting.Itisthisimagethatshapesandpermeatesher experienceofherownhungerforfoodasinsatiableandoutofcontrol,thatmakesherfeelthatifshetakesjustonebite,shewillnotbeabletostop. Letusexplorethisimage.Letusbreakthetiewithfoodandlookatthemetaphor:hungeringvoraciousextravagantlyandexcessivelyneedful...withoutrestraint.. alwayswantingalwayswantingtoomuchaffection,reassurance,emotionalandsexualcontact,andattention.Thisishowmanywomenfrequentlyexperience themselves,and,indeed,howmanymenexperiencewomen."Please,God,keepmefromtelephoninghim,"praystheheroineinDorothyParker'sclassic"A TelephoneCall,"107experiencingherneedforreassuranceandcontactasbeingasoutofcontrolanddegradingastheanorecticdoesherdesireforfood.Themale counterparttothisisfoundinPaulMorelinLawrence'sSonsandLovers:"Canyouneverlikethingswithoutclutchingthemasifyouwantedtopulltheheartoutof them?"heaccusesMiriamasshefondlesaflower."Whydon'tyouhaveabitmorerestraint,orreserve,orsomethingYou'realwaysbeggingthingstoloveyou,asif youwereabeggarforlove.Eventheflowers,youhavetofawnonthem."108Howmuchpsychicauthenticitydotheseimagescarryin1980sAmerica?Onewomanin myclassprovidedastunninginsightintotheconnectionbetweenherperceptionofherselfandtheanxietyofthecompulsivedieter."Youknow,''shesaid,"the anorecticisalwaysconvincedsheistakinguptoomuchspace,eatingtoomuch,wantingfoodtoomuch.I'veneverfeltthatway,butI'veoftenfeltthatIwastoo muchtoomuchemotion,toomuchneed,tooloudanddemanding,toomuchthere,ifyouknowwhatImean."109

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Themostextremeculturalexpressionsofthefearofwomanas"toomuch"whichalmostalwaysrevolvearoundhersexualityarestrikinglyfullofeatingand hungeringmetaphors."Ofwoman'sunnatural,insatiablelust,whatcountry,whatvillagedothnotcomplain?"queriesBurtoninTheAnatomyofMelancholy.110 "Youarethetruehiennas,"saysWalterCharleton,''thatallureuswiththefairnessofyourskins,andwhenfollyhathbroughtuswithinyourreach,youleapuponus anddevourus."111 Themythology/ideologyofthedevouring,insatiablefemale(which,aswehaveseen,istheimageofherfemaleselftheanorectichasinternalized)tendshistoricallyto waxandwane.Butnotwithoutrhymeorreason.Inperiodsofgrossenvironmentalandsocialcrisis,suchascharacterizedtheperiodofthewitchhuntsinthefifteenth andsixteenthcenturies,itappearstoflourish."112"Allwitchcraftcomesfromcarnallust,whichisinwomeninsatiable,"sayKramerandSprenger,authorsofthe officialwitchhuntershandbook,MalleusMalificarum.Forthesakeoffulfillingthe"mouthofthewomb...[women]consortevenwiththedevil."113 Anxietyoverwomen'suncontrollablehungersappearstopeak,aswell,duringperiodswhenwomenarebecomingindependentandareassertingthemselvespolitically andsocially.Thesecondhalfofthenineteenthcentury,concurrentwiththefirstfeministwavediscussedearlier,sawavirtualfloodofartisticandliteraryimagesofthe dark,dangerous,andevilfemale:"sharpteethed,devouring"Sphinxes,Salomes,andDelilahs,"biting,tearing,murderouswomen.""Nocentury,"claimsPeterGay, "depictedwomanasvampire,ascastrator,askiller,soconsistently,soprogrammatically,andsonakedlyasthenineteenth."114Nocentury,either,wassoobsessed withsexualityparticularlyfemalesexualityanditsmedicalcontrol.Treatmentforexcessive"sexualexcitement"andmasturbationinwomenincludedplacingleeches onthewomb,"115clitoridectomy,andremovaloftheovaries(alsorecommendedfor"troublesomeness,eatinglikeaploughman,erotictendencies,persecutionmania, andsimple'cussedness'").116Theimportanceoffemalemasturbationintheetiologyofthe"actualneurosis"wasatopicinwhichtheyoungFreudandhisfriendand colleagueWilhelmFliesswereespeciallyinterested.Fliessbelievedthatthesecrettocontrollingsuch"sexualabuse"layinthetreatmentofnasal"genitalspots"inan operationthatwassanctioned

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byFreud,heattemptedto"correct"the"badsexualhabits"ofFreud'spatientEmmaEcksteinbyremovaloftheturbinateboneofhernose.117 Itwasinthesecondhalfofthenineteenthcentury,too,despiteaflurryofeffortsbyfeministsandhealthreformers,118thatthestylized"Scurve,"whichrequireda tightercorsetthaneverbefore,cameintofashion."119"Whilethesuffragetteswereforcefullypropellingallwomentowardlegalandpoliticalemancipation,"says AmaurydeRiencourt,''fashionandcustomimprisonedherphysicallyasshehadneverbeenbefore."120DescribedbyThorsteinVeblenasa"mutilation,undergonefor thepurposeofloweringthesubject'svitalityandrenderingherpermanentlyandobviouslyunfitforwork,"thecorsetindeeddidjustthat.121Initawomancould barelysitorstoop,wasunabletomoveherfeetmorethansixinchesatatime,andhaddifficultyinkeepingherselffromregularfaintingfits.(In1904,aresearcher reportedthat"monkeyslacedupinthesecorsetsmoped,becameexcessivelyirritableandwithinweekssickenedanddied"!)122Theconnectionwasoftendrawnin popularmagazinesbetweenenduringthetightcorsetandtheexerciseofselfrestraintandcontrol.Thecorsetis"aneverpresentmonitor,"saysone1878 advertisement,"ofawelldisciplinedmindandwellregulatedfeelings."123Today,ofcourse,wediettoachievesuchcontrol. Itisimportanttoemphasizethat,despitethepracticeofbizarreandgrotesquemethodsofgrossphysicalmanipulationandexternalcontrol(clitoridectomy,Chinese footbinding,theremovalofbonesoftheribcageinordertofitintothetightcorsets),suchcontrolplaysarelativelyminorroleinthemaintenanceofgender/power relations.Foreveryhistoricalimageofthedangerous,aggressivewomanthereisacorrespondingfantasyanidealfemininity,fromwhichallthreateningelements havebeenpurgedthatwomenhavemutilatedthemselvesinternallytoattain.IntheVictorianera,atthesametimethatoperationswerebeingperformedtocontrol femalesexuality,WilliamActon,RichardvonKrafftEbing,andotherswereproclaimingtheofficialscientificdoctrinethatwomenarenaturallypassiveand"notvery muchtroubledwithsexualfeelingsofanykind."124Correspondingtothismalemedicalfantasywasthepopularartisticandmoralthemeofwomanasministering angelsweet,gentle,domestic,withoutintensityorpersonalam

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bitionofanysort.125PeterGaysuggests,correctly,thattheseidealsmustbeunderstoodasareactionformationtotheera's"pervasivesenseofmanhoodindanger," andhearguesthatfewwomenactuallyfitthe"insipidgoody"(asKateMillettcallsit)image.126WhatGayforgets,however,isthatmostwomentriedtofit workingclassesaswellasmiddlewereaffectedbythe"tenaciousandallpervasive''idealoftheperfectlady.127 Onthegender/poweraxisthefemalebodyappears,then,astheunknowingmediumofthehistoricalebbsandflowsofthefearofwomanas"toomuch."That,aswe haveseen,ishowtheanorecticexperiencesherfemale,bodilyself:asvoracious,wanton,needfulofforcefulcontrolbyhermalewill.Livinginthetideofcultural backlashagainstthesecondmajorfeministwave,sheisnotaloneinconstructingtheseimages.ChristopherLasch,inTheCultureofNarcissism,speaksofwhathe describesas"theapparentlyaggressiveoverturesofsexuallyliberatedwomen"which"conveytomanymalesthesamemessagethatwomenarevoracious, insatiable,"andcallup"earlyfantasiesofapossessive,suffocating,devouringandcastratingmother."128 Ourcontemporarybeautyideals,bycontrast,seemedpurged,asKimCherninputsit,"ofthepowertoconjureupmemoriesofthepast,ofallthatcouldremindusof awoman'smysteriouspower."129Theideal,rather,isan"imageofawomaninwhichsheisnotyetawoman":DarrylHannahasthelanky,newbornmermaidin SplashLoriSinger(appearingvirtuallyanorexic)asthereckless,hyperkineticheroineofFootloosetheCharleyGirl"CherylTiegsinshorts,MargauxHemingway withherhairwetBrookeShieldsnakedonanisland"130thedozensofteenagewomenwhoappearinCokecommercials,injeanscommercials,inchewinggum commercials. Theimagessuggestamuseddetachment,casualplayfulness,flirtatiousnesswithoutdemand,andlightnessoftouch.Arefusaltotakesex,death,orpoliticstoodeadly seriously.Adelightfullyunconsciousrelationshiptoherbody.Thetwentiethcenturyhasseenthissortoffeminineidealbefore,ofcourse.When,inthe1920s,young womenbegantoflattentheirbreasts,suckintheirstomachs,bobtheirhair,andshowofflongcoltlikelegs,theybelievedtheywerepursuinganewfreedomand daringthatdemandedacarefree,boyishstyle.Ifthetraditionalfemalehourglasssuggestedany

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thing,itwasconfinementandimmobility.Yettheflapper'sfreedom,asMaryMcCarthy'sandDorothyParker'sshortstoriesbrilliantlyreveal,waslargelyanillusion asanyobsessivelycultivatedsexualstylemustinevitablybe.Althoughtoday'simagesmaysuggestandrogynousindependence,weneedonlyconsiderwhoisonthe receivingendoftheimageryinordertoconfrontthepitifulparadoxinvolved. Watchingthecommercialsarethousandsofanxietyriddenwomenandadolescents(someofwhommaywellbetheveryonesappearinginthecommercials)with anythingbutanunconsciousrelationtotheirbodies.Theyareinvolvedinanabsolutelycontradictorystateofaffairs,atotallynowingame:caringdesperately, passionately,obsessivelyaboutattaininganidealofcoolness,effortlessconfidence,andcasualfreedom.Watchingthecommercialsisalittlegirl,perhapstenyears old,whomIsawinCentralPark,gazingraptlyatherfather,burstingwithpride:"Daddy,guesswhat?Ilosttwopounds!"Andwatchingthecommercialsisthe anorectic,whoassociatesherrelentlesspursuitofthinnesswithpowerandcontrol,butwhoinfactdestroysherhealthandimprisonsherimagination.Sheissurelythe moststartlingandstarkillustrationofhowcavalierpowerrelationsarewithrespecttothemotivationsandgoalsofindividuals,yethowdeeplytheyareetchedonour bodies,andhowwellourbodiesservethem.

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TheBodyandtheReproductionofFemininity
ReconstructingFeministDiscourseontheBody Thebodywhatweeat,howwedress,thedailyritualsthroughwhichweattendtothebodyisamediumofculture.Thebody,asanthropologistMaryDouglashas argued,isapowerfulsymbolicform,asurfaceonwhichthecentralrules,hierarchies,andevenmetaphysicalcommitmentsofacultureareinscribedandthus reinforcedthroughtheconcretelanguageofthebody.1 Thebodymayalsooperateasametaphorforculture.FromquartersasdiverseasPlatoandHobbesto FrenchfeministLuceIrigaray,animaginationofbodymorphologyhasprovidedablueprintfordiagnosisand/orvisionofsocialandpoliticallife. Thebodyisnotonlyatextofculture.Itisalso,asanthropologistPierreBourdieuandphilosopherMichelFoucault(amongothers)haveargued,apractical,direct locusofsocialcontrol.Banally,throughtablemannersandtoilethabits,throughseeminglytrivialroutines,rules,andpractices,cultureis"madebody,"asBourdieu putsitconvertedintoautomatic,habitualactivity.Assuchitisput"beyondthegraspofconsciousness...[untouchable]byvoluntary,deliberatetransformations."2 Ourconsciouspolitics,socialcommitments,strivingsforchangemaybeunderminedandbetrayedbythelifeofourbodiesnotthecraving,instinctualbodyimagined byPlato,Augustine,andFreud,butwhatFoucaultcallsthe''docilebody,"regulatedbythenormsofculturallife.3 Throughouthislater"genealogical"works(DisciplineandPunish,TheHistoryofSexuality),Foucaultconstantlyremindsusoftheprimacyofpracticeoverbelief. Notchieflythroughideology,butthroughtheorganizationandregulationofthetime,space,andmovementsofourdailylives,ourbodiesaretrained,shaped,and

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impressedwiththestampofprevailinghistoricalformsofselfhood,desire,masculinity,femininity.Suchanemphasiscastsadarkanddisquietingshadowacrossthe contemporaryscene.Forwomen,asstudyafterstudyshows,arespendingmoretimeonthemanagementanddisciplineofourbodiesthanwehaveinalong,long time.Inadecademarkedbyareopeningofthepublicarenatowomen,theintensificationofsuchregimensappearsdiversionaryandsubverting.Throughthepursuit ofaneverchanging,homogenizing,elusiveidealoffemininityapursuitwithoutaterminus,requiringthatwomenconstantlyattendtominuteandoftenwhimsical changesinfashionfemalebodiesbecomedocilebodiesbodieswhoseforcesandenergiesarehabituatedtoexternalregulation,subjection,transformation, "improvement."Throughtheexactingandnormalizingdisciplinesofdiet,makeup,anddresscentralorganizingprinciplesoftimeandspaceinthedayofmany womenwearerenderedlesssociallyorientedandmorecentripetallyfocusedonselfmodification.Throughthesedisciplines,wecontinuetomemorizeonour bodiesthefeelandconvictionoflack,ofinsufficiency,ofneverbeinggoodenough.Atthefarthestextremes,thepracticesoffemininitymayleadustoutter demoralization,debilitation,anddeath. Viewedhistorically,thedisciplineandnormalizationofthefemalebodyperhapstheonlygenderoppressionthatexercisesitself,althoughtodifferentdegreesandin differentforms,acrossage,race,class,andsexualorientationhastobeacknowledgedasanamazinglydurableandflexiblestrategyofsocialcontrol.Inourown era,itisdifficulttoavoidtherecognitionthatthecontemporarypreoccupationwithappearance,whichstillaffectswomenfarmorepowerfullythanmen,eveninour narcissisticandvisuallyorientedculture,mayfunctionasabacklashphenomenon,reassertingexistinggenderconfigurationsagainstanyattemptstoshiftortransform powerrelations.4 Surelyweareinthethroesofthisbacklashtoday.Innewspapersandmagazineswedailyencounterstoriesthatpromotetraditionalgenderrelations andpreyonanxietiesaboutchange:storiesaboutlatchkeychildren,abuseindaycarecenters,the"newwoman's"troubleswithmen,herlackofmarriageability,and soon.Adominantvisualthemeinteenagemagazinesinvolveswomenhidingintheshadowsofmen,seekingsolaceintheirarms,willinglycontractingthespacethey occupy.

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Thelast,ofcourse,alsodescribesourcontemporaryaestheticidealforwomen,anidealwhoseobsessivepursuithasbecomethecentraltormentofmanywomen's lives.Insuchanerawedesperatelyneedaneffectivepoliticaldiscourseaboutthefemalebody,adiscourseadequatetoananalysisoftheinsidious,andoften paradoxical,pathwaysofmodernsocialcontrol. Developingsuchadiscourserequiresreconstructingthefeministparadigmofthelate1960sandearly1970s,withitspoliticalcategoriesofoppressorsandoppressed, villainsandvictims.HereIbelievethatafeministappropriationofsomeofFoucault'slaterconceptscanproveuseful.FollowingFoucault,wemustfirstabandonthe ideaofpowerassomethingpossessedbyonegroupandleveledagainstanotherwemustinsteadthinkofthenetworkofpractices,institutions,andtechnologiesthat sustainpositionsofdominanceandsubordinationinaparticulardomain. Second,weneedananalyticsadequatetodescribeapowerwhosecentralmechanismsarenotrepressive,butconstitutive:"apowerbentongeneratingforces, makingthemgrow,andorderingthem,ratherthanonededicatedtoimpedingthem,makingthemsubmit,ordestroyingthem."Particularlyintherealmoffemininity, wheresomuchdependsontheseeminglywillingacceptanceofvariousnormsandpractices,weneedananalysisofpower"frombelow,"asFoucaultputsitfor example,ofthemechanismsthatshapeandproliferateratherthanrepressdesire,generateandfocusourenergies,constructourconceptionsofnormalcyand deviance.5 And,third,weneedadiscoursethatwillenableustoaccountforthesubversionofpotentialrebellion,adiscoursethat,whileinsistingonthenecessityofobjective analysisofpowerrelations,socialhierarchy,politicalbacklash,andsoforth,willnonethelessallowustoconfrontthemechanismsbywhichthesubjectattimes becomesenmeshedincollusionwithforcesthatsustainherownoppression. Thisessaywillnotattempttoproduceageneraltheoryalongtheselines.Rather,myfocuswillbetheanalysisofoneparticulararenawheretheinterplayofthese dynamicsisstrikingandperhapsexemplary.Itisalimitedandunusualarena,thatofagroupofgenderrelatedandhistoricallylocalizeddisorders:hysteria, agoraphobia,andanorexianervosa.6 Irecognizethatthesedisordershavealsohistoricallybeenclassandracebiased,largely(although

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notexclusively)occurringamongwhitemiddleanduppermiddleclasswomen.Nonetheless,anorexia,hysteria,andagoraphobiamayprovideaparadigmofoneway inwhichpotentialresistanceisnotmerelyundercutbututilizedinthemaintenanceandreproductionofexistingpowerrelations.7 ThecentralmechanismIwilldescribeinvolvesatransformation(or,ifyouwish,duality)ofmeaning,throughwhichconditionsthatareobjectively(and,ononelevel, experientially)constraining,enslaving,andevenmurderous,cometobeexperiencedasliberating,transforming,andlifegiving.Iofferthisanalysis,althoughlimitedtoa specificdomain,asanexampleofhowvariouscontemporarycriticaldiscoursesmaybejoinedtoyieldanunderstandingofthesubtleandoftenunwittingroleplayed byourbodiesinthesymbolizationandreproductionofgender. TheBodyasaTextOfFemininity Thecontinuumbetweenfemaledisorderand"normal"femininepracticeissharplyrevealedthroughaclosereadingofthosedisorderstowhichwomenhavebeen particularlyvulnerable.These,ofcourse,havevariedhistorically:neurastheniaandhysteriainthesecondhalfofthenineteenthcenturyagoraphobiaand,most dramatically,anorexianervosaandbulimiainthesecondhalfofthetwentiethcentury.Thisisnottosaythatanorecticsdidnotexistinthenineteenthcenturymany casesweredescribed,usuallyinthecontextofdiagnosesofhysteria8 orthatwomennolongersufferfromclassicalhystericalsymptomsinthetwentiethcentury. Butthetakingupofeatingdisordersonamassscaleisasuniquetothecultureofthe1980sastheepidemicofhysteriawastotheVictorianera.9 Thesymptomatologyofthesedisordersrevealsitselfastextuality.Lossofmobility,lossofvoice,inabilitytoleavethehome,feedingotherswhilestarvingoneself, takingupspace,andwhittlingdownthespaceone'sbodytakesupallhavesymbolicmeaning,allhavepoliticalmeaningunderthevaryingrulesgoverningthe historicalconstructionofgender.Workingwithinthisframework,weseethatwhetherwelookathysteria,agoraphobia,oranorexia,wefindthebodyofthesufferer deeplyinscribedwithanideologicalconstructionoffemininityemblematicoftheperiodinquestion.Thecon

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struction,ofcourse,isalwayshomogenizingandnormalizing,erasingracial,class,andotherdifferencesandinsistingthatallwomenaspiretoacoercive,standardized ideal.Strikingly,inthesedisorderstheconstructionoffemininityiswrittenindisturbinglyconcrete,hyperbolicterms:exaggerated,extremelyliteral,attimesvirtually caricaturedpresentationsoftherulingfemininemystique.Thebodiesofdisorderedwomeninthiswayofferthemselvesasanaggressivelygraphictextforthe interpreteratextthatinsists,actuallydemands,thatitbereadasaculturalstatement,astatementaboutgender. Bothnineteenthcenturymalephysiciansandtwentiethcenturyfeministcriticshaveseen,inthesymptomsofneurastheniaandhysteria(syndromesthatbecame increasinglylessdifferentiatedasthecenturyworeon),anexaggerationofstereotypicallyfemininetraits.Thenineteenthcentury"lady"wasidealizedintermsof delicacyanddreaminess,sexualpassivity,andacharminglylabileandcapriciousemotionality.10Suchnotionswereformalizedandscientizedintheworkofmale theoristsfromActonandKrafftEbingtoFreud,whodescribed"normal,"maturefemininityinsuchterms.11Inthiscontext,thedissociations,thedriftingandfogging ofperception,thenervoustremorsandfaints,theanesthesias,andtheextrememutabilityofsymptomatologyassociatedwithnineteenthcenturyfemaledisorderscan beseentobeconcretizationsofthefemininemystiqueoftheperiod,producedaccordingtorulesthatgovernedtheprevailingconstructionoffemininity.Doctors describedwhatcametobeknownasthehystericalpersonalityas''impressionable,suggestible,andnarcissistichighlylabile,theirmoodschangingsuddenly, dramatically,andseeminglyforinconsequentialreasons...egocentricintheextreme...essentiallyasexualandnotuncommonlyfrigid"12allcharacteristics normativeoffemininityinthisera.AsElaineShowalterpointsout,thetermhystericalitselfbecamealmostinterchangeablewiththetermfeminineintheliteratureof theperiod.13 Thehysteric'sembodimentofthefemininemystiqueofherera,however,seemssubtleandineffablecomparedtotheingeniousliteralismofagoraphobiaandanorexia. Inthecontextofourculturethisliteralismmakessense.Withtheadventofmoviesandtelevision,therulesforfemininityhavecometobeculturallytransmittedmore andmorethroughstandardizedvisualimages.Asaresult,

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femininityitselfhascometobelargelyamatterofconstructing,inthemannerdescribedbyErvingGoffman,theappropriatesurfacepresentationoftheself.14Weare nolongergivenverbaldescriptionsorexemplarsofwhataladyisorofwhatfemininityconsists.Rather,welearntherulesdirectlythroughbodilydiscourse:through imagesthattelluswhatclothes,bodyshape,facialexpression,movements,andbehaviorarerequired. Inagoraphobiaand,evenmoredramatically,inanorexia,thedisorderpresentsitselfasavirtual,thoughtragic,parodyoftwentiethcenturyconstructionsoffemininity. The1950sandearly1960s,whenagoraphobiafirstbegantoescalateamongwomen,wasaperiodofreassertionofdomesticityanddependencyasthefeminine ideal.Careerwomanbecameadirtyword,muchmoresothanithadbeenduringthewar,whentheeconomydependedonwomen'swillingnesstodo"men'swork." Thereigningideologyoffemininity,sowelldescribedbyBettyFriedanandperfectlycapturedinthemoviesandtelevisionshowsoftheera,waschildlike, nonassertive,helplesswithoutaman,"contentinaworldofbedroomandkitchen,sex,babiesandhome."15Thehouseboundagoraphobiclivesthisconstructionof femininityliterally."Youwantmeinthishome?You'llhavemeinthishomewithavengeance!"Thepoint,uponwhichmanytherapistshavecommented,doesnot needbelaboring.Agoraphobia,asI.G.Fodorhasputit,seems''thelogicalalbeitextremeextensionoftheculturalsexrolestereotypeforwomen"inthisera.16 Theemaciatedbodyoftheanorectic,ofcourse,immediatelypresentsitselfasacaricatureofthecontemporaryidealofhyperslendernessforwomen,anidealthat, despitethegameresistanceofracialandethnicdifference,hasbecomethenormforwomentoday.Butslendernessisonlythetipoftheiceberg,forslendernessitself requiresinterpretation."C'estlesensquifaitvendre,"saidBarthes,speakingofclothingstylesitismeaningthatmakesthesale.17So,too,itismeaningthatmakes thebodyadmirable.Tothedegreethatanorexiamaybesaidtobe"about"slenderness,itisaboutslendernessasacitadelofcontemporaryandhistoricalmeaning,not asanemptyfashionideal.Assuch,theinterpretationofslendernessyieldsmultiplereadings,somerelatedtogender,somenot.ForthepurposesofthisessayIwill offeranabbreviated,genderfocusedreading.ButImuststressthatthisreadingillumi

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natesonlypartially,andthatmanyothercurrentsnotdiscussedhereeconomic,psychosocial,andhistorical,aswellasethnicandclassdimensionsfigure prominently.18 Webeginwiththepainfullyliteralinscription,ontheanorectic'sbody,oftherulesgoverningtheconstructionofcontemporaryfemininity.Thatconstructionisadouble bindthatlegislatescontradictoryidealsanddirectives.Ontheonehand,ourculturestillwidelyadvertisesdomesticconceptionsoffemininity,theideologicalmoorings forarigorouslydualisticsexualdivisionoflaborthatcastswomanaschiefemotionalandphysicalnurturer.Therulesforthisconstructionoffemininity(andIspeak hereinalanguagebothsymbolicandliteral)requirethatwomenlearntofeedothers,nottheself,andtoconstrueanydesiresforselfnurturanceandselffeedingas greedyandexcessive.19Thus,womenmustdevelopatotallyotherorientedemotionaleconomy.Inthiseconomy,thecontroloffemaleappetiteforfoodismerelythe mostconcreteexpressionofthegeneralrulegoverningtheconstructionoffemininity:thatfemalehungerforpublicpower,forindependence,forsexual gratificationbecontained,andthepublicspacethatwomenbeallowedtotakeupbecircumscribed,limited.Figure23,whichappearedinawomen'smagazine fashionspread,dramaticallyillustratesthedegreetowhichslenderness,setoffagainsttheresurgentmuscularityandbulkofthecurrentmalebodyideal,carries connotationsoffragilityandlackofpowerinthefaceofadecisivemaleoccupationofsocialspace.Onthebodyoftheanorexicwomansuchrulesaregrimlyand deeplyetched. Ontheotherhand,evenasyoungwomentodaycontinuetobetaughttraditionally"feminine"virtues,tothedegreethattheprofessionalarenaisopentothemthey mustalsolearntoembodythe"masculine"languageandvaluesofthatarenaselfcontrol,determination,cool,emotionaldiscipline,mastery,andsoon.Female bodiesnowspeaksymbolicallyofthisnecessityintheirslenderspareshapeandthecurrentlyfashionablemen'swearlook.(Acontemporaryclothingline'sclever mirrorimagelogo,showninFigure24,offerswomen'sfashionsforthe"NewMan,''withthemodelposedtosuggestphallicconfidencecombinedwithfemaleallure.) Ourbodies,too,aswetrudgetothegymeverydayandfiercelyresistbothourhungersandourdesiretosootheourselves,arebecomingmoreandmorepracticedat the"male"virtuesof

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. controlandselfmastery.Figure25illustratesthiscontemporaryequationofphysicaldisciplinewithbecomingthe"captain"ofone'ssoul.Theanorecticpursuesthese virtueswithsingleminded,unswervingdedication."Energy,discipline,myownpowerwillkeepmegoing,"saysexanorecticAimeeLiu,recreatingheranorexicdays. "IneednothingandnooneelseIwillbemasterofmyownbody,ifnothingelse,Ivow.''20 Theidealofslenderness,then,andthedietandexerciseregimensthathavebecomeinseparablefromitoffertheillusionofmeeting,throughthebody,the contradictorydemandsofthecontemporaryideologyoffemininity.Popularimagesreflectthisdualdemand.InasingleissueofCompleteWomanmagazine,two articlesappear,oneon"FeminineIntuition,"theotherasking,"AreYou

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. theNewMachoWoman?"InVisionQuest,theyoungmaleherofallsinlovewiththeheroine,ashesays,because"shehasallthebestthingsIlikeingirlsandallthe bestthingsIlikeinguys,"thatis,she'stoughandcool,butwarmandalluring.IntheenormouslypopularAliens,theheroine'spersonalityhasbeendeliberately constructed,withnearcomicbookexplicitness,toembodytraditionalnurturantfemininityalongsidebreathtakingmachoprowessandcontrolSigourneyWeaver,the actresswhoportraysher,hascalledthecharacter"Rambolina." Inthepursuitofslendernessandthedenialofappetitethetraditionalconstructionoffemininityintersectswiththenewrequirementforwomentoembodythe "masculine"valuesofthepublicarena.Theanorectic,asIhaveargued,embodiesthisintersection,

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. thisdoublebind,inaparticularlypainfulandgraphicway.21Imeandoublebindquiteliterallyhere."Masculinity"and"femininity,"atleastsincethenineteenthcentury andarguablybefore,havebeenconstructedthroughaprocessofmutualexclusion.Onecannotsimplyaddthehistoricallyfemininevirtuestothehistoricallymasculine onestoyieldaNewWoman,aNewMan,anewethics,oranewculture.Evenonthescreenorontelevision,embodiedincreatedcharactersliketheAliensheroine, theresultisaparody.Unfortunately,inthisimagebedazzledculture,wefinditincreasinglydifficulttodiscriminatebetweenparodiesandpossibilitiesfortheself. Exploredasapossibilityfortheself,the"androgynous"idealultimatelyexposesitsinternalcontradictionandbecomesawarthattearsthesubjectintwoawar explicitlythematized,bymanyanorectics,asabattlebetweenmaleandfemalesidesoftheself.22 ProtestandRetreatintheSameGesture Inhysteria,agoraphobia,andanorexia,then,thewoman'sbodymaybeviewedasasurfaceonwhichconventionalconstructionsof

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femininityareexposedstarklytoview,throughtheirinscriptioninextremeorhyperliteralform.Theyarewritten,ofcourse,inlanguagesofhorriblesuffering.Itisas thoughthesebodiesarespeakingtousofthepathologyandviolencethatlurksjustaroundthecorner,waitingatthehorizonof"normal"femininity.Itisnowonderthat asteadymotifinthefeministliteratureonfemaledisorderisthatofpathologyasembodiedprotestunconscious,inchoate,andcounterproductiveprotestwithoutan effectivelanguage,voice,orpolitics,butprotestnonetheless. AmericanandFrenchfeministsalikehaveheardthehystericspeakingalanguageofprotest,evenorperhapsespeciallywhenshewasmute.DianneHunterinterprets AnnaO.'saphasia,whichmanifesteditselfinaninabilitytospeakhernativeGerman,asarebellionagainstthelinguisticandculturalrulesofthefatherandareturnto the"mothertongue":thesemioticbabbleofinfancy,thelanguageofthebody.ForHunter,andforanumberofotherfeministsworkingwithLacaniancategories,the returntothesemioticlevelisbothregressiveand,asHunterputsit,an"expressive"communication"addressedtopatriarchalthought,""aselfrepudiatingformof femininediscourseinwhichthebodysignifieswhatsocialconditionsmakeitimpossibletostatelinguistically."23"Thehystericsareaccusingtheyarepointing,''writes CatherineClmentinTheNewlyBornWomantheymakea"mockeryofculture."24Inthesamevolume,HlneCixousspeaksof"thosewonderfulhysterics,who subjectedFreudtosomanyvoluptuousmomentstooshamefultomention,bombardinghismosaicstatute/lawofMoseswiththeircarnal,passionatebodywords, hauntinghimwiththeirinaudiblethunderingdenunciations."ForCixous,Dora,whosofrustratedFreud,is"thecoreexampleoftheprotestingforceinwomen.25 Theliteratureofprotestincludesfunctionalaswellassymbolicapproaches.RobertSeidenbergandKarenDeCrow,forexample,describeagoraphobiaasa"strike" against"therenunciationsusuallydemandedofwomen"andtheexpectationsofhousewifelyfunctionssuchasshopping,drivingthechildrentoschool,accompanying theirhusbandtosocialevents.26CarrollSmithRosenbergpresentsasimilaranalysisofhysteria,arguingthatbypreventingthewomanfromfunctioninginthewifely roleofcaretakerofothers,of"ministeringangel"tohusbandandchildren,hysteria"became

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onewayinwhichconventionalwomencouldexpressinmostcasesunconsciouslydissatisfactionwithoneorseveralaspectsoftheirlives."27Anumberof feministwriters,amongwhomSusieOrbachisthemostarticulateandforceful,haveinterpretedanorexiaasaspeciesofunconsciousfeministprotest.Theanorecticis engagedina"hungerstrike,"asOrbachcallsit,stressingthatthisisapoliticaldiscourse,inwhichtheactionoffoodrefusalanddramatictransformationofbodysize "expresseswith[the]bodywhat[theanorectic]isunabletotelluswithwords"herindictmentofaculturethatdisdainsandsuppressesfemalehunger,makeswomen ashamedoftheirappetitesandneeds,anddemandsthatwomenconstantlyworkonthetransformationoftheirbody.28 Theanorectic,ofcourse,isunawarethatsheismakingapoliticalstatement.Shemay,indeed,behostiletofeminismandanyothercriticalperspectivesthatsheviews asdisputingherownautonomyandcontrolorquestioningtheculturalidealsaroundwhichherlifeisorganized.Throughembodiedratherthandeliberate demonstrationsheexposesandindictsthoseideals,preciselybypursuingthemtothepointatwhichtheirdestructivepotentialisrevealedforalltosee. Thesamegesturethatexpressesprotest,moreover,canalsosignalretreatthis,indeed,maybepartofthesymptom'sattraction.KimChernin,forexample,argues thatthedebilitatinganorexicfixation,byhaltingormitigatingpersonaldevelopment,assuagesthisgeneration'sguiltandseparationanxietyovertheprospectof surpassingourmothers,oflivinglesscircumscribed,freerlives.29Agoraphobia,too,whichoftendevelopsshortlyaftermarriage,clearlyfunctionsinmanycasesasa waytocementdependencyandattachmentinthefaceofunacceptablestirringsofdissatisfactionandrestlessness. Althoughwemaytalkmeaningfullyofprotest,then,Iwanttoemphasizethecounterproductive,tragicallyselfdefeating(indeed,selfdeconstructing)natureofthat protest.Functionally,thesymptomsofthesedisordersisolate,weaken,andunderminethesufferersatthesametimetheyturnthelifeofthebodyintoanallabsorbing fetish,besidewhichallotherobjectsofattentionpaleintounreality.Onthesymboliclevel,too,theprotestcollapsesintoitsoppositeandproclaimstheutter capitulationofthesubjecttothecontractedfemaleworld.Themutenessofhystericsandtheirreturn

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tothelevelofpure,primarybodilyexpressivityhavebeeninterpreted,aswehaveseen,asrejectingthesymbolicorderofthepatriarchyandrecoveringalostworld ofsemiotic,maternalvalue.Butatthesametime,ofcourse,mutenessistheconditionofthesilent,uncomplainingwomananidealofpatriarchalculture.Protesting thestiflingofthefemalevoicethroughone'sownvoicelessnessthatis,employingthelanguageoffemininitytoprotesttheconditionsofthefemaleworldwillalways involveambiguitiesofthissort.Perhapsthisiswhysymptomscrystallizedfromthelanguageoffemininityaresoperfectlysuitedtoexpressthedilemmasofmiddle classanduppermiddleclasswomenlivinginperiodspoisedontheedgeofgenderchange,womenwhohavethesocialandmaterialresourcestocarrythetraditional constructionoffemininitytosymbolicexcessbutwhoalsoconfronttheanxietiesofnewpossibilities.Thelatenineteenthcentury,thepostWorldWarIIperiod,and thelatetwentiethcenturyareallperiodsinwhichgenderbecomesanissuetobediscussedandinwhichdiscourseproliferatesabout"theWomanQuestion,""theNew Woman,""WhatWomenWant,"''WhatFemininityIs." Collusion,Resistance,andtheBody Thepathologiesoffemaleprotestfunction,paradoxically,asifincollusionwiththeculturalconditionsthatproducethem,reproducingratherthantransforming preciselythatwhichisbeingprotested.Inthisconnection,thefactthathysteriaandanorexiahavepeakedduringhistoricalperiodsofculturalbacklashagainstattempts atreorganizationandredefinitionofmaleandfemalerolesissignificant.Femalepathologyrevealsitselfhereasanextremelyinterestingsocialformationthroughwhich onesourceofpotentialforresistanceandrebellionispressedintotheserviceofmaintainingtheestablishedorder. Inourattempttoexplainthisformation,objectiveaccountsofpowerrelationsfailus.Forwhatevertheobjectivesocialconditionsarethatcreateapathology,the symptomsthemselvesmuststillbeproduced(howeverunconsciouslyorinadvertently)bythesubject.Thatis,theindividualmustinvestthebodywithmeaningsof varioussorts.Onlybyexaminingthisproductiveprocessonthepartofthesubjectcanwe,asMarkPosterhasputit,"illuminatethe

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mechanismsofdominationintheprocessesthroughwhichmeaningisproducedineverydaylife"thatis,onlythencanweseehowthedesiresanddreamsofthe subjectbecomeimplicatedinthematrixofpowerrelations.30 Here,examiningthecontextinwhichtheanorexicsyndromeisproducedmaybeilluminating.Anorexiawillerupt,typically,inthecourseofwhatbeginsasafairly moderatedietregime,undertakenbecausesomeone,oftenthefather,hasmadeacasualcriticalremark.Anorexiabeginsin,emergesoutof,whatis,inourtime, conventionalfemininepractice.Inthecourseofthatpractice,foranynumberofindividualreasons,thepracticeispushedalittlebeyondtheparametersofmoderate dieting.Theyoungwomandiscoverswhatitfeelsliketocraveandwantandneedandyet,throughtheexerciseofherownwill,totriumphoverthatneed.Inthe process,anewrealmofmeaningsisdiscovered,arangeofvaluesandpossibilitiesthatWesternculturehastraditionallycodedas"male"andrarelymadeavailableto women:anethicandaestheticofselfmasteryandselftranscendence,expertise,andpoweroverothersthroughtheexampleofsuperiorwillandcontrol.The experienceisintoxicating,habitforming. Atschooltheanorecticdiscoversthathersteadilyshrinkingbodyisadmired,notsomuchasanaestheticorsexualobject,butforthestrengthofwillandselfcontrolit projects.Athomeshediscovers,intheinevitablebattlesherparentsfighttogethertoeat,thatheractionshaveenormouspoweroverthelivesofthosearoundher. Asherbodybeginstoloseitstraditionalfemininecurves,itsbreastsandhipsandroundedstomach,beginstofeelandlookmorelikeaspare,lankymalebody,she beginstofeeluntouchable,outofreachofhurt,"invulnerable,cleanandhardasthebonesetchedintomysilhouette,"asonestudentdescribeditinherjournal.She despises,inparticular,allthosepartsofherbodythatcontinuetomarkherasfemale."IfonlyIcouldeliminate[mybreasts],"saysLiu,"cutthemoffifneedbe."31For her,asformanyanorectics,thebreastsrepresentabovine,unconscious,vulnerablesideoftheself.Liu'sbodysymbolismisthoroughlycontinuouswithdominant culturalassociations.BrettSilverstein'sstudiesonthe"PossibleCausesoftheThinStandardofBodilyAttractivenessforWomen''32testifyempiricallytowhatis obviousfromeverycomedyroutineinvolvingadramaticallyshapelywoman:namely,ourculturalas

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sociationofcurvaceousnesswithincompetence.Theanorecticisalsoquiteaware,ofcourse,ofthesocialandsexualvulnerabilityinvolvedinhavingafemalebody many,infact,weresexuallyabusedaschildren. Throughheranorexia,bycontrast,shehasunexpectedlydiscoveredanentryintotheprivilegedmaleworld,awaytobecomewhatisvaluedinourculture,awayto becomesafe,toriseaboveitallforher,theyarethesamething.Shehasdiscoveredthis,paradoxically,bypursuingconventionalfemininebehaviorinthiscase,the disciplineofperfectingthebodyasanobjecttoexcess.Atthispointofexcess,theconventionallyfemininedeconstructs,wemightsay,intoitsoppositeandopens ontothosevaluesourculturehascodedasmale.Nowondertheanorexiaisexperiencedasliberatingandthatshewillfightfamily,friends,andtherapistsinaneffortto holdontoitfightthemtothedeath,ifneedbe.Theanorectic'sexperienceofpoweris,ofcourse,deeplyanddangerouslyillusory.Toreshapeone'sbodyintoa malebodyisnottoputonmalepowerandprivilege.Tofeelautonomousandfreewhileharnessingbodyandsoultoanobsessivebodypracticeistoserve,not transform,asocialorderthatlimitsfemalepossibilities.And,ofcourse,forthefemaletobecomemaleisonlyforhertolocateherselfontheothersideofadisfiguring opposition.Thenew"powerlook"offemalebodybuilding,whichencourageswomentodevelopthesamehulklike,triangularshapethathasbeenthenormformale bodybuilders,isnolessdeterminedbyahierarchical,dualisticconstructionofgenderthanwastheconventionally"feminine"normthattyrannizedfemalebody builderssuchasBevFrancisforyears. Althoughthespecificculturalpracticesandmeaningsaredifferent,similarmechanisms,Isuspect,areatworkinhysteriaandagoraphobia.Inthesecasestoo,the languageoffemininity,whenpushedtoexcesswhenshoutedandasserted,whendisruptiveanddemandingdeconstructsintoitsoppositeandmakesavailableto thewomananillusoryexperienceofpowerpreviouslyforbiddentoherbyvirtueofhergender.Inthecaseofnineteenthcenturyfemininity,theforbiddenexperience mayhavebeentheburstingoffettersparticularlymoralandemotionalfetters.JohnConolly,theasylumreformer,recommendedinstitutionalizationforwomenwho "wantthatrestraintoverthepassionswithoutwhichthefemale

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characterislost."33Hystericsofteninfuriatedmaledoctorsbytheirlackofpreciselythisquality.S.WeirMitchelldescribedthesepatientsas"thedespairof physicians,"whose"despoticselfishnesswreckstheconstitutionofnursesanddevotedrelatives,andinunconsciousorhalfconsciousselfindulgencedestroysthe comfortofeveryonearoundthem."34ItmusthavegiventheVictorianpatientsomeillicitpleasuretobeviewedascapableofsuchdisruptionofthestaidnineteenth centuryhousehold.Asimilarformofpower,Ibelieve,ispartoftheexperienceofagoraphobia. Thisdoesnotmeanthattheprimaryrealityofthesedisordersisnotoneofpainandentrapment.Anorexia,too,clearlycontainsadimensionofphysicaladdictionto thebiochemicaleffectsofstarvation.Butwhateverthephysiologyinvolved,thewaysinwhichthesubjectunderstandsandthematizesherexperiencecannotbe reducedtoamechanicalprocess.Theanorectic'sabilitytolivewithminimalfoodintakeallowshertofeelpowerfulandworthyofadmirationina"world,"asSusie Orbachdescribesit,"fromwhichatthemostprofoundlevel[she]feelsexcluded"andunvalued.35Theliteratureonbothanorexiaandhysteriaisstrewnwithbattlesof willbetweenthesuffererandthosetryingto"cure"herthelatter,asOrbachpointsout,veryrarelyunderstandthatthepsychicvaluessheisfightingforareoftenmore importanttothewomanthanlifeitself. Textuality,Praxis,andtheBody The"solutions"offeredbyanorexia,hysteria,andagoraphobia,Ihavesuggested,developoutofthepracticeoffemininityitself,thepursuitofwhichisstillpresentedas thechiefroutetoacceptanceandsuccessforwomeninourculture.Tooaggressivelypursued,thatpracticeleadstoitsownundoing,inonesense.Foriffemininityis, asSusanBrownmillerhassaid,atitscorea"traditionofimposedlimitations,"36thenanunwillingnesstolimitoneself,eveninthepursuitoffemininity,breakstherules. But,ofcourse,inanothersensetherulesremainfullyinplace.Thesuffererbecomesweddedtoanobsessivepractice,unabletomakeanyeffectivechangeinherlife. Sheremains,asTorilMoihasputit,"gaggedandchainedto[the]femininerole,"areproducerofthedocilebodyoffemininity.37

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Thistensionbetweenthepsychologicalmeaningofadisorder,whichmayenactfantasiesofrebellionandembodyalanguageofprotest,andthepracticallifeofthe disorderedbody,whichmayutterlydefeatrebellionandsubvertprotest,maybeobscuredbytooexclusiveafocusonthesymbolicdimensionandinsufficientattention topraxis.AswehaveseeninthecaseofsomeLacanianfeministreadingsofhysteria,theresultofthiscanbeaonesidedinterpretationthatromanticizesthehysteric's symbolicsubversionofthephallocentricorderwhileconfinedtoherbed.Thisisnottosaythatconfinementinbedhasatransparent,univocalmeaningin powerlessness,debilitation,dependency,andsoforth.The"practical"bodyisnobrutebiologicalormaterialentity.It,too,isaculturallymediatedformitsactivities aresubjecttointerpretationanddescription.Theshifttothepracticaldimensionisnotaturntobiologyornature,buttoanother"register,"asFoucaultputsit,ofthe culturalbody,theregisterofthe"usefulbody"ratherthanthe''intelligiblebody."38Thedistinctioncanproveuseful,Ibelieve,tofeministdiscourse. Theintelligiblebodyincludesourscientific,philosophic,andaestheticrepresentationsofthebodyourculturalconceptionsofthebody,normsofbeauty,modelsof health,andsoforth.Butthesamerepresentationsmayalsobeseenasformingasetofpracticalrulesandregulationsthroughwhichthelivingbodyis"trained, shaped,obeys,responds,"becoming,inshort,asociallyadaptedand"usefulbody."39Considerthisparticularlyclearandappropriateexample:thenineteenthcentury hourglassfigure,emphasizingbreastsandhipsagainstawaspwaist,wasanintelligiblesymbolicform,representingadomestic,sexualizedidealoffemininity.The sharpculturalcontrastbetweenthefemaleandthemaleform,madepossiblebytheuseofcorsetsandbustles,reflected,insymbolicterms,thedualisticdivisionof socialandeconomiclifeintoclearlydefinedmaleandfemalespheres.Atthesametime,toachievethespecifiedlook,aparticularfemininepraxiswasrequired straitlacing,minimaleating,reducedmobilityrenderingthefemalebodyunfittoperformactivitiesoutsideitsdesignatedsphere.This,inFoucauldianterms,wouldbe the"usefulbody"correspondingtotheaestheticnorm. Theintelligiblebodyandtheusefulbodyaretwoarenasofthesamediscoursetheyoftenmirrorandsupporteachother,asinthe

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aboveillustration.Anotherexamplecanbefoundintheseventeenthcenturyphilosophicconceptionofthebodyasamachine,mirroringanincreasinglymore automatedproductivemachineryoflabor.Butthetwobodiesmayalsocontradictandmockeachother.Arangeofcontemporaryrepresentationsandimages,as notedearlier,havecodedthetranscendenceoffemaleappetiteanditspublicdisplayintheslendernessidealintermsofpower,will,mastery,thepossibilitiesof successintheprofessionalarena.Theseassociationsarecarriedvisuallybytheslendersuperwomenofprimetimetelevisionandpopularmoviesandpromoted explicitlyinadvertisementsandarticlesappearingroutinelyinwomen'sfashionmagazines,dietbooks,andweighttrainingpublications.Yetthethousandsofslender girlsandwomenwhostrivetoembodytheseimagesandwhointhatservicesufferfromeatingdisorders,exercisecompulsions,andcontinualselfscrutinyandself castigationareanythingbutthe"masters"oftheirlives. Exposureandproductiveculturalanalysisofsuchcontradictoryandmystifyingrelationsbetweenimageandpracticearepossibleonlyiftheanalysisincludesattention toandinterpretationofthe"useful"or,asIprefertocallit,thepracticalbody.Suchattention,althoughoftenininchoateandtheoreticallyunsophisticatedform,was centraltothebeginningsofthecontemporaryfeministmovement.Inthelate1960sandearly1970stheobjectificationofthefemalebodywasaseriouspoliticalissue. Alltheculturalparaphernaliaoffemininity,oflearningtopleasevisuallyandsexuallythroughthepracticesofthebodymediaimagery,beautypageants,highheels, girdles,makeup,simulatedorgasmwereseenascrucialinmaintaininggenderdomination. Disquietingly,forthefeministsofthepresentdecade,suchfocusonthepoliticsoffemininepraxis,althoughstillmaintainedintheworkofindividualfeminists,isno longeracenterpieceoffeministculturalcritique.40Onthepopularfront,wefindMs.magazinepresentingissuesonfitnessand"style,"therhetoricreconstructedfor the1980stopitch"selfexpression"and"power."Althoughfeministtheorysurelyhasthetools,ithasnotprovidedacriticaldiscoursetodismantleanddemystifythis rhetoric.TheworkofFrenchfeministshasprovidedapowerfulframeworkforunderstandingtheinscriptionofphallocentric,dualisticcultureongenderedbodies,but ithasofferedverylittleinthewayofconcrete

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analysesofthefemalebodyasalocusofpracticalculturalcontrol.Amongfeministtheoristsinthiscountry,thestudyofculturalrepresentationsofthefemalebodyhas flourished,andithasoftenbeenbrilliantlyilluminatingandinstrumentaltoafeministrereadingofculture.41Butthestudyofculturalrepresentationsalone,divorced fromconsiderationoftheirrelationtothepracticallivesofbodies,canobscureandmislead. Here,HelenaMitchie'ssignificantlytitledTheFleshMadeWordoffersastrikingexample.Examiningnineteenthcenturyrepresentationsofwomen,appetite,and eating,Mitchiedrawsfascinatingandastutemetaphoricalconnectionsbetweenfemaleeatingandfemalesexuality.Femalehunger,sheargues,andIagree,"figures unspeakabledesiresforsexualityandpower."42TheVictoriannovel's"representationaltaboo"againstdepictingwomeneating(anactivity,apparently,thatonly "happensoffstage,"asMitchieputsit)thusfunctionsasa"code"forthesuppressionoffemalesexuality,asdoesthegeneralculturalrequirement,exhibitedinetiquette andsexmanualsoftheday,thatthewellbredwomaneatlittleanddelicately.Thesamecodingisdrawnon,Mitchieargues,incontemporaryfeminist''inversions"of Victorianvalues,inversionsthatcelebratefemalesexualityandpowerthroughimagesexultinginfemaleeatingandfemalehunger,depictingitexplicitly,lushly,and joyfully. DespitethefactthatMitchie'sanalysiscentersonissuesconcerningwomen'shunger,food,andeatingpractices,shemakesnomentionofthegraveeatingdisorders thatsurfacedinthelatenineteenthcenturyandthatareravagingthelivesofyoungwomentoday.Thepracticalarenaofwomendieting,fasting,straitlacing,andso forthis,toacertainextent,implicitinherexaminationofVictoriangenderideology.ButwhenMitchieturns,attheendofherstudy,toconsidercontemporaryfeminist literaturecelebratingfemaleeatingandfemalehunger,theabsenceofevenapassingglanceathowwomenareactuallymanagingtheirhungerstodayleavesher analysisadrift,lackinganyconcretesocialmoorings.Mitchie'ssolefocusisontheinevitablefailureoffeministliteraturetoescape"phallicrepresentationalcodes."43 Butthefeministcelebrationofthefemalebodydidnotmerelydeconstructonthewrittenpageorcanvas.Largelylocatedinthefeministcountercultureofthe1970s,it hasbeenculturallydisplacedbyaverydifferentcontemporary

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reality.Itscelebrationoffemalefleshnowpresentsitselfinjarringdissonancewiththefactthatwomen,feministsincluded,arestarvingthemselvestodeathinour culture. Thisisnottodenythebenefitsofdiet,exercise,andotherformsofbodymanagement.Rather,Iviewourbodiesasasiteofstruggle,wherewemustworktokeep ourdailypracticesintheserviceofresistancetogenderdomination,notintheserviceofdocilityandgendernormalization.Thisworkrequires,Ibelieve,a determinedlyskepticalattitudetowardtheroutesofseemingliberationandpleasureofferedbyourculture.Italsodemandsanawarenessoftheoftencontradictory relationsbetweenimageandpractice,betweenrhetoricandreality.Popularrepresentations,aswehaveseen,mayforcefullyemploytherhetoricandsymbolismof empowerment,personalfreedom,"havingitall."Yetfemalebodies,pursuingtheseideals,mayfindthemselvesasdistracted,depressed,andphysicallyillasfemale bodiesinthenineteenthcenturyweremadewhenpursuingafeminineidealofdependency,domesticity,anddelicacy.Therecognitionandanalysisofsuch contradictions,andofalltheothercollusions,subversions,andenticementsthroughwhichcultureenjoinstheaidofourbodiesinthereproductionofgender,require thatwerestoreaconcernforfemalepraxistoitsformerlycentralplaceinfeministpolitics.

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ReadingtheSlenderBody
InthelateVictorianera,arguablyforthefirsttimeintheWest,thosewhocouldaffordtoeatwellbegansystematicallytodenythemselvesfoodinpursuitofan aestheticideal.1 Certainly,othercultureshaddieted.AristocraticGreekculturemadeascienceoftheregulationoffoodintake,asaroadtoselfmasteryandthe practiceofmoderationinallthings.2 Fasting,aimedatspiritualpurificationanddominationoftheflesh,wasanimportantpartoftherepertoireofChristianpracticein theMiddleAges.3 Theseformsofdietcanclearlybeviewedasinstrumentsforthedevelopmentofa"self"whetheran"inner"self,fortheChristians,orapublicself, fortheGreeksconstructedasanarenainwhichthedeepestpossibilitiesforhumanexcellencemayberealized.Ritualsoffastingandasceticismweretherefore reservedfortheselectfew,aristocraticorpriestly,whoweredeemedcapableofachievingsuchexcellenceofspirit.Inthelatenineteenthcentury,bycontrast,the practicesofbodymanagementbegintobemiddleclasspreoccupations,andconcernwithdietbecomesattachedtothepursuitofanidealizedphysicalweightor shapeitbecomesaprojectinserviceofbodyratherthansoul.Fat,notappetiteordesire,becamethedeclaredenemy,andpeoplebegantomeasuretheirdietary achievementsbythenumbersonthescaleratherthanbytheleveloftheirmasteryofimpulseandexcess.Thebourgeois''tyrannyofslenderness"(asKimCherninhas calledit)4 hadbegunitsascendancy(particularlyoverwomen),andwithitthedevelopmentofnumeroustechnologiesdiet,exercise,and,lateron,chemicalsand surgeryaimedatapurelyphysicaltransformation. Today,wehavebecomeacutelyawareofthemassiveandmultifacetednatureofsuchtechnologiesandtheindustriesbuiltaroundthem.Tothedegreethatapopular criticalconsciousnessexists,however,ithasbeenfocusedlargely(andnotsurprisingly)onwhat

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hasbeenviewedaspathologicalorextremeontheunfortunateminoritywhobecome"obsessed"orgo"toofar."Televisiontalkshowsfeaturetalesofdisasters causedbystomachstapling,gastricbubbles,gastrointestinalbypassoperations,liquiddiets,compulsiveexercising.Magazineswarnofthedangersoffatreduction surgeryandliposuction.Booksandarticlesaboutbulimiaandanorexianervosaproliferate.Theportrayalofeatingdisordersbythepopularmediaisoftenlurid audiencesgaspatpicturesofskeletalbodiesoratitembyitemdescriptionsofthemoundsoffoodeatenduringanaveragebinge.Suchpresentationscreatea''side show"relationshipbetweenthe("normal")audienceandthoseonview("thefreaks").Tothedegreethattheaudiencemaynonethelessrecognizethemselvesinthe behaviororreportedexperiencesofthoseonstage,theyconfrontthemselvesas"pathological"oroutsidethenorm. Ofcourse,manyofthesebehaviorsareoutsidethenorm,ifonlybecauseofthefinancialresourcestheyrequire.Butpreoccupationwithfat,diet,andslendernessare notabnormal.5 Indeed,suchpreoccupationmayfunctionasoneofthemostpowerfulnormalizingmechanismsofourcentury,insuringtheproductionofself monitoringandselfdisciplining"docilebodies"sensitivetoanydeparturefromsocialnormsandhabituatedtoselfimprovementandselftransformationintheservice ofthosenorms.Seeninthislight,thefocuson"pathology,"disorder,accident,unexpecteddisaster,andbizarrebehaviorobscuresthenormalizingfunctionofthe technologiesofdietandbodymanagement.Forwomen,whoaresubjecttosuchcontrolsmoreprofoundlyand,historically,moreubiquitouslythanmen,thefocuson "pathology"(unlessembeddedinapoliticalanalysis)divertsrecognitionfromacentralmeansofthereproductionofgender. InthisessayIexaminethenormalizingroleofdietandexercisebyanalyzingpopularrepresentationsthroughwhichtheirculturalmeaningiscrystallized,metaphorically encoded,andtransmitted.Morespecifically,IpursuehereMaryDouglas'sinsightthatimagesofthe"microcosm"thephysicalbodymaysymbolicallyreproduce centralvulnerabilitiesandanxietiesofthe"macrocosm"thesocialbody.6 Iwillexplorethisinsightbyreading,asthetextorsurfaceonwhichcultureissymbolically written,somedominant

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meaningsthatareconnected,inourtime,totheimageryofslenderness.7 Thefirststepinmyargumentisadecodingofthecontemporaryslendernessidealsoastorevealthepsychicanxietiesandmoralvaluationscontainedwithinit valuationsconcerningcorrectandincorrectmanagementofimpulseanddesire.IntheprocessIdescribeakeycontrastbetweentwodifferentsymbolicfunctionsof bodyshapeandsize:(1)thedesignationofsocialposition,suchasclassstatusorgenderroleand(2)theouterindicationofthespiritual,moral,oremotionalstateof theindividual.Next,aidedbythesignificantworkofRobertCrawford,Iturntothesocialbodyofconsumercultureinordertodemonstratehowthe"correct" managementofdesireinthatculture,requiringasitdoesacontradictorydoublebindconstructionofpersonality,inevitablyproducesanunstablebulimicpersonality typeasitsnorm,alongwiththecontrastingextremesofobesityandselfstarvation.8 Thesesymbolize,Iwillargue,thecontradictionsofthesocialbody contradictionsthatmakeselfmanagementacontinualandvirtuallyimpossibletaskinourculture.Finally,Iintroducegenderintothissymbolicframework,showing howadditionalresonances(concerningtheculturalmanagementoffemaledesire,ontheonehand,andfemaleflightfromapurelyreproductivedestiny,ontheother) haveoverdeterminedslendernessasthecurrentidealforwomen. ContemporaryAnxietyandtheEnemyFlab Inthemagazineshow"20/20,"severaltenyearoldboyswereshownsomephotosoffashionmodels.Themodelswerepencilthin.Yettheposewassuchthatasmall bulgeofhipwasforced,throughtheactionofthebody,intoprotuberanceasisnatural,unavoidableonanybutthemostskeletalorthemosttautlydeveloped bodies.Webendover,wesitdown,andthefleshcoalescesinspots.Theseyoungboys,pointingtothehips,disgustedlypronouncedthemodelstobe"fat."Watching theshow,Iwasappalledattheboys'reaction.YetIcouldnotdenythatIhadalsobeensurprisedatmyowncurrentperceptionswhilereviewingfemalebodiesin moviesfromthe2970swhatonceappearedslenderandfitnowseemedlooseandflabby.Weightwasnotthekeyelement

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. inthesechangedperceptionsmystandardshadnotcometofavorthinnerbodiesrather,Ihadcometoexpectatighter,smoother,morecontainedbodyprofile (seeFigure26,whichdramaticallycapturestheessenceofthisideal). Theselfcriticismsoftheanorectic,too,areusuallyfocusedonparticularsoft,protuberantareasofthebody(mostoftenthestomach)ratherthanonthebodyasa whole.Karen,inIraSackerandMarcZimmer'sDyingtoBeThin,triestodispelwhatsheseesasthemyththattheanorecticmisperceivesherwholebodyasfat:


IhopeI'mexpressingmyselfproperlyhere,becausethisisimportant.Youhavetounderstand.Idon'tseemywholebodyasfat.WhenIlookinthemirrorIdon'treallyseeafat personthere.Iseecertainthingsaboutmethatarereallythin.Likemyarmsandlegs.ButIcan

Page189 telltheminuteIeatcertainthingsthatmystomachblowsuplikeapig's.Iknowitgetsdistended.Andit'sdisgusting.That'swhatIkeeptomyselfhugtomyself.
9

OrBarbara,fromDalmaHeyn'sarticleon"BodyVision":
Sometimesmybodylookssobloated,Idon'twanttogetdressed.Ilikethewayitlooksforexactlytwodayseachmonth:usually,theeighthandninthdaysaftermyperiod.Every otherday,mybreasts,mystomachthey'rejustawfullumps,bumps,bulges.Mybodycanturnonmeatanymomentitisanoutofcontrolmassofflesh.10

Muchhasbeenmadeofsuchdescriptions,frombothpsychoanalyticandfeministperspectives.ButfornowIwishtopursuetheseimagesofunwantedbulgesand eruptingstomachsinanotherdirectionthanthatofgendersymbolism.Iwanttoconsiderthemasametaphorforanxietyaboutinternalprocessesoutofcontrol uncontaineddesire,unrestrainedhunger,uncontrolledimpulse.Imagesofbodilyeruptionfrequentlyfunctionsymbolicallyinthiswayincontemporaryhorrormovies andwerewolffilms(TheHowling,ATeenAgeWerewolfinLondon)andinDavidCronenberg'sremakeofTheFly.TheoriginalFlyimaginedamechanicaljoining offlypartsandpersonparts,avariationonthestandard"halfman,halfbeast"image.InCronenberg'sFly,asinthewerewolfgenre,anew,alien,libidinous,and uncontrollableselfliterallyburststhroughtheseamsofthevictims'oldflesh.(Arelated,frequentlycopiedimageoccursinAlien,whereaparasiteeruptsfromthechest ofthehumanhost.)Inadvertisements,theconstructionofthebodyasanalienattacker,threateningtoeruptinanunsightlydisplayofbulgingflesh,isaubiquitous culturalimage. Untilthe1980s,excessweightwasthetargetofmostadsfordietproductstoday,oneismuchmorelikelytofindtheenemyconstructedasbulge,fat,orflab."Now," atypicaladruns,"getridofthoseembarrassingbumps,bulges,largestomach,flabbybreastsandbuttocks.Feelyounger,andhelppreventcellulitebuildupHavea niceshapewithnotummy."Toachievesuchresults(oftenenvisionedastheabsoluteeradicationofbody,asin"notummy'')aviolentassaultontheenemyisusually requiredbulgesmustbe"attacked"and"destroyed,"fat"burned,"andstomachs(or,moredisgustedly,"guts")mustbe"busted"and"eliminated"(Figure27).The increasingpopularityofliposuction,afarfrom

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. totallysafetechniquedevelopedspecificallytosuckouttheunwantedbulgesofpeopleofnormalweight(itisnotrecommendedfortheobese),suggestshowfarour disgustwithbodilybulgeshasgone.Theidealhereisofabodythatisabsolutelytight,contained,"bolteddown,"firm:inotherwords,abodythatisprotectedagainst eruptionfromwithin,whoseinternalprocessesareundercontrol.Areasthataresoft,loose,or"wiggly"areunacceptable,

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evenonextremelythinbodies.Cellulitemanagement,likeliposuction,hasnothingtodowithweightloss,andeverythingtodowiththequestforfirmbodilymargins. Thisperspectivehelpsilluminateanimportantcontinuityofmeaninginourculturebetweencompulsivedietingandbodybuilding,anditrevealswhyithasbeensoeasy forcontemporaryimagesoffemaleattractivenesstooscillatebetweenaspare,"minimalist"lookandasolid,muscular,athleticlook.Thecoexistenceofthese seeminglydisparateimagesdoesnotindicatethatapostmodernuniverseofempty,endlesslydifferentiatingimagesnowreigns.Rather,thetwoideals,though superficiallyverydifferent,areunitedinbattleagainstacommonenemy:thesoft,thelooseunsolid,excessflesh.Itisperfectlypermissibleinourculture(evenfor women)tohavesubstantialweightandbulksolongasitistightlymanaged.Simplytobeslimisnotenoughthefleshmustnot"wiggle"(Figure28).Herewearrive atonesourceofinsightintowhyitisthattheimageofidealslendernesshasgrownthinnerandthinnerthroughoutthe1980sandearly1990s,andwhywomenwith extremelyslenderbodiesoftenstillseethemselvesasfat.Unlessonetakestomusclebuilding,toachieveaflabfree,excessfreebodyonemusttrimverynearthe bone. SlendernessandtheInnerStateoftheSelf Themoraland,asweshallsee,economiccodingofthefat/slenderbodyintermsofitscapacityforselfcontainmentandthecontrolofimpulseanddesire representstheculminationofadevelopinghistoricalchangeinthesocialsymbolismofbodyweightandsize.Untilthelatenineteenthcentury,thecentraldiscriminations markedwerethoseofclass,race,andgenderthebodyindicatedsocialidentityand"place."So,forexample,thebulgingstomachsofsuccessfulmidnineteenth centurybusinessmenandpoliticianswereasymbolofbourgeoissuccess,anoutwardmanifestationoftheiraccumulatedwealth.11Bycontrast,thegracefullyslender bodyannouncedaristocraticstatusdisdainfulofthebourgeoisneedtodisplaywealthandpowerostentatiously,itcommandedsocialspaceinvisiblyratherthan aggressively,seeminglyabovethecommerceinappetiteortheneedtoeat.Subsequently,thisidealbegantobeappropriatedbythestatusseekingmiddle

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. class,asslenderwivesbecametheshowpiecesoftheirhusbands'success.12 Corpulencewentoutofmiddleclassvogueattheendofthecentury(evenWilliamHowardTaft,whohadweighedoverthreehundredpoundswhileinoffice,went onareducingdiet).Socialpowerhadcometobelessdependentonthesheeraccumulationofmaterialwealthandmoreconnectedtotheabilitytocontroland managethelaborandresourcesofothers.Atthesametime,excessbodyweightcametobeseenasreflectingmoralorpersonalinadequacy,orlackofwill.13These associationsarepossibleonlyinacultureofoverabundancethatis,inasocietyinwhichthosewhocontroltheproductionof"culture"havemorethanenoughtoeat. Themoralrequirementtodietdependsonthematerialpreconditionsthatmakethechoicetodietanoptionandthepossibilityofpersonal"excess"areality.Although slendernesscontinuestore

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. tainsomeofitstraditionalclassassociations("awomancanneverbetoorichortoothin"),theimportanceofthisequationhaserodedconsiderablysincethe1970s. Increasingly,thesizeandshapeofthebodyhavecometooperateasamarketofpersonal,internalorder(ordisorder)asasymbolfortheemotional,moral,or spiritualstateoftheindividual. Consideroneparticularlyclearexample,thatofchangesinthemeaningofthemuscledbody.Muscularityhashadavarietyofculturalmeaningsthathaveprevented thewelldevelopedbodyfromplayingamajorroleinmiddleclassconceptionsofattractiveness.Ofcourse,muscleshavechieflysymbolizedandcontinueto symbolizemasculinepowerasphysicalstrength,frequentlyoperatingasameansofcodingthe"naturalness"ofsexualdifference,asaTimecoverandaSecretad illustrate(Figures29and30).Butatthesametime(andastheSecretadillustrates),theyhavebeen

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights.

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associatedwithmanuallaborandproletarianstatus,andtheyhaveoftenbeensuffusedwithracialmeaningaswell(asinnumerousfilmrepresentationsofsweating, glisteningbodiesbelongingtoblackslavesandprizefighters).Undertheracialandclassbiasesofourculture,musclesthushavebeenassociatedwiththeinsensitive, unintelligent,andanimalistic(recallthewelldevelopedMarlonBrandoastheemotionallyprimitive,physicallyabusiveStanleyKowalskiinAStreetcarNamed Desire).Moreover,asthebodyitselfisdominantlyimaginedwithintheWestasbelongingtothe"nature"sideofanature/cultureduality,themorebodyonehashad, themoreunculturedanduncivilizedonehasbeenexpectedtobe. Today,however,thewellmuscledbodyhasbecomeaculturalicon"workingout"isaglamorizedandsexualizedyuppieactivity.Nolongersignifyinginferiorstatus (exceptwhendevelopedtoextremes,atwhichpointtheoldassociationofmuscleswithbrute,unconsciousmaterialitysurfacesoncemore),thefirm,developedbody hasbecomeasymbolofcorrectattitudeitmeansthatone"cares"aboutoneselfandhowoneappearstoothers,suggestingwillpower,energy,controloverinfantile impulse,theabilityto"shapeyourlife"(Figure31)."Youexercise,youdiet,''saysHeatherLocklear,promotingBallyMatrixFitnessCentreontelevision,"andyou candoanythingyouwant."Musclesexpresssexuality,butcontrolled,managedsexualitythatisnotabouttoeruptinunwantedandembarrassingdisplay.14 Tothedegreethatthequestionofclassstilloperatesinallthis,itrelatestothecategoryofsocialmobility(orlackofit)ratherthanclasslocation.So,forexample, whenassociationsoffatandlowerclassstatusexist,theyareusuallymediatedbymoralqualitiesfatbeingperceivedasindicativeoflaziness,lackofdiscipline, unwillingnesstoconform,andabsenceofallthose"managerial"abilitiesthat,accordingtothedominantideology,conferupwardmobility(Figure32). Correspondingly,inpopularteenmoviessuchasFlashdanceandVisionQuest,theabilityofthe(workingclass)heroineandherotopare,prune,tighten,andmaster thebodyoperatesasaclearsymbolofsuccessfulupwardaspiration,ofthepenetrabilityofclassboundariestothosewhohave"therightstuff."Thesemovies(asone titlemakesexplicit)arecontemporary"questmyths"liketheirprototype,Rocky,theyfollowthestruggleofanindividualtoattainapersonalgrail,againstalloddsand throughnumeroustrials.But

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. unlikethefilmquestsofapreviousera(whichsentMr.SmithtoWashingtonandMr.Deedstotowntobattletherespectivesocialevilsofcorruptgovernmentand bigbusiness),FlashdanceandVisionQuestrenderthehero'sandheroine'scommitment,willandspiritualintegritythroughthemetaphorsofweightloss,exercise, andtoleranceofandabilitytoconquerphysicalpainandexhaustion.(InVisionQuest,forexample,theaudienceisencouragedtoadmiretheyoungwrestler's perseverancewhenheignoresthefaintingspellsandnosebleedscausedbyhisrigoroustraininganddieting.)Notsurprisingly,youngpeoplewitheatingdisorders oftenthematizetheirownexperienceinsimilarterms,asinthefollowingexcerptfromaninterviewwithayoungwomanrunner:


Well,Ihadthewillpower,Icouldtrainforcompetition,andIcouldturndownfoodanytime.IrememberfeelinglikeIwasonaconstanthigh.Andthepain?Sure,therewaspain.It wasincredible.Between

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights.

Page198 thehungerandthemusclepainfromtheconstantworkouts?Ican'ttellyouhowmuchIhurt. YoumaythinkIwascrazytoputmyselfthroughconstant,intensepain.Butyouhavetoremember,Iwasfightingabattle.Andwhenyougethurtinabattle,you'reproudofit. Sure,youmayscreaminside,butifyou'rebraveandreallygood,thenyoutakeitquietly,becauseyouknowit'sthepriceyoupayforwinning.AndIneededtowin.Ireallyfelt thatifIdidn'twin,Iwoulddie...alltheseenemytroopswerecomingatme,andIhadtooutsmartthem.IfIcoulddisciplinemyselfenoughifIcouldkeepmyselfleanand strongthenIcouldwin.ThepainwasjustanaturalthingIhadtodealwith.15

AsinVisionQuest,theexternalcontextistrainingforanathleticevent.Buthere,too,thatgoalbecomessubordinatedtoaninternalone.Therealbattle,ultimately,is withtheself.Atthispoint,thelimitationsofthebriefhistorypresentedintheopeningparagraphofthisessayarerevealed.Inthatparagraph,thecontemporary preoccupationwithdietiscontrastedtohistoricalprojectsofbodymanagementthatweresuffusedwithmoralmeaning.Inthissection,however,Ihavesuggestedthat examinationofeventhemostshallowrepresentations(teenmovies)disclosesamoralideologyone,infact,seeminglyclosetothearistocraticGreekidealdescribed byFoucaultinTheUseofPleasure.Thecentralelementofthatideal,asFoucaultdescribesit,is"anagonisticrelationwiththeself"aimed,notattheextirpationof desireandhungerintheinterestsof"purity"(asintheChristianstrainofdualism),butata"virile''masteryofdesirethroughconstant"spiritualcombat."16 FortheGreeks,however,the"virile"masteryofdesiretookplaceinaculturethatvalorizedmoderation.Thecultureofcontemporarybodymanagement,strugglingto managedesireinasystemdedicatedtotheproliferationofdesirablecommodities,isverydifferent.InculturalfantasiessuchasVisionQuestandFlashdance,self masteryispresentedasanattainableandstablestatebut,asIargueinthenextsectionofthisessay,therealityofthecontemporaryagonismoftheselfisanother matterentirely. SlendernessandtheSocialBody MaryDouglas,lookingonthebodyasasystemof"naturalsymbols"thatreproducesocialcategoriesandconcerns,hasarguedthat

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anxietyaboutthemaintenanceofrigidbodilyboundaries(manifested,forexample,inritualsandprohibitionsconcerningexcreta,saliva,andthestrictdelineationof "inside"and"outside")ismostevidentandintenseinsocietieswhoseexternalboundariesareunderattack.17Letmehypothesize,similarly,thatpreoccupationwith the"internal"managementofthebody(thatis,managementofitsdesires)isproducedbyinstabilitiesinwhatcouldbecalledthemacroregulationofdesirewithinthe systemofthesocialbody. Inadvancedconsumercapitalism,asRobertCrawfordhaselegantlyargued,anunstable,agonisticconstructionofpersonalityisproducedbythecontradictory structureofeconomiclife.18Ontheonehand,asproducersofgoodsandserviceswemustsublimate,delay,repressdesiresforimmediategratificationwemust cultivatetheworkethic.Ontheotherhand,asconsumerswemustdisplayaboundlesscapacitytocapitulatetodesireandindulgeinimpulsewemusthungerfor constantandimmediatesatisfaction.Theregulationofdesirethusbecomesanongoingproblem,aswefindourselvescontinuallybesiegedbytemptation,whilesocially condemnedforoverindulgence.(Ofcourse,thosewhocannotaffordtoindulgetheirdesiresasconsumers,teasedandfrustratedbytheculture,faceamuchharsher dilemma.) Foodanddietarecentralarenasfortheexpressionofthesecontradictions.Ontelevisionandinpopularmagazines,withaflipofthepageorbarelyapausebetween commercials,imagesoflusciousfoodsandtherhetoricofcravinganddesirearereplacedbyadvertisementsforgrapefruitdiets,lowcalorierecipes,andexercise equipment.Evenmoredisquietingthanthesemanifestoppositions,however,aretheconstantattemptsbyadvertiserstomystifythem,suggestingthatthecontradiction doesn'treallyexist,thatonecan"haveitall."Dietsandexerciseprogramsareaccordinglypresentedwiththeimageryofinstantgratification("FromFattoFabulousin 21Days,""Size22toSize10inNoTimeFlat,""SixMinutestoanOlympicClassStomach")andeffortlessness("3,000SitUpsWithoutMovinganInch...10 MilesofJoggingLyingFlatonYourBack''[Figure33],"85PoundsWithoutDieting,"andeven,shamelessly,"ExerciseWithoutExercise").Inreality,however,the oppositionisnotsoeasilyreconciled.Rather,itpresentsaclassicdoublebind,inwhichtheselfistornintwomutuallyincompatibledirections.Thecontradictionisnot anabstractonebutstemsfrom

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thespecifichistoricalconstructionofa"consumingpassion"fromwhichallinclinationstowardbalance,moderation,rationality,andforesighthavebeenexcluded. Conditionedtolosecontrolatthemeresightofdesirableproducts,wecanmasterourdesiresonlybycreatingrigiddefensesagainstthem.Theslenderbodycodes thetantalizingidealofawellmanagedselfinwhichalliskeptinorderdespitethecontradictionsofconsumerculture.Thus,whetherornotthestruggleisplayedoutin termsoffoodanddiet,manyofusmayfindourlivesvacillatingbetweenadaytimerigidlyruledbythe"performanceprinciple"andnightsandweekendsthatcapitulate tounconscious"lettinggo"(food,shopping,liquor,television,andotheraddictivedrugs).Inthisway,thecentralcontradictionofthesysteminscribesitselfonour bodies,andbulimiaemergesasacharacteristicmodernpersonalityconstruction.Forbulimiapreciselyandexplicitlyexpressestheextremedevelopmentofthehunger forunrestrainedconsumption(exhibitedinthebulimic'suncontrollablefoodbinges)existinginunstabletensionalongsidetherequirementthatwesoberup,"cleanup ouract,"getbackinfirmcontrolonMondaymorning(thenecessityforpurgeexhibitedinthebulimic'svomiting,compulsiveexercising,andlaxativepurges). Thesamestructuralcontradictionisinscribedinwhathasbeentermed(incorrectly)the"paradox"thatwehavean"epidemic"ofanorexianervosainthiscountry "despitethefactthatwehaveanoverweightmajority."19Farfromparadoxical,thecoexistenceofanorexiaandobesityrevealstheinstabilityofthecontemporary personalityconstruction,thedifficultyoffindinghomeostasisbetweentheproducerandtheconsumersidesoftheself.Bulimiaembodiestheunstabledoublebindof consumercapitalism,whileanorexiaandobesityembodyanattemptedresolutionofthatdoublebind.Anorexiacouldthusbeseenasanextremedevelopmentofthe capacityforselfdenialandrepressionofdesire(theworkethicinabsolutecontrol)obesity,asanextremecapacitytocapitulatetodesire(consumerismincontrol). Botharerootedinthesameconsumercultureconstructionofdesireasoverwhelmingandovertakingtheself.Giventhatconstruction,wecanonlyrespondeitherwith totalsubmissionorrigiddefense. Neitheranorexianorobesityisacceptedbythecultureasanappropriateresponse.Theabsoluteconquestofhungeranddesire

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(eveninsymbolicform)canneverbetoleratedbyaconsumersystemeveniftheChristiandualismofourculturealsopredisposesustobedazzledbytheanorectic's abilityseeminglytotranscendtheflesh.Anorecticsareproudofthisability,but,asthedisorderprogresses,theyusuallyfeeltheneedtohidetheirskeletalbodiesfrom thosearoundthem.Ifculturalattitudestowardtheanorecticareambivalent,however,reactionstotheobesearenot.AsMarciaMillmandocumentsinSuchaPretty Face,theobeseelicitblindingrageanddisgustinourcultureandareoftenviewedintermsthatsuggestaninfantsuckinghungrily,unconsciouslyatitsmother'sbreast: greedy,selfabsorbed,lazy,withoutselfcontrolorwillpower.20Peopleavoidsittingnexttotheobese(evenwhenthespacetheytakeupisnotintrusive)comicsfeel noneedtorestraintheircrueltysocially,theyareconsideredunacceptableatpublicfunctions(onemanwroteto"DearAbby,"sayingthathewasplanningtoreplace hisbrotherandsisterinlawashonorattendantsathiswedding,because"theyarebothquiteoverweight").Significantly,thepartoftheobeseanatomymostoften targetedforviciousattack,andmostdespisedbytheobesethemselves,isthestomach,symbolofconsumption(inthecaseoftheobese,unrestrainedconsumption takingovertheorganismoneofMarciaMillman'sintervieweesrecallshowthehusbandofafriendcalledhers"anawful,cancerouslookinggrowth").21 Slenderness,SelfManagement,andNormalization Selfmanagementinconsumerculture,Ihavebeenarguing,becomesmoreelusiveasitbecomesmorepressing.Theattainmentofanacceptablebodyisextremely difficultforthosewhodonotcomebyit"naturally"(whetheraidedbygenetics,metabolism,orhighactivitylevel)andastheidealbecomesfirmerandtauteritbegins toexcludemoreandmorepeople.Constantwatchfulnessoverappetiteandstrenuousworkonthebodyitselfarerequiredtoconformtothisideal,whilethemost popularmeansof"correction"dietingofteninsuresitsownfailure,astheexperienceofdeprivationleadstocompensatorybinging,withitsattendantfeelingsof defeat,worthlessness,andlossofhope.Betweenthemediaimagesofselfcontainmentandselfmasteryandtherealityofcon

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stant,everydaystressandanxietyaboutone'sappearanceliesthechasmthatproducesbodieshabituatedtoselfmonitoringandselfnormalization. Ultimately,thebody(besidesbeingevaluatedforitssuccessorfailureatgettingitselfinorder)isseenasdemonstratingcorrectorincorrectattitudestowardthe demandsofnormalizationitself.Theobeseandanorecticarethereforedisturbingpartlybecausetheyembodyresistancetoculturalnorms.Bulimics,bycontrast, typicallystrivefortheconventionallyattractivebodyshapedictatedbytheirmore"normative"patternofmanagingdesire.Inthecaseoftheobese,inparticular,what isperceivedastheirdefiantrebellionagainstnormalizationappearstobeasourceofthehostilitytheyinspire.Theanorecticatleastpayshomagetodominantcultural values,outdoingthemintheirownterms:


Iwantedpeopletolookatmeandseesomethingspecial.Iwantedtolookinthefaceofastrangerandseeadmiration,sothatIwouldknowthatIaccomplishedsomethingthat wasjustaboutimpossibleformostpeople,especiallyinoursocietyFromwhatI'veseen,morepeoplefailatlosingweightthanatanyothersinglegoal.Ifoundouthowtodo whateveryoneelsecouldn't:IcouldloseasmuchoraslittleweightasIwanted.AndthatmeantIwasbetterthaneveryoneelse.22

Theanorecticthusstrivestostandabovethecrowdbyexcellingatitsownrulesinsodoing,however,sheexposesthehiddenpenalties.Buttheobeseparticularly thosewhoclaimtobehappyalthoughoverweightareperceivedasnotplayingbytherulesatall.Iftherestofusarestrugglingtobeacceptableand"normal,"we cannotallowthemtogetawaywithittheymustbeputintheirplace,behumiliatedanddefeated. Anumberoftalkshowshavemadethisabundantlyclear.Onone,muchoftheaudiencereactionwasgivenovertodisbeliefandtotheattempttoprovetooneobese womanthatshewasnothappy:"Ican'tbelieveyoudon'twanttobeslimandbeautiful,Ijustcan'tbelieveit.""Iheardyoutalkalotabouthowyoufeelgoodabout yourselfandyoulikeyourself,butIreallythinkyou'rekiddingyourself.""It'shardformetobelievethatMaryJaneisreallyhappyyoudon'tfitintochairs,it'shardto getthroughthedoorway.MyGod,onthesubway,forgetit."WhenMaryJane

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persistedinherassertionthatshewashappy,shewaswarned,inaviciouslyselfrighteoustone,thatitwouldnotlast:"MaryJane,tobethewayyouaretoday,you hadbetterstartgoingonadietsoon,becauseifyoudon'tyou'regoingtogetbiggerandbiggerandbigger.It'strue."23Onanothershow,inanefforttosubduean increasinglyhostileandoffensiveaudienceoneofthedoctorguestskepttryingtoreassurethemthatthe"fatandhappy"targetoftheirattacksdidnotreallymeanthat shedidn'twanttoloseweightrather,shewassimplytiredoftryingandfailing.Thisconstructionallowspeopletogivetheirsympathytotheobese,assumingasit doestheobeseperson'sacknowledgmentthattobe"normal"isthemostdesiredgoal,elusiveonlybecauseofpersonalinadequacy.Thosewhoarewillingtopresent themselvesaspitiable,inpain,andconsciousoftheirownunattractivenessoftendemonstrated,ontheseshows,byselfadmissionsaboutintimatephysical difficulties,orgiesofselfhate,ordescriptionsofgrossconsumptionoffood,winthesympathyandconcernoftheaudience. SlendernessandGender Ithasbeenamplydocumentedthatwomeninourculturearemoretyrannizedbythecontemporaryslendernessidealthanmenare,astheytypicallyhavebeenby beautyidealsingeneral.Itisfarmoreimportanttomenthantowomenthattheirpartnerbeslim.24Womenaremuchmorepronethanmentoperceivethemselvesas toofat.25And,asisbynowwellknown,girlsandwomenaremorelikelytoengageincrashdieting,laxativeabuse,andcompulsiveexercisingandarefarmore vulnerabletoeatingdisordersthanmales.Buteatingdisordersarenotonly"about"slenderness,anymorethan(asIhavebeenarguing)slendernessisonlyoreven chieflyaboutbeingphysicallythin.Myaiminthissection,therefore,isnotto"explain"factsaboutwhichsomuchhasnowbeenwrittenfromhistorical,psychological, andsociologicalpointsofview.Rather,Iwanttoremainwiththeimageoftheslenderbody,confrontingitnowbothasagenderedbody(theslenderbodyasfemale bodytheusualforminwhichtheimageisdisplayed)(Figure34)andasabodywhosegendermeaningisneverneutral.Thislayerofgendercodedsignification, suffusingothermeanings,

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. overdeterminesslendernessasacontemporaryidealofspecificallyfemaleattractiveness. TheexplorationofcontemporaryslendernessasametaphorforthecorrectmanagementofdesiremusttakeintoaccountthefactthatthroughoutdominantWestern religiousandphilosophicaltraditions,thecapacityforselfmanagementisdecisivelycodedasmale.Bycontrast,allthosebodilyspontaneitieshunger,sexual

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ity,theemotionsseenasneedfulofcontainmentandcontrolhavebeenculturallyconstructedandcodedasfemale.26Themanagementofspecificallyfemaledesire, therefore,isinphallocentricculturesadoublyfreightedproblem.Women'sdesiresarebytheirverynatureexcessive,irrational,threateningtoeruptandchallengethe patriarchalorder. Somewritershavearguedthatfemalehunger(asacodeforfemaledesire)isespeciallyproblematizedduringperiodsofdisruptionandchangeinestablishedgender relationsandinthepositionofwomen.Insuchperiods(ofwhichourownisarguablyone),nightmareimagesofwhatBramDijkstrahascalled"theconsuming woman"themeproliferateinartandliterature(imagesrepresentingfemaledesireunleashed),whiledominantconstructionsofthefemalebodybecomemore sylphlikeunlikethebodyofafullydevelopedwoman,morelikethatofanadolescentorboy(imagesthatmightbecalledfemaledesireunborn).Dijkstraargues suchacaseconcerningthelatenineteenthcentury,pointingtothedevouringsphinxesandbloodsuckingvampiresoffindesicleart,andtheaccompanyingvoguefor elongated,"sublimelyemaciated"femalebodies.27Acommentatorofthetimevividlydescribestheemergenceofanewbodystyle,notveryunlikeourown:


Womencanchangethecutoftheirclothesatwill,buthowcantheychangethecutoftheiranatomies?Andyet,theyhavedonejustthisthing.Theirshouldershavebecome narrowandslightlysloping,theirthroatsmoreslender,theirhipssmallerandtheirarmsandlegselongatedtoanextentthatsuggestthatbed,uponwhichtherobber,Procrustes, usedtostretchhisvictims.28

Thefactthatourownerahaswitnessedacomparableshift(fromthehourglassfigureofthefiftiestotheandrogynous,increasinglyelongated,slenderlookthathas developedoverthepastdecade)criesoutforinterpretation.Thisshift,however,needstobeinterpretednotonlyfromthestandpointofmaleanxietyoverwomen's desires(Dijkstra'sanalysis,whilecrucial,isonlyhalfthestory)butalsofromthestandpointofthewomenwhoembracethe"newlook."Forthemitmayhaveavery differentmeaningitmaysymbolize,notsomuchthecontainmentoffemaledesire,asitsliberationfromadomestic,reproductivedestiny.Thefactthattheslender femalebodycancarryboththeseseeminglycontradictory

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. meaningsisonereason,Iwouldsuggest,foritscompellingattractioninperiodsofgenderchange.29 Toelaboratethisargumentinmoredetail:earlier,Ipresentedsomequotationsfrominterviewswitheatingdisorderedwomeninwhichtheydescribetheirrevulsionto breasts,stomachs,andallotherbodilybulges.AtthatpointIsubjectedthesequotationstoagenderneutralreading.Whilenotrescindingthatinterpretation,Iwantto overlayitnowwithanotherreading,whichIpresentin"AnorexiaNervosa:PsychopathologyastheCrystallizationofCulture."There,Isuggestthatthecharacteristic anorexicrevulsiontowardhips,stomach,andbreasts(oftenaccompaniedbydisgustatmenstruationandreliefatamenorrhoea)mightbeviewedasexpressing rebellionagainstmaternal,domesticfemininityafemininitythatrepresentsboththesuffocatingcontroltheanorecticexperiencesherownmotherashavinghadover her,andthemother'sactuallackofpositionandauthorityoutsidethedomesticarena.(ANikead[Figure35]embodiesboththeseelements,asthe"strength"ofthe motherisdepictedinthecontainingarmthatencircleshersmalldaughter,whileyoungwomenreadingthead

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arereassuredthattheycanexercisetheirstrengthinother,nonmaternalways.)Hereweencounteranotherreasonforanxietyoversoft,protuberantbodyparts. TheyevokehelplessinfancyandsymbolizematernalfemininityasithasbeenconstructedoverthepasthundredyearsintheWest.Thatfemininity,asDorothy Dinnersteinhasargued,isperceivedasbothfrighteninglypowerfuland,asthechildcomesincreasinglytorecognizethehierarchicalnatureofthesexualdivisionof labor,utterlypowerless.30 Themostliteralsymbolicformofmaternalfemininityisrepresentedbythenineteenthcenturyhourglassfigure,emphasizingbreastsandhipsthemarkersof reproductivefemalenessagainstafragilewaspwaist.31ItisnotuntilthepostWorldWarIIperiod,withitsrelocationofmiddleclasswomenfromfactorytohome anditscoercivebourgeoisdualismofthehappyhomemakermotherandtheresponsible,providerfather,thatsuchclearbodilydemarcationof"male"and"female" spheressurfacesagain.Theeraofthecinchbelt,thepushupbra,andMarilynMonroecouldbeviewed,forthebody,asaneraof"resurgentVictorianism."32Itwas alsothelastcoercivelynormalizingbodyidealtoreignbeforeboyishslendernessbeganitsascendancyinthemid1960s. Fromthisperspective,onemightspeculatethattheboyswhoreactedwithdisgustoranxietytofleshyfemalepartswerereactingtoevocationsofmaternalpower, newlythreateninginanagewhenwomenaremakingtheirwayintoarenastraditionallyreservedformen:law,business,highereducation,politics,andsoforth.33The buxomSophiaLorenwasasexgoddessinanerawhenwomenwereencouragedtodefinetheirdeepestdesiresintermsofservicetohome,husband,andfamily. Today,itisrequiredoffemaledesire,looseinthemaleworld,tobenormalizedaccordingtotheprofessional(andmale)standardsofthatworldfemalebodies, accordingly,mustbestrippedofallpsychicresonanceswithmaternalpower.Fromthestandpointofmaleanxiety,theleanbodyofthecareerbusinesswomantoday maysymbolizesuchaneutralization.Withherbodyandherdressshedeclaressymbolicallegiancetotheprofessional,white,maleworldalongwithherlackof intentiontosubvertthatarenawithalternative"femalevalues."Atthesametime,insofarassheisclearly"dressingup,"playingmale(almostalwayswitha"softening" fashiontouchtoestablishtraditionalfemininedecorativeness,andcontinuallycautionedagainstthedire

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. consequencesofallottingsuccesshigherprioritythanherlooks),sherepresentsnoseriouscompetition(symbolically,thatis)totherealmenoftheworkplace(Figures 36and37). Formanywomen,however,disidentificationwiththematernalbody,farfromsymbolizingreducedpower,maysymbolize(asitdidinthe1890sand1920s)freedom fromareproductivedestinyandaconstructionoffemininityseenasconstrainingandsuffocating.Correspondingly,takingontheaccoutrementsofthewhite,male worldmaybeexperiencedasempowermentbywomenthemselves,andastheirchancetoembodyqualitiesdetachment,selfcontainment,selfmastery,control thatarehighlyvaluedinourculture.Theslenderbody,asIhavearguedearlier,symbolizessuchqualities.''Itwasaboutpower,"saysKimMorgan,speakinginthe documentaryTheWaistLandoftheobsessionwithslendernessthatledtoheranorexia,"thatwasthebigthing...somethingIcouldthrowinpeople'sfaces,and theywouldlookatmeandI'donlyweighthismuch,butIwasstrongandincontrol,and

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. heyyou'resloppy."34Thetakingonof"male"powerasselfmasteryisanotherlocuswhere,foralltheirsurfacedissimilarities,thesheddingofweightandthe developmentofmusclesintersect.Appropriately,thenew"JoyofCooking"takesplaceinthegym,inoneadvertisementthatshamelesslyexploitstheassociationsof femalebodybuildingwithliberationfromatraditional,domesticdestiny(Figure38). Intheintersectionofthesegenderissuesandmoregeneralculturaldilemmasconcerningthemanagementofdesire,weseehowthetightlymanagedbodywhether demonstratedthroughsleek,minimalistlinesorfirmlydevelopedmuscleshasbeenoverdeterminedasacontemporaryidealofspecificallyfemaleattractiveness.The axisofconsumption/productionisgenderoverlaid,asIhaveargued,bythehierarchicaldualismthatconstructsadangerous,appetitive,bodily"femaleprinciple"in oppositiontoamas

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terful"male"will.Wewouldthusexpectthatwhentheregulationofdesirebecomesespeciallyproblematic(asitisinadvancedconsumercultures),womenandtheir bodieswillpaythegreatestsymbolicandmaterialtoll.Whensuchasituationiscompoundedbyanxietyaboutwomen'sdesiresinperiodswhentraditionalformsof genderorganizationarebeingchallenged,thistollismultiplied.Itwouldbewrongtosuppose,however,thatitisexactedthroughthesimplerepressionoffemale hunger.Rather,hereaselsewhere,powerworksalso"frombelow,"aswomenassociateslendernesswithselfmanagement,bywayoftheexperienceofnewfound freedom(fromadomesticdestiny)andempowermentinthepublicarena.Inthisconnectionwemightnotethedifferencebetweencontemporaryidealsofslenderness, codedintermsofselfmasteryandexpressedthroughtraditionally"male"bodysymbolism,andmidVictorianidealsoffemaleslenderness,whichsymbolically emphasizedreproductivefemininitycorsetedundertight"external"constraints.Butwhetherexternallyboundorinternallymanaged,nobodycanescapeeitherthe imprintofcultureoritsgenderedmeanings.

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PARTTHREE POSTMODERNBODIES

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Feminism,Postmodernism,andGenderSkepticism
In1987,IheardafeministhistorianclaimthattherewereabsolutelynocommonareasofexperiencebetweenthewifeofaplantationownerinthepreCivilWarSouthandthe femaleslavesherhusbandowned.Gender,sheargued,issothoroughlyfragmentedbyrace,class,historicalparticularity,andindividualdifferenceastobeuselessasananalytical category.The"bondsofwomanhood,"sheinsisted,areafeministfantasy,bornoutoftheethnocentrismofwhite,middleclassacademics. <><><><><><><><><><><><> Acentralpointofabookbyafeministphilosopheristherefutationofallfeministattemptstoarticulateasenseinwhichthehistoryofphilosophyrevealsdistinctively"male" perspectivesonreality.Allsuchattempts,theauthorargues,"doviolence"tothehistoryofphilosophyand"injustice"tothe"extremelyvariegatednature"ofmaleexperience. Indeed,anyattemptto''cut"realityandperspectivealonggenderlinesismethodologicallyflawedandessentializing.1 <><><><><><><><><><><><> Forsomefeministliterarytheorists,genderhasbecomeadiscursiveformation,inherentlyunstableandcontinuallyselfdeconstructing.Themeaningofgenderisconstantly deferred,endlesslymultiple.Wemust"getbeyondthenumbertwo,"asonewriterhasdescribedit,andmovetowarda"dizzyingaccumulationofnarratives."2(Anewjournalis entitledGenders.)Nottodosoistoperpetuateahierarchical,binaryconstructionofreality. <><><><><><><><><><><><> IntheNovember,1987,issueofMs.magazine,anarticleappearedontheartofGeorgiaO'Keeffe.ItincludedthetextofaletterfromO'KeeffetoMabelLuhan:

Page216 Ithoughtyoucouldwritesomethingaboutmethatthemencan'tWhatIwantwrittenIdonotknowIhavenodefiniteideaofwhatitshouldbebutawomanwhohaslived manythingsandwhoseeslinesandcolorsasanexpressionoflivingmightsaysomethingthatamancan'tIfeelthereissomethingunexploredaboutwomenthatonlyawoman canexploreMenhavedonealltheycandoaboutit.Doesthatmeananythingtoyouordoesn'tit? <><><><><><><><><><><><> Thearticleitself,writtenbyastaffreporter,begins:"GeorgiaO'Keeffe.Thewomanofourcenturywhomadeitclearonceandforallthatpaintinghasnogender."

ContemporaryFeminismandGenderSkepticism Inthe1970s,thefeministimaginationwasfueledbytheinsightthatthetemplateofgendercoulddiscloseaspectsofcultureandhistorypreviouslyconcealed.The malenormativeviewoftheworld,feministsargued,hadobscureditsownbiasesthroughitsfictionsofunity(History,Reason,Culture,Tradition...).Eachofthose unitieswasshowntohavearepressedshadow,an"other"whosematerialhistory,values,andperspectivehadyettobewritten. Today,manyfeministsarecriticalofwhattheynowseeastheoversimplificationsandovergeneralizationsofthisperiodinfeminism.Challengeshavearisen sometimesemotionallychargedtargetedatclassicsoffeministtheoryandtheirgenderedreadingsofcultureandhistory.Whereoncetheprimeobjectsofacademic feministcritiquewerethephallocentricnarrativesofourmaledominateddisciplines,nowfeministcriticismhasturnedtoitsownnarratives,findingthemreductionist, totalizing,inadequatelynuanced,valorizingofgenderdifference,unconsciouslyracist,andelitist.Feminismmaybedevelopinganewdirection,anewskepticismabout theuseofgenderasananalyticalcategory. Suchskepticismisbynomeansuniversalcontemporaryfeminismremainsadiverseandpluralistenterprise.Nordoesgenderskepticismtakeasinglecharacteristic form.Rather,ithasemerged(asmyopeningmontagesuggests)acrossdisciplinesandtheoreticalaffiliations,speakingindifferentvoicesandcrystallizedaround differentconcerns.Namingandcriticizingsuchaphenomenonis

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aslippery,perilousbusiness.Yet,itismycontentionthatweareseeinganimportantculturalformationhere,theanalysisofwhichmustbecomeapressingconcernfor feminists. Likeallculturalformations,feministgenderskepticismiscomplexlyconstructedoutofdiverseelementsintellectual,psychological,institutional,andsociological. Arisingnotfrommonolithicdesignbutfromaninterplayoffactorsandforces,itisbestunderstoodnotasadiscrete,definablepositionwhichcanbeadoptedor rejectedbutasanemergingcoherencywhichisbeingfedbyavarietyofcurrents,sometimesoverlapping,sometimesquitedistinct.Inthisessay,Icriticallyexamine foursuchcurrentsandthe(sometimesunintentional)routesbywhichtheyemptyintothewatersofgenderskepticism. Thefirstcurrentistheresultofanacademicmarriagethathasbroughtwellfoundedfeministconcernsovertheethnocentrismandunconsciousracialbiasesofgender theoryintoatheoreticalalliancewith(ahighlyprogrammaticappropriationof)themorehistoricist,politicallyorientedwingofpoststructuralistthought(e.g.,Foucault, Lyotard).Thisunion,Iargue,hascontributedtothedevelopmentofanewfeministmethodologismthatlaysclaimstoanauthoritativecriticalframework,legislating "correct"and"incorrect"approachestotheorizingidentity,history,andculture.Thismethodologism,whicheschewsgeneralizationsaboutgenderaprioriontheoretical grounds,isindangerofdiscreditinganddisablingcertainkindsoffeministculturalcritiqueitalsooftenimplicitly(andmistakenly)supposesthattheadoptionofa "correct"theoreticalapproachmakesitpossibletoavoidethnocentrism. ThesecondcurrentthatIdiscussinthischapteristheresultofcertainfeministappropriationsofdeconstructionism.Here,apostmodernrecognitionofinterpretive multiplicity,oftheindeterminacyandheterogeneityofculturalmeaningandmeaningproduction,isviewedascallingfornewnarrativeapproaches,aimedatthe adequaterepresentationoftextual"difference."Fromthisperspective,thetemplateofgenderiscriticizedforitsfixed,binarystructuringofrealityandisreplacedbya narrativeidealofceaselesstextualplay.Butthisideal,Iargue,althoughitarisesoutofacritiqueofmodernistepistemologicalpretensionstorepresentreality adequatelybyachievingwhatThomasNagelhascalledthe"viewfromnowhere,"remainsanimatedbyitsownfantasiesofattainingan

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epistemologicalperspectivefreeofthelocatednessandlimitationsofembodiedexistenceafantasythatIcalla"dreamofeverywhere." Throughthesecriticalconcerns,Ihopetoencouragecautionamongthosewhoarereadytocelebratewholeheartedlytheemergenceofpostmodernfeminism.The programmaticappropriationofpoststructuralistinsight,Iargue,is,inshiftingthefocusofcrucialfeministconcernsabouttherepresentationofculturaldiversityfrom practicalcontextstoquestionsofadequatetheory,highlyproblematicforfeminism.Notonlyarewethusdivertedfromattendingtotheprofessionalandinstitutional mechanismsthroughwhichthepoliticsofexclusionoperatemostpowerfullyinintellectualcommunities,butwealsodepriveourselvesofstillvitalanalyticaltoolsfor critiqueofthosecommunitiesandthehierarchical,dualisticpowerstructuresthatsustainthem.3 Ifthisisso,thenwhatmechanismshavedrawnfeministsintoparticipationwithsuchadevelopment?ThelasttwocurrentsIexamineprovidefociforexaminingsuch issues,throughanexplorationoftheinstitutionsofknowledgeandpowerthatstilldominateourmasculinistpublicarenaandthatnowthreaten,Iargue,toharnessand tamethevisionaryandcriticalenergyoffeminismasamovementofculturalresistanceandtransformation. Fromthe"ViewFromNowhere"ToFeministMethodologism Letmebeginwithastory,toldfrommyperspectiveasafeministphilosopher,abouttheemergenceofgenderanalyticsandthedifficultiesintowhichitlaterfell.4 In1979,RichardRorty'sPhilosophyandtheMirrorofNatureburstontothephilosophicalsceneintheUnitedStates.Itsauthor,establishedandrespectedinthe verytraditionshenowsetouttodeconstruct,wasuniquelysituatedtolegitimateasimpleyetsubversiveargument.Thatargument,earlierelaboratedindifferentways byMarx,Nietzsche,andDewey,andbeingdevelopedontheContinentintheworkofDerridaandFoucault,heldthatideasarethecreationofsocialbeingsrather thanthe(moreorlessadequate)representationsor"mirrorings"ofnature. Rorty'spresentationofthisargumentwasphilosophicallyelegant,powerful,andinfluential.ButitwasnotRorty,rebellious

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memberoftheclub(or,indeed,anyprofessionalintellectualvoice),whowasultimatelyresponsibleforuncoveringthepretensionsandillusionsoftheidealsof epistemologicalobjectivity,universalfoundationsofreason,andneutraljudgment.Thatuncoveringfirstoccurred,notinthecourseofphilosophicalconversation,butin politicalpractice.Itsagentsweretheliberationmovementsofthesixtiesandseventies,emergingnotonlytoassertthelegitimacyofmarginalizedculturesand suppressedperspectivesbutalsotoexposethebiasesoftheofficialaccounts.Nowthoseaccountscouldnolongerclaimtodescendfromtheheavensofpure rationalityortoreflecttheinevitableandprogressivelogicofintellectualorscientificdiscovery.Theyhadtobeseen,rather,astheproductsofhistoricallysituated individualswithveryparticularclass,race,andgenderinterests.TheimperialcategoriesthathadprovidedjustificationforthoseaccountsReason,Truth,Human Nature,History,Traditionwerenowdisplacedbythe(historical,social)questions:Whosetruth?Whosenature?Whoseversionofreason?Whosehistory?Whose tradition? Feminism,appropriatelyenough,initiatedtheculturalworkofexposingandarticulatingthegenderednatureofhistory,culture,andsociety.Itwasaculturalmomentof revelationandrelief.Thecategoryofthe"human"astandardagainstwhichalldifferencetranslatestolack,insufficiencywasbroughtdowntoearth,givenapairof pants,andremindedthatitwasnottheonlyplayerintown.Ourstudentsstillexperiencethismomentofcriticalandempoweringinsightwhen,forexample,theylearn fromGilliganandothersthatthelanguageof"rights"is,nottheethicaldiscourseofGodorNature,buttheideologicalsuperstructureofaparticularconstructionof masculinity.5 GendertheoristsDinnerstein,Chodorow,Gilligan,6 andmanyothersuncoveredpatternsthatresonateexperientiallyandilluminateculturally.Theyclearedaspace, describedanewterritory,thatradicallyalteredthemalenormativetermsofdiscussionaboutrealityandexperiencetheyforcedrecognitionofthedifferencegender makes.Academicdisciplineswerechallenged,sometimesintheirmostbasicselfconceptionsandcategoriesasinphilosophy,whichhasmadeaniconoftheideal ofanabstract,universalreasonunaffectedbytherace,class,gender,orhistoryofthereasoner(Nagel's"viewfromnowhere").7 Thereisnoviewfromnowhere,

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feministsinsistedindeed,the"viewfromnowhere"mayitselfbeamaleconstructiononthepossibilitiesforknowledge. Theunityofthe"genderedhuman,"however,oftenprovedtobeasmuchafictionastheunityofabstract,universal"man."Inrespondingtotheculturalimperativeto describethedifferencegendermakes,gendertheorists(alongwiththosewhoattempttospeakfora"blackexperience"uninflectedbygenderorclass)oftenglossed overotherdimensionsofsocialidentityandlocation,dimensionswhich,whenconsidered,castdoubtontheproposedgender(orracial)generalizations.Chodorow, forexample,hasfrequentlybeencriticizedforimplicitlyelevatingonepatternofdifferencebetweenmenandwomen,characteristicatmostofaparticularhistorical periodandformoffamilyorganization,tothestatusofanessential''genderreality."Sincethepatternsdescribedingenderanalysishaveoftenbeenbasedonthe experiencesofwhite,middleclassmenandwomen,suchaccountsareguilty,feministshavefrequentlypointedout,ofperpetuatingthesamesortofunconscious privilegingsandexclusionscharacteristicofthemalenormativetheoriestheycriticize. Aswasthecasewhenthefirstchallengeswerepresentedtotheimperialunitiesofthephallocentricworldview,theagentsofcriticalinsightintothebiasesofgender theorywerethoseexcluded:womenofcolor,lesbians,andotherswhofoundtheirhistoryandcultureignoredintheprevailingdiscussionsofgender.WhatIwishto emphasizehereisthatthesechallenges,arisingoutofconcreteexperiencesofexclusion,neitherweregroundedinaconceptionofadequatetheorynordemandeda theoreticalresponse.Rather,asnewnarrativesbegantobeproduced,tellingthestoryofthediversityofwoman'sexperiences,thechiefintellectualimperativewasto listen,tobecomeawareofone'sbiases,prejudices,andignorance,tobegintostretchtheemotionalandintellectualbordersofwhatMinnieBrucePrattcalls"the narrowcircleoftheself."8 Anewpersonalattitudewascalledfor,agreaterhumilityandgreaterattentivenesstowhatonedidnotknowandcouldonlylearnfrom otherswithadifferentexperienceandperspective.Thecorrespondinginstitutionalimperative,foracademics,wastostretchtheestablished,culturallynarrowborders ofrequiredcurriculum,coursereadinglists,lectureseries,researchdesigns,studentandfacultyrecruitment,andsoforth.

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Wealsoshouldhavelearnedthatalthoughitisimperativetostrugglecontinuallyagainstracismandethnocentrisminallitsforms,itisimpossibletobe"politically correct."Forthedynamicsofinclusionandexclusion(ashistoryhadjusttaughtus)areplayedoutonmultipleandshiftingfronts,andallideas(nomatterhow liberatinginsomecontextsorforsomepurposes)arecondemnedtobehauntedbyavoicefromthemargins,eitheralreadyspeakingorpresentlymutedbutawaiting theconditionsforspeech,thatawakensustowhathasbeenexcluded,effaced,damaged.9 However,nothingintheearlyfeministcritiqueofgendertheory,itshould benoted,declaredthetheoreticalimpossibilityofdiscoveringcommongroundamongdiversegroupsofpeopleorinsistedthattheabstractionofgendercoherencies acrossculturaldifferenceisboundtolapseintoaperniciousuniversalization.ItisonlyasfeminismhasbecomedrawnintowhatBarbaraChristianhascalledthe"race fortheory,"10thatproblemsofracism,ethnocentrism,andhistoricismhavebecomeweddedtogeneralmethodologicalconcernsaboutthelegitimacyofgender generalizationandabstraction. Frequently(althoughnotexclusively),11thecategoriesofpostmodernthinkershavebeenincorporatedinstatementsoftheseconcerns.NancyFraserandLinda Nicholson,forexample,urgefeministstoadopta"postmodernfeministtheory"ofidentity,inwhichgeneralclaimsabout"male"and"female"realityareeschewedin favorof''complexlyconstructedconceptions...treatinggenderasonerelevantstrandamongothers,attendingalsotoclass,race,ethnicity,age,andsexual orientation."12Conceptionsofgender(and,presumably,ofrace,class,sexualorientation,andsoforth)thatarenotconstructedinthiswayaretotalizingthatis,they createafalseunityoutofheterogeneouselements,relegatingthesubmergedelementstomarginality.Muchpastfeministtheory,FraserandNicholsonargue,isguilty ofthispractice.Likethe"grandnarrativesoflegitimation"(ofthewhite,male,Westernintellectualtradition)criticizedbyLyotardandothers,thenarrativesofgender analysisharbor,eitherfully(asinChodorow)orin"trace"form(asinGilligan),"anoverlygrandioseandtotalizingconceptionoftheory."13DonnaHaraway,too, describesgendertheoryinthesametermsusedbypostmoderniststocriticizephallocentricculture:asappropriation,totalization,incorporation,suppression.14

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Theseproposalsformoreadequateapproachestoidentitybeginfromtheinvaluableinsightthatgenderformsonlyoneaxisofacomplex,heterogeneousconstruction, constantlyinterpenetrating,inhistoricallyspecificways,withmultipleotheraxesofidentity.Iwanttoquestion,however,theconversionofthisinsightintothe authoritativeinsight,andthenceintoaprivilegedcriticalframework,a"neutralmatrix"(toborrowRorty'sterm)thatlegislatestheappropriatetermsofallintellectual effortsandisconceivedascapableofdeterminingwhoisgoingastrayandwhoisontherighttrack.ThisisaresultthatFraserandNicholsonwouldalsodeplore, giventheirobviouscommitmenttofeministpluralismtheiridealisthatofa"tapestrycomposedofthreadsofmanydifferenthues."15Isharethisideal,butIquestion whetheritisbestservedthroughanewpostmodernfeministtheoreticalagenda. Certainly,feministscholarshipwillbenefitfrommorelocal,historicallyspecificstudyandfromtheoreticalprojectsthatanalyzetherelationsofdiverseaxesofidentity. Toooften,however(forinstance,ingrant,program,andconferenceguidelinesanddescriptions),thisfocushastranslatedtothecoercive,mechanicalrequirementthat allenlightenedfeministprojectsattendto"theintersectionofrace,class,andgender."Whathappenedtoethnicity?Age?Sexualorientation?Inanycase,justhow manyaxescanoneincludeandstillpreserveanalyticalfocusorargument?Evenmoretroublingisthe(oftenimplicit,sometimesexplicit)dogmathattheonly"correct" perspectiveonrace,class,andgenderistheaffirmationofdifferencethisdogmarevealsitselfincriticismsthatattackgendergeneralizationsasinprincipleessentialist ortotalizing.Surelysuchchargesshouldrequireconcreteexamplesofactualdifferencesthatarebeingsubmergedbyanyparticulartotalityinquestion. Wealsoneedtoguardagainstthe"viewfromnowhere"suppositionthatifweonlyemploytherightmethodwecanavoidethnocentrism,totalizingconstructions,and falseuniversalizations.Nomatterhowlocalandcircumscribedtheobjectorhowattentivethescholaristotheaxesthatconstitutesocialidentity,someofthoseaxes willbeignoredandothersselected.Thisisaninescapablefactofhumanembodiment,asNietzschewasthefirsttopointout:"Theeye.inwhichtheactiveand interpretingforces,throughwhichaloneseeingbecomesseeingsomething,are

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supposedtobelacking[is]anabsurdityandanonsense.Thereisonlyaperspectivalseeing,onlyaperspectivalknowing."16Thisselectivity,moreover,isnever innocent.Wealways"see"frompointsofviewthatareinvestedwithoursocial,political,andpersonalinterests,inescapablycentricinonewayoranother,evenin thedesiretodojusticetoheterogeneity. Nordoesattentivenesstodifferenceassuretheadequaterepresentationofdifference.Certainly,weoftenerronthesideofexclusionandthussubmergelargeareasof humanhistoryandexperience.Butattendingtoovigilantlytodifferencecanjustasproblematicallyconstructan"other"whoisanexoticalien,abreedapart.As Foucaulthasremindedus,"everythingisdangerous"andeverynewcontextdemandsthatwereassessthe''maindanger."Thisrequiresa"hyperandpessimistic activism,"notanalliancewithone,truetheory.17Notheory,thatistosaynotevenonethatmeasuresitsadequacyintermsofjusticetoheterogeneity,locality, complexitycanplaceitselfbeyonddanger. Indeed,itispossible,asweallknow,toadvancethemostvociferouslyantitotalizingtheories,andyettodosointhecontextofanintellectualdiscourseand professionalpractice(governinghiring,tenure,promotion,publications)whoseverylanguagerequiresmembershiptounderstand,andthatremainsfundamentally closedtodifference(regardingitas"politicallyincorrect,""theoreticallyunsophisticated,""unrigorous").Wedeceiveourselvesifwebelievethatpoststructuralisttheory isattendingtothe"problemofdifference"solongassomanyconcreteothersareexcludedfromtheconversation.Moreover,inthecontextofapracticethatis attentivetoissuesofexclusionandcommittedtodevelopingtheconditionsunderwhichmanyvoicescanspeakandbeheard,clear,accessible,stimulatinggeneral hypotheses(eschewedbypostmodernfeminists)canbedialogicallyinvaluable.Suchideasreconfiguretherealitieswetakeforgrantedtheyallowustoexamineour livesfreshlytheybringhistoryandculturetonewlifeandinviteourcriticalscrutiny.Showingaboldhand,theycanencouragedifferencetorevealitselfwell. Intermsofsuchpracticalcriteria,feministgendertheorydeservesasomewhatdifferenthistoricalevaluationthaniscurrentlybeingwritten.18Certainlyitisundeniable thatsuchtheory,asFraserandNicholsonpersuasivelyargue,hasoverlyuniversalized.

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(Chodorow'swork,forexample,requirescarefulhistoricalcircumscriptionandcontextualizationitthenbecomesenormouslyedifyingforcertainpurposes.)Such overgeneralization,asIsuggestedearlier,reflectsthehistoricallogicconditioningtheemergenceofcontemporaryfeministthoughtandisnotmerelysymptomaticof theethnocentrismofwhite,middleclassfeminists.Weallandpostmodernistsespeciallystandontheshouldersofthiswork(andontheshouldersofthosewho spoke,oftenequallyunivocally,forblackexperienceandculture).Couldwenowspeakofthedifferencesthatinflectgenderandrace(andthatmayconfoundand fragmentgenderandracialgeneralizations)ifeachhadnotfirstbeenshowntomakeadifference? Whileintheoryalltotalizingnarrativesmaybeequal,inthecontextofWesternhistoryandoftheactualrelationsofpowercharacteristicofthathistory,keydifferences distinguishtheuniversalizationsofgendertheoryfromthemetanarrativesarisingoutofthepropertied,white,male,Westernintellectualtradition.Thattradition,we shouldremember,reignedforthousandsofyearsandwasabletoproducepowerfulworksofphilosophy,literature,art,andreligionbeforeitshegemonybegan,under greatprotest,tobedismantled.Locatedattheverycenterofpower,attheintersectionofthreeseparateaxesofprivilegerace,class,andgenderthattraditionhad littlestakeintherecognitionofdifference(otherthantoconstructitasinferiororthreatening"other").Thisisnottosaythatthistraditionisunivocal.Indeed,elsewhere Ihavearguedthatithasproducedmany"recessive"andsubversivestrainsofphilosophizing.19Rather,mypointisthatitproducednopracticeofselfinterrogation andcritiqueofitsracial,class,andgenderbiasesbecausetheywerelargelyinvisibletoit. Feministtheoryeventheworkofwhite,upperclass,heterosexualwomenisnotlocatedatthecenterofculturalpower.Theaxeswhoseintersectionsformthe culturallocationsoffeministauthorsgivesomeofuspositionsofprivilege,certainlybutallwomen,aswomen,alsooccupysubordinatepositions,positionsinwhich theyfeelignoredordenigrated.Contemporaryfeminism,emergingoutofthatrecognition,hasfromthebeginningexhibitedaninterestinrestoringtolegitimacythat whichhasbeenmarginalizedanddisdained,aninterest,Iwouldsuggest,thathasaffecteditsintellectualpracticesignificantly.Asanoutsiderdiscourse,that

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is,asamovementbornoutoftheexperienceofmarginality,contemporaryfeminismhasbeenunusuallyhighlyattunedtoissuesofexclusionandinvisibility.Thisdoes notmean,ofcourse,thattheworkoffeministshasnotsuffereddeeplyfromclass,racial,andotherbiases.ButIfindDonnaHaraway'schargethat"whitefeminists... wereforcedkickingandscreamingtonotice"thosebiasestoberemarkable.20Itisastrange(perhapsapostmodern)conceptionofintellectualandpolitical responsivenessthatviewswhitefeminism,nowcriticallyscrutinizing(andoftenutterlydiscrediting)itsconceptionsoffemalerealityandmoralityanditsgendered readingsofculture,barelymorethanadecadeaftertheybegantobeproduced,as"resistant"torecognizingitsownfictionsofunity. Assessingwherewearenow,itseemstomethatfeminismstandslessindangerofthetotalizingtendenciesoffeministsthanofanincreasinglyparalyzinganxietyover falling(fromwhatgrace?)intoethnocentrismor"essentialism."(Theoftenpresentimplicationthatsuchafallindicatesdeeplyconservativeandracisttendencies,of course,intensifiessuchanxiety.)Dowewanttodelegitimateaprioritheexplorationofexperientialcontinuityandstructuralcommongroundamongwomen?Journals andconferencesarenowcomingtobedominatedbyendlessdebatesaboutmethod,reflectionsonhowfeministscholarshipshouldproceedandwhereithasgone astray.Weneedtoconsiderthedegreetowhichthisserves,nottheempowermentofdiverseculturalvoicesandstyles,buttheacademichegemony(particularlyin philosophyandliterarystudies)ofdetached,metatheoreticaldiscourse.21Ifwewishtoempowerdiversevoices,wewoulddobetter,Ibelieve,toshiftstrategyfrom themethodologicaldictumthatweforsweartalkof"male"and"female"realities(which,asIwillarguelater,canstillbeedifyinganduseful)tothemessier,more slippery,practicalstruggletocreateinstitutionsandcommunitiesthatwillnotpermitsomegroupsofpeopletomakedeterminationsaboutrealityforall. The"ViewFromNowhere"andtheDreamofEverywhere Intheory,deconstructionistpostmodernismstandsagainsttheidealofdisembodiedknowledgeanddeclaresthatidealtobeamystificationandanimpossibility.There isnoArchimedeanview

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pointrather,historyandculturearetexts,admittinganendlessproliferationofreadings,eachofwhichisitselfunstable.Ihavenodisputewiththisepistemological critique,orwiththemetaphoroftheworldastext,asameansofunderminingvariousclaimstoauthoritative,transcendentinsightintothenatureofreality.The questionremains,however,howthehumanknoweristonegotiatethisinfinitelyperspectival,destabilizedworld.Deconstructionismanswerswith,asanalternative ideal,aconstantvigilantsuspicionofalldeterminatereadingsofcultureandapartneraestheticofceaselesstextualplay.Hereiswheredeconstructionmayslipintoits ownfantasyofescapefromhumanlocatednessbysupposingthatthecriticcanbecomewhollyprotean,adoptingendlesslyshifting,seeminglyinexhaustiblevantage points,noneofwhichis"owned"byeitherthecriticortheauthorofatextunderexamination. Deconstructionismhasprofoundlyaffectedcertainfeministapproachestogenderasagridforthereadingofculture.Suchreadings,thesefeministsargue,only reproducethedualisticlogicwhichhasheldtheWesternimaginationinitsgrip.Instead,contemporaryfeminismshouldattempt,asSusanSuleimandescribesit,"toget beyond,notonlythenumberonethenumberthatdeterminesunityofbodyorofselfbutalsotogetbeyondthenumbertwo,whichdeterminesdifference, antagonismandexchange."22"Oneistoofew,"asDonnaHarawaywrites,"buttwoaretoomany."23The"numberone"clearlyrepresentsforSuleimanthefictionsof unity,stability,andidentitycharacteristicofthephallocentricworldview.The"numbertwo''representsthegridofgender,whichfeministshaveusedtoexposethe hierarchical,oppositionalstructureofthatworldview."Beyondthenumbertwo"is,notsomeothernumber,but"endlesscomplication"anda"dizzyingaccumulationof narratives."SuleimanherereferstoDerrida'softenquotedinterviewwithChristieMcDonald,inwhichhespeaksof"a'dream'oftheinnumerable,...adesireto escapethecombinatorytoinventincalculablechoreographies."24 SuchimagesfromDerridahavebeenusedinavarietyofwaysbyfeminists.DrucillaCornellandAdamThurschwellinterpretDerridaasofferingautopianvisionof humanlifenolongerorganizedbygenderdualityandhierarchy.25ButSuleimaninterpretshimasofferinganepistemologicalornarrativeideal.Assuch,key

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contrastswithtraditional(mostparticularly,Cartesian)imagesofknowingareimmediatelyevident.Metaphorsofdanceandmovementhavereplacedtheontologically fixingstareofthemotionlessspectator.Thelustforfinalityhasbeenbanished.Thedreamisof"incalculablechoreographies,"nottheclearanddistinct"mirrorings"of nature,seenfromtheheightsof''nowhere."But,Iwouldargue,thephilosopher'sfantasyoftranscendencehasnotyetbeenabandoned.Thehistoricalspecificsofthe modernist,Cartesianversionhavesimplybeenreplacedbyanew,postmodernconfigurationofdetachment,anewimaginationofdisembodiment:adreamofbeing everywhere. Mypointcanbestbeseenthroughexaminationoftheroleofthebodythatis,ofthemetaphorofthebodyinthese(seeminglycontrasting)epistemologiesof "nowhere"and"everywhere."ForCartesianepistemology,thebodyconceptualizedasthesiteofepistemologicallimitation,asthatwhichfixestheknowerintime andspaceandthereforesituatesandrelativizesperceptionandthoughtrequirestranscendenceifoneistoachievetheviewfromnowhere,theGod'seyeview.Once onehasachievedthatview(hasbecomeobjective),onecanseenatureasitreallyis,undistortedbyhumanperspective.ForpostmodernSuleiman,bycontrast, thereisnoescapefromhumanperspective,fromtheprocessofhumanmakingandremakingoftheworld.Thebody,accordingly,isreconceived.Nolongeran obstacletoknowledge(forknowledgeintheCartesiansenseisanimpossibility,andthebodyisincapableofbeingtranscendedinpursuitofit),thebodyisseen insteadasthevehicleofthehumanmakingandremakingoftheworld,constantlyshiftinglocation,capableofrevealingendlesslynewpointsofview. Beneaththeimageryofamoving(butstillunified)bodyisthedeeperpostmodernimageryofabodywhoseveryunityhasbeenshatteredbythechoreographyof multiplicity.Forthe"creativemovement"(asSuleimandescribesit)ofhumaninterpretation,ofcourse,"invents"(andreinvents)thebodyitself.26DonnaHaraway imaginativelyandevocativelydescribesthisfragmentedpostmodernbodythroughtheimageofthecyborg,whichbecomesametaphorforthe"disassembledand reassembled,postmoderncollectiveandpersonalself[which]feministsmustcode."Thecyborgisnotonlyculturally"polyvocal"she(?)"speaksintongues."27 Lookedatwiththeaidoftheimageryofarchetypaltypologyrather

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thansciencefiction,thepostmodernbodyisthebodyofthemythologicalTrickster,theshapeshifter:"ofindeterminatesexandchangeablegender...whocontinually altersher/hisbody,createsandrecreatesapersonality...[and]floatsacrosstime"fromperiodtoperiod,placetoplace.28 Theappealofsucharchetypesisundeniable.SetagainstthemasculinisthubrisoftheCartesianidealofthemagisterial,universalknowerwhoseprivileged epistemologicalpositionrevealsrealityasitis,thepostmodernidealofnarrative"heteroglossia"(asHarawaycallsit)appearstocelebratea"feminine"abilitytoenter intotheperspectivesofothers,toacceptfluidityasafeatureofreality.AtatimewhentherigiddemarcationsoftheclearanddistinctCartesianuniversearecrumbling, andthenotionoftheunifiedsubjectisnolongertenable,theTricksterandthecyborginviteusto"takepleasure"in(asHarawayputsit)the"confusionofboundaries," inthefragmentationandfrayingoftheedgesoftheselfthathavealreadytakenplace.29 However,thespiritofepistemologicaljouissancesuggestedbytheimagesofcyborg,Trickster,themetaphorsofdance,andsoforthobscuresthelocated,limited, inescapablypartial,andalwayspersonallyinvestednatureofhuman"storymaking."Thisisnotmerelyatheoreticalpoint.Deconstructionistreadingsthatenactthis proteanfantasyarecontinually"slipslidin'away"throughparadox,inversion,selfsubversion,facileandintricatetextualdance,theyoftenpresentthemselves (maddeningly,toonewhowantstoenterintocriticaldialoguewiththem)ashavingitanywaytheywant.Theyrefusetoassumeashapeforwhichtheymusttake responsibility. Recognitionofthisresponsibility,however,forcesonetotakeamorehumbleapproachtotheprojectofembracingheterogeneity.Thatproject,takenasanything otherthananidealofsocialprocess,isselfdeconstructing.Anyattempttodojusticetoheterogeneity,entertainedasanepistemological(ornarrative)goal,devours itsowntail.Fortheappreciationofdifferencerequirestheacknowledgmentofsomepointbeyondwhichthedancercannotgo.Ifshewereabletogoeverywhere, therewouldbenodifference,nothingthateludes.Denialoftheunityandstabilityofidentityisonething.Theepistemologicalfantasyofbecomingmultiplicitythe dreamoflimitlessmultipleembodiments,allowingonetodancefromplace

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toplaceandselftoselfisanother.Whatsortofbodyisitthatisfreetochangeitsshapeandlocationatwill,thatcanbecomeanyoneandtravelanywhere?Ifthe bodyisametaphorforourlocatednessinspaceandtimeandthusforthefinitudeofhumanperceptionandknowledge,thenthepostmodernbodyisnobodyatall. Thedeconstructionisterasureofthebodyisnoteffected,asitisintheCartesianversion,byatripto"nowhere,"butbyaresistancetotherecognitionthatoneis alwayssomewhere,andlimited.Here,itbecomesclearthattoovercomeCartesianhubrisitisnotsufficienttoreplacemetaphorsofspectatorshipwithmetaphorsof danceitisnecessarytorelinquishallfantasiesofepistemologicalconquest,notonlythosethataresoberlyfixedonnecessityandunitybutalsothosethatare intoxicatedwithpossibilityandplurality.Despiteitsexplicitrejectionofconceptionsofknowledgethatviewthemindasa"mirrorofnature,"deconstructionismreveals alongingforadequaterepresentationsunlikeCartesianconceptions,butnolessambitiousofarelentlesslyheterogeneousreality.30 TheRetreatfromFemaleOtherness Theprecedingdiscussionofthebodyasepistemologicalmetaphorforlocatednesshasfocusedondeconstructionism'stheoreticaldeconstructionoflocatedness.In thenexttwosectionsofthisessay,Iwanttoshiftgearsandpursuetheissueoflocatednessor,rather,thedenialoflocatednessinmoreconcretedirections. Itisstrikingtomethatthereisoftenacuriousselectivityatworkincontemporaryfeministcriticismsofgenderbasedtheoriesofidentity.Theanalyticsofraceand classthetwoothergiantsofmodernistsocialcritiquedonotseemtobeundergoingquitethesamedeconstruction.Womenofcoloroftenconstruct"white feminists"asaunity,withoutattentiontotheclass,ethnic,andreligiousdifferencesthatsituateanddivideus,andwhitefeministstendtoacceptthis(asIbelievethey should)asenablingcrucialsortsofcriticismstobemade.Itisusuallyacknowledged,too,thattheexperienceofbeingapersonofcolorinaracistculturecreates somesimilaritiesofpositionacrossclassandgender.Attheveryleast,thevariousnotionsofidentitythathavecomeoutofraceconsciousnessareregardedaswhat Nietzschewouldcall"lifeenhancingfictions."31DonnaHaraway,forexample,applaudsthehomogeniz

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ingunity"womenofcolor"as"acyborgidentity,apotentsubjectivitysynthesizedfromfusionsofoutsideridentities."32 Ihaveheardfeministsinsist,too,thatraceandclasseachhaveamaterialbasethatgenderlacks.Whenthesuggestionismadethatperhapssuchamaterialbase exists,forgender,inwomen'sreproductiverole,thewedgesofculturaldiversityandmultipleinterpretationsuddenlyappear.Womenhaveperceivedchildbearing,as JeanGrimshawpointsout,bothas"thesourceoftheirgreatestjoyandastherootoftheirworstsuffering."33Sheconcludesthatthedifferencesinvarioussocial constructionsofreproduction,thevastdisparitiesinwomen'sexperiencesofchildbirth,andsoforthprecludethepossibilitythatthepracticesofreproductioncan meaningfullybeinterrogatedasasourceofinsightintothedifferencegendermakes.Ifindthisconclusionremarkable.Women'sreproductiveexperiences,ofcourse, differwidely,butsurelynotaswidelyastheydofromthoseofmen,noneofwhom(uptonowtechnologymayalterthis)hashadeventhepossibilityofcarryinga childunderanycircumstances.34Why,itmustbeasked,arewesoreadytodeconstructwhathavehistoricallybeenthemostubiquitouselementsofthegenderaxis, whileweremainsowillingtodefertotheauthorityandintegrityofraceandclassaxesasfundamentallygrounding? Inattemptingtoanswerthisquestion,Inolongerfocusonpostmoderntheory,forthecurrentofgenderskepticismIamexploringhereisnotparticularlycharacteristic ofpostmodernfeminism.Rather,itflowsthroughalltheoreticalschoolsoffeministthought,revealingitselfindifferentways.Inplaceofmypreviousfocuson postmodernism,Iorganizemydiscussionaroundaheuristicdistinctionbetweentwohistoricalmomentsoffeministthought,representingtwodifferentperspectiveson "femaleotherness." Apreviousgenerationoffeministthought(whoseprojects,ofcourse,manyfeministscontinuetoday)setouttoconnecttheworkthatwomenhavehistoricallydone (typicallyregardedasbelongingtothematerial,practicalarena,andthusofnoepistemologicalorintellectualsignificance)withdistinctivewaysofexperiencingand knowingtheworld.Assuch,theimaginationoffemalealteritywasa"lifeenhancingfiction,"providingaccesstocoherentvisionsofutopianchangeandcultural transformation.Withinthismoment,too,adevelopingfocusontheroleofmotheringintheconstruction

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ofinfantgenderidentity(andthusofculture)wascentraltotheongoingfeministdeconstructionofthephallocentricworldview.(Withinthatworldviewitisthe father/theologian/philosopherwhoisthesolesourceofmorality,logic,language.) Thefeministrecoveryoffemaleothernessfromthemarginsofculturehadbothamaterialistwing(Ruddick,Hartsock,Rich,andothers)andapsychoanalyticwing (Dinnerstein,Chodorow,Kristeva,Cixous,Irigaray),thelatterattemptingtoreconstructdevelopmentaltheorywiththepreoedipalmotherratherthanthephallic fatheratitscenter.Ithinkitisinstructivetonotethedifferencebetweenthewayfeministsoncedescribedthisworkandhowitisoftendescribednow.Ina1982 DiacriticsreviewofDinnerstein,Rich,andChodorow,CoppliaKahndescribeswhattheseauthorshaveincommon:


Tobeginwith,theyallregardgenderlessasabiologicalfactthanasasocialproduct,aninstitutionlearnedthroughandperpetuatedbyculture.Andtheyseethisgendersystem notasamutuallybeneficialandequitabledivisionofroles,butasaperniciouslysymbioticpolaritywhichdeniesfullhumanitytobothsexeswhilemeshingandhelpingto createtheirneuroses.Second,theydescribethefatherabsent,motherinvolvednuclearfamilyascreatingthegenderidentitieswhichperpetuatepatriarchyandthedenigration ofwomenTheyquestiontheassumptionthatthesexualdivisionoflabor,genderpersonality,andheterosexualityrestonabiologicalandinstinctualbaseTheypresent,ineffect, acollectivevisionofhowmaternalpowerinthenurserydefinesgendersoastofosterpatriarchalpowerinthepublicworld.35

Ina1987talk,JeanGrimshawdescribesthesesametextsasdepictingmotherhood"asastateofregression"inwhichtherelationbetweenmotherandchildis "idealized"initssymbioticnondifferentiation.36Chodorow'sethnocentrismorlackofhistoricalspecificitywasnottheissueherewhatwas,asGrimshawsawit,was Chodorow'sportrayalofasuffocatingrealityasacozy,blissfulstateandanimplicitcriticismofwomenwhodonotexperiencematernityinthisway.Similarly,Toril Moi,inatalkdevotedtorevivingFreud'sviewofreasonagainsttherevisionsoffeministobjectrelationstheory,describesthetheoryasinvolving"anidealizationof preOedipalmotherchildrelations,"a"biologistic"viewofdevelopment,anda''romanticizationofthematernal."37AreGrimshawandMoidiscussingthesameworks asKahn?

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Ofcoursetheanswerisno.Forthecontexthaschanged,andthesetextsarenowbeingreadbytheircriticsfromtheperspectiveofadifferentconcretesituationthan thatwhichexistedwhenKahnproducedherreadingofChodorow,Dinnerstein,andRich.MypointisnotthatKahn'sreadingwasthe"correct"onethereisno timelesstextagainstwhichtomeasurehistoricalinterpretations.Rather,Iwishtoencourageconfrontationwiththepresentcontext.Itisthepresentcontextthathas suppliedthespecterof"biologism,""romanticization,"and"idealization."Thedangersthatwearerespondingtoarenotinthetexts,butinoursocialrealityandin ourselves. Inspeakingofsocialreality,Iamnotonlyreferringtothedangeroffeministnotionsofmaleandfemalerealitiesorperspectivesenteringintoaconservativezeitgeist wheretheywillfunctionasanideologicalmooringforthereassertionofthetraditionalgenderroles,althoughinthistimeofgreatbacklashagainstchangesingender powerrelations,thatdangeriscertainlyrealenough.WhatIamprimarilyinterestedinhere,however,arethechangingmeaningsoffemale"otherness"forwomen,as weattempttosurvive,inhistoricallyunprecedentednumbers,withinourstilllargelymasculinistpublicinstitutions. Changesintheprofessionalsituationofacademicfeministsduringthe1980smaybeexemplaryhere.Adecadeago,theexplorationandrevaluationofthatwhichhas beenculturallyconstructedasfemalesettheagendaforacademicfeministsofmanydisciplines,atatimewhenfeminismwasjustenteringthe(white,male)academy. Wewereoutsiders,ofsuspectpolitics(mostofushadbeen"political"feministsbeforeorduringourprofessionaltraining)andinappropriatesex(awoman philosopher?).Atthattime,fewofuswereofotherthanEuropeandescent.Butnonethelesstobeafeministacademicwastobeconstantlyawareofone's "otherness"thatonewasawomanwasbroughthometoonedaily.Thefeministimaginationwasfueledpreciselybywhatitwasneverallowedtoforget:theanalysis ofthehistoricalconstructionofmalepowerandfemale"otherness"becameourtheoreticaltask. Today,womenhavebeen"accepted."Thatis,ithasbeenacknowledged(seemingly)thatwomencanindeed"thinklikemen,"andthosewomenwhoareableto adopttheprevailingstandardsofprofessional"balance,"criticaldetachment,rigor,andtheap

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propriateinsidermentalityhavebeenrewardedfortheirefforts.Thosewhoareunableorunwillingtodoso(alongwiththosemenwhoaresimilarlyunableor unwilling)continuetobedeniedacceptance,publication,tenure,promotions.Atthisjuncture,womenmaydiscoverthattheyhaveanewinvestmentincombating notionsthatgenderlocatesandlimits. Insuchaworldanycelebrationof"female"waysofknowingorthinkingmaybefeltbysometobedangerousprofessionallyandperhapsapersonalregressionas well.For,withinthemasculinistinstitutionswehaveentered,relational,holistic,andnurturantattitudescontinuetobemarkedasflabby,feminine,andsoft.Inthis institutionalcontext,aswearepermitted"integration"intotheprofessionalsphere,thecategoryoffemale"otherness,"whichhasspokentomanyfeministsofthe possibilityofinstitutionalandculturalchange,ofradicaltransformationofthevalues,metaphysicalassumptions,andsocialpracticesofourculture,maybecome somethingfromwhichwewishtodissociateourselves.Weneedinsteadtoestablishourleanness,ourcriticalincisiveness,ourproficiencyatclearanddistinct dissection. Iwasstartled,ataconferencein1987,bytherawhostilityofanumberofresponsestoatalkon"femalevirtue"Ihaveoftenbeendismayedattheangerthat(white, middleclass)feministshaveexhibitedtowardtheworkofGilliganandChodorow.Thissortofvisceralreactiontotheoristsofgenderdifference(unlikethecritiques discussedinthefirstsectioninthischapter)isnotelicitedbytheirethnocentrismorahistoricismitisspecificallydirectedagainstwhatisperceivedastheir romanticizationoffemalevaluessuchasempathyandnurturing.Suchaharshcriticalstanceisprotection,perhaps,againstbeingtarredbythebrushoffemale "otherness,"ofbeingcontaminatedbythings"female."Ofcourse,toromanticizeanythingisthelastthingthatanyrigorousscholarwoulddo.Here,disdainforfemale "sentimentality"intersectswithboththemodernfashionforthecoolandthecultofprofessionalisminourculture. ThePlaceofDualityinaPluralUniverse Generalizationsaboutgendercanofcourseobscureandexclude.Iwouldsuggest,however,thatsuchdeterminationscannotbemade

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bymethodologicalfiatbutmustbedecidedbycontext.Thesameistrueoftherepresentationofheterogeneityandcomplexity.Therearedangersintoowholesalea commitmenttoeitherdualormultiplegrids.Onlytheparticularcontextcandeterminewhengeneralcategoriesofanalysisrace,class,genderareperniciously homogenizingandwhentheyarevitaltosocialcriticism. Toorelentlessafocusonhistoricalheterogeneity,forexample,canobscurethetranshistoricalhierarchicalpatternsofwhite,maleprivilegethathaveinformedthe developmentofWesternintellectual,legal,andpoliticaltraditions.38Moregenerally,thedeconstructionofdualgridscanobscurethedualistic,hierarchicalnatureof theactualitiesofpowerinWesternculture.Contemporaryfeminism,likemanyothersocialmovementsarisinginthe1960s,developedoutoftherecognitionthatto liveinourcultureisnot(despitepowerfulsocialmythologytothecontrary)toparticipateequallyinsomefreeplayofindividualdiversity.Rather,onealwaysfinds oneselflocatedwithinstructuresofdominanceandsubordinationnotleastimportantofwhichhavebeenthoseorganizedaroundgender.Certainly,thedualityof male/femaleisadiscursiveformation,asocialconstruction.So,too,istheracialdualityofblack/white.But,assuch,eachofthesedualitieshashadprofound consequencesfortheconstructionoftheexperienceofthosewholivethem. Oneofthewaysinwhichthesedualitiesaffectpeople'slivesisthroughthe(oftenunconscious)ideology,imagery,andassociationsthatmediateourperceptionsofand relationswitheachother.Letmeprovideaconcrete,contemporaryexamplehere.Thefallandwinterof199192broughtseveraldramaticandcontroversialrapeand sexualharassmentcasestotheraptattentionofmillionsofAmericans:lawprofessorAnitaHill'sallegationsofsexualharassmentagainstthenprospectiveSupreme CourtjusticeClarenceThomasDesireeWashington'sacquaintancerapechargesagainstboxerMikeTysonandPatriciaBowman'sacquaintancerapecaseagainst WilliamKennedySmith.Eachofthesecaseswasauniquehistoricaleventrequiringitsownspecificanalysis.Publicreactionstoeachwerediverseandoftendivided byrace.(Therewereoftensignificantdifferences,asInoteintheintroductiontothisvolume,inthewayblackwomenandwhitewomenperceivedandevaluatedthe actionsofAnitaHill.)Nonetheless,Iwouldarguethatwecan

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profitablycastamoresweepingglanceoverallthreeevents,onewhichrevealsthefallandwinterof199192asaculturalmomentinwhichphallocentrismandsexist ideologyrearedtheirheadsandbaredtheirdistinctiveteethinaparticularlyemphaticway. Throughouteachoftheproceedings,themanaccusedwasendowedbythelawyers,thesenators,themediawithpersonalandsocialhistory,withplaceand importanceinthecommunity.Thewomanconcernedwascontinuallyportrayed(asBeauvoirhasputit)simplyas"theSex,"as"Woman,"withallthemisogynist ideologythatattachesto"Woman"whenshepresentsherselfasathreattomalesecurityandwellbeing:sheisavindictiveliar,afantasizer,ascornedneurotic, mentallyunbalanced,theengineerofman'sfall.ItistruethatDesireeWashington,whoselawyerscleverlypresentedherasachildratherthanawoman,generally wriggledoutofsuchprojectionsbutPatriciaBowman,whohadthemostsuspectpastofthefemale"accusers"interrogatedbeforeusinthatyear,hadthemcastat hercontinually.Ofcourse,theseconstructionsarefrequentlyoverlaidandoverdetermined,inthecaseoftheAfricanAmericanwoman,withJezebelimageryand otherstereotypesspecifictoracistideology.ThestrikinglyselfcontainedandprofessionalAnitaHill,however,largelyescapedthem.Shewasnotgenerallyportrayed asalustfulanimal(thatwouldhavebeentoogreatastretch,evenforArlenSpecter).Butshewascontinually(contradictorily)portrayedasunbalanced,vindictive, manipulable,deceptive,vengeful,irrational,petulant,hysterical,coldstandardchordsinourhistoricalrepertoireofmisogynisttunes.Thegoverningimagesuggested byPatriciaWilliamsisnotthatofJezebelbutthatoftheWitch:
Everythingshetouchedinverteditself.Shewasrelentlesslyambitiousyet"clinically"reserved,consciouslylyingwhilefantasizingtruth.Liedetectorsbrokedownandtheashes of"impossibletruth"spewedforthfromhermouth.Shewascontrolledyetirrational,naiveyetknowing,primyetvengefulacool,hotheaded,rationalhysteric.39

Consider,aswell,thewayinwhichtheraceandindeed,thehumanityofHillandWashingtonwereeffaced(mostfrequentlybyAfricanAmericanmen,butby someAfricanAmericanwomenaswell)intheconstructionoftheirbehavioraspurelyandsimply

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abetrayalofthestruggleofAfricanAmericanmentocombatperniciousstereotypesofblackmalesasoversexed,potentialrapistsbynature.Now,thereisno denyingthatsuchmythologywasculturallyactivatedandexploitedduringtheseevents,particularlyduringtheTysontrial.(WasWilliamKennedySmitheverpublicly characterizedevenbytheprosecutionasaninstinctualanimal?MikeTysonwasportrayedinthiswaybyprosecutionanddefensealike.)Theproblemwiththe constructionIamdiscussingisnotitsattentivenesstoracismbutitsphallocentricreductionofthestruggleagainstracismtothestrugglesofblackmales.The suggestionthatracialjusticecouldsimplyandonlybeservedbytheexonerationoftheAfricanAmericanmale"accused"constructedtheAfricanAmericanfemale "accusers"as"outside"thenetofracism.Inthefaceofsuchconstructions,HillandWashingtonmightwellhaveasked,laSojournerTruth:"Andain'tIablack?" Theymightalsohaveasked:"Don'tIcountatall?"Forwhenthe"NationalCommitteeforMercyforMike"spokeofTysonasan"AfricanAmericanhero"anda"role modelforblackyouth,"theyofferedamapofrealityonwhichtheexperiencesofAfricanAmericanwomenwhoidentifiedwithDesireeWashington'sordealsimply didnotappear.TheyapparentlywerealsooblivioustothefactthatAfricanAmericanwomenaswellasAfricanAmericanmenhavebeenbestializedand hypersexualizedinracistideology,ideologywhichhasplayedarolethroughouthistoryintheconstructionoftherelationofblackwomentorape.Blackwomen,ithas beenimagined,cannotberapedanymorethanananimalcanberaped.(WhenClarenceThomasdescribedhishearingsasa"hightechlynching,''hecynically exploitedananalogythat,inthecontextofAnitaHill'saccusations,submergedthehistoricalrealitiesofAfricanAmericanwomen'slivesblackmenwerenever lynchedforabusingorrapingblackwomen.) Whatwasgoingonhere?Ibelievethatformanymen(bothblackandwhite),defensive,confused,andangryoverthesuddenpublicexposureandcondemnationof sexualbehaviorstheyhadbelievedtobeculturallysanctioned(evenexpectedofthem),archetypalmisogynistimages(e.g.,theCold,Lying,CastratingBitch)beganto overwhelmtheirsenseofwomenashavinganyidentitybeyondthatof"theSex,"of"Woman."Theactualitiesofhumanidentity,ascontemporarytheoristshave pointedout,areindeedplural,

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complex,andoftenambiguous.Butwhenahighlyinvestedaspectoftheselfisfelttobeindanger,thefiguresthatariseinthethreatenedimaginationmaybeshaped bycruderformulas,suppliedbythestarkdualitiesofracistandsexistideologies.ForthoseGermanswhobelievedthattheirracialidentitywasendangeredbya potentiallyfatalJewishpollution,theworlddividedsimplyintoSemiteandAryan.TherewerenorichJewsandpoorJews,noGermanJewsandPolishJewsthere wasonlytheJewishMenace.Theperceptionthat"manhood"isunderattackmayactivatesimilarlydualisticideologiesaboutthesexesalongwiththeirmythologiesof WomanasEnemy. Thustherearecontextswithinwhichgenderisnotaccuratelytheorizedassimplyonethreadinthe(undeniably)heterogeneousfabricofwomen'sandmen'sidentities, contextsinwhichthesexistideologywhichisstillpervasiveinourculturesharplybifurcatesthatheterogeneityalonggenderlines.Atsuchmoments,womenmayfind themselvesdiscoveringthatdespitetheirdifferencestheyhavemanythingsincommonbyvirtueoflivinginsexistcultures.Thisispreciselywhathappenedduringthe Thomas/Hillhearings.SomeAfricanAmericanwomenwereenragedatAnitaHillforpubliclyexposinganAfricanAmericanmanaconcernfewwhitewomeneven thoughtof.Butasdiscussionshiftedfromthespecificsofthecasetothegeneraldynamicsofsexualharassmentandabuse,strikingandpainfulcommonalitiesof experienceveryfrequentlyemerged,cuttingacrosslinesofrace,age,andclass.MypointisnotthattheThomas/Hillhearingswere"onlyaboutgender."Rather,Iam arguingthatthegenderdimensionwassufficientlysignificanttorequireaseparateanalysisofitsdynamics.Thesamemightbesaidoftheracialdimension.Thepointis thattoanalyzeeitherrequiresthatweabstractandgeneralizeacross"difference,"emphasizingcommonalityandconnectionratherthanthefragmentationsofidentity andexperience. Idonotagreethatsuchgeneralizationsaremethodologicallyillicit,asJeanGrimshawhassuggested:
Theexperienceofgender,ofbeingamanorawoman,inflectsmuchifnotallofpeople'slivesButevenifoneisalwaysamanorawoman,oneisneverjustamanorawoman. Oneisyoungorold,sickorhealthy,marriedorunmarried,aparentornotaparent,employedorunemployed,middleclassorworkingclass,richor

Page238 poor,blackorwhite,andsoforth.Genderofcourseinflectsone'sexperienceofthesethings,sotheexperienceofanyoneofthemmaywellberadicallydifferentaccordingto whetheroneisamanorawoman.Butitmayalsoberadicallydifferentaccordingtowhetheroneis,say,blackorwhiteorworkingclassormiddleclass.Therelationshipbetween maleandfemaleexperienceisaverycomplexone.Thustheremayinsomerespectsbemoresimilaritiesbetweentheexperienceofaworkingclasswomanandaworkingclassman theexperienceoffactorylaborforexample,orofpovertyandunemploymentthanbetweenaworkingclasswomanandamiddleclasswoman.Butinotherrespectstheremaybe greatersimilaritiesbetweenthemiddleclasswomanandtheworkingclasswomanexperiencesofdomesticlaborandchildcare,oftheconstraintsandrequirementsthatonebe "attractive,"or"feminine,"forexample.Experiencedoesnotcomeneatlyinsegments,suchthatitisalwayspossibletoabstractwhatinone'sexperienceisdueto"beinga woman"fromthatwhichisdueto''beingmarried,""beingmiddleclass"andsoforth.40

Grimshawemphasizes,absolutelyontarget,thatgenderneverexhibitsitselfinpureformbutalwaysinthecontextoflivesthatareshapedbyamultiplicityof influences,whichcannotbeneatlysortedoutandwhicharerarelyexperiencedasdiscreteandisolatable.Thisdoesnotmean,however,asGrimshawgoesonto suggest,thatabstractionsorgeneralizationsaboutgenderaremethodologicallyillicitorperniciouslyhomogenizingofdifference.Itistruethatwewillneverfindthe kindofCartesianneatness,auniverseofclearanddistinctsegments,thatGrimshawrequiresofsuchabstraction.Moreover,itispossibletoadjustone's methodologicaltoolssothatgendercommonalitiescuttingacrossdifferencesbecomeindiscernibleunderthefinelymeshedgridofvariousinterpretationsand inflections(orthenumerouscounterexampleswhichcanalwaysbeproduced).Butwhatthenbecomesofsocialcritique?TheoreticalcriteriasuchasGrimshaw's, whichmeasuretheadequacyofrepresentationsintermsoftheir"justice"tothe"extremelyvariegatednature"ofhumanexperience,41mustfindnearlyallsocial criticismguiltyofmethodologicallyillicitanddistortingabstraction.Grimshaw'sinflectionargument,althoughdesignedtodisplaythefragmentednatureofgender,in factdeconstructsrace,class,andhistoricalcoherenciesaswell.Foralthoughrace,class,andgenderareprivilegedbycurrentintellectualconvention,theinflections thatmodifyexperienceareinrealityendless,andsome

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itemofdifferencecanalwaysbeproducedthatwillshatteranyproposedgeneralization.Ifgeneralizationisonlypermittedintheabsenceofmultipleinflectionsor interpretivepossibilities,thenculturalgeneralizationofanysortaboutrace,aboutclass,abouthistoricalerasisruledout.Whatremainsisauniversecomposed entirelyofcounterexamples,inwhichthewaymenandwomenseetheworldispurelyasparticularindividuals,shapedbytheuniqueconfigurationsthatformthat particularity.42 TheThomas/Hillhearingsproved,tothecontrary,thattherearecontextsinwhichitisusefultogeneralizeaboutthelimitationsofmaleperspectiveandthe commonalitiesofwomen'sexperiences."Theyjustdon'tgetit."Inolongerrememberwhofirstutteredthesewords,butitwasquicklypickedupbythemediaasa crystallizationandsymbolofthegrowingperceptionamongwomenthatfewmenseemedtounderstandtheethicalseriousnessofsexualharassmentoritshumiliating andoftenparalyzingpersonaldynamics.Thereweremenwho"gotit,"ofcourse."Notgettingit''doesnotcomewrittenontheYchromosome,nordoesitissuefrom somedistinctivelymalecognitiveorpersonalitydefect.Rather,itisablindnesscreatedbyacceptanceofandidentificationwiththepositionandprivileges(and insecurities)ofbeingmaleinapatriarchalculture.(Isay"acceptanceof"and"identificationwith"ratherthan"enjoymentof,"becausethosewhoaspireto,whocrave, themaleprivilegesthathavebeenhistoricallydeniedthemcanalsobeblind.)43Menwhostruggleagainstthelimitationsofperspectiveconferredbymaleposition, privilege,andinsecuritywho,toborrowMariaLugones'sterms,attemptto"travel"emphaticallytothe"worlds"offemaleexperience44cometoseethingsvery differently. WhileacknowledgingthemediationofraceandclassperspectivenottomentionpartypoliticsintheSenatecommittee'squestioningofAnitaHillandClarence Thomas,wouldanyofuswanttodenythatthelimitationsoftheexclusivelymaleexperiencehelpedtoshapethediscourseofthehearings?Thoselimitationswere evenmoreevidentamongThomas'sdetractorsthanamonghissupporters,forhisdetractorshadaninterestinrepresentingHill'sperspectivesympatheticallyandyet werelargelyineptintheireffortstodoso.Theyneveraskedtherightquestions,andtheygenerallyseemedunconvincedbytheirownpontificationsabout

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theseriousnessofsexualharassment.Inthewakeofthisspectacle,themediaandthence"thenation"suddenlywokeuptothefact(evidenttofeministsallalong) thattheU.S.Senatewasvirtuallyanallmaleclub.The1992electionbroughtfournewfemalesenators(oneofthemAfricanAmerican)toCongress.Theyhavenot shiedawayfromtalkingabouttheimportanceofbringing"women'sperspectives"totheirpositions,andthustothedifferentsenatorial"culture"theyhopetohelp create. Thetransformationofculture,andnotmerelygreaterstatisticalrepresentationofwomen,mustremainthegoalofacademicfeminismaswell.Inthiscontext,itis disquietingthatacademicfeministsarequestioningtheintegrityofthenotionof"femalereality"justaswebegintogetafootholdinthosedisciplinesthatcouldmost radicallybetransformedbyour(historicallydeveloped)"otherness"andthathavehistoricallybeenmostshieldedfromit.Foucaultconstantlyremindsusthattheroutes ofindividualinterestanddesiredonotalwaysleadwhereimaginedandmayoftensustainunintendedandunwantedconfigurationsofpower.Couldfeministgender skepticismbeoperatingintheserviceofthereproductionofwhite,male"knowledge/power"(touseFoucault'sphrase,whichunderscoresthatknowledgeisnever neutral,butsustainsparticularpowerrelations)? Ifso,itis,nottheresultofconspiracy,buta"strategy,"asFoucaultwouldsay,"withoutstrategists,"operatingthroughnumerousnoncentralizedprocesses:throughthe pleasureofjoininganintellectualcommunityandthesocialandmaterialrewardsofmembershipthroughtheexcitementofengagementinculturallypowerfuland dominanttheoreticalenterprisesthroughourownexhaustionatmaintaininganagnosticstanceintheinstitutionswhereweworkthroughintellectualboredomwith staletalkaboutmaledominanceandfemalesubordinationthroughourpostmoderninclinationtoembracethenewandthenovelthroughthegenuineinsightsthatnew theoreticalperspectivesofferthroughourfeministcommitmenttotherepresentationofdifferenceeven(mostironically)throughour"female"desiretohealwounds madebyexclusionandalienation. Morecoercively,thedemandsof"professionalism"anditsexacting,"neutral"standardsofrigorandscholarshipmayrequireustoabandonour"female"waysof knowinganddoing.Thecallto

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professionalismisespeciallypowerfulalmostirresistibleforanacademic.Intheclassicaltraditionsofourculture,"themanofreason"providedthemodelofsuch "neutrality."Thatneutralityfeministshaveexposedasanillusionandamystificationofitsmasculinistbiases.Today,however,thecategoryofthe"professional" functionsinmuchthesamewayitmaybethedistinctivelytwentiethcenturyrefurbishingofthe"viewfromnowhere." Itisstrikingandchillingtolearnhowmanyoftheissuesconfrontingprofessionalwomentodaywereconstructedinvirtuallythesametermsindebatesduringthe 1920sand1930s,whenthesocialresultsofthefirstfeministwavewerebeingrealized.Thenasnow,therewasastrongbacklash,particularlyamongprofessional women,againstfeministtalkaboutgenderdifference."We'reinterestedinpeoplenownotmenandwomen,"declaredaGreenwichVillagefemaleliterarygroup, proclaimingitselfin1919!as"postfeminist."45The"NewWoman"ofthetwenties,likehercounterparttoday,wasglamorizedforherdiversity,equaltothatof men:"TheessentialfactabouttheNewWomenisthattheydifferamongthemselves,asmendo,inworkandplay,invirtue,inaspirationandinrewardsachieved. Theyarewomen,notwoman,"wroteLetaHollingworth.46''Thebroadunisexualworldofactivityliesbeforeeveryhumanbeing,"declaredMiriamFord.47 Professionalwomeninparticularshunnedandscornedtheearliergenerationofactivistwomen,whohadmadethemselvesa"foreign,irritatingbody"toprevailing institutionsandwhoattemptedtospeakforanalternativesetofemphatic,relational"female"values.48Instead,womenwereurgedtoadopttherationalist,objectivist standardstheyfoundinplaceintheprofessionstheyentered,toaspireto"excellence"and"forgetfulnessofself"ratherthangenderconsciousness,todevelopa "communityofinterestbetweenthemselvesandprofessionalmen[ratherthan]betweenthemselvesandnonprofessionalwomen."49Professionalwomensawinthe "neutral"standardsofobjectivityandexcellencethemeansofbeingacceptedashumans,notwomen.Inanycase,asNancyCottpointsout,tohavemounteda strategyagainstthosestandards(toexposethemasmyths,toofferothervisions)wouldhavesurely"markedthemasoutsiders."50 Inaculturethatisinfactconstructedbygenderduality,however,onecannotbesimply"human."Thisisnomorepossiblethanitis

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possiblethatwecan"justbepeople"inaracistculture.(Itisstriking,too,thatonehearsthiscomplaintfromwhites"whycan'twejustbepeoplewhydoesit alwayshavetobe'black'thisand'white'that..."onlywhenblackconsciousnessassertsitself.)Ourlanguage,intellectualhistory,andsocialformsaregendered thereisnoescapefromthisfactandfromitsconsequencesonourlives.Someofthoseconsequencesmaybeunintended,mayevenbefiercelyresistedourdeepest desiremaybetotranscendgenderdualities,tohaveourbehaviorjudgedonitsmerits,notcategorizedasmaleorfemale.But,likeitornot,inourpresentcultureour activitiesarecodedasmaleorfemaleandwillfunctionassuchundertheprevailingsystemofgenderpowerrelations.Theadoptionofthe"professional"standardsof academiaisnomoreanactivitydevoidofgenderpoliticsthanthecurrentfashioninwomen'stailoredsuitsandlargeshoulderedjacketsisdevoidofgendermeaning. Onecannotbegenderneutralinthisculture. Onemightthinkthatpoststructuralism,whichhashistoricizedandcriticizedtheliberalnotionoftheabstract"human,"wouldbeanallyhere.Thisispartiallyso.Butthe poststructuralistcritiqueofliberalhumanismismitigatedbyitstendency,discussedearlier,toinsistonthe"correct"destabilizationofsuchgeneralcategoriesofsocial identityasrace,51class,andgender.Practicallyspeakingthatis,inthecontextoftheinstitutionswearetryingtotransformthemostpowerfulstrategiesagainstliberal humanismhavebeenthosethatdemystifythe"human"(anditsclaimstoa"neutral"perspective)throughgeneralcategoriesofsocialidentity,whichgivecontentand forcetothenotionsofsocialinterest,historicallocation,andculturalperspective.Now,wearebeingadvisedthatthestrongestanalysesalongsuchlinesfor example,classicfeministexplorationsoftheconsequencesoffemaledominatedinfantcareorofthe"male''biasesofourdisciplinesandprofessionsaretoberejected asresourcesforunderstandinghistoryandculture.Mostofourinstitutionshavebarelybeguntoabsorbthemessageofmodernistsocialcriticismsurelyitistoosoon toletthemoffthehookviapostmodernheterogeneityandinstability.Thisisnottosaythatthestruggleforinstitutionaltransformationwillbeservedbyunivocal,fixed conceptionsofsocialidentityandlocation.Rather,weneedtoreservepracticalspacesbothforgeneralistcritique(suitablewhengrosspointsneedtobemade)and forattention

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tocomplexityandnuance.Weneedtobepragmatic,nottheoreticallypure,ifwearetostruggleeffectivelyagainsttheinclinationofinstitutionstopreserveanddefend themselvesagainstdeepchange. Ofcourse,itisimpossibletopredicttheculturalmeaningsone'sgestureswilltakeonandthelargerformationsinwhichonewillfindone'sactivitiesparticipating. Nonetheless,historydoesoffersomecautions.The1920sand1930ssawafragmentationanddissipationoffeministconsciousnessandfeministactivism,aswomen struggledwithwhatNancyCottcalls"thedilemmaoftwentiethcenturyfeminism":thetensionbetweenthepreservationofgenderconsciousnessandidentity(asa sourceofpoliticalunityandalternativevision)andthedestructionof"genderprescriptions"whichlimithumanchoiceandpossibility.52The"postfeminist'' consciousnessofthetwentiesandthirties,inpursuitofanidealworldunderminedbygenderdualities,cutitselfadriftfromthemooringsofgenderidentity.Thiswas culturallyandhistoricallyunderstandable.Butwethus,Ibelieve,cutourselvesofffromthesourceoffeminism'stransformativepossibilitiespossibilitiesthatthenhad toberevivedandimaginedagainfourdecadeslater.Thedeconstructionofgenderanalytics,Ifear,maybeparticipatinginasimilarculturalmomentoffeminist fragmentation,comingaroundagain.

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"MaterialGirl" TheEffacementsofPostmodernCulture
PlasticityasPostmodernParadigm Inacultureinwhichorgantransplants,lifeextensionmachinery,microsurgery,andartificialorganshaveenteredeverydaymedicine,weseemonthevergeofpractical realizationoftheseventeenthcenturyimaginationofbodyasmachine.Butifwehavetechnicallyandtechnologicallyrealizedthatconception,itcanalsobearguedthat metaphysicallywehavedeconstructedit.Intheearlymodernera,machineimageryhelpedtoarticulateatotallydeterminedhumanbodywhosebasicfunctioningsthe humanbeingwashelplesstoalter.Thethendominantmetaphorsforthisbodyclocks,watches,collectionsofspringsimaginedasystemthatisset,woundup, whetherbynatureorbyGodthewatchmaker,tickingawayinpredictable,orderlymanner,regulatedbylawsoverwhichthehumanbeinghasnocontrol. Understandingthesystem,wecanhelpittoperformefficiently,andwecanintervenewhenitmalfunctions.Butwecannotradicallyalteritsconfiguration. Pursuingthismodern,deterministfantasytoitslimits,fedbythecurrentsofconsumercapitalism,modernideologiesoftheself,andtheircrystallizationinthe dominanceofUnitedStatesmassculture,Westernscienceandtechnologyhavenowarrived,paradoxicallybutpredictably(foritwasanelement,thoughsubmerged andillicit,inthemechanistconceptionallalong),atanew,postmodernimaginationofhumanfreedomfrombodilydetermination.Graduallyandsurely,atechnology thatwasfirstaimedatthereplacementofmalfunctioningpartshasgeneratedanindustryandanideologyfueledbyfantasiesofrearranging,transforming,and correcting,anideologyoflimitlessimprovementandchange,defyingthehistoricity,themortality,and,indeed,theverymaterialityofthebody.

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Inplaceofthatmateriality,wenowhavewhatIwillcallculturalplastic.InplaceofGodthewatchmaker,wenowhaveourselves,themastersculptorsofthatplastic. Thisdisdainformateriallimitsandtheconcomitantintoxicationwithfreedom,change,andselfdeterminationareenactednotonlyonthelevelofthecontemporary technologyofthebodybutinawiderangeofcontexts,includingmuchofcontemporarydiscourseonthebody,bothpopularandacademic.Inthisessay,lookingata varietyofthesediscursivecontexts,Iattempttodescribekeyelementsofthisparadigmofplasticityandexposesomeofitseffacementsthematerialandsocial realitiesitdeniesorrendersinvisible. PlasticBodies "Createamasterpiece,sculptyourbodyintoaworkofart,"urgesFitmagazine."Youvisualizewhatyouwanttolooklike,andthenyoucreatethatform."''The challengepresentsitself:torearrangethings."1 Theprecisiontechnologyofbodysculpting,oncethesecretoftheArnoldSchwarzeneggersandRachelMcLishesof theprofessionalbodybuildingworld,hasnowbecomeavailabletoanyonewhocanaffordthepriceofmembershipinagym(Figure39)."Inowlookatbodies,"says JohnTravolta,aftertrainingforthemovieStayingAlive,"almostlikepiecesofclaythatcanbemolded."2 Onthemedicalfront,plasticsurgery,whoserepeatedand purelycosmeticemploymenthasbeenlegitimatedbyMichaelJackson,Cher,andothers,hasbecomeafabulouslyexpandingindustry,extendingitsdomainfromnose jobs,facelifts,tummytucks,andbreastaugmentationstocollagenplumpedlipsandliposuctionshapedankles,calves,andbuttocks(Figure40).In1989,681,000 proceduresweredone,up80percentover1981overhalfofthesewereperformedonpatientsbetweentheagesofeighteenandthirtyfive.3 ThetrendyDetails magazinedescribes"surgicalstretching,tuckingandsucking"as"anotherfabulous[fashion]accessory"andinvitesreaderstosharetheircosmeticsurgeryexperiences intheirmonthlycolumn"KnifestylesoftheRichandFamous."Inthatcolumn,thetransportationoffatfromonepartofthebodytoanotherisdescribedasbreezilyas changinghatsmightbe:
Dr.Brownisanartist.Hedoesn'tjustpullandtuckandforgetaboutyouHedidliposuctiononmyneck,didthenosejobandtight

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights.
enedupmyforeheadtogiveitabetterline.Thenhetooksomefatfromthesideofmywaistandinjecteditintomyhands.Itgoesinasalump,andthenhesmoothsitoutwithhis handstowhereitlooksgood.I'lltellyousomething,thenoseandneckmadeabigchange,butnothingincomparisontohowfabulousmyhandslook.Thefatjustsmoothedout allthelines,theveinsdon'tstickupanymore,theskinactuallylookssoftandgreat.[But]youhavetobecarefulnottobangyourhands.4

Popularculturedoesnotapplyanybrakestothesefantasiesofrearrangementandselftransformation.Rather,weareconstantlytoldthatwecan"choose"ourown bodies(Figures41and42)."Theproperdiet,therightamountofexerciseandyoucanhave,prettymuch,anybodyyoudesire,"claimsEvian.Ofcourse,therhetoric ofchoiceandselfdeterminationandthebreezyanalogiescomparingcosmeticsurgerytofashionaccessorizingaredeeplymystifying.Theyefface,notonlythe inequalitiesofprivilege,money,andtimethatprohibitmostpeoplefromindulginginthesepractices,butthe

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. desperationthatcharacterizesthelivesofthosewhodo."Iwilldoanything,anything,tomakemyselflookandfeelbetter,"saysTinaLizardi(whose"Knifestyles" experienceIquotedfromabove).Medicalsciencehasnowdesignatedanewcategoryof"polysurgicaladdicts"(or,inmorecasualreferences,''scalpelslaves")who returnforoperationafteroperation,inperpetualquestoftheelusiveyetruthlesslynormalizinggoal,the"perfect"body.5 Thedarkundersideofthepracticesofbody transformationandrearrangement

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. revealsbotchedandsometimesfataloperations,exerciseaddictions,eatingdisorders.Andofcourse,despitetheclaimsoftheEvianad,onecannothaveanybody thatonewantsfornoteverybodywilldo.Theveryadvertisementswhosecopyspeaksofchoiceandselfdeterminationvisuallylegislatetheeffacementof individualandculturaldifferenceandcircumscribeourchoices(Figure43). Thatwearesurroundedbyhomogenizingandnormalizingimagesimageswhosecontentisfarfromarbitrary,butisinsteadsuffusedwiththedominanceofgendered, racial,class,andotherculturaliconographyseemssoobviousastobealmostembarrassingtobearguinghere.YetcontemporaryunderstandingsofthebehaviorsI havebeendescribingnotonlyconstructthesituationverydifferentlybutdosointermsthatpreemptpreciselysuchacritiqueofculturalimagery.Moreover,they reproduce,onthelevelofdiscourseandinterpretation,thesameconditionsthatpostmodernbodiesenactonthelevelofculturalpractice:aconstructionoflifeas plasticpossibilityandweightlesschoice,undeterminedby

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history,sociallocation,orevenindividualbiography.A1988"Donahue"showoffersmyfirstillustration. Theshow'sfocuswasaseriesoftelevisioncommercialsforDuraSoftcoloredcontactlenses.Inthesecommercialsastheywereoriginallyaired,awomanwasshown inadreamlike,romanticfantasyforexample,parachutingslowlyandgracefullyfromtheheavens.Themalevoiceoverthendescribedthewomaninsoft,lushterms: "IfIbelievedinangels,I'dsaythat'swhatshewasanangel,droppedfromtheskylikeananswertoaprayer,witheyesasbrownasbark."[Significantpause]"No. ..Idon'tthinkso."[Atthispoint,thetapewouldberewoundtoreturnusto:]"Witheyesasvioletasthecolorsofachild'simagination.''Thecommercialconcludes: "DuraSoftcoloredcontactlenses.Getbrowneyesasecondlook"(cf.Figure44). ThequestionposedbyPhilDonahue:Isthisadracist?Donahueclearlythoughttherewascontroversytobestirreduphere,forhestockedhisaudiencefullofwomen ofcolorandwhitewomentodiscusstheimplicationsofthead.ButDonahuewasapparentlylivinginadifferentdecadefrommostofhisaudience,whorepeatedly declaredthattherewasnothing"wrong"withthead,andeverything"wrong"withanyinclinationsto"makeitapoliticalquestion."Herearesomecommentstaken fromthetranscriptoftheshow:
"Whydoesithavetobeapoliticalquestion?Imean,peopleperm theirhair.It'sjustbecausetheylikethewayitlooks.It'snotsome thingsociological.Maybeblackwomenlikethewaytheylookwith greencontacts.It'stobemoreattractive.It'snotsomethingthat makesthemImean,whydopunkrockershavepurplehair?Be causetheyfeelitmakesthemfeelbetter."[whitewoman] "What'sthefuss?WhenIputonmybluelenses,itmakesmefeel good.Itmakesmefeelsexy,different,theotherwoman,sotospeak, whichislikefun."[blackwoman]"Ipermmyhair,you'rewearingmakeup,what'sthedifference?" [whitewoman] "Iwanttobeversatile...havingdifferentlooks,beingable tochangefromonelooktotheother."[blackfemalemodel] "Wealldothesamething,whenwe'refeelinggoodwewearnew makeup,hairstyles,webuynewclothes.Sonowit'scontactlenses. Whatdifferencedoesitmake?"[whitewoman] "Itgoesbothways...BoDerekputsherhairincornstalks,or corn...orwhateverthatthingiscalled.Whitewomentrytoget tan."[whitewoman]

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Page253 "She'snottryingtobewhite,she'stryingtobedifferent."[aboutablackwomanwithbluecontactlenses]"It'sfashion,womenareneverhappywiththemselves.""Iputthemin astoys,justforfun,change.Nothingtooserious,andIreallyenjoythem."[blackwoman]6

Somepointstonotehere:first,puttingonmakeup,stylinghair,andsoforthareconceivedofonlyasfreeplay,fun,amatterofcreativeexpression.Thistheysurely are.Buttheyarealsoexperiencedbymanywomenasnecessarybeforetheywillshowthemselvestotheworld,evenonaquicktriptothecornermailbox.Theone commentthathintsatwomen's(bynowdepressinglywelldocumented)dissatisfactionwiththeirappearancetrivializesthatdissatisfactionandputsitbeyondthepale ofculturalcritique:"It'sfashion."Whatshemeansis,"It'sonlyfashion,"whosewhimsicalandpoliticallyneutralvicissitudessupplyendlessamusementforwomen's eternallysuperficialvalues.("Womenareneverhappywiththemselves.")Ifweareneverhappywithourselves,itisimplied,thatisduetoourfemalenature,nottobe takentooseriouslyormadeintoapoliticalquestion.Second,thecontentoffashion,thespecificidealsthatwomenaredrawntoembody(idealsthatvaryhistorically, racially,andalongclassandotherlines)areseenasarbitrary,withoutmeaninginterpretationisneitherrequirednorevenappropriate.Rather,allmotivationandvalue comefromtheinterestandallurethe"sexiness"ofchangeanddifferenceitself.Bluecontactlensesforablackwoman,itisadmitted,makeher"other''("theother woman").Butthat"other"isnotaracialorcultural"other"sheissexybecauseofthepiquancy,thenovelty,theeroticsofputtingonadifferentself.Anydifferentself woulddo,itisimplied. Closelyconnectedtothisistheconstructionofallcosmeticchangesasthesame:permsforthewhitewomen,cornrowsonBoDerek,tanning,makeup,changing hairstyles,bluecontactsforblackwomenallareseenashavingequalpoliticalvalance(whichistosay,nopoliticalvalance)andthesameculturalmeaning(whichis tosay,noculturalmeaning)intheheterogeneousyetundifferentiatedcontextofthethings"all"womendo"tobemoreattractive."Theonewomanintheaudiencewho offeredadifferentconstructionofthisbehavior,whoinsistedthatthestylesweaspiretodonotsimplyreflectthefreeplayoffashionorfemalenaturewhowentsofar, indeed,astoclaimthatwe"arebrainwashedto

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thinkblondhairandblueeyesisthemostbeautifulofall,"wasregardedwithhostilesilence.Then,afewmomentslater,someonechallenged:"Isthereanythingwrong withblueeyesandblondhair?"Theaudienceenthusiasticallyapplaudedthisdefenderofdemocraticvalues. This"conversation"aparadigmaticallypostmodernconversation,asIwillargueshortlyeffacesthesamegeneralelementsastherhetoricofbodytransformation discussedearlier.First,iteffacestheinequalitiesofsocialpositionandthehistoricaloriginswhich,forexample,renderBoDerek'scornrowsandblackwomen'shair straighteningutterlynoncommensurate.Ontheonehand,wehaveBoDerek'sprivilege,notonlyassounimpeachablywhiteastopermitanexotictouchof"otherness" withnodangerofracialcontamination,buthertrendsettingpositionasafamousmoviestar.Contrastingtothis,andmediatingablackwoman's"choice"tostraighten herhair,isaculturalhistoryofracistbodydiscriminationssuchasthenineteenthcenturycombtest,whichallowedadmissiontochurchesandclubsonlytothose blackswhocouldpassthroughtheirhairwithoutsnaggingafinetoothcombhangingoutsidethedoor.(Avarietyofcomparableteststhepineslabtest,thebrown bagtestdeterminedwhetherone'sskinwasadequatelylighttopassmuster.)7 Second,andfollowingfromthesehistoricalpractices,thereisadisciplinaryrealitythatiseffacedintheconstructionofallselftransformationasequallyarbitrary,all variantsofthesametrivialgame,withoutdifferingculturalvalance.IusethetermdisciplinaryhereintheFoucauldiansense,aspointingtopracticesthatdonotmerely transformbutnormalizethesubject.Thatis,torepeatapointmadeearlier,noteverybodywilldo.A1989pollofEssencemagazinereadersrevealedthat68 percentofthosewhorespondedweartheirhairstraightenedchemicallyorbyhotcomb.8 "Justforfun"?Forthekickofbeing"different"?Whenwelookatthepursuit ofbeautyasanormalizingdiscipline,itbecomesclearthatnotallbodytransformationsarethesame.Thegeneraltyrannyoffashionperpetual,elusive,andinstructing thefemalebodyinapedagogyofpersonalinadequacyandlackisapowerfuldisciplineforthenormalizationofallwomeninthisculture.Butevenasweareall normalizedtotherequirementsofappropriatefeminineinsecurityandpreoccupationwithappearance,morespecificrequirements

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. emergeindifferentculturalandhistoricalcontexts,andfordifferentgroups.WhenBoDerekputherhairincornrows,shewasengaginginnormalizingfeminine practice.ButwhenOprahWinfreyadmittedonhershowthatallherlifeshehasdesperatelylongedtohave"hairthatswingsfromsidetoside"whensheshakesher head(Figure45),sherevealedthepowerofracialaswellasgendernormalization,normalizationnotonlyto"femininity,"buttotheCaucasianstandardsofbeautythat stilldominateontelevision,inmovies,inpopularmagazines.(WhenIwasachild,Ifeltthesamewayaboutmythick,thencurly,"Jewish"hairasOprahdidabout hers.)NeitherOprahnortheEssencereadersnorthemanyJewishwomen(myselfincluded)whoironedtheirhairinthe1960shavecreativelyorplayfullyinvented themselveshere. DuraSoftknowsthis,evenifDonahue'saudiencedoesnot.Sincethecampaignfirstbegan,thecompanyhasreplacedtheorig

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. inal,upfrontmagazineadvertisementwithamoreeuphemisticvariant,fromwhichthewordbrownhasbeentastefullyeffaced.(Incaseithasbecometoosubtleforthe averagereader,themodelnowisblackalthoughitshouldbenotedthatDuraSoft'sfailuretoappreciatebrowneyesalsorenderstheeyesofmostoftheworldnot worth"asecondlook"[Figure46].)Inthetelevisioncommercial,acomparable"brownwash"waseffectedhere"eyesasbrownas..."wasretained,butthe derogatorynouns"brownasboots,"''brownasbark"wereeliminated.Theannouncersimplywasleftspeechless:"eyesasbrownas...brownas...,"andthen, presumablyhavingbeenunabletocomeupwithanenticingsimile,shiftedto"violet."Asintheexpurgatedmagazine

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. ad,thetelevisioncommercialended:"Getyoureyesasecondlook." WhenIshowedmystudentstheseads,manyofthemwereasdismissiveasthe"Donahue"audience,convincedthatIwasonceagainturninginnocentimagesand practicesintopoliticalissues.Ipersisted:ifracialstandardsofbeautyarenotatworkhere,thenwhynobrowncontactsforblueeyedpeople?Amonthlater,twoof mystudentstriumphantlyproducedaDuraSoftadforbrowncontacts(Figure47),appearinginEssencemagazine,andwithanadvertisingcampaigndirectedsolelyat alreadybrowneyedconsumers,offeringthepromisenotof"gettingblueeyesasecondlook"bybecomingexcitinglydarker,butof"subtlyenhancing''

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darkeyes,bymakingthemlighterbrown.ThecreatorsoftheDuraSoftcampaignclearlyknowthatnotalldifferencesarethesameinourculture,andtheycontinue, albeitinevermoremystifiedform,toexploitandperpetuatethatfact.9 PlasticDiscourse The"Donahue"DuraSoftshow(indeed,anytalkshow)providesaperfectexampleofwhatwemightcallapostmodernconversation.Allsenseofhistoryandall ability(orinclination)tosustainculturalcriticism,tomakethedistinctionsanddiscriminationsthatwouldpermitsuchcriticism,havedisappeared.Rather,inthis conversation,"anythinggoes"andanypositionedsocialcritique(forexample,thewomanwho,speakingclearlyfromconsciousnessofracialoppression,insisted thattheattractionofblondhairandblueeyeshasaculturalmeaningsignificantlydifferentfromthatofpurplehair)isimmediatelydestabilized.Insteadofdistinctions, endlessdifferencesreignanundifferentiatedpasticheofdifferences,agrabbaginwhichnoitemsareassignedanymoreimportanceorcentralitythananyothers. Televisionis,ofcourse,thegreatteacherhere,ourprimemodelerofplasticpluralism:ifone"Donahue"showfeaturesafeministtalkingaboutbatteredwives,thenext showwillfeaturemistreatedhusbands.Womenwholovetoomuch,thesexhabitsofpriests,disturbedchildrenofpsychiatrists,daughterswhohavenomanners,male strippers,relativeswhohaven'tspokenintenyearsallhavetheirdayalongsideincest,rape,andU.S.foreignpolicy.Allaregivenequalweightbythegreatleveler theframeofthetelevisionscreen. Thisspectacleofdifferencedefeatstheabilitytosustaincoherentpoliticalcritique.Everythingisthesameinitsunvalanceddifference.("Ipermmyhair,you'rewearing makeup,what'sthedifference?")Particularsreign,andgeneralitywhichcollects,organizes,andprioritizes,suspendingattentiontoparticularityintheinterestsof connection,emphasis,andcriticismissuspect.So,wheneversomecriticallychargedgeneralizationwassuggestedonDonahue'sDuraSoftshow,someoneelse wouldinvariablyofferacounterexampleIhaveblueeyes,andI'mablackwomanBoDerekwearscornrowstofragmentthecritique.Whatisremarkableisthat peopleaccepttheseexamplesasrefutationsofsocial

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critique.Theyalmostinvariablybackdown,utterlyconfusedastohowtomaintaintheircriticalgeneralizationinthefaceofthedestabilizingexample.Sometimesthey qualify,claimingtheymeantsomepeople,notall.Butofcoursetheymeantneitherallnorsome.Theymeantmostthatis,theyweretryingtomakeaclaimabout socialorculturalpatternsandthatisastancethatisincreasinglydifficulttosustaininapostmoderncontext,wherewearesurroundedbyendlesslydisplacedimages andaregivennoorientingcontextinwhichtomakediscriminations. Thosewhoinsistonanorientingcontext(andwhothereforedonotpermitparticularstoreigninalltheirabsolute"difference")areseenas"totalizing,"thatis,as constructingafalselycoherentandmorallycoerciveuniversethatmarginalizesandeffacestheexperiencesandvaluesofothers.("Isthereanythingwrongwithblue eyesandblondhair?")Assomeonewhoisfrequentlyinterviewedbylocaltelevisionandnewspaperreporters,Ihaveoftenfoundmyfeministargumentsframedinthis way,astheywereinanarticleonbreastaugmentationsurgery.Afterseveralpagesof"expert"recommendationsfromplasticsurgeons,mycautionsaboutthepolitics offemalebodytransformation(noneofthemcriticalofindividualscontemplatingplasticsurgery,allofthemofaculturalnature)werebrieflyquotedbythereporter, whothenwentontoendthepiecewithacommentonmycritiquefromthedirectorofcommunicationsfortheAmericanSocietyofPlasticandReconstructive Surgery:
Thosenotconsideringplasticsurgeryshouldn'tbetoocriticalofthosewhodo.It'sthehardestthingforpeopletounderstand.What'simportantisifit'saproblemtothatperson. We'realldifferent,butweallwanttolookbetter.We'rejustdifferentinwhatextentwe'llgoto.Butnoneofuscansaywedon'twanttolookthebestwecan.10

Withthistolerant,egalitarianstroke,themedialiaisonofthemostpowerfulplasticsurgerylobbyinthecountrypresentsherselfastheprotectorof"difference"against thehomogenizingandstiflingregimeofthefeministdictator. Academicsdonotusuallyliketothinkofthemselvesasembodyingthevaluesandpreoccupationsofpopularcultureontheplaneofhightheoryorintellectual discourse.Weprefertoseeourselvesas

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thedemystifyersofpopulardiscourse,bringerstoconsciousnessandclarityratherthanunconsciousreproducersofculture.Despitewhatwewouldliketobelieveof ourselves,however,wearealwayswithinthesocietythatwecriticize,andneversostrikinglyasatthepresentpostmodernmoment.AlltheelementsofwhatIhave herecalledpostmodernconversationintoxicationwithindividualchoiceandcreativejouissance,delightwiththepiquancyofparticularityandmistrustofpattern andseemingcoherence,celebrationof"difference"alongwithanabsenceofcriticalperspectivedifferentiatingandweighing"differences,"suspicionofthetotalitarian natureofgeneralizationalongwitharushtoprotectdifferencefromitshomogenizingabuseshavebecomerecognizableandfamiliarinmuchofcontemporary intellectualdiscourse.Withinthistheoreticallyselfconsciousuniverse,moreover,theseelementsarenotmerelyembodied(asinthe"Donahue"show'sDuraSoft conversation)butexplicitlythematizedandcelebrated,asinauguratingnewconstructionsoftheself,nolongercaughtinthemythologyoftheunifiedsubject, embracingofmultiplicity,challengingthedrearyandmoralizinggeneralizationsaboutgender,race,andsoforththathavesopreoccupiedliberalandlefthumanism. Forthiscelebratory,academicpostmodernism,ithasbecomehighlyunfashionableand"totalizing"totalkaboutthegripofcultureonthebody.Sucha perspective,itisargued,castsactiveandcreativesubjectsaspassivedupesofideologyitgivestoomuchtodominantideology,imaginingitasseamlessandunivocal, overlookingboththegapswhicharecontinuallyallowingfortheeruptionof"difference"andthepolysemous,unstable,opennatureofallculturaltexts.Totalkabout thegripofcultureonthebody(as,forexample,in"old"feministdiscourseabouttheobjectificationandsexualizationofthefemalebody)istofailtoacknowledge,as onetheoristputit,"theculturalworkbywhichnomadic,fragmented,activesubjectsconfounddominantdiscourse."11 So,forexample,contemporaryculturecriticJohnFiskeisharshlycriticalofwhathedescribesastheviewoftelevisionasa"dominatingmonster"with"homogenizing power"overtheperceptionsofviewers.Suchaview,heargues,imaginestheaudienceas"powerlessandundiscriminating"andoverlooksthefactthat:
PleasureresultsfromaparticularrelationshipbetweenmeaningsandpowerThereisnopleasureinbeinga"culturaldope."Pleasureresultsfromtheproductionofmeaningsof theworldand

Page261 ofselfthatarefelttoservetheinterestsofthereaderratherthanthoseofthedominant.Thesubordinatemaybedisempowered,buttheyarenotpowerless.Thereisapowerin resistingpower,thereisapowerinmaintainingone'ssocialidentityinoppositiontothatproposedbythedominantideology,thereisapowerinassertingone'sownsubcultural valuesagainstthedominantones.Thereis,inshort,apowerinbeingdifferent.12

FiskethengoesontoproducenumerousexamplesofhowDallas,HarttoHart,andsoforthhavebeenread(orsoheargues)byvarioussubculturestomaketheir own"sociallypertinent"andempoweringmeaningsoutof"thesemioticresourcesprovidedbytelevision." Note,inFiske'sinsistent,repetitiveinvocationofthecategoryofpower,acharacteristicallypostmodernflatteningoftheterrainofpowerrelations,alackof differentiationbetween,forexample,thepowerinvolvedincreativereadingintheisolationofone'sownhomeandthepowerheldbythosewhocontrolthematerial productionoftelevisionshows,orthepowerinvolvedinpublicprotestandactionagainsttheconditionsofthatproductionandthepowerofthedominantmeanings forinstance,racistandsexistimagesandmessagesthereinproduced.ForFiske,ofcourse,therearenosuchdominantmeanings,thatis,noelementwhoseabilityto griptheimaginationoftheviewerisgreaterthantheviewer'sabilityto"justsayno"throughresistantreadingofthetext.Thatethnicandsubculturalmeaningmaybe wrestedfromDallasandHarttoHartbecomesforFiskeproofthatdominatingimagesandmessagesareonlyinthemindsofthosetotalitariancriticswhowould condescendingly"rescue"thedisempoweredfromthoseforcesthatareinfacttheverymediumoftheircreativefreedomandresistance("thesemioticresourcesof television"). Fiske'sconceptionofpoweraterrainwithouthillsandvalleys,whereallforceshavebecome"resources"reflectsaverycommonpostmodernmisappropriationof Foucault.Fiskeconceivesofpowerasinthepossessionofindividualsorgroups,somethingthey"have"aconceptionFoucaulttakesgreatpainstocriticizerather than(asinFoucault'sreconstruction)adynamicofnoncentralizedforces,itsdominanthistoricalformsattainingtheirhegemony,notfrommagisterialdesignordecree, butthroughmultiple"processes,ofdifferentoriginandscatteredlocation,"regulatingandnormalizingthemostintimateandminuteelementsoftheconstructionof

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time,space,desire,embodiment.13Thisconceptionofpowerdoesnotentailthattherearenodominantpositions,socialstructures,orideologiesemergingfromthe playofforcesthefactthatpowerisnotheldbyanyonedoesnotmeanthatitisequallyheldbyall.Itisinfactnot"held"atallrather,peopleandgroupsare positioneddifferentiallywithinit.Thismodelisparticularlyusefulfortheanalysisofmaledominanceandfemalesubordination,somuchofwhichisreproduced "voluntarily,"throughourselfnormalizationtoeverydayhabitsofmasculinityandfemininity.Withinsuchamodel,onecanacknowledgethatwomenmayindeed contributetotheperpetuationoffemalesubordination(forexample,byembracing,takingpleasurein,andevenfeelingempoweredbytheculturalobjectificationand sexualizationofthefemalebody)withoutthisentailingthattheyhavepowerintheproductionandreproductionofsexistculture. Foucaultdoesinsistontheinstabilityofmodernpowerrelationsthatis,heemphasizesthatresistanceisperpetualandunpredictable,andhegemonyprecarious. ThisnotionistransformedbyFiske(perhapsundertheinfluenceofamoredeconstructionistbrandofpostmodernism)intoanotionofresistanceasjouissance,a creativeandpleasurableeruptionofcultural"difference"throughthe"seams"ofthetext.Whatthiscelebrationofcreativereadingasresistanceeffacesisthearduous andfrequentlyfrustratedhistoricalstrugglethatisrequiredforthesubordinatedtoarticulateandassertthevalueoftheir"difference"inthefaceofdominantmeanings meaningswhichoftenofferapedagogydirectedatthereinforcementoffeelingsofinferiority,marginality,ugliness.Duringtheearlyfifties,whenBrownv.theBoard ofEducationwaswendingitswaythroughthecourts,asademonstrationofthedestructivepsychologicaleffectsofsegregationblackchildrenwereaskedtolookat twobabydolls,identicalinallrespectsexceptcolor.Thechildrenwereaskedaseriesofquestions:whichisthenicedoll?whichisthebaddoll?whichdollwouldyou liketoplaywith?Themajorityofblackchildren,KennethClarkreports,attributedthepositivecharacteristicstothewhitedoll,thenegativecharacteristicstothe black.WhenClarkaskedonefinalquestion,"Whichdollislikeyou?"theylookedathim,hesays,"asthoughhewerethedevilhimself''forputtingtheminthat predicament,forforcingthemtofacetheinexorableandhideouslogicalimplicationsoftheirsituation.Northernchildrenoftenranoutoftheroomsouthernchildren

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tendedtoanswerthequestioninshamedembarrassment.Clarkrecallsonelittleboywholaughed,"WhoamIlike?Thatdoll!It'saniggerandI'manigger!"14 Failingtoacknowledgethepsychologicalandculturalpotencyofnormalizingimagerycanbejustaseffectiveineffacingpeople'sexperiencesofracialoppressionas lackofattentivenesstoculturalandethnicdifferencesafactpostmoderncriticssometimesseemtoforget.ThisisnottodenywhatFiskecalls"thepowerofbeing different"itis,rather,toinsistthatitiswonthroughongoingpoliticalstruggleratherthanthroughanactofcreativeinterpretation.Here,onceagain,althoughmany postmodernacademicsmayclaimFoucaultastheirguidinglight,theydifferfromhiminsignificantandrevealingways.ForFoucault,themetaphoricalterrainof resistanceisexplicitlythatofthe"battle"the"pointsofconfrontation"maybe"innumerable"and''instable,"buttheyinvolveaserious,oftendeadlystruggleof embodied(thatis,historicallysituatedandshaped)forces.15BarbaraKrugerexemplifiesthisconceptionofresistanceinaposterthatrepresentsthecontemporary contestoverreproductivecontrolthroughthemetaphorofthebodyasbattleground(Figure48).Someprogressivedevelopersofchildren'stoyshaveselfconsciously enteredintostrugglewithracialandotherformsofnormalization.TheKenyaDoll(Figure49)comesinthreedifferentskintones("soyourgirlisboundtofeelpretty andproud")andattemptstocreateafutureinwhichhairstraighteningwillbemerelyonedecorativeoptionamongothers.Suchproducts,tomymind,arepotentially effective"sitesofresistance"preciselybecausetheyrecognizethatthebodyisabattlegroundwhoseselfdeterminationhastobefoughtfor. Themetaphorofthebodyasbattleground,ratherthanpostmodernplayground,captures,aswell,thepracticaldifficultiesinvolvedinthepoliticalstruggletoempower "difference."Essencemagazinehasconsciouslyandstrenuouslytriedtopromotediverseimagesofblackstrength,beauty,andselfacceptance.Beautyfeatures celebratethegloryofblackskinandlushlipsotherdepartmentsfeatureinterviewswithaccomplishedblackwomenwriters,activists,teachers,manyofwhomdisplay stylesofbodyanddressthatchallengethehegemonyofwhiteAngloSaxonstandards.Themagazine'sadvertisers,however,continuallyplayuponandperpetuate consumers'feelingsofinadequacyandinsecurityovertheracialcharacteristicsoftheirbodies.Theyinsistthat,inordertobe

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. beautiful,hairmustbestraightenedandeyeslightenedtheyalmostalwaysemploymodelswithfairskin,AngloSaxonfeatures,and"hairthatmoves,"insuring associationoftheirproductswithfantasiesofbecomingwhatthewhiteculturemostprizesandrewards. Thisongoingbattleovertheblackwoman'sbodyandthepowerofits"differences"("differences"whichactualblackwomenembodytowidelyvaryingdegrees,of course)ismademanifestinthetwentiethanniversaryissue,whereafeaturecelebrating''TheBeautyofBlack"facedanadvertisementvisuallylegislatingvirtuallythe opposite(andoffering,significantly,"escape")(Figures50and51).ThisinvitationtocognitivedissonancerevealswhatEssencemustgrapplewith,ineveryissue,asit triestokeepitsmessageofAfricanAmericanselfacceptanceclearanddominant,whilesubmittingtoeconomicnecessitiesonwhichitssurvivaldepends.Letme makeitclearherethatsuchselfacceptance,notthereversetyrannythatconstructslightskinnedandAnglofeatured

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. AfricanAmericansas"notblackenough,"isthemessageEssenceistryingtoconvey,againstaculturethatdenies"theBeautyofBlack"ateveryturn.Thisterrain, clearly,isnotaplaygroundbutaminefieldthatconstantlythreatenstodeconstruct"difference''literallyandnotmerelyliterarily. "MaterialGirl":MadonnaasPostmodernHeroine JohnFiske'sconceptionof"difference,"inthesectionquotedabove,atleastimaginesresistanceaschallengingspecifiablehistoricalformsofdominance.Women,he argues,connectwithsubversive"feminine"valuesleakingthroughthepatriarchalplotofsoapoperasblackslaughtothemselvesattheglossy,materialistcowboy cultureofDallas.Suchexamplessuggestaresistancedirectedagainstparticularhistoricalformsofpowerandsubjectivity.Forsomepostmoderntheorists,however, resistanceisimaginedastherefusaltoembodyanypositionedsubjectivityatallwhatiscelebratediscontinualcreativeescapefromlocation,containment,

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights.

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. anddefinition.So,asSusanRubinSuleimanadvises,wemustmovebeyondthevalorizationofhistoricallysuppressedvalues(forexample,thosevaluesthathavebeen culturallyconstructedasbelongingtoaninferior,femaledomainandgenerallyexpungedfromWesternscience,philosophy,andreligion)andtoward"endless complication"anda"dizzyingaccumulationofnarratives."16Sheappreciatively(andperhapsmisleadingly)invokesDerrida'smetaphorof"incalculable choreographies"17tocapturethedancing,elusive,continuallychangingsubjectivitythatsheenvisions,asubjectivitywithoutgender,withouthistory,withoutlocation. Fromthisperspective,thetrulyresistantfemalebodyis,notthebodythatwageswaronfemininesexualizationandobjectification,butthebodythat,asCathy Schwichtenberghasputit,"usessimulationstrategicallyinwaysthatchallengethestablenotionofgenderastheedificeofsexualdifference.[in]aneroticpoliticsin whichthe

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femalebodycanberefashionedinthefluxofidentitiesthatspeakinpluralstyles."18Forthiseroticpolitics,thenewpostmodernheroineisMadonna. ThiscelebrationofMadonnaaspostmodernheroinedoesnotmarkthefirsttimeMadonnahasbeenportrayedasasubversiveculturefigure.Untiltheearly1990s, however,Madonna'sresistancehasbeeninterpretedalong"bodyasbattleground"lines,asderivingfromherrefusaltoallowherselftobeconstructedasapassive objectofpatriarchaldesire.JohnFiske,forexample,arguesthatthiswasalargepartofMadonna'soriginalappealtoher"wannabes"thosehordesofmiddleclass preteenerswhomimickedMadonna'smovesandcostumes.Forthe"wannabes,"Madonnademonstratedthepossibilityofafemaleheterosexualitythatwas independentofpatriarchalcontrol,asexualitythatdefiedratherthanrejectedthemalegaze,teasingitwithherowngaze,deliberatelytrashyandvulgar,challenging anyonetocallherawhore,andultimatelynotgivingadamnhowshemightbejudged.Madonna'srebellioussexuality,inthisreading,offereditself,notascominginto beingthroughthelookofthe"other,''butasselfdefiningandinlovewith,happywithitselfanattitudethatisratherdifficultforwomentoachieveinthiscultureand thathelpstoexplain,asFiskeargues,herenormousappealforpreteengirls.19"Ilikethewayshehandlesherself,sortoftakeitorleaveitshe'ssexybutshedoesn't needmen...she'skindofthereallbyherself,"saysone."Shegivesusideas.It'sreallywomen'slib,notbeingafraidofwhatguysthink,"saysanother.20 Madonnaherself,significantlyandunlikemostsexsymbols,hasneveradvertisedherselfasdisdainfuloffeminismorconstructedfeministsasmanhaters.Rather,ina 1985Timeinterview,shesuggeststhatherlackofinhibitionin"beingherself"andher"luxuriant"expressionof"strong"sexualityconstituteherbrandoffeminist celebration.21Somefeministtheoristswouldagree.MollyHite,forexample,arguesthat"assertingfemaledesireinacultureinwhichfemalesexualityisviewedasso inextricablyconjoinedwithpassivity"is"transgressive":
Impliedinthisstrategyistheoldparadoxofthespeakingstatue,thecreatedthingthatmagicallybeginstocreate,forwhenawomanwritesselfconsciouslyfromhermuted positionasawomanandnotasanhonorarymanaboutfemaledesire,femalesexuality,fe

Page269 malesensuousexperiencegenerally,herperformancehastheeffectofgivingvoicetopurecorporeality,ofturningaproductofthedominantmeaningsystemintoaproducerof meanings.Awoman,conventionallyidentifiedwithherbody,writesaboutthatidentification,andasaconsequence,femininitysilentandinertbydefinitioneruptsinto patriarchyasanimpossiblediscourse.22

Notallfeministswouldagreewiththis,ofcourse.ForthesakeofthecontrastIwanttodrawhere,however,letusgrantit,andnote,aswell,thatanargumentsimilar toFiske'scanbemadeconcerningMadonna'srefusaltobeobedienttodominantandnormalizingstandardsoffemalebeauty.Iamnowtalking,ofcourse,about Madonnainhermorefleshydays.Inthosedays,Madonnasawherselfaswillfullyoutofstepwiththetimes."Backinthefifties,"shesaysintheTimeinterview, "womenweren'tashamedoftheirbodies."(Thefactthatsheisdeadwrongisnotrelevanthere.)Identifyingherselfwithherconstructionofthattimeandwhatshecalls itslackof"suppression"offemininity,shelooksdownhernoseatthe"androgynous''clothesofourowntimeandspeakswarmlyofherownstomach,"notreallyflat" but"roundandtheskinissmoothandIlikeit."Contrastingherselftoanorectics,whomsheseesasselfdenyingandselfhating,completelyinthethrallofexternally imposedstandardsofworthiness,Madonna(asshesawherself)stoodforselfdefinitionthroughtheassertionofherown(traditionally"female"andnow anachronistic)bodytype(Figure52). Ofcourse,thisisnolongerMadonna'sbodytype.Shortlyafterher1987marriagetoSeanPennshebeganastrenuousreducingandexerciseprogram,nowruns severalmilesaday,liftsweights,andhasdeveloped,inobediencetodominantcontemporarynorms,atight,slender,muscularbody(Figure53).Whydidshedecide toshapeup?"Ididn'thaveaflatstomachanymore,"shehassaid."Ihadbecomewellrounded."Pleasenotethesharpaboutfacehere,frompridetoembarrassment. Mygoalhere,however,isnottosuggestthatMadonna'sformerlyvoluptuousbodywasanonalienated,freelyexpressivebody,a"natural"body.Whiletheslender bodyisthecurrentculturalideal,thevoluptuousfemalebodyisaculturalform,too(asareallbodies),andwasacoerciveidealinthefifties.Mypointisthatinterms ofMadonna'sownformerlexiconofmeaningsinwhichfemininevoluptuousnessandthe

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. choicetoberoundinacultureoftheleanwereclearlyconnectedtospontaneity,selfdefinition,anddefianceoftheculturalgazethetermssetbythatgazehavenow triumphed.Madonnahasbeennormalizedmoreprecisely,shehasselfnormalized.Her"wannabes"arefollowingsuit.Studiessuggestthatasmanyas80percentof nineyearoldsuburbangirls(themajorityofwhomarefarfromoverweight)aremakingrigorousdietingandexercisetheorganizingdisciplineoftheirlives.23Theydo notrequireMadonna'sexample,ofcourse,tobelievethattheymustbethintobeacceptable.ButMadonnaclearlynolongerprovidesamodelofresistanceor "difference"forthem. Noneofthis"materiality"thatis,theobsessivebodypraxisthatregulatesanddisciplinesMadonna'slifeandthelivesoftheyoung(andnotsoyoung)womenwho emulatehermakesitswayintotherepresentationofMadonnaaspostmodernheroine.Inthe

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. termsofthisrepresentation(inbothitspopularandscholarlyinstantiations)Madonnais"incontrolofherimage,nottrappedbyit"theproofliesinherironicand chameleonlikeapproachtotheconstructionofheridentity,herabilityto"slipinandoutofcharacteratwill,"todefydefinition,tokeepthemguessing.24Inthis

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codingofthings,asinthefantasiesofthepolysurgicaladdict(and,asIargueelsewhereinthisvolume,theeatingdisorderedwoman),controlandpower,wordsthat areinvokedoverandoverindiscussionsofMadonna,havebecomeequivalenttoselfcreating.Madonna'snewbodyhasnomaterialhistoryitconcealsitscontinual struggletomaintainitself,itdoesnotrevealitspain.(Significantly,Madonna's"selfexpos,"thedocumentaryTruthorDare,doesnotincludeanyscenesof Madonna'sdailyworkouts.)Itismerelyanothercreativetransformationofaneverelusivesubjectivity."MoreDazzlingandDeterminedNottoStopChanging,"as CosmopolitandescribesMadonna:".whetherinlooksorcareer,thismultitalenteddazzlerwillneverbetrappedinanymold!"25TheplasticityofMadonna's subjectivityisemphasizedagainandagaininthepopularpress,particularlybyMadonnaherself.Itishowshetellsthestoryofher"power''intheindustry:"Inpop music,generally,peoplehaveoneimage.Yougetpigeonholed.I'mluckyenoughtobeabletochangeandstillbeaccepted...playapart,changecharacters,looks, attitudes."26 Madonnaclaimsthathercreativework,too,ismeanttoescapedefinition."EverythingIdoismeanttohaveseveralmeanings,tobeambiguous,"shesays.Sheresists, however(intruepostmodernfashion),theattributionofseriousartisticintentrather(asshetoldCosmo),shefavorsironyandambiguity,"toentertainmyself"and(as shetoldVanityFair)outof"rebelliousnessandadesiretofuckwithpeople."27Itisthepostmodernnatureofhermusicandvideosthathasmostentranced academiccritics,whoseaccoladesreproduceinhighlytheoreticallanguagethenotionsemphasizedinthepopularpress.SusanMcClarywrites:
Madonna'sartitselfrepeatedlydeconstructsthetraditionalnotionoftheunifiedsubjectwithfiniteegoboundaries.Herpiecesexplore..variouswaysofconstitutingidentitiesthatrefuse stability,thatremainfluid,thatresistdefinition.Thistendencyinherworkhasbecomeincreasinglypronouncedforinstance,inherrecentcontroversialvideo"ExpressYourself"...she slipsinandoutofeverysubjectpositionofferedwithinthevideo'snarrativecontextrefusingmorethanevertodeliverthesecurityofaclear,unambiguousmessageoran"authentic" self.28

Laterinthesamepiece,McClarydescribes"OpenYourHearttoMe,"whichfeaturesMadonnaasapornstarinapeepshow,as

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creating"animageofopenendedjouissanceaneroticenergythatcontinuallyescapescontainment."29Now,manyfeministviewersmayfindthisparticularvideo quitedisturbing,foranumberofreasons.First,unlikemanyofMadonna'soldervideos,"OpenYourHearttoMe"doesnotvisuallyemphasizeMadonna'ssubjectivity ordesireas"LuckyStar,''forexample,didthroughfrequentshotsofMadonna'sfaceandeyes,flirtingwithandcontrollingthereactionsoftheviewer.Rather,"Open YourHearttoMe"placestheviewerinthepositionofthevoyeurbypresentingMadonna'sbodyasobject,nowperfectlytautandtightlymanagedfordisplay.Tobe sure,wedonotidentifywiththeslimymen,droolingoverMadonna'sperformance,whoaredepictedinthevideobut,asE.AnnKaplanhaspointedout,theway menviewwomeninthefilmicworldisonlyonespeciesofobjectifyinggaze.Thereisalsotheviewer'sgaze,whichmaybeencouragedbythedirectortobeeither moreorlessobjectifying.30In"OpenYourHearttoMe,"asinvirtuallyallrockvideos,thefemalebodyisofferedtotheviewerpurelyasaspectacle,anobjectof sight,avisualcommoditytobeconsumed.Madonna'sweightlossanddazzlingshapingupjobmakethespectacleofherbodyallthemorecompellingweareriveted toherbody,fascinatedbyit.Manymenandwomenmayexperiencetheprimaryrealityofthevideoastheelicitationofdesireforthatperfectbodywomen, however,mayalsobegrippedbythedesire(verylikelyimpossibletoachieve)tobecomethatperfectbody. Theseelementscanbeeffaced,ofcourse,byadeliberateabstractionofthevideofromtheculturalcontextinwhichitishistoricallyembeddedthecontinuing containment,sexualization,andobjectificationofthefemalebodyandinwhichtheviewerisimplicatedaswellandinsteadtreatingthevideoasapurelyformaltext. Takenassuch,"OpenYourHearttoMe"presentsitselfaswhatE.AnnKaplancallsa"postmodernvideo":itrefusesto"takeaclearpositionvisvisitsimages" andsimilarlyrefusesa"clearpositionforthespectatorwithinthefilmicworld...leavinghim/herdecentered,confused."31McClary'sreadingof"OpenYourHeartto Me"emphasizespreciselythesepostmodernelements,insistingontheambiguousandunstablenatureoftherelationshipsdepictedinthenarrativeofthevideo,andthe frequentelementsofparodyandplay."Theusualpowerrelationshipbetweenthevoyeuristicmalegazeandobject"is"destabilized,"sheclaims,bythe

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portrayalofthemalepatronsofthepornohouseasleeringandpathetic.Atthesametime,theportrayalofMadonnaaspornoqueenobjectisdeconstructed, McClaryargues,bytheendofthevideo,whichhasMadonnachangingherclothestothoseofalittleboyandtrippingoffplayfully,leavingthemanagerofthehouse sputteringbehindher.McClaryreadsthisas"escapetoandrogyny,"which"refusesessentialistgendercategoriesandturnssexualidentityintoakindofplay."Asfor thegazeoftheviewer,sheadmitsthatitis"risky"to"invoketheimageofpornqueeninordertoperformitsdeconstruction,"butconcludesthatthedeconstructionis successful:''Inthisvideo,Madonnaconfrontsthemostperniciousofherstereotypesandattemptstochannelitintoaverydifferentrealm:arealmwherethefeminine objectneednotbetheobjectofthepatriarchalgaze,whereitsenergycanmotivateplayandnonsexualpleasure."32 Iwouldargue,however,thatdespitethevideo'sevasionsofclearorfixedmeaningthereisadominantpositioninthisvideo:itisthatoftheobjectifyinggaze.Oneis notreallydecenteredandconfusedbythisvideo,despitethe"ambiguities"itformallycontains.Indeed,thevideo'spostmodernconceits,Iwouldsuggest,facilitate ratherthandeconstructthepresentationofMadonna'sbodyasanobjectondisplay.Forintheabsenceofacoherentcriticalpositiontellingushowtoreadthe images,theindividualimagesthemselvesbecomepreeminent,hypnotic,fixating.Indeed,IwouldsaythatultimatelythisvideoisentirelyaboutMadonna'sbody,the narrativecontextvirtuallyirrelevant,anexcusetoshowcasethephysicalachievementsofthestar,avideocenterfold.Onthislevel,anyparodicordestabilizingelement appearsascynically,mechanicallytackedon,inbadfaith,awayofclaimingtrendystatusforwhatisreallyjustcheesecakeor,perhaps,softcorepornography. Indeed,itmaybeworsethanthat.Iftheplayful"tag"endingof"OpenYourHearttoMe"issuccessfulindeconstructingthenotionthattheobjectification,the sexualizationofwomen'sbodiesisaseriousbusiness,thenMadonna'sjouissancemaybe"fuckingwith"heryouthfulviewer'sperceptionsinadangerousway. Judgingfromtheproliferationofrockandraplyricscelebratingtherape,abuse,andhumiliationofwomen,themessagenotMadonna'sresponsibilityalone,of course,buthersamongothers,surelyisgettingthrough.Theartistswhoperformthesemisogynistsongs

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alsoclaimtobespeakingplayfully,tongueincheek,andtobedaringandresistanttransgressorsofculturalstructuresthatcontainanddefine.IceT,whoseraplyrics gleefullydescribethegangrapeofawomanwithaflashlight,to"makehertitslightup"claimsthatheisonly"tellingitlikeitis"amongblackstreetyouth(he compareshimselftoRichardWright),andhescoffsatfeministhumorlessness,implying,aswell,thatitisracistandrepressiveforwhitefeministstotrytodenyhimhis indigenous"style."ThefactthatRichardWrightembeddedhisdepictionofBiggerThomaswithinacritiqueoftheracistculturethatshapedhim,andthatNativeSon ismeanttobeatragedy,wasnot,apparently,noticedinIceT'spostmodernreadingofthebook,whosecriticalpointofviewheutterlyignores.Nordoesheseem concernedaboutwhatappearstobeagrowingfadnotonlyamongstreetgangs,butinfraternityhousesaswellforgangrape,oftenwithanunconsciouswoman, andsurroundedbymalespectators.(Someofthetermspopularlyusedtodescribetheserapesinclude"beaching"thewomanbeinglikenedtoa"beachedwhale'' and"spectoring,"toemphasizehowintegralaroletheonlookersplay.) Myargumenthereisaplea,notforcensorship,butforrecognitionofthesocialcontextsandconsequencesofimagesfrompopularculture,consequencesthatare frequentlyeffacedinpostmodernandothercelebrationsof"resistant"elementsintheseimages.ToturnbacktoMadonnaandtheliberatingpostmodernsubjectivity thatMcClaryandothersclaimsheisoffering:thenotionthatonecanplayapornohousebynightandregainone'sandrogynousinnocencebydaydoesnotseemto metobearefusalofessentialistcategoriesaboutgender,butratheranewinscriptionofmind/bodydualism.Whatthebodydoesisimmaterial,solongasthe imaginationisfree.Thisabstract,unsituated,disembodiedfreedom,Ihavearguedinthisessay,glorifiesitselfonlythroughtheeffacementofthematerialpraxisof people'slives,thenormalizingpowerofculturalimages,andthecontinuingsocialrealitiesofdominanceandsubordination.

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PostmodernSubjects,PostmodernBodies,PostmodernResistance
Thepostmodernhasbeendescribedandredescribedwithsomanydifferentpointsofdeparturethatthewholediscussionisbynowitsownmostexemplary definition.Everydisciplinehasitsowntheories,keyfigures,watershedevents.Inarchitectureoneofthemostconcreteandhistoricallyinfluentialinstances postmodernismaroseasaresponsetomodernism,withitsfaithinsocialameliorationthroughtechnologicalinnovationandsystematicdesign.Thebuildingsthat resultedfromthisideologywereoftencoldandunlivable,andsometimesflimsyastheybeganinthelate1960sand1970stodeteriorateandcollapse,the"death"of modernistarchitecturewasdeclared.1 Inphilosophyandliterarytheory,attheotherextreme,itisusuallymodernitythatwediagnoseasbeing"post,"andits correspondinglymoreabstract(andhighlydebatable)"deaths''ofMan,oftheSubject,oftheAuthorthatwetakeasproclaimingtheendoftheideologyofa historicaleraandnotjustanartisticmovementwithinit. Asmodernityisdescribedasbeginning(andending,accordingtosome)atverydifferenthistoricaljuncturesandforverydifferentreasons,thekaleidoscopeofthe postmodernshiftsfromdisciplinetodiscipline(sometimesrevealinginventivelypostmodernconfigurations).Oneofmycolleaguesbeginshercourseonpostmodernism withtheHolocaust,asdeliveringanunhealablewoundtoEnlightenmentnotionsofhumanperfectibilityandrationality.Other,moreepistemologicallyoriented philosopherscharacterizethepostmodernlargelyintermsofbreakdownofbeliefinscientifictruthandobjectivity.Manytiethisepistemologicalfragmentationtothe collapseofthehegemonyofWesterncultureothersseethe"informationexplosion"askey.Ifyouview(asIdo)theprogressofconsumercapitalismascentral,then theamoralandceaseless

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proliferationofproductsandimageswillfigurestronglyinyourstoryofthepostmodern.Therearethoseacademicsinliteratureandphilosophywho,conflatingtheory withallofculture,identifythepostmodernsolelyintermsofparticularpoststructuralistauthorsandtheschoolsofthoughttheyhavespawned.Andthen,too,sitting atopthesevariousnotionsofthepostmoderncondition,thereistremendousdisagreementoverwhetherthatconditioniscauseforcelebrationordepression. "Post,"too,isaslipperynotion.Insofarasmodernity,whateverelseitis,conceivesofitselfasbreakingwiththepastandinauguratingthe"new,"thenanymovement orconditionwhichdescribesitselfas''postmodern"issomethingofaredundancy.Oncertainunderstandingsofmodernity,theheraldingofa"postmodernage"is symptomaticofmodernity'sendlessinfatuationwithinnovation,withwipingtheslatecleanandbeginningafresh.Foramodern,tobe"post"isderigueur,andtodayit isacademicallyfashionableaswell,withitsevocationofcuttingedge,avantgardesophisticationattractivelycombinedwiththesuggestionofpoliticallyinformed opposition.Andsometimes,theappellationpostmodernappearstobeusedsimplytoadvertiseorindicateworkorattitudesthatarebelievedtomanifestsuch qualities,tomarkmembershipinanexclusiveclubofthebrilliantandsubversive.Inthisway,thespiritofbeing"post"completelyoverwhelmsanysubstantive understandingofmodernity,andpostmoderncomestomean,asCharlesJenckspointsout,"anythingresistingordeconstructingcommonassumptionsofculture."2 ThisoppositionalspiritisreflectedintheFoucauldianbuzzwordswhichlikenourprofessionalactivitytodaringepistemologicalguerrillawarfare:intervention, contestation,resistance,subversion,interrogation,andsoforth. Membership,asthecommercialsays,hasitsprivileges.Itcanreplacetheneedforongoingcriticalselfreflectionwithdelusionsofpuritydelusionsthatare particularlygalling(andselfcontradictory)whentheyclaimtobe"post"hierarchicalthinking.Ionceheardawellknownspeakergoonatsomelengthaboutthe dangersanddistortionsofoppositionalconstructs,congratulatingcontemporaryacademicsonhaving"gonebeyond"allthat,butremindingthe(academic)audienceof thehopelesslyretrogradeworld"outside"thatcontinuestothinkindualisticterms."We"cannotbecomecomplacent,solongas"they"remaininthecave.Dualism, apparently,iseasierto"gobeyond"intheorythaninpractice.The

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badfaithofsuchtheoreticalhubrisisalsoevidentinmuchacademicwriting,wherethedivisionbetweentheenlightened(averring,ofcourse,tobethoroughly "postenlightenment")and"theothers"iscontinuallyreinforcedbytheobscure,exclusivepowerlanguagewhichhasbecomevirtuallyanobligatoryclubuniforminmuch poststructuralistprose. Isthepostmodernmerelyastylish,selfpromoting,haveitanywayyoulikefancyofcontemporaryintellectuals?DespitewhatIhavesaidabove,Idon'tthinkso.A gooddealofthelinguisticparaphernaliaofacademicpostmodernism,forallitspretentiousness,hasitsoriginsinimportantinsightsandideasthatoughtnottobe dismissedoutofannoyancewiththeelitismandinsularitythatare,afterall,hardlynewtoacademia.Heterogeneity,discontinuity,displacement,destabilization:these termsmaybeitemsofpostmodernacademicaccessorizing,buttheyalsopointtorealelementsofcontemporaryexperience."Somethingishappening"(toborrow JaneFlax'sphrase)anarrayofculturalalterationshavemadesignificantchangesintheconditionsoflife,changeswhichneedtobenamed,described,and understood. Threebooksbyfeministauthorscanhelpustomapthepostmodern.Noneofthesebooksisexclusivelyaboutpostmodernism.JaneFlax,inThinkingFragments: Psychoanalysis,Feminism,PostmodernismintheContemporaryWest,considerspostmodernphilosophyasoneofthree"modesofcontemporaryWestern thought"whichshebringsintoconversationwitheachother(theothersarepsychoanalysisandfeminism).Bellhooks,inYearning:Race,GenderandCultural Politics,devotesoneessayexplicitlyto"PostmodernBlackness"andcommentsonvariousaspectsofpostmodernisminseveralotheressaysinawideranging collectionofculturalcriticism.JudithButler,inGenderTrouble:FeminismandtheSubversionofIdentity,critiquesseveraltheoristsoftendescribedas postmodern,butherbookislessacommentaryonpostmodernismthanitselfapostmodernapproachtogender.3 Thesebooksareverydifferentinstyle,incontent, inconcerns,inlanguage,intheirrelationtothepostmodern.Yetallseem(invaryingways)"inside"thecontemporaryconditionembodyingitaswellascommenting onitasmuchacademicwritingisnot. Toillustratethispoint,letmecontrastthemoodofJaneFlax'sopeningsection(evocativelytitled"SomethingIsHappening")withafewlinesfromaletterIreceived solicitingcontributionsfor

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acollectiononpostmodernism."Whereareourhistoricalsurveysandourcriticaljudgmentstodwell,"theprospectiveeditorsask,"afterthedisruptionofthe frameworkofhistoricalperiodsandoftheassuranceofthecritic/intellectual?Wedon'twanttogivepostmodernityitsplaceintheAcademyweknowthatthe academyisamodernistproject."Here,withapparentlynoconsciousnessofbadfaith,theeditorsfashionablyinvokethelossofstablehistoricalframeworksandcrises ofauthority,andintheverynextsentencemanagetoretaintheirownauthorityneatlyandunequivocallytolocatetheacademyasa"modernist"project! Thatattitudeisnotuniquemanyacademicwriterspronouncesolemnlyaboutthe"groundlessness"ofthepostmodernwhiledemonstratingnoevidencethattheground hasbeenshakenforthempersonallyorprofessionallyatall.JaneFlax,contrastingly,isdisconcerted,troubled,andpersonallychallengedbytheprospectoftryingto "doknowledge"inconditionsofepistemologicalfragmentationandfoundationlessness."Whatmeaningscanwritinghave,"sheasks,"wheneverypropositionand theoryseemsquestionable,one'sownidentityisuncertain,andthestatusoftheintellectualisconceivedalternativelyashopelesslyenmeshedinoppressive knowledge/powerrelationsorutterlyirrelevanttotheworkingsofthetechnicalrationalbureaucraticstate?"4 ItakeFlax'squestiontobeaskedfullyingoodfaith. Throughoutherbookshestrugglesnotonlywiththeprojectofconstructingnewsourcesofmeaningoutofthepartialnessofothers'theories(ataskatwhichsheis superb,providingdetailedexaminationsofFreud,Lacan,andWinnicott,aswellasequallyincisivegeneraldiscussionsoffeminismandpostmodernism)butwithher own''authority"aswell.Scrupulouslymonitoringanyimpulsetospeakfrommagisterialheights,Flaxwinsbothmyadmirationandmyaffection,andalsoattimes frustratesme.Forthereareinsightsofgreatimportanceinthisbook,whichdeservetobeshowcasedmorethanFlax'squalified"NoConclusions"(thetitleofthelast sectionofherbook)approachallows. Forexample,asapracticingpsychotherapist,Flaxhasanexcellentgraspofthefantasiesofomnipotenceandcontrolthatdrivephilosophyandthecharacteristic"blind spots"thatresult.NotsinceJohnDewey'shastherebeensuchapenetratingcritiqueofthephilosopher's"overestimationofthepowerofthinkingandits

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centralitytohumanlife"andofthenarcissisticreductionofhistorytothestoryofphilosophy.FlaxextendsthiscritiquetoDerrida,Rorty,Lyotard,and(lessaccurately, Ibelieve)toFoucault:"Underthecoverofthe'displacement'ofphilosophy,atraditionalactivitycontinues:aninquiryintotheconditionsofpossibility,meaning,and limitationsofourknowledgeviaacritiqueofreasonandphilosophy."5 Sheemphasizesthatthis"mentalist,deeroticized"conceptionofthesubjectofhistoryas philosophyisgendered(sheearlieroffersasimilarcritiqueofLacanianpsychoanalysis).Ifthestorywerewrittenfromtheperspectiveofwomen'sexperiences"the dramaticepisodesmightnotbethethreedeaths[ofMan,ofhistory,ofmetaphysics],butratheranongoingseriesofstruggles:togivebirthandtoavoidgivingbirthto berepresentedortoavoidbeingmisrepresentedtobeconcretelyintimeandtohaveone'sactivitiesordertimeandconceptionsofhistorynottoexistastheeternal, 'feminine,''other'or'mysterious'lifesource.''6 Otherfeministshave,ofcourse,criticizedWesternphilosophy'sprivilegingofreason.Whatismostimpressiveand timelyaboutFlax'sdiscussionishowskillfullyshebringspoststructuralistthoughtwhichadvertisesitselfastheantagonistofthe"phallogocentrism"ofpast philosophyunderthiscritique.Assuch,poststructuralistthoughtpresentsitselfnotsimplyasa"fragment"ofpartialtruthwithwhichFlaxis"conversing"(herchosen metaphors)butalsoasanimportantillustrationwithinanargumentFlaxismaking(extremelypersuasively,perhapsdespiteherself),anargumentaboutpersistentand resilientcontinuitieswithinWesternculture.TheGreatWhiteFather(whoalsohasaclassidentity,asDeweyfirstpointedout)justkeepsonreturning,evenamidthe seemingrupturesofpostmodernculture. MydividedreactiontoFlax'spostmodernhesitationtopresentherbookas(atleastinpart)anargumentisexemplary,perhaps,ofthelovehaterelationshipthatmany ofuswhoaretryingtodevelopinsightsandperspectivesoutofmarginalizedexperiencehavewiththepostmodernfragmentationofknowledge.WhenIwasincollege andgraduateschoolinphilosophy,feministswereinthevanguardofthechallengetotheahistorical,eternalizingnotionsofTruthandReasonthathaveeverbeendear toourdiscipline.Ouriconoclasmwasnotmerelyanintellectualfascination(anditcertainlywasnottheninacademicstyle),butwaspainfullygroundedinourhistorical

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experienceofknowingothertruthsthanthePhilosopher'sTimelessOnesandcontinuallyhavingthemdismissed.Idonotrememberbecoming"convertedto" historicism,contextualism,pluralism,or"thesocialconstructionofreality."Rather,thathadalwaysbeenthewayI(andmanyotheracademicfeminists)sawthings.In nolittlepart,ourintellectualperspectivehadbeenshapedbythemorepoliticallyfocusedfeministchallengetoculturalconsciousnessthatbeganinthelatesixtiesand thathadraisedforsomanyofusthestartlingideathattheorganizationanddeploymentofgenderasweknewit(nottomention"Man"and"Woman")werehuman constructionsratherthaneternalforms. Whenhistoricismandcontextualconsiderationsbegantobeseenasphilosophicallylegitimate(ratherthanmushythinking,apositionmanyphilosophersstilltake),not onlydidwefeelintellectuallyvindicated,butitalsoseemedasthoughthemomentmightbeathandwhenthesignificanceandvitalityofthose"othertruths"(thetruths madeavailablethroughnonEuropeanculturaltraditions,throughgenderedexperience,throughhistoriesofsubordination)wouldbeculturallyrecognized.Notforan instantdidIthinkofanyoftheemergingknowledgesasnewcandidatesforthethroneofTimelessTruth,butneitherdidIseetheonlychoiceasbeingthatbetweenan imperialmonarchyandepistemologicalanarchy.Inmyeyes,historicismwasanallyagainstarrogantperceptionandinsularthinking,fosteringahealthysuspicionofthe "givenness"ofourrealities,andnotaforeclosureonmeaning,judgments,ordistinctions.Somuchforthe"love"partoftherelationship. The"hate"parthastodowiththedisconcertingswiftnesswithwhichthetopplingoftheTimelessTruthsofWesternthoughtgavewaytothepostmodern fragmentationofculture,withits"stylishnihilism"(asbellhookscallsitinhertrenchantreviewofSammyandRosieGetLaid)7 anditsneverendingproliferationof imagesandoptions.Withinthisclimate,feministknowledgeandtheknowledgesbornofracialexperienceandconsciousnesswereallottedthehistoricalequivalentof approximatelytenminutestostakeaclaimontheconscienceofourculturebeforetheprocessesoftheirdeconstructionnotonlybyacademictheory,butalsointhe popularandaestheticimaginationbegan.Theauthorwassuddenlydeadintheacademy,justaswebegantowriteforitandjustaswebegan

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tolocateanddescribethesystemicracismandsexismofourculture,wefoundouraccountsreducedtonothingmorethantalkshowtopics,onaparwitheveryother complaintanddisorderofthemoment.Atthesametimeasthispostmoderndeconstructionwasoccurring,moreover,chargesofleftwingtotalitarianismwere emergingfromotherquarters,fragmentingoureffortsinmorebackwardyearningways. BothFlaxandhooks,whileeschewingessentialistnotionsofraceandgender,aresuspiciousofanyunderminingoftheauthorityofourexperiencejustatthatcultural momentwhenwemightbeginto"rememberourselves"and"tomakeourselvessubject"(Flax'sandhooks'srespectiveformulations)."Thereisaradicaldifference," hookspointsout,"betweenarepudiationoftheideathatthereisablack'essence'andrecognitionofthewayblackidentityhasbeenspecificallyconstitutedinthe experienceofexileandstruggle."8 Similarly,Flaxcriticizespostmoderndeconstructionsofsubjectivityandurgesthatfeministscontinuetoseek''locationand participation"intheretellingandreconstructionofwomen's"differentiatedyetcollectiveexperience.""Whatmemoriesofhistory,"sheasks,"willourdaughtershaveif wedonotfindwaystospeakofandpractice[thesenseof'we']?"9 Atthesametime,bothFlaxandhookstakeveryseriouslywhatpoststructuralistwritershavecalledthe"decentering"ofthesubjectnot,however,asa methodologicalortheoreticaldogma(accordingtowhichanyarticulationofidentity,ofthe"we,"isatotalizingfiction)butaspartofthelivedexperienceofacting, thinking,writinginfragmentingtimes.Forneitherofthemisthisdecenteringwhollypositive(asitmaybeforthosewhospinitoutabstractly,"intheory")inhuman communitiesithasoftenmeanthomelessness,dislocationfromhistory,asenseofpoliticalandintellectualvertigoandparalysis,andthereplacementoflosthuman bondsbytheindividualsearchforstimulationandmaterialgratification.Hooks'sessaysinYearning(seeespecially"PostmodernBlackness,""ThePoliticsofRadical BlackSubjectivity,""Chitlin'Circuit,"and"Homeplace")areespeciallyinstructiveintheirexplorationoftheconsequencesofpostmodernfragmentationforAfrican Americanidentityandculture. Thedecenteringoftheselfis,however,alsoviewedbyhooksasofferingopportunities:for"newandvariedformsofbonding"

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amongpeople,forartisticandintellectualengagementwithpopularculture,andforcreatingtransformativesubjectivitiesthatexpressandexhibitthemultipleaspectsof identity,thedifferentlocationsfromwhichweseeandthink.10SheurgesAfricanAmericanintellectualsandartiststoembodyintheirworkandpresenceallthe complexityandvarietyoftheculturaltraditionsthathaveshapedthem.Onlythroughsuchembodimentbymeansofwhichelementsofidentitydeveloped"atthe margins"arebroughttothe"center"canthehegemonyofexistingculturalstylesofsubjectivitybechallenged.HerperfectlychosenexampleisatalkbyCornelWest:


Thoughhighlyintellectualandtheoreticalincontent,hismannerofpresentationwasakintoasermonmodepopularinblackcommunities,wheresuchastyleindicatesdepthand seriousness.Inthecontextofwhiteinstitutions,particularlyuniversities,thatmodeofaddressisquestionablepreciselybecauseitmovespeople.Styleisequatedinsucha settingwithalackofsubstance.Westnotonlytransformedsocialspace,legitimatinganaspectofblackexperienceinacontextwhichrarelyrecognizesthevaluesofblackculture, hewasalsoabletoincludenonscholarlymembersoftheaudience.Hisstyleofpresentationrequiredoftheaudienceashiftinparadigmsamarginalaspectofblackcultural identitywascentralized.Tounderstandwhatwashappening,individualshadtoassumeadifferentliterarystandpoint.11

Hooks'sdiscussionwasextremelymeaningfultome.Ioncelostaprestigiousjobbecause(asIwasinformedlaterbyoneofthemembersofthecommittee)I"moved mybodyaroundsomuch"duringmypresentation.IknowthiswasnottheonlytimethatmyexpressivestylepartJewish,part"feminine"disqualifiedmeasa seriousphilosopheritwassimplytheonetimethatIwasinformedofit.Reconstructingsubjectivityisrisky,ashookspointsout.Whenwegiveexpressionin academicsettingstothoseaspectsofouridentityforgedinmarginality,wemaybeseenas''spectacle."Yet,assheargues(andIfullyagree),thisisariskwemust run,notonlyintheinterestsofourown"righttosubjectivity"butalsoasthemeansbywhichcultureistransformedandnotsimplyreproducedwithdifferentplayers inthesamegame.Everytimewearetakenseriouslyitmeansthatanentrenchedparadigmhasbeen

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shakeneverytimethatIamtakenseriously,forexample,bythoseinmyprofessionorbymystudents,itmeansthatthedeeplysedimentedimageof"the philosopher"notsimplyaswhiteandmale,butasdemonstratinghisrigorthroughdetachment,superiority,"cool"reasonhasbeenupset. BothhooksandFlaxselfconsciouslyanddeliberatelyinhabitavarietyoflocationsnoneofthemtakenonintheinterestsoftextualplay,allofthemrootedin aspectsoftheirownhistories,professions,politicsintheirbooks.Theydonotattempttoreconciletheselocations,butsimplyallowthemtospeakinturn,eacha differentcenterof"authority."Inthis"polyphonicvocality"(ashooksdescribesit)12thesebooksareacutelypostmodern.Butbecausetheinsightsthatemergeare groundedinexperience,theresultisneitherchaoticnorfancifulrather,thesecurityandeleganceoftheoreticalunityarereplacedbythedifferentsatisfactionofhaving sometimesincommensurablerealities(thatis,reallife)describedwithprecision,intelligence,andhonesty. Forinstance,asatherapistFlaxissoberlyawareoftheterrorthatliterallydecenteredselvesendure,aswellasofthelimitationsofpostmodern"textual indeterminacy"asaprincipleforhelpingactualhumanbeingsasaphilosopher,however,sheisappreciativeofthesenotionsforinviting"ambivalence,ambiguityand multiplicity"intoourtheorizing.13Criticizingthepoststructuralistdiscourseon"difference,"hooksisstunninglyontargetconcerningwhitetheorists'continuingreading ofblackwritersonlyforraceissues(asrepresentativesoftheclaimsof"otherness")whiletheyleavewhitenessunproblematized,unexamined,constructedasnorace atall.Ashiftofperspective,however,findsherhopefulthatthe''contemporaryengagementwithissuesof'othernessanddifference'...indicatesthatthereisa growingbodyofworkthatcanprovideandpromotecriticaldialogueanddebateacrossboundariesofclass,raceandgender."14Thisassessmentisonly contradictoryintheabstractinthecontextofacademiccommunities,theconcernfor"difference"hasfunctionedinacomplexvarietyofways,somestifling,some liberating.Throughout,hooks'sYearningexhibitsafeelingforthecomplexityandmultiplicityofculturalphenomenafrompoststructuralisttheory,torelationsbetween whiteandblackfeminists,tofilmrepresentationsofrace

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andgender,tothemuchpublicizedrapeofajoggerinCentralParkthatIhavenotfoundinanyothercontemporaryworkofcriticism:
Tofullyunderstandthemultiplemeaningsof[theCentralParkrape],itmustbeapproachedfromananalyticalstandpointthatconsiderstheimpactofsexismandracism. Beginningthereenablesmanyofustoempathizewithboththevictimandthevictimizers.IfonereadsTheDemonLoverandthinksaboutthiscrime,onecanseeitaspartofa continuumofmaleviolenceagainstwomen,ofrapeandterrorasweaponsofmaledominationyetanotherhorrificandbrutalexpressionofpatriarchalsocialization.Andifone considersthiscasebycombiningafeministanalysisofraceandmasculinity,oneseesthatsincemalepowerwithinpatriarchyisrelative,menfrompoorergroupsandmenofcolor arenotabletoreapthematerialandsocialrewardsfortheirparticipationinpatriarchy.Infacttheyoftensufferfromblindlyandpassivelyactingoutamythofmasculinitythatis lifethreatening.Sexistthinkingblindsthemtothisreality.Theybecomevictimsofthepatriarchy.NoonecantrulybelievethattheyoungblackmalesinvolvedintheCentralPark incidentwerenotengagedinasuicidalritualenactmentofadangerousmasculinitythatwillultimatelythreatentheirlives,theirwellbeing. IfonereadsagainMichaelDyson'spiece"ThePlightofBlackMen"...itiseasytounderstandwhyyoungblackmalesaredespairingandnihilistic.Anditisrathernaivetothink thatiftheydonotvaluetheirownlives,theywillvaluethelivesofothers.Isitreallysodifficultforfolkstoseetheconnectionbetweentheconstantpornographicglorificationof maleviolenceagainstwomenthatisrepresented,enactedandcondoneddailyinthecultureandintheCentralParkcrime?Doesracismcreateandmaintainthisblindspotordoes itallowblackpeopleandparticularlyblackmentobecomethescapegoats,embodyingsociety'sevils?15

IhavequotedthissectionatsomelengthbecauseasIwriteabouthooks'sappreciationofmultiplicityIamawareofhowemptythatwordreverentiallyintonedover andoverincontemporarywritingnowsounds.Despitetheconstantlipservicepaidtomultiplicity,wehavefewmodelsofthinkerswhoaregenuine"'world' travellers"(asMariaLugonescallsthem).16Manypeopletheorizeaboutmultiplicity,anddeconstructionistreadingsseekitfromtextsoftenguidedbyjouissance aloneratherthanahungerforunderstanding.Butbecomingaworldtravellingthinkercannot,inmyopinion,beaccomplishedbysightseeing,textualorcultural.

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Nordoesitrequireextensivecoverageof"foreign"territory.AsLugonesdescribesit,ithasfundamentallytodowiththedesireandabilitytoexplorereality"wearing theother'sshoes."Thismeansrecognizing,whereveronegoes,thattheother'sperspectiveisfullyrealized,notabitofexotic"difference"tobeincorporatedwithin one'sownworld.Theworldtravellingthinkerthusmustbeprepared,notonlyto"appreciate"theforeign,butalsotorecognizeandnurturethoseplaceswhereworlds meet.Andtheworldtravellingthinkerwillalwaysbereadytoabandonfamiliarterritorywhenhumanunderstandingandcommunicationseemtorequireit.Itisinthese sensesthatYearning,initscomplexandexpandingunderstandingsofraceandgenderpolitics,isbeyonddualismnotmerelytheoreticallybutalsoinintellectual practice,andsomodelsthebestofpostmodernmultiplicityforus. Flaxandhooks,withtheirconcernsaboutknowledge,voice,andintellectualandpoliticalperspective,donotdevotemuchdiscussiontothebodyasacarrierof culture,postmodernorotherwise.Buttherearemanywhodoseethebodybothasalivingculturalformandasasubjectofscholarlytheorizingasasignificant registerofthefactthatwearelivinginfragmentedtimes.Ourculturalattitudestowardthebodyarefullofdissonances,expressiveofthecontradictionsofoursociety. Ontheonehand,sexhasbecomedeadlyontheotherhand,itcontinuestobeadvertisedasthepreeminentsourceofecstasy,power,andselffulfillment.Bothon MTVandondaytimesoaps,soberingmessagesaboutAIDSarebroadcastbacktobackwithvideoimagesofmindlessabandontheabandonwhichbydefinition precludesattentivenesstosuch"practical"considerationsascondomsisdepictedastheessenceandproofoferoticcharge.Atoneextreme,ourcultureseems newlyrecaptivatedbybiologicaldeterminism.AlthoughtheHumanGenomeProjecthashaditscritics,excitementoverprogressithasmadeininterpretingthe entiretyofthehumangeneticblueprinthasbeenrekindledin1992.EvenasIwritethis,afriendhasjustcomeintotheroom,showingmeafullpageintheNewYork Timesentitled"BlueprintforaHuman"andillustratedbothwithaphotoofanewbornandwiththelatest,mostcompletechromosomalmapsdevisedbytheproject. Daily,newspaperarticlesappeardeclaringgeneticandchemicalbasesforphysicalandpsychologicaldisordersofallsorts,

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includingmanysuchasanorexianervosaandbulimiaforwhichtheevidenceforculturaloriginsseemsoverwhelming.Attheotherextreme,itisbeingjustas unequivocallydeclaredthat"Bodiesarenotborn.Theyareinfactmadebyculture."17 Formanyscholars,thiscommitmenttoculturalconstructionismhasgonefarbeyondnotionsthatthebiologicalbodyneverpresentsitselftousininnocentor"natural" formbutisalwayshistoricallyandpolitically"inscribed"andshaped(apositionIadhereto),tothemuchmoreradicalpositionthattheverynotionofthebiological bodyisitselfafiction.Popularculturehasitsownversionsofthisthesis,aswealterourbodieswithoutregardforbiologicalconsequences,recklesslymakingthem overthroughyoyodietingandplasticsurgeryandeagerlyembracinganytechnologythatchallengesourvariousbiologicalclocks.Arguably,wearemoreintouch withourbodiesthaneverbefore.Butatthesametime,theyhavebecomealienatedproducts,textsofourowncreativemaking,fromwhichwemaintainastrangeand ironicdetachment. Turningbacktomorescholarlycontexts,arguably(asIsuggestintheintroductiontothisvolume)amajorparadigmshifthasoccurredoverthepasthundredyears. Formerly,thebodywasdominantlyconceptualizedasafixed,unitary,primarilyphysiologicalreality.Today,moreandmorescholarshavecometoregardthebodyas ahistorical,plural,culturallymediatedform.Tothedegreethatsuchashifthasoccurred,feminism(asIhaveargued)hascontributedmuchtoit,tothecorollary developmentofa"political"understandingofthebody,andtoanewsuspicionofthecategoryof"nature"anditsaccompanyingideologiesconcerningwomen's "speciesrole."Tofeminism'srecognitionofthebodyasaculturalformand"site"of"disciplinarypower''poststructuralistthoughthascontributedtwoadditional elements.First,initsmoreFoucauldianmanifestations,poststructuralismhasencouragedrecognitionofthefactthatprevailingconfigurationsofpower,nomatterhow dominant,areneverseamlessbutarealwaysspawningnewformsofsubjectivity,newcontextsforresistancetoandtransformationofexistingrelations.Second,inits moreDerrideanmanifestations,poststructuralismhasencouragedustorecognizethatthebodyisnotonlymateriallyacculturated(forexample,asitconformstosocial normsandhabitualpracticesof"femininity"and"masculinity"),18butalsomediatedbylanguage:bymetaphors(for

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instance,microbesas"invading,"eggas"waiting"forsperm)andsemanticalgrids(suchbinaryoppositionsasmale/female,inner/outer)thatorganizeandanimateour perceptionandexperience.Wethushavenodirect,innocent,orunconstructedknowledgeofourbodiesrather,wearealwaysreadingourbodiesaccordingto variousinterpretiveschemes. Theseareimportantinsights,whichhavedeepened,enriched,andcomplicatedcontemporaryfeministunderstandingsofthepoliticsofthebodyJudithButler's GenderTroubleisastrikingexample.Butler'saimisbothtoprovoke"gendertrouble"inthemindofthereaderby"denaturalizing"thecategoriesofgenderandof the"natural"itselfandtosuggesthow"gendertrouble''isculturallystirredupthrough"subversivebodilyacts"thatexhibittheartificialityofgender.Thelatter aspect,althoughitwasformethemostintriguingpartofButler'sbook,actuallygetstheshortestshriftwhenitcomestodetailedelaborationandillustration.The greaterpartofButler'sconsiderablephilosophicalenergyandexpertiseisdevotedtoa"genealogical"critiqueofgender(forButlerthismeansanexplorationofgender categoriesastheeffectofdiscourseratherthanthe"natural"groundofidentity)throughexaminationoftheworkofFreud,Lacan,Irigaray,Kristeva,andWittig.Her strategyistoexposetheirconcealedassumptionsnaturalizingheterosexualityand/ormaternity,whilealsoteasingouttheelementsoftheirworkthatproblematizesuch assumptions. ThegenealogicalcritiqueisthedeconstructiveaspectofButler'swork.The"constructive"aspectishertheoryofgender,whichhastwoparts:ananalysisofgenderas "performance"andanargumentforparodyasthemosteffectivestrategyforsubvertingthefixed"binaryframe"ofgender.SociologistsmayrecognizeinButler's "performativetheory"apoststructuralist,feministreincarnationofServingGoffman'sinnovativeandpersuasiveperformativetheoryofidentity.19ForButler,asfor Goffman,ouridentities,genderedandotherwise,donotexpresssomeauthentic"core"selfbutarethedramaticeffect(ratherthanthecause)ofourperformances. Thesewelearnhowto"fabricate"inthesamewaywelearnhowtomanipulatealanguage:throughimitationandgradualcommandofpublic,culturalidioms(for instance,thecorporealgesturesofgender).Withinthisframework,theillusionofan"interiorandorganizinggendercore"isitselfa"fantasyinstitutedandinscribedon

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thesurfaceofbodies"throughourperformances.20Thatillusion,moreover(andhereButlerprovidesasignificantdimensionmissinginGoffman)effectivelyprotects theinstitutionofreproductiveheterosexualityfromscrutinyandcritiqueasaninstitution,continuallyregulatingratherthanmerelyreflectingoursexuality. Whetherornotoneiswillingtogosopostmodernastodenyallinteriordeterminationsofidentity,theperformativeapproachisenormouslyinsightful(and pedagogicallyuseful)asaframeworkforexploringtheongoing,interactive,imitativeprocessesbymeansofwhichtheself,gender(Iwouldaddraceaswell),and theirillusionsofauthenticityareconstructed.Whatculturalgesturesareinvolvedintheperformanceofmasculinity,femininity,heterosexuality,homosexuality, maternity,paternity,whiteness,blackness?Howisauthenticity"fabricated"andconveyed?Howisthe"binaryframe"(ofraceaswellasgender)enactedand regulated?Thesequestionscanbeconcretelyexploredbystudentsthroughexaminationoftheeverydayartifactsofculturesuchasadvertisementsandcommercials andthroughcriticalreflectionontheirowninteractionswitheachother.Byexperiencingthe"strangeness"ofexaminingthemselvesandtheircultureasfabricatedoutof specificlexiconsofpubliclyavailablegestures,andbyrecognizingthedegreetowhichtheirselvesarecreatedinpublicinteraction,theyfindthatthegivenisthrown intofreshcriticalreliefandthatproductive''trouble"hasbeenmadeforentrenchedassumptionsaboutwhatis"natural"andwhatis"unnatural." IalsofoundButler'sintricateanddeftexposureofvarioustheorists'hiddencommitmentsto"heterosexualmatrices"andmaternalessencestobebrilliantparticularly herincisivecritiqueofKristeva'sheterosexism.ButlerissuperbatthedetectionanddeconstructionofnaturalistassumptionsevenFoucaultisshowntohave concealedcommitmentstothenotionofa"truebodybeyondthelaw."Herownantibiologismis,indeed,farmorerelentlessandprogrammaticthanFoucault's. Primarilyaculturalhistorian,hewasnotoriouslyresistanttoidentifyingwithanytheoreticalposition.ForButler,contrastingly,thereisonecorrect,unimpeachable position:itisthatanyconceptionofthe"natural"isadangerous"illusion"ofwhichwemustbe"cured."21The"cure"isto"recast"allbiologicalclaimswithinthe"more encompassingframework"thatseesdiscourseasfoundationalandthebodyasthoroughly

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"text."Thus,Kristeva'spostulationofa"maternalbodypriortodiscourse"isdescribedas"fundamentallyinverted"andmustbe''reversed"22thatis,mustbeshown tobetheproductoflanguage:"[Kristeva's]argumentmakesclearthatmaternaldrivesconstitutethoseprimaryprocessesthatlanguageinvariablyrepressesor sublimates.Butperhapsherargumentcouldberecastwithinanevenmoreencompassingframework:Whatculturalconfigurationoflanguage,indeed,ofdiscourse, generatesthetropeofaprediscursivelibidinalmultiplicity,andforwhatpurposes?"23 Here,inmyopinion,Butlershiftsfromperformingedifyinggenealogicaltherapyonentrenchedassumptionstoofferingdiscursiveorlinguisticfoundationalismasthe highestcriticalcourt,theclarifying,demystifyingandliberatingTruth.Thenotionofdiscursivefoundationalismas"cure"suggeststhatthetextualizationofthebodyis itselfaprivilegedtheoreticalturnimmunefromculturalsuspicionandcritique.Iwouldargue,againstthis,thatbothnaturalistandtextualizingnotionsofthebodyare culturallysituated(thelatterinpostmodernculture),andthatbotharethusequallyamenabletobeinghistoricallyutilizedascoerciveinstrumentsofpower.Some historicalerasclearlyhavebeendominatedbybiologisticparadigms,paradigmswhichhaveservicedandcontinuetoserviceheterosexistandsexistideology.Butdoes itfollowfromthisthat"biology"isipsofactoandinallcontextsmerelythediscursive"product"ofheterosexistandsexistregimes?Orthatatextualistviewofthebody necessarilyescapesthoseregimes? NotethatButlerdoesnotsomuchargueagainstKristeva'snotionofthebiologicalmaternalasconsumeitwithinthe"moreencompassingframework"ofdiscourse. Butler'sworldisoneinwhichlanguageswallowseverythingup,voraciously,atheoreticalpastamachinethroughwhichthecategoriesofcompetingframeworksare pressedandreprocessedas"tropes."Inthislinguisticfoundationalism,ButlerisverymuchmoretheDerrideanthantheFoucauldian,eventhoughFoucauldian languageandideasdominateinthebook.WithinFoucault'sunderstandingofthewaysinwhichthebodyis"produced"throughspecifichistoricalpractices, "discourse"isnotfoundationalbutis,rather,oneofthemanyinterrelatedmodesbywhichpowerismademanifest.Equally,ifnotmore,importantforhimarethe institutionalandeverydaypracticesbymeansofwhichourexperienceofthebodyisorganized:insti

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tutionalizedmonitoring,"normalizing"examinations,thespatialandtemporalorganizationofschoolsandprisons,the"confessional"modebetweenphysiciansand patients,teachersandstudents,andsoforth.Correlatively,determiningwhetheraparticularactorstanceisresistantorsubversiverequiresexaminationofitspractical, historical,institutionalreverberations.ForFoucault,suchdeterminationscanneversimplybereadfromthetextualsurfaceofthebody.Contrastingly,Butler'sanalyses ofhowgenderisconstitutedandsubvertedtakethebodyasjustsuchatextwhosemeaningscanbeanalyzedinabstractionfromexperience,history,material practice,andcontext. Butler'stheoryofparodyassubversionisastrikingexample.Thistheoryisanextremelyinterestingsuggestionoftheconsequences,foratheoryofresistance,ofthe thoroughlylinguisticandperformativenatureofthegenderedbodyasshehasdescribedit.Aswasdiscussedearlier,thereareforButlerno"natural"resources(for instance,nopolymorphoussexualityorandrogynythatexistspriortoourgenderization)toinformstruggleagainstthesystemofgender.Whatcanoccur(andwhat doescontinuallyoccur,Butlersuggests)isthatthe"natural"or''essential"natureofgenderischallenged(andthusthesystemdestabilized)fromwithintheresourcesof thesystemitself,throughparodyofitforexample,drag:"Inimitatinggender,dragimplicitlyrevealstheimitativestructureofgenderitselfaswellasits contingency."24Butlerthusoffersatheoryofsubversionthatequallyhonorstheroleofmarginalizedsexualitiesandwhatformanythinkersarehallmarksof postmodernart:theuseofobviousartifice,quotationmarks,irony,andparodytosubvertestablishedconventions. Thisisingeniousandexciting,anditsoundsrightintheory.Andsolongasweregardthebodyindragasanabstract,unsituatedlinguisticstructure,aspuretext,we maybeconvincedbyButler'sclaimthatthegendersystemiscontinuallybeingplayfullydestabilizedandsubvertedfromwithin.Butsubversionofculturalassumptions (despitetheclaimsofsomedeconstructionists)isnotsomethingthathappensinatextortoatext.Itisaneventthattakesplace(ordoesn't)inthereadingofthetext, andButlerdoesnotexplorethis.Shedoesnotlocatethetextinquestion(thebodyindrag)inculturalcontext(arewewatchingtheindividualinagaycluboronthe "Donahue"show?),doesnotconsiderthepossiblydifferentresponsesofvariousreaders(maleorfemale,youngor

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old,gayorstraight?)orthevariousanxietiesthatmightcomplicatetheirreadings,doesnotdifferentiatebetweenwomeninmaleattireandmeninfemaledrag(two verydifferentculturalforms,Iwouldargue),anddoesnotconsult(oratleastdoesnotreporton)asinglehumanbeing'sactualreactioneithertoseeingortoenacting drag.Onwhatbasis,then,doessheconcludethatdrag"effectivelymocks...thenotionofatruegenderidentity"and"displacestheentireenactmentofgender significationsfromthediscourseoftruthandfalsity"?25 Attemptingtogivethisabstracttextsome"body"throughmyown(admittedlylimited)intuitions,dragperformances(andcrossdressingand"thesexualstylizationof butch/femmeidentities,"26alsomentionedbyButler)seemfarlessdestabilizingofthe"binaryframe''ofgenderthanthoseidentitiesthatpresentthemselvesnotas parodyingeithermasculinityorfemininitybutasthoroughlyambiguouswithregardtogender.(Onlyrarelydoweinterpretbodiesassexuallyambiguous,foras SuzanneKesslerandWendyMcKennahaveargued,andasHollyDevor'sinterviewswithfemale"genderblenders"indicateourreadingsareoverdeterminedfor maleness,thatis,itonlytakesafewmalecuesforbodiestobeinterpretedasmale.)27Ambiguityisunsettlingandchallenging.SomehowImanagedtoseeM. ButterflywithoutforeknowledgethattheroleofButterflywasplayedbyaman.Whentheactorslowlyremovedhisclothesandgraduallyslippedoutofhisfemale "presentationofself,"Iwasquiteshaken.ButandthisiscrucialwithrespecttoButler'sargumentmydisequilibriumwastheresult,notofmyhavingbeenmade parodicallyawareofthegapbetweenillusionand"reality,"butbecausepreciselyintheabsenceofthatawareness,Iwatched"femininity"segueinto"masculinity" withoutaclearanddistinctboundarytomarkthetransformation.Inthattransitionalspace,genderrealitywasshakenforme,notbecauseIrealizedthatgenderisan artifice(IknewthatbeforeIwenttotheplay)butbecausethefamiliardualities(the"binaryframe")hadbeenforcedtoyieldtoanunclearandunchartedcontinuum. Turningnowtothe"author"sideofthetext,whatdoesButlermakeofthefactthathighlydualistgenderontologiesfrequentlyprevailintheworldviewsofdrag performers?DragstarChiliPepper,speakingonthe"Donahue"show,saidwithoutironythathefeltdragqueenscouldhelpteachwomenhowtobe"realwomen." AccordingtoEstherNewman,suchattitudesarefarfromunusual

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manyfemaleimpersonators"seemasculinityandfemininityasthepolarmodesofexistence."28So,too,domanytranssexuals.JanMorris,whoeventuallyhadasex changeoperation,haswrittenof"thatinnerfactor"whichheidentifiedinhimself(whenstillphysicallymale)as"femaleness,''ofgenderasthe"essentialnessofoneself" sheapprovinglyquotesC.S.Lewis'sdescriptionofgenderas"reality,amorefundamentalrealitythansex."29Lesbianbutchandfemmeidentities,too,arefrequently readbyheterosexualsasproofofhowirresistiblemasculineandfemininerolesareanirresistibilitytheythengoontoattributetothe"naturalness"ofheterosexuality. Howculturallysubversivecantheseformsbeiftheyaresoreadilyinterpretedasproofofthefoundationalnatureofgender,theessentialrealityofthe"binaryframe"? IwanttomakeclearthatmycriticismoftheabstractnatureofButler'sargumentdoesnotentailadenialofthefactthatsubversiveelementsarecontinuallyatwork(or atplay)inourculture.Mypointisthatsubversioniscontextual,historical,and,aboveall,social.Nomatterhowexcitingthedestabilizingpotentialoftexts,bodilyor otherwise,whetherthosetextsaresubversiveorrecuperativeorbothorneithercannotbedeterminedinabstractionfromactualsocialpractice.In"'MaterialGirl,"'I criticizedSusanMcClary'sreadingofMadonna'smusicvideo"OpenYourHearttoMe"forromanticizingwhatMcClaryseesastheplayful,parodic,subversive aspectsofthattextattheexpenseofeffacementofthegrimmersocialrealityofhowyoungmenandwomenareactuallyrespondingtotheimagesofmusicvideos. AssessingButler'sworkismorecomplicated,forithasadualidentity.Withherkeenfeministunderstandingofhowhistoricallynormalizinganddefiningtheinstitutions ofphallocentrismandheterosexismare,Butlerisstronglyattunedtothesocialworldthatherparodicbodily"texts"(theyarepeople,afterall,notliterature)livein.The Derridean/FoucauldianagendaofGenderTrouble,however,leadsinanotherdirection.Butler'stextsbecomesignifierswithoutcontext,andheranalysisbeginsto exhibitalongwithMcClary'sacharacteristicallypostmoderninclinationtoemphasizeandcelebrateresistance,thecreativeagencyofindividuals,andtheinstabilitiesof currentpowerrelationsratherthantheirrecuperativetendencies. Whatiswrongwithsuchacelebration?Iwanttopointtoseveralproblemshere.Letmefirstacknowledge,however,thatnoculture

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isstaticorseamless.Resistanceandtransformationareindeedcontinualandcreative,andsubversiveresponsesarepossibleundereventhemostoppressive circumstances.Thisallseemsobviousfromhistory.WhatFoucaulthimselfrecognizedandhismorepostmodernfollowerssometimesforgetisthatresistanceand transformationarehistoricalprocesses.Instead,intoxicatedwiththeinterpretiveandcreativepossibilitiesofculturalanalysis,theyneglecttoaskthemselveswhatis actuallygoingonintheculturearoundthem.Here,theinfluenceofdeconstructionismisapparent.IagreewithFoucaultthatwherethereispowerthereisalso resistance.ForFoucaultthiswasastatementofsocialdynamics,notaformulaforreadingtexts.Analysesandinterpretationsthatgoagainstthegrainofdominant readingsofliteraturearepowerfultothedegreethattheyexcitetheintellectandimaginationofthereadertheactualityandeffectivenessofsocialresistance,however, canbedeterminedonlybyexamininghistoricalsituations.Thesevary,andthereforesotoodoesthedegreetowhichresistancecanlegitimatelybeemphasizedin culturalanalysis.Failuretorecognizethiscanresultintheorizingpotentiallysubversivebutstillhighlyculturallycontainedformsofsubjectivityasthoughtheywereon anequalfootingwithhistoricallydominantforms,romanticizingthedegreeofculturalchallengethatisoccurring,andthusdivertingfocusfromcontinuedpatternsof exclusion,subordination,normalization. Here,IwillshiftfocusfromGenderTroubletoconsiderresistanceinthecontextofotherissuesraisedthroughoutthisbook.Justhowhelpful,forexample,isan emphasisoncreativeagencyindescribingtherelationofwomenandtheirbodiestotheimageindustryofpostindustrialcapitalism,acontextinwhichaddictive bingeingandpurging,exercisecompulsions,and"polysurgicaladdictions"areflourishing?Dowehaveamultimilliondollarindustryincorrectivesurgerybecause peopleareassertingtheirracialandethnicidentitiesinresistancetoprevailingnorms,orbecausetheyaresovulnerabletothepowerofthosenorms?Myown resistancetobeingsweptupinacelebratorypostmodernismisdue,inpart,tothefactthattheparticularpowerterrainIhavebeenexamininginthisbookdoesnot offermuchcauseforcelebration. Admittedly,relentlesslyfocusingonculturalnormalizationcanbedepressing.Itisexcitingandhopeinspiringtobelieve,rather,that"resistanceiseverywhere." Moreover,asIhavediscovered

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fromthemanypresentationsIhavegivenaboutourcontemporaryobsessionswithslenderness,youth,andphysicalperfection,peoplemayfeeldeeplythreatened whentheirownbehaviorsaresituatedwithinnormalizingcultures.Theywant,understandably,tobeabletopursuehappinessonthetermsoftheculturetheylivein (termstowhichweallsubmittoonedegreeoranotherinvariousareasofourlives).Buttheyalsowanttofeelthattheyareselfdeterminingagents,andsomewantto bereassuredthattheirchoicesare"politicallycorrect,"aswell.Itthusbecomesveryimportantthattheybelievetheirownchoicestobeindividual,freelymotivated, "forthemselves."Consider,forexample,thewayseventeenyearoldactressSaraGilbertdescribesherdecisiontohavehernose"fixed,"shortlyafterhertelevision momRoseanneArnoldhadhersdone(becauseitwastoowide,asshetoldOprahWinfrey!):"Ithinkit'simportanttobeattractivetoyourself.Yourbodyjustkindof getsinthewayofwhatyoutrytodo.Soifyou'reconcentratingthatmuchenergyonyourbody,thenjustchangeitsoyoucanmoveonanddealwiththeintellectual."


30

Actually,Gilbert'sisaprettyreasonableargument.Whatislurkingunexpressed,however,isacknowledgmentoftheculturalnormswhichmadeGilbertfeel unattractivewiththenoseshehad,aswellastheculturalpremiumonlookswhichhadher"concentrating"onherbodyallthetime.Suchelements,aswehaveseenin thisbook,arecontinuallymystifiedincommercialconstructionsofbodyalterationasselfdeterminationandcreativeselffashioning.("Thebodyyouhaveisthebody youinherited,butyoumustdecidewhattodowithit,"instructsNike,offeringglamorousshotsoflean,muscledathletestohelpus"decide.")Someoftheseadsgoso farastopresentthenormalizedbodyasthebodyofculturalresistance."IBelieve"isthethemeofarecentseriesofReebokcommercials,eachofwhichfeatures muscled,energeticwomendeclaringtheirfeministrebellionastheyexercise:''Ibelievethatbabeisafourletterword,""Ibelieveinbayingatthemoon,""Ibelievethat sweatissexy."Thelastdeclarationwhich"answers"themanina"Secret"deodorantcommercialwhoclaimsthat"awomanjustisn'tsexywhenshesweats"not onlyrebelsagainstgenderideologybutsuggestsresistancetotheworldofcommercialsitself(nicetrickforacommercial!).

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Figures54and55presentmagazineadvertisementsfromthe"IBelieve"series.Ineach,alean,highlytoned,andstylishlyattractiveyoungexerciserdeclaresher invulnerabilitytotraditionalinsecuritiesofwomen,resistancetogenderexpectations,andconfidenceinherownpowerofselfdetermination."Ibelieveamanwho wantssomethingsoftandcuddlytoholdshouldbuyateddybear"readsthecopyinFigure54.Thesuggestionisthatthiswoman'sowndesiretobehardandripped, ratherthanherneedtoappealtomen,hasdeterminedthetypeofbodysheisworkingouttoachieve.Themanwhodoesn'tlikeitcanlooksomewhereelsefor someonetohold,sheimplies.Butjusthowmanymenin1992atleastofthisyoungwoman'sgenerationfindthe''softandcuddly"aneroticoraestheticideal?My malestudents(aswellasmyfemalestudents)almostliterallyswoonedoverLindaHamilton'sfierceexpressionandtautbodyinTerminatorII.Bycreatingthe impressionthatSandraDeeisstillwhatmenwant,31Reebokisabletoidentifyitsproductwithfemaleresistancetoculturalnormsofbeautywhileactuallyreinforcing thosenorms. ThecopyinFigure55reads:"Ibelieveifyoulookatyourselfandseewhatisrightinsteadofwhatiswrong,thatisthetruemarkofahealthyindividual."Now,those convincedthat"resistanceiseverywhere"mightseethisad(alongwiththeonediscussedabove)asofferingatransgressive,subversivemodeloffemininity:awoman whoisstrong,fit,and(unlikemostwomen)notinsecureaboutherbody.Whatthisreadingneglectsisthatwehaveavisualmessagehereaswell:themodel'sbody itselfprobablythemostpotent"representation"intheadispreciselythesortofperfectediconthatwomencomparethemselvestoandofcoursesee"whatis wrong."Theadthusputs"real"womeninapainfuldoublebind.Ontheonehand,itencouragesthemtoviewthemselvesasdefectiveontheotherhand,itchastises themfortheirinsecurities.Theofferedresolutiontothisbind,ofcourse,istobuyReebokandbecomelikethewomaninthead. OnemightarguethatanadequateanalysisofadvertisementssuchasthoseIhavebeendiscussingwouldtakeintoaccountboththeirresistantelementsandtheir normalizingmessages.Thisisanappealinglypostmodernsolution,whichacknowledgestheheterogeneousandunstablemeaningsofthetexts.(Afterall,aswas

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. discussedintheintroductiontothisbook,weighttrainingandexerciseoftendohavesociallyempoweringresultsforwomen.)Ihavenoproblemgrantingthis,solong asthenormalizingthrustoftheseadsvisvisthepoliticsofappearanceisnotobscured.Weneedtorecognize,inconnectionwiththis,thatthemostobvioussymbols ofresistanceintheseadsareincludedbyadvertisersintheprofoundestofcynicalbadfaiththeypretendtorejectthesexualizationofwomen("Ibelievethat'babe'is afourletterword")andvaluefemaleassertiveness("ColoringmyhairwithNiceandEasymademefeelmorepowerful!")whileattemptingtoconvincewomenwho failtoembodydominantidealsof(slender,youthful)beautythattheyneedtobringthemselvesintoline.Toresistthisnormalizingdirectiveistrulytogoagainstthe grainofourculture,notmerelyintextual"play,"butatgreatpersonalriskasthemanywomenwhohavebeensexuallyrejectedforbeing''toofat"andfiredfrom theirjobsforlooking"tooold"knowalltoowell.Sub

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Imagehasbeenremoved.Norights. versionofdominantculturalforms,asbellhookshassaid,"happensmuchmoreeasilyintherealmof'texts'thanintheworldofhumaninteractioninwhichsuch moveschallenge,disrupt,threaten,whererepressionisreal."32 Thepleasureandpowerof"difference,"Iwouldonceagaininsistagainstpostmoderntheorists,ishardwonitdoesnotbloomfreely,insistentlynudgingitsway throughthecracksofdominantforms.Sexism,heterosexism,racism,andageism,whiletheydonotdeterminehumanvaluesandchoices,whiletheydonotdepriveus ofagency,remainstronglynormalizingwithinourculture.ThecommercialtextsthatIhavebeenexamining,incontrast,participateintheillusion(whichtheysharewith otherpostmoderntexts)thatour"differences"arealreadyflourishinginthecultureasitis,thatwearealreadyselfdetermining,alreadyempoweredtolookinthe mirrorandseewhatisrightinsteadofwhatiswrong.Thefactis,wearenotempoweredinthiswaybyourcultureindeed,weare

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continuallybeingtaughttoseethebodythatreflectsbacktousinexactlytheoppositewayaswrong,defective,"acaricature,aswollenshadow,astupidclown"(to invokesomephrasesfromthepoemwithwhichIopenedthisbook).Tobegintoseedifferentlyrequires,intheninetiesevenmorethaninthesixties,thatpeoplecome togetherandexplorewhattheculturecontinuallypresentstothemastheirindividualchoices(orasinthecaseofanorexiaandbulimiatheir"pathology")asinstead culturallysituatedandculturallyshared.Suchacknowledgment,tomymind,mustremaincentraltoafeministpoliticsofthebody.

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NOTES

Introduction
Portionsofthisessaygrewoutofatalk,entitled"FeminismReconceivestheBody,"thatIdeliveredfortheWomen'sStudiesInauguralLectureSeriesatBates College.IthankEdwardLeeforinvaluablecomments,suggestions,andencouragementthroughouttheprocessofwritingthisintroduction. 1.Forelaboration,seeSusanBordo,TheFlighttoObjectivity(Albany:StateUniversityofNewYorkPress,1987). 2.Atfirstglanceitmayseemasthoughinourculturethebody,farfrombeingimaginedasadragonselfrealization,ispromotedasacentralroutetosuchself realization.Certainly,thetraining,toning,slimming,andsculptingofthebodyarefrequentlydepictedinthisway:asacurrentBallyFitnessCentercommercialinsists, "Youdon'tjustshapeyourbody.Youshapeyourlife."However,asIargueinseveralessaysinthiscollection,suchimagesandassociationsareactuallyanappealto thewill(to"willpower"and"control")andencourageanadversarialrelationshiptothebody. 3.SimonedeBeauvoir,TheSecondSex(NewYork:AlfredA.Knopf,1957),p.146. 4.DorothyDinnerstein,TheMermaidandtheMinotaur:SexualArrangementsandHumanMalaise(NewYork:HarperandRow,1976),p.133. 5.TimothyBeneke,MenonRape:WhatTheyHavetoSayAboutSexualViolence(NewYork:St.Martin'sPress,1982),p.43(emphasisinoriginal). 6.Myquotationmarksindicatemyviewthatnotonlytheideologybutalsotheveryconceptof"race"isaculturalconstruction.Fromthispointoninthebook, however,Iwillomitthequotationmarks.Iwillalsofrequentlyemploytheracialconstructions"black"and"white"(ratherthanethnicornationaldesignationsof identity),despitetheirproblematicnature.Forexample,whendescribingthecontentofracistideology,ethnicornationaldescriptionswouldbeincorrectand misleading.Theracialcategorizationofhumanbeingsisaracistinvention,butitisaninventionthathasshapedandbenthumanhistoryandexperienceracialtermsare stillnecessary,inordertodescribethatexperienceaccurately. 7.QuotedinSanderGilman,DifferenceandPathology(Ithaca:CornellUniversityPress,1985),p.85.

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8.BeverlyGuySheftall,"TheBodyPolitic:BlackWomenandSexuality,"talkgivenatBatesCollege,1991. 9.FordiscussionsofthespecificthemesmentionedinthisintroductionconcerningthetreatmentofAfricanAmericanwomenunderslavery,seeespeciallyAngela Davis,Women,Race,andClass(NewYork:Vintage,1983),andBarbaraOmolade,"HeartsofDarkness,"inAnnSnitow,ChristineStansell,andSharon Thompson,eds.,PowersofDesire:ThePoliticsofSexuality(NewYork:MonthlyReviewPress,1983). 10.Aristotle,TheBasicWorksofAristotle,ed.RichardMcKeon(NewYork:RandomHouse,1941),OntheGenerationofAnimals,trans.ArthurPlatt,729a 2530,p.676. 11.Hegel,ThePhilosophyofRight,trans.withnotesbyT.M.Knox(London:OxfordUniversityPress,1967),pp.26364. 12.AlanGuttmacher,Pregnancy,Birth,andFamilyPlanning,rev.ed.(NewYork:Signet,1987),pp.2022. 13.See,forexample,CatharineGallagherandThomasLaqueur,eds.,issuecalled"SexualityandtheSocialBodyintheNineteenthCentury,"Representations14 (Spring1986)SanderGilman,"AIDSandSyphilis:TheIconographyofDisease,"October43(Winter1987):87108MaryJacobus,EvelynFoxKeller,andSally Shuttleworth,eds.,Body/Politics:WomenandtheDiscoursesofScience(NewYork:Routledge,1990)KathleenKete,"LaRageandtheBourgeoisie:The CulturalContextofRabiesintheFrenchNineteenthCentury,"Representations22(Spring1988):89107ThomasLaqueur,MakingSex:BodyandGenderfrom theGreekstoFreud(Cambridge:HarvardUniversityPress,1990)EmilyMartin,TheWomanintheBody:ACulturalAnalysisofReproduction(Boston: BeaconPress,1987)MargaretMiles,CarnalKnowing:FemaleNakednessandReligiousMeaningintheChristianWest(Boston:Beacon,1989)Susan Suleiman,ed.,TheFemaleBodyinWesternCulture(Cambridge:HarvardUniversityPress,1986)SimonWatney,"Aids,'Africa,'andRace,"Differences(Winter 1989):8386. 14.DonHanlonJohnson,"TheBody:WhichOne?Whose?"WholeEarthReview(Summer1989):48. 15.LindaZirelli,"RememorationorWar?FrenchFeministNarrativeandthePoliticsofSelfRepresentation,"Differences(Spring1991):23. 16.MichelFoucault,DisciplineandPunish(NewYork:Vintage,1979)TheHistoryofSexuality.Vol.1:AnIntroduction(NewYork:Vintage,1980). 17.MaryWollstonecraft,"AVindicationoftheRightsofWoman,"inAliceRossi,ed.,TheFeministPapers(Boston:NortheasternUniversityPress,1988),pp.55 57. 18.ReproducedinNancyCott,TheGroundingofModernFeminism(NewHaven:YaleUniversityPress,1987),p.12. 19.PatMainardi,"ThePoliticsofHousework,"inRobinMorgan,ed.,SisterhoodIsPowerful(NewYork:Vintage,1970),pp.44754. 20.WilliametteBridgeLiberationNewsService,"ExercisesforMen,"TheRadicalTherapist(Dec.Jan.1971).

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21.SeeMorgan,SisterhoodIsPowerful,pp.52123,forthisdocument. 22.AmyCollins,"AbreastoftheBra,"Lear's4,no.4(June1991):80. 23.KathyDavis,"RemakingtheSheDevil:ACriticalLookatFeministApproachestoBeauty,"inHypatia6,no.2(Summer1991):23(emphasismine). 24.AndreaDworkin,WomanHating(NewYork:Dutton,1974),pp.11314(emphasisinoriginal). 25.Amongthe"classics":SusanBrownmiller,AgainstOurWill(NewYork:Bantam,1975)MaryDaly,GynEcology(Boston:Beacon,1978)Davis,Women, Race,andClassDworkin,WomanHatingGermaineGreer,TheFemaleEunuch(NewYork:McGrawHill,1970)SusanGriffin,Rape:ThePowerof Consciousness(NewYork:HarperandRow,1979),andWomanandNature(NewYork:HarperandRow,1978)AdrienneRich,"CompulsoryHeterosexuality andLesbianExistence,"Signs5,no.4(1980):63160.AlsoseetheanthologiescollectedbyMorgan,SisterhoodIsPowerful,andVivianGornickandBarbara Moran,WomaninSexistSociety(NewYork:Mentor,1971). 26.Omolade,"HeartsofDarkness,"p.354. 27.SusanBrownmiller,Femininity(NewYork:Ballantine,1984). 28.Foucault,DisciplineandPunish,p.138. 29.MichelFoucault,"TheEyeofPower,"inhisPower/Knowledge,ed.andtrans.C.Gordo(NewYork:Pantheon,1977),p.155. 30.Eveninthepoliticsofappearance,ofcourse,externalcoercionmayfigureinforexample,whenwomenarethreatenedwithlossoftheirjobsunlesstheylose weight,orarefiredforlookingtooold. 31.SeeinparticularMichelFoucault,"TheSubjectandPower,"interviewinHubertDreyfusandPaulRabinow,MichelFoucault:BeyondStructuralismand Hermeneutics(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1983). 32.See,forexample,HarryBrod,AMenschAmongMen:ExplorationsinJewishMasculinity(Freedom,Calif.:TheCrossingPress,1988)MichaelKimmeland MichaelMessner,eds.,Men'sLives,2ded.(NewYork:Macmillan,1992)MichaelKimmel,ed.,MenConfrontPornography(NewYork:Meridian,1991) RichardMajorsandJanetManciniBillson,CoolPose:TheDilemmasofBlackManhoodinAmerica(NewYork:LexingtonBooks,1991)BrianPronger,The ArenaofMasculinity:Sports,Homosexuality,andtheMeaningofSex(NewYork:St.Martin'sPress,1990). 33.DianeJohnson,"SomethingfortheBoys,"NewYorkReviewofBooks(Jan.16,1992):13. 34.Thephrase"culturaldope"comesfromAnthonyGiddens.Giddensstressesthat"everycompetentactorhasawideranging,yetintimateandsubtle,knowledgeof thesocietyofwhichheorsheisamember"(NewRulesofSociologicalMethod[NewYork:BasicBooks,1976],p.73).Giddens,however,doesnottakethisto meanasmany"postmodern"writershavethatwearefreeagentswithregardtoculture,which,onthecontrary,he

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regardsasstronglyrecursive,reproductive,and"socializing."Giddens'spointisthatthissocializationisnotdonebehindpeople'sbacks,butinvolvestheiractive participation. 35.SandraBartky,FemininityandDomination(NewYork:Routledge,1990)WendyChapkis,BeautySecrets(Boston:SouthEndPress,1986)Rita Freedman,BeautyBound(London:ColumbusBooks,1986)FriggaHaug,ed.,FemaleSexualization:ACollectiveWorkofMemory(London:Verso,1987) RobinLakoffandRaquelScherr,FaceValue:ThePoliticsofBeauty(Boston:RoutledgeandKeganPaul,1984)andNaomiWolf,BeautySecrets(NewYork: WilliamMorrow,1991).Wolf'sbookhasreceivedagooddealofmediaattentionandshowssomepromiseofstirringupanewgenerationofyoungwomenabout suchissues.SeealsoKathrynPaulyMorgan,"WomenandtheKnife:CosmeticSurgeryandtheColonizationofWomen'sBodies,"inHypatia6,no.3(Fall1991): 2553andIrisMarionYoung,"BreastedExperience,"inherThrowingLikeaGirlandOtherEssaysinFeministPhilosophyandSocialTheory(Bloomington: IndianaUniversityPress,1990),pp.189209. 36.JoanJacobsBrumberg,FastingGirls:TheEmergenceofAnorexiaNervosaasaModernDisease(Cambridge:HarvardUniversityPress,1988). 37.SusieOrbach,HungerStrike:TheAnorectic'sStruggleasaMetaphorforOurAge(NewYork:W.W.Norton,1986)KimChernin,TheObsession: ReflectionsontheTyrannyofSlenderness(NewYork:HarperandRow,1981),andTheHungrySelf:Women,Eating,andIdentity(NewYork:Harperand Row,1985). 38.RichardMohr,GayIdeas:OutingandOtherControversies(Boston:BeaconPress,1992),p.142. 39.EmilyMartin,TheWomanintheBody,pp.12835. 40.JoanPeters,"Mittelschnerz:ALady'sComplaintuponReachingtheAgeof44,"MichiganQuarterlyReview(Fall1991):68593.Petersendsherpiecewitha pleaforusto"fuse"these"dividedcamps"whichhave"choppeduseachintoineffectualbits"(p.692). 41.AnnSnitow,"AGenderDiary,"inMarianneHirschandEvelynFoxKeller,eds.,ConflictsinFeminism(NewYork:Routledge,1990),p.9. 42.ShermanSilber,HowtoGetPregnantwiththeNewTechnology(NewYork:Wagner,1991),p.375.Infact,suchprotocolsinvolvetremendouscommitment oftimeandexpense,aswellassubjectionofthebodytonumerousinvasiveproceduresandpowerfuldrugs:atwoweeklongseriesofinjectionstostimulate ovulationinthedonor,replacethenecessaryhormonesintherecipient,andsynchronizethecyclesofdonorandrecipient,numerousultrasoundsandbloodtests,the surgicalproceduresoffollicleaspirationandgameteintrafallopiantransferfromdonortorecipient,andcontinuedhormonalsupplementsandmonitoringforthree monthsfortherecipient.Allthis,Silberassureshisreaders,is"reallynotthatdifficultforthepatient"(p.276). 43.SusanFaludi,Backlash:TheUndeclaredWarAgainstAmericanWomen(NewYork:Crown,1991).

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WhoseBodyisThis?
Thisessaygrewoutofashorterpiece,"EatingDisorders:TheFeministChallengetotheConceptofPathology,"whichwaswrittenforDrewLeder,ed.,TheBodyin MedicalThoughtandPractice(Dordrecht,Holland:KluwerPress,1992).Earlyversions,undertheoriginalname,weredeliveredatLeMoyneCollegeandatthe UniversityofMissouriatColumbia.Ithankallthosewhocommentedonthoseversions. 1.KimChernin,TheObsession:ReflectionsontheTyrannyofSlenderness(NewYork:HarperandRow,1981)seealsoherTheHungrySelf:Women,Eating, andIdentity(NewYork:HarperandRow,1985). 2.RachelCalamandPeterSlade,"SexualExperienceandEatingProblemsinFemaleUndergraduates,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders8(1989):392 97AlexanderMcFarlaneetal.,"PosttraumaticBulimiaandAnorexiaNervosa,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders7(1988):7058JustinSchechteret al.,"SexualAssaultandAnorexiaNervosa,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders6(1987):31316. 3.CatherineSteinerAdair,"TheBodyPolitic:NormalFemaleAdolescentDevelopmentandEatingDisorders,"Ph.D.dissertation,HarvardUniversityGraduate SchoolofEducation,1987. 4.SusieOrbach'sanalysisispresentedindetailinHungerStrike:TheAnorectic'sStruggleasaMetaphorforOurAge(NewYork:W.W.Norton,1986). OrbachisalsocofounderoftheWomen'sTherapyCenterInstituteinNewYorkandtheWomen'sTherapyCentreinLondon,whichhavedevelopedtechniquesof treatmentgroundedinobjectrelationsandfeministtheory. 5.SeeinparticularMarleneBoskindWhiteandWilliamWhite,"Bulimarexia:AHistoricalSocioculturalPerspective,"inKellyBrownellandJohnForeyt,eds., HandbookofEatingDisorders(NewYork:BasicBooks,1986),pp.35366LisaFabian,"BodyImageandEatingDisturbanceinYoungFemales,"International JournalofEatingDisorders8(1989):6374D.Greenfeldetal.,"EatingBehaviorinanAdolescentPopulation,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders6 (1987):99111RobertKlesgesetal.,"SelfHelpDietingStrategiesinCollegeMalesandFemales,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders6(1987):40917 DebbieVanderheydenetal.,"CriticalVariablesAssociatedwithBingingandBulimiainaUniversityPopulation:AFactorAnalyticStudy,''InternationalJournalof EatingDisorders7(1988):32129. 6.See,asparadigmaticofthisapproach,PaulGarfinkelandAllanKaplan,"AnorexiaNervosa:DiagnosticConceptualizations,"inBrownellandForeyt,Handbook ofEatingDisorders,pp.26682HarrisonPopeandJamesHudson,"IsBulimiaNervosaaHeterogeneousDisorder?"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders 7(1988):15566. 7.CraigJohnsonandMaryConnors,TheEtiologyandTreatmentofBulimiaNervosa:ABiopsychosocialPerspective(NewYork:BasicBooks,1987).

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8.H.G.Popeetal.,"IsBulimiaaHeterogeneousDisorder?"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders7,no.2:158. 9.JoanJacobsBrumberg,FastingGirls:TheEmergenceofAnorexiaNervosaasaModernDisease(Cambridge:HarvardUniversityPress,1988)S.Leeetal., "AnorexiaNervosainHongKong:WhyNotMoreinChinese?"BritishJournalofPsychiatry154(1989):68388Orbach,HungerStrike.Seealso"Readingthe SlenderBody,"inthisvolume. 10.Brumberg,FastingGirls,pp.41125. 11.D.J.BenTovimetal.,"Bulimia:SymptomandSyndromesinanUrbanPopulation,"AustraliaandNewZealandJournalofPsychiatry23:7380A.Crispet al.,"HowCommonIsAnorexiaNervosa?"BritishJournalofPsychiatry128(1976):54954D.Jonesetal.,"EpidemiologyofAnorexiaNervosainMonroe County,NewYork:19601976,"PsychosomaticMedicine42(1980):55158MarianneRosenzweigandJeanSpruil,''TwentyYearsAfterTwiggy:A RetrospectiveInvestigationofBulimicLikeBehaviors,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders6(1987):5965. 12.Presentdaycliniciansmaystilloccasionally(ormorethanoccasionally)seesymptomslikethosethenineteenthcenturydiagnosedas"hysterical."Thetendencyto producesuchadiagnosis,however,hasgreatlydiminished.Thewomanwhospendsherdayssleeping,daydreaming,dissociating,languishinginbed,isfarmorelikely todaytobediagnosedassufferingfromdepressivedisorderthanfromhysteriaorneurasthenia.Contemporaryclinicaldescriptionsofthepersonalityprofileof anorecticsareoftenremarkablysimilartothosenineteenthcenturymedicineconstructedasthe"hystericalpersonality"and,indeed,anorexicbehaviorwasthen almostalwaysseenasanhystericalsymptom.Today,however,anorexiaisassociatedwithotherrubricsofdisorder:affective,perceptual,narcissistic,depressive. 13.KellyBrownellandJohnForeyt,"TheEatingDisorders:SummaryandIntegration,"inBrownellandForeyt,HandbookofEatingDisorders,p.508. 14.BrownellandForeyt,"TheEatingDisorders,"p.507. 15.HarrisonPopeandJamesHudson,NewHopeforBingeEaters(NewYork:HarperandRow,1985). 16.PaulGarfinkelandDavidGarner,AnorexiaNervosa:AMultidimensionalPerspective(NewYork:Brunner/Mazel,1982),p.159. 17.IraSackerandMarcZimmer,DyingtoBeThin(NewYork:Warner,1987),p.50. 18.Vanderheydenetal.,"CriticalVariablesAssociatedwithBingingandBulimia"Vanderheydenetal.,"VeryLowCalorieDietsandObesitySurgeryAfter5 Years,"InternationalObesityNewsletter3,no.5(May1989):3338BrettSilversteinetal.,"PossibleCausesoftheThinStandardofBodilyAttractivenessfor Women,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders5(1986):90716. 19.HildeBruch,EatingDisorders(NewYork:BasicBooks,1973),p.89HildeBruch,"PerceptualandConceptualDisturbancesinAnorexiaNervosa," PsychosomaticMedicine24(1962):18794.

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20.RobertaMarks,"AnorexiaandBulimia:EatingHabitsThatCanKill,"RN(Jan.1984):44(emphasismine). 21."FeelingFatinaThinSociety,"Glamour(Feb.1984):198201,25152. 22.KevinThompson,"LargerThanLife,"PsychologyToday(April1986):3944.AlsoseeSandraBirtchnelletal.,"BodyImageDistortioninNonEating DisorderedWomen,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders6(1987):38591. 23.LinneaLindholmandG.TerrenceWilson,"BodyImageAssessmentinPatientswithBulimiaNervosaandNormalControls,"InternationalJournalofEating Disorders7(1988):52739A.Whitehouseetal.,"BodySizeEstimation,"BritishJournalofPsychiatry149(1986):98103M.Willmuthetal.,"BodySize DistortioninBulimiaNervosa,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders4(1985):7178. 24.Thompson,"LargerThanLife,"p.42ThomasCashetal.,"TheGreatAmericanShapeUp,"PsychologyToday(April1986):3037D.Goleman,"DislikeofOwn BodyFoundCommonAmongWomen,"NewYorkTimes,March19,1985DalmaHeyn,"WhyWe'reNeverSatisfiedwithOurBodies,"inMcCall's(May1982) Klesgesetal.,''SelfHelpDietingStrategies." 25.In1991anarticlefinallyappearedintheInternationalJournalofEatingDisordersquestioningthevalueoftheconceptofBodyImageDisturbanceand acknowledgingthat"ithasgeneratedlittlemeaningfulresearchdespitetheattentionithasattractedinthelast16years,createsconfusionbothinthemindofthepublic andinourown...[and]suggestsprogresswhenthereisnone.Itiscertainlysadtoabandonatermthatseemedsuchaconceptualbreakthroughatfirstsight,butwe believethatitistimetomoveontonewideas."(GeorgeHsuandTheresaSobkiewicz,"BodyImageDisturbance:TimetoAbandontheConceptforEating Disorders?"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders10,no.1[Jan.1991]:28.)IapplaudHsuandSobkiewiczforbeingwillingto"moveon,"butIfindtheir suggestionlimited,inthattheyseemtoexpecttodiscoverinthenewresearchon"bodyattitudesandfeelings"thedistinctive"pathology"thatislackingintheconcept ofBodyImageDisturbance. 26.SeeGarfinkelandGarner,AnorexiaNervosaCraigJohnsonandDarrylPure,"AssessmentofBulimia:AMultidimensionalModel,"inBrownellandForeyt, HandbookofEatingDisorders,pp.40649ReinholdLaessleetal.,"CognitiveCorrelatesofDepressioninPatientswithEatingDisorders,"InternationalJournal ofEatingDisorders7(1988):68186DeborahThompsonetal.,"TheHeterogeneityofBulimicSymptomatology:CognitiveandBehavioralDimensions," InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders6(1987):21534. 27.GarfinkelandGarner,AnorexiaNervosa,p.159. 28.W.StewartAgrasandBettyKirkley,"Bulimia:TheoriesofEtiology",inBrownellandForeyt,HandbookofEatingDisorders,pp.36778F.M.Berg, "StarvationStagesinWeightlossPatientsSimilartoFamineVictims,"InternationalObesityNewsletter3(April1989):27. 29."SemiStarvationDietsGaininPopularity,"InternationalObesityNewsletter3(April1989):25,2830.

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30.Vanderheydenetal.,"VeryLowCalorieDietsandObesitySurgery." 31.Time(April18,1988):89. 32."Girls,at7,ThinkThin,StudyFinds,"NewYorkTimes,Feb.11,1988JeffreyZaslow,"FatorNot,4thGradeGirlsDietLestTheyBeTeasedorUnloved," WallStreetJournal,Feb.11,1986,p.28. 33.Brumberg,FastingGirls. 34.A.AndersonandA.Hay,"RacialandSocioeconomicInfluencesinAnorexiaNervosaandBulimia,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders4(1985):479 87. 35.SteinerAdair,"TheBodyPolitic"ChristineTinkoetal.,"Femininity/MasculinityandDisorderedEatinginWomen:HowAreTheyRelated?"International JournalofEatingDisorders6(1987):71011. 36.GarfinkelandGarner,AnorexiaNervosa,pp.1023SimonGowersandJohnMcMahon,"SocialClassandPrognosisinAnorexiaNervosa,"International JournalofEatingDisorders8(1989):1059JanetGrossandJamesRosen,"BulimiainAdolescents:PrevalenceandPsychosocialCorrelates,"International JournalofEatingDisorders7(1988):5161. 37.JamesGrayetal.,"ThePrevalenceofBulimiainaBlackCollegePopulation,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders6(1987):73340L.K.GeorgeHsu, "AretheEatingDisordersBecomingMoreCommonAmongBlacks?"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders6(1987):11324. 38.RethaPowers,"FatIsaBlackWomen'sIssue,"Essence(Oct.1989):7578,13436.SeealsoGeorgianaArnold,"FatWar,"Essence(July1990):5253, 1045KathleenHiebertetal.,"ComparisonofOutcomeinHispanicandCaucasianPatientswithAnorexiaNervosa,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders7 (1988):69396LionelRosenetal.,"PrevalenceofPathogenicWeightcontrolBehaviorsAmongNativeAmericanWomenandGirls,"InternationalJournalof EatingDisorders7(1988):80711. 39.MaryMohler,"ANewLookatAnorexia,"LadiesHomeJournal(April1986). 40.Seenote2,above. 41.SeeDalmaHeyn'sinterviewwithStevenLevenkron:"BodyHate,"Ms.(July1989):3536. 42.MichaelStrober,"AnorexiaNervosa:HistoryandPsychologicalConcepts,"inBrownellandForeyt,HandbookofEatingDisorders,p.241. 43.Brumberg,FastingGirls,p.3. 44.ItistemptingtoconcludethatBrumbergsimplydoesnotunderstandwhatmetaphorandanalogyareorgraspnotionssuchasunconsciousprocessorthefact thatourbodiesmaycarrymeaningsunintendedoronlydimlyunderstoodbythesubject.ButBrumberg'sattitudeisallthemoreperplexingwhenlater,borrowing heavilyfromthefeministtheoryshecriticizes,shearguesthatthefoodrefusalofVictoriananorecticsshouldbeinterpretedasasymbolic"voice,""asilentandpotent form"ofrebellionagainstfamilyexpectations,emotionalrepression,andlackofautonomy(FastingGirls,p.140).

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45.Brumberg,FastingGirls,pp.3537.Revealingly,thisexampleofschizophreniawastakennearlywordforwordbyBrumbergfromanarticlebyanauthorwho wasadvocatingforcedfeedingofanorectics:EliotGoldner,"TreatmentRefusalinAnorexiaNervosa,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders8,no.3(May 1989):301. 46.Newsday(Feb.12,1984):2. 47.Brumberg,FastingGirls,p.14GarfinkelandKaplan,"AnorexiaNervosa:DiagnosticConceptualizations,"pp.27071GinaKolata,"BulimiaEpidemicFears MayBeaFalseAlarm,"NewYorkTimes,Aug.25,1988,p.B6SusanSquire,"IfYouThinkaWomanCanNeverBeTooThin,"Mademoiselle(Oct.1984): 18081,25254. 48.Here,eventhosewhohaveincorporatedelementsofthefeministcritiqueneedtogostillfurtherinthedirectionofsystemic,politicalunderstanding.Intheabsence ofsuchunderstanding,influentialfindingssuchasSteinerAdair'scaneasilybeinterpretedassuggestingthatwomen'seatingproblemsaretheresultofour"tryingtobe likemen"andnotdevelopingournurturing,empathicinclinationsasnatureintended.Analyzedsystemically,thesuperwomansyndromereveals,onthecontrary,how littlealterationoffundamentalrelationshastakenplace.Womenwhoparticipateintheprofessionalsphereandwhoareobliged,whileinthatsphere,toembodyits masculiniststylesandvaluesarenottherebypermittedtoabandontheir"femininity."Rather,attheendofthepublicworkdaytheymustreturntotheiralreadyfulltime careersasdevotedwivesandmothersandtothe"feminine"stylesandvaluesdemandedbytheseroles("TheSecondShift,"asArlieHochschildcallsit,inArlie HochschildwithAnneMaching,TheSecondShift:WorkingParentsandtheRevolutionatHome[NewYork:Viking,1989]).Thesuperwomansyndrome revealsthatwhateverelsewomenare''permitted"todointhisculture,theyarestillrequiredtodo"their"work. 49.WeirMitchellquotedinElaineShowalter,TheFemaleMalady:Women,MadnessandEnglishCulture,18301980(NewYork:Pantheon,1985),p.130 HildeBruch,TheGoldenCage:TheEnigmaofAnorexiaNervosa(NewYork:Vintage,1979). 50.Bruch,TheGoldenCage,p.ix. 51.RudolphBell,HolyAnorexia(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1985). 52.Brumberg,FastingGirls,p.46. 53.JenniferWoods,"IWasStarvingMyselftoDeath,"Mademoiselle(May1981). 54.Brumberg,FastingGirls,p.7(emphasismine).

AreMothersPersons?
ThisessaycouldnothavebeenwrittenwithoutthegeneroushelpofKatherineBartlettandSusanBehuniakLong,whoprovidedmewithcourt

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cases,articles,andincisiveadviceaboutthelegalissuesdiscussed,aswellascrucialencouragementasIembarkedonthestudyofadiscourseunfamiliartome. Earlierversions,underdifferenttitles,weredeliveredattheeighteenthannualScholarandtheFeministConference,theStateUniversityofNewYorkatBinghamton, McGillUniversity,CarletonUniversity,andtheSyracuseConsortiumfortheCulturalFoundationsofMedicine.Asthepaperwentthroughvariousdrafts,many peopleprovidedusefulcriticisms,suggestions,andmaterialinparticular,IwanttothankLynneArnault,RobertBogdan,JackCarlson,YnestraKing,Ted Koditschek,EdwardLee,PaulMattick,andJohnWilcox. 1.UnionPacificRailwayv.Botsford,141U.S.250,251(1891). 2.GilbertRyle,TheConceptofMind(NewYork:BarnesandNoble,1949),passim. 3.StephenWermiel,"LegalBeat:BoneMarrowTest,"WallStreetJournal,Oct.1,1990,p.16. 4.McFallv.Shimp,No7817711(C.P.AlleghenyCounty,Pa.,July16,1978),quotedinLawrenceJ.Nelson,BrianP.Buggy,andCarolWeil,"ForcedMedical TreatmentofPregnantWomen:'CompellingEachtoLiveasSeemsGoodtotheRest,'"HastingsLawJournal37(May1986):255.Manynewspaper commentariesthatappearedbeforetheIllinoisdecision(cf.note3,above)emphaticallyechoedsuchsentiments,insistingthat"oneperson'srighttolifestopswhere anotherperson'sbodystarts"(LynnBaker,"AreWeSafeinOurOwnSkins?"NewYorkTimes,Aug.21,1990,p.27)anddeclaringthefather'seffortstohavethe twinsforcedtobecomedonors"apotentiallydangerousprecedentforallowingbodilyinvasionswithouttheconsentofthedonor"(editorial,NewYorkTimes,Aug. 29,1990,p.20). 5.Nelsonetal.,"ForcedMedicalTreatment,"p.723. 6.McFallv.Shimp,quotedinNelsonetal.,"ForcedMedicalTreatment,"p.755. 7.342U.S.165(1952),quotedinNancyRhoden,"TheJudgeintheDeliveryRoom:TheEmergenceofCourtOrderedCesareans,"CaliforniaLawReview74 (1986):1983. 8.Otherbodilyinvasionsthathavebeenconstitutionallypermittedarecompulsoryvaccinationsandnonconsensualtreatmentofinstitutionalizedpersons.Theformer havebeenpermittedbecausetheyserveabroadpublicinterestandarerequiredofallmembersofthesocietyreciprocally.Thehistoryofnonconsensualtreatmentof institutionalizedpersons(oneaspectofwhichsterilizationabusewillbediscussedbrieflylaterinthisessay)isascandalinitself.Thosewhohavebeendeemed "mentallydefective"or"mentallyill"clearlyrepresentanothermajorcategoryofpersonswhoserightstobodilyintegrityandinformedconsenthaveregularlybeen ignoredandeffaced.Itisoutsidethescopeofthisessaytodiscussthateffacementexceptinsofarasitintersectswiththespecificthemesdevelopedhere,butthis limitedtreatmentshouldnotbeunderstoodasminimizingitsrelevanceorimportance. 9.Schmerberv.California,384U.S.757(1966).

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10Winston,Sheriff,etal.v.Lee,470U.S.753(1985). 11Eventhesubjectivityofpersonsinpersistentvegetativestatesisrespecteddeterminationofthewishesofsuchpatientsisalwaysoneofthecentralissuesraisedin decisionsinvolvingterminationoftheirlifesupport(e.g.,theNancyCruzanandHelgaWangliecases).Andourculturalhorrorofunconsentedtobodilyintrusion extends,aswell,todeadbodiescadaversarelegallyprotectedagainsttheunconsentedtouseoftheirorgansandtissues,evenwhentheirusecouldsavethelivesof others.Here,respectisextendedtothe"subjectivity"ofcorpsesfarbeyondthevalueplacedonthoselivingbeingswhocouldbebenefitedifapurelymechanistic, depersonalizingattitudetowardbodypartsprevailed. 12.Rustv.Sullivan,59USLW4451(1991). 13.PhilipR.Reilly,TheSurgicalSolution(Baltimore:JohnsHopkinsUniversityPress,1991),p.xiii. 14.AngelaDavis,Women,Race,andClass(NewYork:Vintage,1983),pp.21521. 15.Reilly,TheSurgicalSolution,pp.9495. 16.Walkerv.Pierce,560F.2d609(1977).Piercewonthecase,butwithanextremelystrongdissentfromoneofthecircuitcourtjudges,whoarguedthatbeyond doubtDr.Pierce'spolicypertainingtosterilizationwasbasedoneconomicfactorsinsteadofthehealthofhisMedicaidpatients. 17.VeronikaKolderetal.,"CourtOrderedObstetricalInterventions,"NewEnglandJournalofMedicine316,no.19(May7,1987):1192. 18.Inre:A.C.Appellant,5232d611(1987). 19.Theseprocedures,moreover,mayturnoutnottohavebeenessentialtothelifeofthefetus.InJeffersonv.GriffinSpauldingHospitalAuthority(GA86,274S.E. 2d4571981),Mrs.Jefferson,sufferingfromplacentaprevia,wasorderedtoundergoacesarean.Theorderwasneverenforced,andshewoundupuneventfully deliveringahealthychildvaginally. 20.Taftv.Taft,446N.E.2d395(Mass.1983). 21.Performedwhenthereishighriskofthirdtrimestermiscarriageduetoweaknessofthecervix(oftendescribedas"incompetentcervix"),cerclageinvolvessuturing thecervixclosedinordertomaintainthepregnancy. 22.SotheDistrictofColumbiaCourtofAppealsdescribedit,inoverturningthecircuitcourt'sdecisiononAngelaCarder(toolate,unfortunately,toaffectCarder, butextremelymeaningfulnonetheless,asIwillshortlydiscuss). 23.TamarLewin,"CourtActingtoForceCareoftheUnborn,"NewYorkTimes,Nov.28,1988,p.1. 24.SeeNelsonetal.,"ForcedMedicalTreatment,"andRhoden,"JudgeintheDeliveryRoom,"andalsoJanetGallagher,"PrenatalInvasionsandInterventions: What'sWrongwithFetalRights,"HarvardWomen'sLawJournal10(1987):958.

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Somejudgeshaveattemptedtoofferalegalrationalizationforsuchcontradictions.ThedissentingjudgeintheDistrictofColumbiaCourtofAppealsoverturnof theA.C.ruling,forexample,arguedthatthethirdtrimesterpregnantwomanbelongstoa"uniquecategoryofpersons,"byvirtueofherhaving"undertakentobear anotherhumanbeing"andhavingcarriedittoviability,andthushaving"placedherself"inaspecialclassofpersons,thoseuponwhomanother'slifeistotally dependent.Againstsucharguments,itmightreasonablybeaskedwhysuchacommitment,ifindeeditcanbesaidtoexist,endswiththebirthofthechild,and whyitdoesnotapplyaswelltothefatherofthechild.Thatitdoesnotsoapply,legally,ismanifestinthedecisionsthathaveconsistentlyrefusedtoorderparents todonatemarrowandorganstotheirchildren(evenwhentheirlivesare"totallydependent"onthedonation).Isuspect,too,thattheelementofvoluntarily "undertaking''thepreservationofthelifeofanotherwouldholdnolegalwateragainstbrokencommitmentstodonateorgansormarrowortotakebloodtests. Finally,thequestionremains:Doestheundertakingtocareforanotherentailacommitmenttodosoatallcosts? 25.Nelsonetal.,"ForcedMedicalTreatment,"p.714. 26.ThisconstructionseemstobeinthebackgroundofthemanyfrequentmisapplicationsofRoev.Wade,arguinginfavorofforcedcesareansonthebasisofthe "state'sinterestinprotectingthelifeofthefetus."TheRoedecisiondoesindeedacknowledgethatthisinterestincreasesaspregnancyadvances.However,it emphasizesthatitisnevertosupersedethatofthelifeandhealthofthemother,rightuptoterm.Rather,asAmericanCollegeofObstetriciansandGynecologistsv. Thornbergmadeclear,"thewoman'slifeandhealthmustalwaysprevailoverthefetus'slifeandhealthwhentheyconflict"(737F.2d283[1984],quotedinNelsonet al.,"ForcedMedicalTreatment,"p.744).Theslippagefromstateinterestinfetallife(whichRoegrants)totheelevationofthatinterestabovethepreservationof maternalhealth(whichneitherRoenoritsprogenyaccept)convertstheprotectionoffetallifeintoadoctrineofmaternalselfsacrifice.(Foraninterestingdiscussion ofthemisapplicationsofRoe,seeSusanBehuniakLong,"ReproductiveIssuesandtheApplicabilityofRoev.Wade:LimitsandEssence,"inBiomedicalTechnology andPublicPolicy,ed.RobertBlackandMiriamMills[NewYork:GreenwoodPress,1990].) 27.Walkerv.Pierce. 28.DistrictofColumbiaCourtofAppealsNo.87609InRe:A.C.,April26,1990,p.1142. 29.Kolderetal.,"CourtOrderedObstetricalInterventions." 30.See,forexample,Robertson,"TheRighttoProcreateandInUteroFetalTherapy,"JournalofLegalMedicine333(1982):35161. 31.Whatismostchillingaboutthesecasesishowrarelytheyoccasionrealmoralcontroversy,andhowcasuallynewspapersdescribetheproceduresintermsthat utterlydehumanizethemother.InSyracusethisyear,abraindeadwomanwhohadsufferedabrainaneurysmwaskeptaliveformorethansevenweeksuntilher babycouldbedeliveredbycesarean

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section.Thefamily,actinginproxy,claimedcertitudethatthiswouldhavebeenherwish.Mypointhereisnottochallengetheirinterpretation.Itisstriking, however,thatnoonedid.Inthelocalnewspaperthecasewasreportedpurelyasatechnologicalachievement,withnosuggestionthattheremightbeanysortof ethicalconflictinvolved.Throughoutthepiecethebraindeadwomanwasdescribedsimplyasabody:"Aubrysaidthewoman'sbodyprobablywouldgointo laboronitsown""Itwouldbebettertodeliverbeforethemotherreallydeteriorates"etc.(AmberSmith,"BraindeadPregnantWomanKeptAliveSoHerBaby CouldBeBorn,"SyracuseHeraldAmerican,Nov.3,1991,p.1.)Mystrongsuspicionisthatevenifthefamilyhadmadetheircasewithoutreferencetothe woman'swishes,theirrequestwouldstillhavebeenviewedasmorallyunproblematic. Comparethistothehighlypublicizedcontroversyoccasionedin1989whenMartinKlein(actinginconcertwithhiswife'sfamily)soughtacourtorderappointing himguardianofcomatoseNancyKlein,inordertoauthorizeanabortionforher(anabortiondoctorsdeemednecessarytotherecoveryoftheseventeenweeks pregnantwoman,andafterwhichshedidindeedregainconsciousness).Inthefaceofthatfamily'sclaim,righttolifeactivistscreatedanationalfurorandinitiated legalproceedings(whichultimatelyfailed)tostayKlein'scourtorder("CourtOKsAbortionforComatoseWoman,"SyracuseHeraldJournal,Feb.11,1989,pp. A1A4.Laterthatyear,afathereasilywonanorderpassionatelycontestedbyhiswife'sfamilytosustainhisbraindeadpregnantwife'slifeforsevenanda halfweeksshewasdisconnectedfromthelifesupportsystemimmediatelyafterthedelivery.Inthatcase,unlikethemorerecentone,thewoman'swisheswere notevenanissueforthefather'scasehisclaimwasarguedsimplyonthebasisofhisdesirethatthebabybeborn.Iamnotsuggestingthathehadnomoral argument.WhatIampointingoutarethedramaticinconsistenciesinourmoralresponsestoproxyactionsandinterpretationsaffectingthelivesofthecomatose andthebraindead.Becausethefetalincubatorconstructionissonormativewithinculturalattitudes,treatingapregnantcomatosewomanasmerebodysimply doesnotrousethemoralqualmsthatothersuchcasesdo(seealsonote11,above). 32.GuidelinesforLegislationonLifeSustainingTreatment,NationalConferenceofCatholicBishopsAdministrativeCommittee,November10,1984,as reportedin"NewYorkState'sHealthCareProxyLaw:ACatholicPerspective,"pamphletproducedbyNewYorkStateCatholicConference,Albany,n.d. 33.Nelsonetal.,"ForcedMedicalTreatment,"pp.75657. 34.EileenMcNamara,"FetalEndangermentCasesontheRise,"BostonGlobe,Oct.3,1989,p.1. 35.EllenGoodman,"PregnantandProsecuted,"FingerLakesTimes,Feb.9,1990. 36.RobbLondon,"TwoWaitersLoseJobsforLiquorWarningtoWoman,"NewYorkTimes,Saturday,March30,1991,p.7.

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37.CalThomas,"WatchWhatYouSaytoaPregnantWoman,"SyracuseHeraldJournal,April18,1981. 38.Rhoden,"JudgeintheDeliveryRoom,"p.1959. 39."TwoWaitersLoseJobs,"p.7. 40.Oftenwaitinglistsfordrugtreatmentprogramsareasmuchassixmonthslong,anda1989NewYorkCitysurveyfoundthatoftheexistingseventyeight treatmentcenters,54percentdidnotacceptpregnantwomanand87percentwouldnottreatpregnantwomenonMedicaidaddictedtocrackcocaine("Fetal EndangermentCasesontheRise"). 41.KathaPollitt,"FetalRights:ANewAssaultonFeminism,"TheNation(March26,1990):410. 42.RobertPear,"TheHardThingAboutCuttingInfantMortalityIsEducatingMothers,"NewYorkTimes,Sunday,Aug.12,1990,p.5. 43.DiscussedinPollitt,"FetalRights,"p.415,a"dutyofcare"hasbeenproposedbyfetalrightsadvocatesasethicallyjustifyingtheobstetricalandlifestyle interventionstheyarguefor. 44.QuotedinGallagher,"PrenatalInvasions,"p.58. 45.MichaelHarrison,"Unborn:HistoricalPerspectiveoftheFetusasPatient,"Pharos(Winter1982):1924,quotedinRuthHubbard,ThePoliticsofWomen's Biology(NewBrunswick:RutgersUniversityPress,1990),pp.17576. 46.Hubbard,ThePoliticsofWomen'sBiology,p.176. 47.SeeRosalindPetchesky,"FetalImages:ThePowerofVisualCultureinthePoliticsofReproduction,"inMichelleStanworth,ed.,ReproductiveTechnologies (Minneapolis:UniversityofMinnesotaPress,1987),pp.5780,foranextremelyinsightfulandbalanceddiscussionofthisissue. 48."Alotofdoctors,"saysGeorgeAnnas,"identifymorewiththefetusthanwithawomanwhoisdifferentfromthem"(quotedinLewin,"CourtsActing,"p.B10). Especiallyinterestingaboutthisidentificationisitsapparentlygreatersignificancethan,forexample,racial"differences"betweenfetusanddoctor,whichpale(soto speak)besidedeeppsychicsourcesofsympathywiththefetus'sstateofhelplessdependenceonthemother. 49.StefanSemchyshynandCarolColman,HowtoPreventMiscarriageandOtherCrisesofPregnancy(NewYork:Macmillan,1989),p.5. 50.Ihastentoemphasizeherethatthiscriticismisnotdirectedagainstwomenwhochoosetotakesuchrisks,buttowardthediscoursethateffacesorminimizesthose risks. 51.SeeNelsonetal.,"ForcedMedicalTreatment,"pp.73245,foranexcellentdiscussionofthesechanges. 52.Dietrichv.InhabitantsofNorthhampton,138Mass.14(1884). 53.W.Prosser,quotedinNelsonetal.,"ForcedMedicalTreatment,"P.733. 54.65F.Supp.138(D.D.C.1946). 55.31N.J.353,157A.2d497(1960),quotedinNelsonetal.,"ForcedMedicalTreatment,"p.734.

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56.Andthisisnottomentionthedisparitybetweentherespectaffordedfetusesandgrownwomen:inMinnesota,thesamestatethathasorderednumerousmedical proceduressanctioningtheunconsentedtoinvasionoflivingwomen'sbodies,alawwentintoeffectin1990requiringhospitalsandclinicstoburyorcrematealready deadfetuses,topreservetheir"dignity"("LawSaysCremateorBuryFetuses,"SyracuseHeraldJournal,Oct.1,1990,p.2. 57.TerenceMonmaneyandKateRobinson,"Doesn'taManHaveAnySay?"Newsweek(May23,1988):7475. 58."BigWinforProLifers:PennsylvaniaPassesStrictestStateAbortionLaw,"FingerLakesTimes,Nov.15,1989. 59.PeggyOrenstein,"DoesFatherKnowBest?"Vogue(April1989):314. 60.Aeschylus,Oresteia,trans.andintro.byRichardLattimore(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1953),quotefromTheEumenides,p.158. 61.JamesHillman,TheMythofAnalysis:ThreeEssaysinArchetypalPsychology(NewYork:HarperandRow,1978),p.218. 62.Seetheintroductiontothisvolumeforadiscussionoftheserepresentations. 63.Aristotle,TheBasicWorksofAristotle,ed.RichardMcKeon(NewYork:RandomHouse,1941),OntheGenerationofAnimals,trans.ArthurPlatt,729a 25,p.676. 64.Tobefair,therewasanotherversionofpreformationandemboitement(the"ovist"version),accordingtowhichGodplacedtheanimalculesinthewoman'swomb whenshewascreated.Thisversion,however,wasfarlesswidelyacceptedthantheofficialanimalculistversion.Inanycase,inbothversionsthewomanfunctionsas container. 65.QuotedinBrianEaslea,Witchhunting,MagicandtheNewPhilosophy(AtlanticHighlands,N.J.:HumanitiesPress,1980),p.148. 66.428U.S.52(1976),quotedinPatriciaHennessey,"OntheRise:MenMakeClaimsinAbortionSuits,"Conscience9,no.4(JulyAug.1988):4. 67.Transcriptof"Nightline"show"AbortionRights,"July22,1988,JournalGraphics,NewYork,N.Y. 68."Embryo'sRightsUpheld,"SyracuseHeraldJournal,Sept.21,1989,p.A12. 69."Doesn'taManHaveAnySay?"p.74. 70.IntheMatteroftheUnbornChild"H,"No.84CO18804JP185(1988),quotedinHennessey,"OntheRise,"p.4. 71.Itcouldbearguedthatwhatisrequiredistobringthesocialandlegalsystemintolinewiththetreatmentofpregnantwomen,nottheotherwayaround.Thatis, everyone(notonlypregnantwomen)shouldberequiredtobeGoodSamaritanstowardthosewhorequireouraid.Itisbeyondthescopeofthisessaytoevaluate suchanidealbeyondsuggestingthatthoseforwhomsuchatransformationisgenuinelythegoal(andisnotmerelybeingpaidlipserviceto,withthecovertgoalof justifyingcurrentinequities)needtodemonstratetheirgoodfaithbyrequiringsomesocialcareand

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sacrificefromsourcesotherthanpregnantwomen.Agoodplacetostartwouldbewithanationalhealthsystemthatwouldgivepoor,pregnantwomenthecare theyneed. 72.Thephrasesinquotesarefrombellhooks'sdiscussionofthereclamationof"blacksubjectivity,"adiscussionthatisapplicableaswelltothereclamationofother marginalizedanddesubjectifiedidentities,includingwomen'sreproductiveidentities:"ContemporaryAfricanAmericanresistancestrugglemustberootedinaprocess ofdecolonializationthatcontinuallyopposesreinscribingnotionsof'authentic'blackidentity.Thiscritiqueshouldnotbemadesynonymouswithadismissalofthe struggleofoppressedandexploitedpeopletomakeourselvessubject.Norshoulditdenythatincertaincircumstancesthisexperienceaffordsusaprivilegedcritical locationfromwhichtospeak.Thisisnotareinscriptionofmodernistmasternarrativesofauthoritywhichprivilegesomevoicesbydenyingvoicetoothers.Partof ourstrugglingforradicalblacksubjectivityisthequesttofindwaystoconstructselfandidentitythatareoppositionalandliberatory.Theunwillingnesstocritique essentialismonthepartofmanyAfricanAmericansisrootedinthefearthatitwillcausefolkstolosesightofthespecifichistoryandexperienceofAfricanAmericans andtheuniquesensibilitiesandculturethatarisefromthatexperience.Anadequateresponsetothisconcernistocritiqueessentialismwhileemphasizingthe significanceof'theauthorityofexperience.'Thereisaradicaldifferencebetweenarepudiationoftheideathatthereisablack'essence'andrecognitionoftheway blackidentityhasbeenspecificallyconstitutedintheexperienceofexileandstruggle."(Yearning[Boston:SouthEndPress,1990],pp.2829.) 73.EmilyMartin,TheWomanintheBody(Boston:BeaconPress,1989),PP.13965. 74.Davis,Women,Race,andClass,pp.2021. 75.IrisYoung,"PregnantEmbodiment:SubjectivityandAlienation,"JournalofMedicineandPhilosophy9(Jan.1984):4562. 76.Iusedtoarguethatthisissueshouldbeavoided,insistingthatthefetus'sstatusisnotsimplythere,"innature,"awaitinganaccuratereading,butisamatterof humandecision,shapedaccordingtotheconventionsofparticularcommunities.Istillbelieveallthis.ButInolongerbelievethatsuchmetaconsiderationsremovethe responsibilitytoparticipateinthepublicprocessofshapingthoseconventions.Weretreatintothedisembodiedhavenofmetadiscourseonlyatgreatrisk.For whetherornotwechoosetoengageintheprocess,culturaldeterminationsandimaginationsofthefetusarebeingmade,andcurrentlytheyhavebeguntoendowthe fetusnotmerelywithhumanstatusbut(asIhaveshowninthisessay)withsuperhumanstatus. 77.AsNancyMillerinsists:"[T]hepostmodernistdecisionthattheAuthorisdead...doesnotnecessarilyworkforwomenandprematurelyforeclosesthequestion ofidentityforthem.Becausewomenhavenothadthesamehistoricalrelationofidentitytoorigin,institution,production,

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thatmenhavehad,womenhavenot,Ithink,(collectively)feltburdenedbytoomuchSelf,Ego,Cogito,etc.Becausethefemalesubjecthasjuridicallybeen excludedfromthepolis,andhencedecentered,'disoriginated,'deinstitutionalized,etc.,herrelationtointegrityandtextuality,desireandauthority,isstructurally different."("ChangingtheSubject,"inTeresadeLauretis,ed.,FeministStudies,CriticalStudies[Bloomington:IndianaUniversityPress,1986],p.106.)

HungerasIdeology
Thisessaygrewoutofshorterpiece,"HowTelevisionTeachesWomentoHateTheirHungers,"inMirrorImages(NewsletterofAnorexiaBulimiaSupport, Syracuse,N.Y.)4,no.1(1986):89.Anearlierversionwasdeliveredatthe1990meetingsoftheNewYorkStateSociologicalAssociation,andsomeofthe analysishasbeenpresentedinvarioustalksatLeMoyneandothercollegesandcommunityorganizations.Iowethankstoallmystudentswhosuppliedexamples. 1.JournalistBeatriceFairfax,quotedinLoisBanner,AmericanBeauty(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1984),p.136. 2."StarvationStagesinWeightlossPatientsSimilartoFamineVictims,"InternationalObesityNewsletter3(April1989). 3.JeanBaudrillard,Simulations(NewYork:Semiotext(e),1983),pp.13quotationisonp.2. 4.GeneenRoth,FeedingtheHungryHeart(NewYork:NewAmericanLibrary,1982),p.15. 5.SeeHelenaMitchie,TheFleshMadeWord(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,1987),foranextremelyinterestingdiscussionofthistabooinVictorian literature. 6.QuotedfromGodey'sbyJoanJacobsBrumberg,FastingGirls(Cambridge:HarvardUniversityPress,1988),p.179. 7.Mitchie,TheFleshMadeWord,p.15.Notsurprisingly,redmeatcameunderespecialsuspicionasasourceoferoticinflammation.Aswastypicalfortheera, suchanxietieswererigorouslyscientized:forexample,intermsoftheheatproducingcapacitiesofredmeatanditseffectsonthedevelopmentofthesexualorgans andmenstrualflow.But,clearly,anirresistibleassociationaloverdeterminationmeatasthebeast,theraw,theprimitive,themasculinewasthetrueinflammatory agenthere.Theseassociationssurvivetoday,puttocommercialusebytheAmericanBeefAssociation,whosetelevisionadsfeatureJamesGarnerandCybilShepard promoting"Beef:RealFoodforRealPeople."Herethenineteenthcenturylinkbetweenmeataversion,delicacy,andrefinementisexploited,thistimeinfavorofthe meateater,whosedowntoearthgutsinessisimplicitlycontrastedtotheprissinessoftheweakbloodedvegetarian. 8.Mrs.H.O.Ward,TheYoungLady'sFriend(Philadelphia:PorterandCoates,1880),p.162,quotedinMitchie,TheFleshMadeWord,pp.1617. 9.QuotedinMitchie,TheFleshMadeWord,p.193.

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10.BramDijkstra,IdolsofPerversity(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,1986),pp.3031. 11.MalleusMalificarumquotedinBrianEaslea,WitchHunting,Magic,andtheNewPhilosophy(AtlanticHighlands,N.J.:HumanitiesPress,1980),p.8Hall andOates,"ManEater." 12.Womenwerethuswarnedthat"gluttonoushabitsoflife"woulddegradetheirphysicalappearanceandruintheirmarriageability."Grosseaters"coulddevelop thickskin,brokenbloodvesselsonthenose,crackedlips,andanunattractively"superanimal"facialexpression(Brumberg,FastingGirls,p.179).Ofcourse,the degreetowhichactualwomenwereabletoenactanypartoftheseidealizedandidolizedconstructionswashighlyvariable(asitalwaysis)butallwomen,ofall classesandraces,felttheireffectsasthenormalizingmeasuringrodsagainstwhichtheirownadequacywasjudged(and,usually,foundwanting). 13.CarolineWalkerBynum,HolyFeastandHolyFast:TheReligiousSignificanceofFoodtoMedievalWomen(Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress, 1987),p.191. 14.SyracuseHeraldAmerican,May8,1988,p.D1. 15.CharlesButler,TheAmericanLady,quotedinDijkstra,IdolsofPerversity,p.18.MargerySpringRicenotedthissamepatternofselfsacrificeamongBritish workingclasshousewivesinthe1930s.Facedwiththetaskoffeedingafamilyonaninadequatebudgetandcookingincrampedconditions,thehousewife,according toRice,often"takesonecomparativelyeasywayoutbyeatingmuchlessthananyothermemberofherfamily."Shegivesamultitudeofexamplesfromsocial workers'records,including"'Herfoodisquiteinsufficientowingtotheclaimsofthefamily"'"'Sheisagoodmotherspendingmostofthehousekeepingmoneyon suitablefoodforthechildrenandoftengoeswithoutproperfoodforherself'""'Mrs.A...givesherfamilyofeightchildrenanexcellentdiet...butcannoteat herselfassheissoexhaustedbythetimeshehaspreparedthefamilymeals'"and,interestingly,'''thechildrenlookwellfedandonecannothelpbelievingthatMrs.F. isstarvingherselfunnecessarily"'(WorkingClassWives:TheirHealthandConditions[London:Virago,1989orig.pub.1939],pp.157,160,162,167). 16.EliasCanetti,CrowdsandPower(NewYork:Viking,1962),p.221. 17.JohnBerger,WaysofSeeing(London:Penguin,1977). 18.bellhooks,Yearning(Boston:SouthEndPress,1990),p.42. 19.MarciaMillman,SuchaPrettyFace:BeingFatinAmerica(NewYork:Norton,1980),p.106. 20.JohnSchneiderandW.StewartAgras,"BulimiainMales:AMatchedComparisonwithFemales,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders6,no.2(March 1987):23542.

AnorexiaNervosa
ThisessaywaspresentedasapubliclectureatLeMoyneCollege,wassubsequentlypresentedatD'YouvilleCollegeandBenningtonCollege,and

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wasoriginallypublishedinthePhilosophicalForum17,no.2(Winter1985).IwishtothankallthoseintheaudiencesatLeMoyne,D'Youville,andBennington whocommentedonmypresentations,andLynneArnault,NancyFraser,andMarioMoussafortheirsystematicandpenetratingcriticismsandsuggestionsforthe Forumversion.Inaddition,Iowealargeinitialdebttomystudents,particularlyChristyFerguson,VivianConger,andNancyMonaghan,fortheirobservationsand insights. 1.JulesHenry,CultureAgainstMan(NewYork:AlfredA.Knopf,1963). 2.WhenIwrotethispiecein1983,thetermanorexiawascommonlyusedbyclinicianstodesignateageneralclassofeatingdisorderswithinwhichintake restricting.(orabstinent)anorexiaandbulimiaanorexia(characterizedbyalternatingboutsofgorgingandstarvingand/orgorgingandvomiting)aredistinctsubtypes (seeHildeBruch,TheGoldenCage:TheEnigmaofAnorexiaNervosa[NewYork:Vintage,1979],p.10StevenLevenkron,TreatingandOvercoming AnorexiaNervosa[NewYork:WarnerBooks,1982],p.6R.L.Palmer,AnorexiaNervosa[Middlesex:Penguin,1980],pp.14,2324PaulGarfinkeland DavidGarner,AnorexiaNervosa:AMultidimensionalPerspective[NewYork:Brunner/Mazel,1982],p.4).Sincethen,astheclinicaltendencyhasbeen increasinglytoemphasizethedifferencesratherthanthecommonalitiesbetweentheeatingdisorders,bulimiahascometooccupyitsownseparateclassificatoryniche. InthepresentpieceIconcentratelargelyonthoseimages,concerns,andattitudessharedbyanorexiaandbulimia.Whereadifferenceseemssignificantforthethemes ofthisessay,Iwillindicatetherelevantdifferenceinafootnoteratherthanovercomplicatethemainargumentofthetext.Thisprocedureisnottobetakenasbelittling theimportanceofsuchdifferences,someofwhichIdiscussin"ReadingtheSlenderBody." 3.Althoughthroughouthistoryscatteredreferencescanbefoundtopatientswhosoundasthoughtheymayhavebeensufferingfromselfstarvation,thefirstmedical descriptionofanorexiaasadiscretesyndromewasmadebyW.W.Gullinan1868addressatOxford(atthetimehecalledthesyndrome,inkeepingwiththe medicaltaxonomyofthetime,hystericapepsia).Sixyearslater,Gullbegantousethetermanorexianervosaatthesametime,E.D.Lesegueindependently describedthedisorder(GarfinkelandGarner,AnorexiaNervosa,pp.5859).Evidencepointstoaminor"outbreak"ofanorexianervosaaroundthistime(seeJoan JacobsBrumberg,FastingGirls[Cambridge:HarvardUniversityPress,1988]),ahistoricaloccurrencethatwentunnoticedbytwentiethcenturycliniciansuntil renewedinterestinthedisorderwaspromptedbyitsreemergenceandstrikingincreaseoverthepasttwentyyears(seenote11of"WhoseBodyIsThis?"forsources thatdocumentthisincrease).AtthetimeIwrotethepresentpiece,Iwasnotawareoftheextentofanorexianervosainthesecondhalfofthenineteenthcentury. 4.LudwigBinswanger,"TheCaseofEllenWest,"inRolloMay,ed.,Existence(NewYork:SimonandSchuster,1958),p.288.Hewaswrong,ofcourse.The symptomwasnotnew,andwenowknowthatEllenWestwas

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nottheonlyyoungwomanofhereratosufferfromanorexia.ButthefactthatBinswangerwasunawareofothercasesiscertainlysuggestiveofitsinfrequency, especiallyrelativetoourowntime. 5.HildeBruch,EatingDisorders(NewYork:BasicBooks,1973),p.4. 6.Levenkron,TreatingandOvercomingAnorexiaNervosa,p.1SusanSquire,"IstheBingePurgeCycleCatching?"Ms.(Oct.1983). 7.DinitiaSmith,"TheNewPuritans,"NewYorkMagazine(June11,1984):28. 8.KimChernin,TheObsession:ReflectionsontheTyrannyofSlenderness(NewYork:HarperandRow,1981),pp.63,62. 9.GarfinkelandGarner,AnorexiaNervosa,p.xi.Anorecticscharacteristicallysufferfromanumberofphysiologicaldisturbances,includingamenorrhea(cessation ofmenstruation)andabnormalhypothalamicfunction(seeGarfinkelandGarner,AnorexiaNervosa,pp.5889,foranextensivediscussionoftheseandother physiologicaldisordersassociatedwithanorexiaalsoEugeneGarfield,"AnorexiaNervosa:TheEnigmaofSelfStarvation,"CurrentContents[Aug.6,1984]:89). Researchersaredivided,withargumentsonbothsides,astowhetherhypothalamicdysfunctionmaybeaprimarycauseofthediseaseorwhetherthesecharacteristic neuroendocrinedisordersaretheresultofweightloss,caloricdeprivation,andemotionalstress.Thesamedebateragesoverabnormalvasopressinlevelsdiscovered inanorectics,toutedintabloidsallovertheUnitedStatesasthe"explanation"foranorexiaandkeytoitscure.Apartfromsuchdebatesoverabiochemical predispositiontoanorexia,researchcontinuestoexplorethepossibleroleofbiochemistryintheselfperpetuatingnatureofthedisease,andtherelationofthe physiologicaleffectsofstarvationtoparticularexperientialsymptomssuchastheanorectic'spreoccupationwithfood(seeBruch,TheGoldenCage,pp.712 GarfinkelandGarner,AnorexiaNervosa,pp.1014). 10.Initially,anorexiawasfoundtopredominateamongupperclasswhitefamilies.Thereis,however,widespreadevidencethatthisisnowrapidlychanging(aswe mightexpectnooneinAmericaisimmunefromthepowerofpopularimagery).Thedisorder,ithasbeenfound,isbecomingmoreequallydistributed,touching populations(e.g.,blacksandEastIndians)previouslyunaffected,andallsocioeconomiclevels(GarfinkelandGarner,AnorexiaNervosa,pp.1023).Thereremains, however,anoverwhelmingdisproportionofwomentomen(GarfinkelandGarner,AnorexiaNervosa,pp.11213). 11.Chernin'sTheObsession,whoseremarkableinsightsinspiredmyinterestinanorexia,remainstheoutstandingexceptiontothelackofculturalunderstandingof eatingdisorders. 12.Chernin,TheObsession,pp.3637.Myuseoftheexpression"ourculture"mayseemoverlyhomogenizinghere,disrespectfulofdifferencesamongethnic groups,socioeconomicgroups,subcultureswithinAmericansociety,andsoforth.ItmustbestressedherethatIamdiscussingideologyandimageswhosepoweris preciselythepowertohomogenizeculture.Even

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inpremassmediaculturesweseethisphenomenon:thenineteenthcenturyidealofthe"perfectlady"tyrannizedeventhoseclasseswhocouldnotaffordtorealize it.Withtelevision,ofcourse,amassivedeploymentofimagesbecomespossible,andthereisnoescapefromthemassshapingofourfantasylives.Althoughthey maystartamongthewealthyelite("Awomancanneverbetoorichortoothin"),mediapromotedideasoffemininityandmasculinityquicklyandperniciously spreadtheirinfluenceovereveryonewhoownsaTVorcanaffordajunkmagazineorisawareofbillboards.Changesintheincidenceofanorexiaamonglower incomegroups(seenote10,above)bearoutthispoint. 13.ChristopherLasch,TheCultureofNarcissism(NewYork:WarnerBooks,1979),p.88. 14.Ichoosethesethreeprimarilybecausetheyarewheremyexplorationoftheimagery,language,andmetaphorproducedbyanorexicwomenledme.Delivering earlierversionsofthisessayatcollegesandconferences,Idiscoveredthatoneofthecommonestresponsesofmembersoftheaudienceswastheprofferingoffurther axesthepaperpresenteditselflessasastatementabouttheultimatemeaningorcausesofaphenomenonthanasaninvitationtocontinuemy"unpacking"ofanorexia asacrystallizingformation.Yettheparticularaxeschosenhavemorethanapurelyautobiographicalrationale.Thedualistaxesservetoidentifyandarticulatethebasic bodyimageryofanorexia.Thecontrolaxisisanexplorationofthequestion"Whynow?"Thegender/poweraxiscontinuesthisexplorationbutfocusesonthequestion "Whywomen?"Thesequenceofaxestakesusfromthemostgeneral,mosthistoricallydiffusestructureofcontinuitythedualistexperienceofselftoever narrower,morespecifiedarenasofcomparisonandconnection.Atfirsttheconnectionsaremadewithoutregardtohistoricalcontext,drawingondiversehistorical sourcestoexploittheirfamiliarcoherenceinanefforttosculpttheshapeoftheanorexicexperience.Inthissection,too,IwanttosuggestthattheGrecoChristian traditionprovidesaparticularlyfertilesoilforthedevelopmentofanorexia.ThenIturntothemuchmorespecificcontextofAmericanfadsandfantasiesinthe1980s, consideringthecontemporaryscenelargelyintermsofpopularculture(andthereforethroughthe"fiction"ofhomogeneity),withoutregardforgenderdifference.In thissectiontheconnectionsdrawnpointtoahistoricalexperienceofselfcommontobothmenandwomen.Finally,myfocusshiftstoconsider,notwhatconnects anorexiatoothergeneralculturalphenomena,butwhatpresentsitselfasarupturefromthem,andwhatforcesustoconfronthowultimatelyopaquethecurrent epidemicofeatingdisordersremainsunlessitislinkedtotheparticularsituationofwomen.Thereaderwillnoticethattheaxesarelinkedthematicallyaswellas throughtheirconvergenceinanorexia:theobsessionwithcontrolislinkedwithdualism,andthegender/powerdynamicsdiscussedimplicitlydealwiththeissueof control(ofthefeminine)aswell. 15.MichelFoucault,TheHistoryofSexuality.Vol.1:AnIntroduction(NewYork:Vintage,1980),p.155.

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16.Foucault,HistoryofSexuality,pp.4748. 17.HubertL.DreyfusandPaulRabinow,MichelFoucault:BeyondStructuralismandHermeneutics(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1983),p.112. 18.Foucault,HistoryofSexuality,p.95. 19.MichelFoucault,DisciplineandPunish(NewYork:Vintage,1979),p.26. 20.Plato,Phaedo,inTheDialoguesofPlato,ed.andtrans.BenjaminJowett,4thed.,rev.(Oxford:ClarendonPress,1953),83d. 21.St.Augustine,TheConfessions,trans.R.S.PineCoffin(Middlesex:Penguin,1961),p.164. 22.Phaedo81d. 23.Phaedo66c.ForDescartesonthebodyasahindrancetoknowledge,seeConversationswithBurman(Oxford:ClarendonPress,1976),p.8,andPassions oftheSoulinPhilosophicalWorksofDescartes,2vols.,trans.ElizabethS.HaldaneandG.R.T.Ross(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1969),vol.1,p. 353. 24.Phaedo80a. 25.Indeed,theCartesian"RulesfortheDirectionoftheMind,"ascarriedoutintheMeditationsespecially,areactuallyrulesforthetranscendenceofthebodyits passions,itssenses,theresidueof"infantileprejudices"ofjudgmentlingeringfromthatearliertimewhenwewere"immersed"inbodyandbodilysensations. 26.AlanWatts,Nature,Man,andWoman(NewYork:Vintage,1970),p.145. 27.Bruch,EatingDisorders,p.84. 28.Chernin,TheObsession,p.8. 29.Entryinstudentjournal,1984. 30.Bruch,TheGoldenCage,p.4. 31.Binswanger,"TheCaseofEllenWest,"p.253. 32.Bruch,EatingDisorders,p.253. 33.Levenkron,TreatingandOvercomingAnorexiaNervosa,p.6. 34.Bruch,EatingDisorders,p.270Augustine,Confessions,p.164. 35.Bruch,EatingDisorders,p.50. 36.Bruch,EatingDisorders,p.254. 37.Entryinstudentjournal,1984. 38.Bruch,EatingDisorders,p.279. 39.AimeeLiu,Solitaire(NewYork:HarperandRow,1979),p.141. 40.JenniferWoods,"IWasStarvingMyselftoDeath,"Mademoiselle(May1981):200. 41.Binswanger,"TheCaseofEllenWest,"p.251(emphasisadded). 42.Whytheyshouldemergewithsuchclarityinthetwentiethcenturyandthroughthevoiceoftheanorecticisaquestionanswered,inpart,bythefollowingtwoaxes. 43.Augustine,Confessions,p.165Liu,Solitaire,p.109. 44.Binswanger,"TheCaseofEllenWest,"p.343.

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45.Entryinstudentjournal,1983. 46.Woods,"IWasStarvingMyselftoDeath,"p.242. 47.Liu,Solitaire,p.109. 48."Iequatedgainingweightwithhappiness,contentment,thenslothfulness,thenatrophy,thendeath."(FromcasenotesofBinnieKlein,M.S.W.,towhomIam gratefulforhavingprovidedpartsofatranscriptofherworkwithananorexicpatient.)SeealsoBinswanger,"TheCaseofEllenWest,"p.343. 49.Klein,casenotes. 50.CherryBooneO'Neill,StarvingforAttention(NewYork:Dell,1982),p.131. 51.O'Neill,StarvingforAttention,p.49. 52.Liu,Solitaire,p.101. 53.Levenkron,TreatingandOvercomingAnorexiaNervosa,p.122. 54.Sincethewritingofthispiece,evidencehasaccruedsuggestingthatsexualabusemaybeanelementinthehistoriesofmanyeatingdisorderedwomen(seenote2 in"WhoseBodyIsThis?"). 55.Bruch,TheGoldenCage,p.73.Thesameisnottrueofbulimicanorectics,whotendtobesexuallyactive(GarfinkelandGarner,AnorexiaNervosa,p.41). Bulimicanorectics,asseemssymbolizedbythebingepurgecycleitself,standinasomewhatmoreambivalentrelationshiptotheirhungersthandoabstinent anorectics.See"ReadingtheSlenderBody,"inthisvolume,foradiscussionoftheculturaldynamicsofthebingepurgecycle. 56.Bruch,TheGoldenCage,p.33. 57.Liu,Solitaire,p.36. 58.Liu,Solitaire,p.46.Inonestudyoffemaleanorectics,88percentofthesubjectsquestionedreportedthattheylostweightbecausethey"likedthefeelingofwill powerandselfcontrol"(G.R.Leon,"AnorexiaNervosa:TheQuestionofTreatmentEmphasis,"inM.Rosenbaum,C.M.Franks,andY.Jaffe,eds.,Perspectives onBehaviorTherapyintheEighties[NewYork:Springer,1983],pp.36377). 59.Bruch,EatingDisorders,p.95. 60.Liu,Solitaire,p.123. 61.Bruch,TheGoldenCage,p.65(emphasisadded). 62.Smith,"TheNewPuritans,"p.24(emphasisadded). 63.Entryinstudentjournal,1984. 64.Entryinstudentjournal,1984. 65.TrixRosen,StrongandSexy(NewYork:Putnam,1983),p.108. 66.Rosen,StrongandSexy,pp.62,14,47,48. 67.Smith,"TheNewPuritans,"pp.27,26. 68.Rosen,StrongandSexy,pp.6162. 69.Rosen,StrongandSexy,pp.72,61.Thisfantasyisnotlimitedtofemalebodybuilders.JohnTravoltadescribeshisexperiencetrainingforStayingAlive:"[It] taughtmeincrediblethingsaboutthebody...howitcanbereshapedsoyoucanmakeyourselfoverentirely,creatinganentirely

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newyou.Inowlookatbodiesalmostlikepiecesofclaythatcanbemolded."("Travolta:'YouReallyCanMakeYourselfOver,'"SyracuseHeraldAmerican, Jan.13,1985.) 70.Smith,"TheNewPuritans,"p.29. 71.DurkPearsonandSandyShaw,LifeExtension(NewYork:Warner,1982),p.15. 72.Chernin,TheObsession,p.47. 73.Smith,"TheNewPuritans,"p.24. 74.SidneyJournardandPaulSecord,"BodyCathexisandtheIdealFemaleFigure,"JournalofAbnormalandSocialPsychology50:24346OrlandWooley, SusanWooley,andSueDyrenforth,"ObesityandWomenANeglectedFeministTopic,"Women'sStudiesInstituteQuarterly2(1979):8192.Studentjournals andinformalconversationswithwomenstudentshavecertainlybornethisout. 75."FeelingFatinaThinSociety,"Glamour(Feb.1984):198. 76.ThesametrendisobviouswhenthemeasurementsofMissAmericawinnersarecomparedoverthepastfiftyyears(seeGarfinkelandGarner,Anorexia Nervosa,p.107).Someevidencehasindicatedthatthistideisturningandthatamoresolid,muscular,athleticstyleisemergingasthelatestfashiontyranny. 77.Entryinstudentjournal,1984. 78.Bruch,TheGoldenCage,p.58. 79.Thisisonestrikingdifferencebetweentheabstinentanorecticandthebulimicanorectic:inthebingeandvomitcycle,thehungeringfemaleselfrefusestobe annihilated,isinconstantprotest.And,ingeneral,therejectionoffemininitydiscussedhereisnottypicalofbulimics,whotendtostriveforamore"female"looking bodyaswell. 80.Entryinstudentjournal,1983. 81.O'Neill,StarvingforAttention,p.53. 82.Entryinstudentjournal,1983. 83.Bruch,TheGoldenCage,p.72Bruch,EatingDisorders,p.277.Othershavefantasiesofandrogyny:"Iwanttogotoapartyandforeveryonetolookatme andfornoonetoknowwhetherIwasthemostbeautifulslenderwomanorhandsomeyoungman"(asreportedbytherapistAprilBenson,paneldiscussion,"New PerspectivesonFemaleDevelopment,"thirdannualconferenceoftheCenterfortheStudyofAnorexiaandBulimia,NewYork,1984). 84.Levenkron,TreatingandOvercomingAnorexiaNervosa,p.28. 85.See,forexample,Levenkron'scasestudiesinTreatingandOvercomingAnorexiaNervosa,esp.pp.45,103O'Neill,StarvingforAttention,p.107Susie Orbach,FatIsaFeministIssue(NewYork:Berkley,1978),pp.17475. 86.Liu,Solitaire,p.79. 87.Bruch,TheGoldenCage,p.65.

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88.Klein,casestudy. 89.Chernin,TheObsession,pp.1023RobertSeidenbergandKarenDeCrow,WomenWhoMarryHouses:PanicandProtestinAgoraphobia(NewYork: McGrawHill,1983),pp.8897Bruch,TheGoldenCage,p.58Orbach,FatIsaFeministIssue,pp.16970.Seealsomydiscussionsoftheprotestthesisin "WhoseBodyIsThis?"and"TheBodyandtheReproductionofFemininity"inthisvolume. 90.Bruch,TheGoldenCage,pp.2728. 91.Bruch,TheGoldenCage,p.12. 92.Binswanger,"TheCaseofEllenWest,"p.243. 93.AtthetimeIwrotethisessay,Iwasunawareofthefactthateatingdisorderswerefrequentlyanelementofthesymptomatologyofnineteenthcentury"hysteria" afactthatstronglysupportsmyinterpretationhere. 94.See,amongmanyotherworksonthissubject,BarbaraEhrenreichandDierdreEnglish,ForHerOwnGood(GardenCity:Doubleday,1979),pp.129. 95.SeeMarthaVicinus,"Introduction:ThePerfectVictorianWoman,"inMarthaVicinus,ed.,SufferandBeStill:WomenintheVictorianAge(Bloomington: IndianaUniversityPress,1972),pp.xxi. 96.ErnestJones,SigmundFreud:LifeandWork(London:HogarthPress,1956),vol.1,p.193. 97.Onthenineteenthcenturyepidemicoffemaleinvalidismandhysteria,seeEhrenreichandEnglish,ForHerOwnGoodCarrollSmithRosenberg,"TheHysterical Woman:SexRolesandConflictinNineteenthCenturyAmerica,"SocialResearch39,no.4(Winter1972):65278AnnDouglasWood,"The'Fashionable Diseases':Women'sComplaintsandTheirTreatmentinNineteenthCenturyAmerica,"JournalofInterdisciplinaryHistory4(Summer1973). 98.EhrenreichandEnglish,ForHerOwnGood,p.2. 99.EhrenreichandEnglish,ForHerOwnGood,p.102. 100.SigmundFreudandJosefBreuer,StudiesonHysteria(NewYork:Avon,1966),p.311. 101.FreudandBreuer,StudiesonHysteria,p.141seealsop.202. 102.Seeespeciallypp.76("AnnaO."),277,284. 103.MarjorieRosen,PopcornVenus(NewYork:Avon,1973)LoisBanner,AmericanBeauty(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1983),pp.28385. ChristianDior'senormouslypopularfullskirtsandcinchwaists,asBannerpointsout,arestrikinglyreminiscentofVictorianmodesofdress. 104.Liu,Solitaire,p.141. 105.Binswanger,"TheCaseofEllenWest,"p.257. 106.ThisisoneofthecentralthemesIdevelopin"TheBodyandtheReproductionofFemininity,"thenextessayinthisvolume. 107.DorothyParker,HereLies:TheCollectedStoriesofDorothyParker(NewYork:LiteraryGuildofAmerica,1939),p.48.

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108.D.H.Lawrence,SonsandLovers(NewYork:Viking,1958),p.257. 109.Thisexperienceofoneselfas"toomuch"maybemoreorlessemphatic,dependingonsuchvariablesasrace,religion,socioeconomicclass,andsexual orientation.LuiseEichenbaumandSusieOrbach(UnderstandingWomen:AFeministPsychoanalyticApproach[NewYork:BasicBooks,1983])emphasize, however,howfrequentlytheirclinicpatients,nonanorexicaswellasanorexic,"talkabouttheirneedswithcontempt,humiliation,andshame.Theyfeelexposedand childish,greedyandinsatiable"(p.49).EichenbaumandOrbachtracesuchfeelings,moreover,toinfantileexperiencesthatarecharacteristicofallfemale development,givenadivisionoflaborwithinwhichwomenaretheemotionalnurturersandphysicalcaretakersoffamilylife.Briefly(andthissketchcannotbeginto dojusticetotheirrichandcomplexanalysis):mothersunwittinglycommunicatetotheirdaughtersthatfeminineneedsareexcessiveandbadandthattheymustbe contained.Themotherdoesthisoutofasensethatherdaughterwillhavetolearnthelessoninordertobecomeproperlysocializedintothetraditionalfemaleroleof caringforothersoffeedingothers,ratherthanfeedingtheselfandalsobecauseofanunconsciousidentificationwithherdaughter,whoremindsthemotherofthe "hungry,needylittlegirl"inherself,deniedandrepressedthroughthemother'sown"education"inbeingfemale:''Mothercomestobefrightenedbyherdaughter'sfree expressionofherneeds,andunconsciouslyactstowardherinfantdaughterinthesamewaysheactsinternallytowardthelittlegirlpartofherself.Insomewaysthe littledaughterbecomesanexternalrepresentationofthatpartofherselfwhichshehascometodislikeanddeny.Thecomplexemotionsthatresultfromherown deprivationthroughchildhoodandadultlifearebothdirectedinwardinthestruggletonegatethelittlegirlpartofherselfandprojectedoutwardontoherdaughter"(p. 44).Despitearealdesiretobetotallyresponsivetoherdaughter'semotionalneeds,themother'sownanxietylimitshercapacitytorespond.Thecontradictory messagesshesendsoutconveytothelittlegirl"theideathattogetloveandapprovalshemustshowaparticularsideofherself.Shemusthideheremotionalcravings, herdisappointmentsandherangers,herfightingspiritShecomestofeelthattheremustbesomethingwrongwithwhoshereallyis,whichinturnmustmeanthatthere issomethingwrongwithwhatsheneedsandwhatshewantsThissoontranslatesintofeelingunworthyandhesitantaboutpursuingherimpulses"(pp.4849).Once shehasgrownup,ofcourse,thesefeelingsarereinforcedbyculturalideology,furthersocialtraininginfemininity,andthelikelihoodthatthemeninherlifewillregard heras"toomuch"aswell,havingbeenschooledbytheirowntraininginmasculinedetachmentandautonomy.(Withboys,whodonotstirupsuchintense identificationinthemotherandwho,moreover,sheknowswillgrowupintoaworldthatwillmeettheiremotionalneeds[thatis,thesonwilleventuallygrowuptobe lookedafterbyhisfuturewife,whowillbewelltrainedinthefeminineartsofcare],mothersfeelmuchlessambivalentaboutthesatisfactionofneedsand

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behavemuchmoreconsistentlyintheirnurturing.Boysthereforegrowup,accordingtoEichenbaumandOrbach,withanexperienceoftheirneedsaslegitimate, appropriate,worthyoffulfillment.)Themaleexperienceofthewomanas"toomuch"hasbeendevelopmentallyexplored,aswell,inDorothyDinnerstein'sground breakingTheMermaidandtheMinotaur:SexualArrangementsandHumanMalaise(NewYork:HarperandRow,1976).Dinnersteinarguesthatitisthe woman'scapacitytocallupmemoriesofhelplessinfancy,primitivewishesof"unqualifiedaccess"tothemother'sbody,and"theterrifyingeroticindependenceof everybaby'smother"(p.62)thatisresponsibleforthemalefearofwhatheexperiencesas"theuncontrollableeroticrhythms"ofthewoman.Femaleimpulses,a reminderoftheautonomyofthemother,alwaysappearonsomelevelasathreateninglimitationtohisown.Thisgivesrisetoa''deepfantasyresentment"of femaleimpulsivity(p.59)and,ontheculturallevel,"archetypalnightmarevisionsoftheinsatiablefemale"(p.62). 110.QuotedinBrianEaslea,WitchHunting,Magic,andtheNewPhilosophy(AtlanticHighlands,N.J.:HumanitiesPress,1980),p.242(emphasisadded). 111.QuotedinEaslea,WitchHunting,p.242(emphasisadded). 112.SeePeggyReeveSanday,FemalePowerandMaleDominance(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1981),pp.17284. 113.QuotedinEaslea,WitchHunting,p.8. 114.PeterGay,TheBourgeoisExperience:VictoriatoFreud.Vol.1:EducationoftheSenses(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,1984),pp.197201,207. 115.Chernin,TheObsession,p.38. 116.EhrenreichandEnglish,ForHerOwnGood,p.124. 117.SeeJeffreyMasson'scontroversialTheAssaultonTruth:Freud'sSuppressionoftheSeductionTheory(Toronto:FarrarStrausGiroux,1984)fora fascinatingdiscussionofhowthisoperation(which,becauseFliessfailedtoremovehalfameterofgauzefromthepatient'snasalcavity,nearlykilledher)mayhave figuredinthedevelopmentofFreud'sideasonhysteria.WhetherornotoneagreesfullywithMasson'sinterpretationoftheevents,hisaccountcastslightonimportant dimensionsofthenineteenthcenturytreatmentoffemaledisordersandraisesquestionsabouttheoriginsandfundamentalassumptionsofpsychoanalytictheorythat gobeyondanydebateaboutFreud'smotivations.Thequotationscitedinthisessaycanbefoundonp.76MassondiscussestheEcksteincaseonpp.55106. 118.Banner,AmericanBeauty,pp.86105.Itissignificantthattheseeffortsfailedinlargepartbecauseoftheirassociationwiththewomen'srightsmovement. TrouserslikethoseproposedbyAmeliaBloomerwereconsideredaparticularbadgeofdepravityandaggressiveness,theNewYorkHeraldpredictingthatwomen whoworebloomerswouldendupin"lunaticasylumsorperchanceinthestateprison"(p.96). 119.Banner,AmericanBeauty,pp.14950.

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120.AmaurydeRiencourt,SexandPowerinHistory(NewYork:DavidMcKay,1974),p.319.Themetaphoricaldimensionhereisasstrikingasthefunctional, anditisacharacteristicfeatureoffemalefashion:thedominantstylesalwaysdecree,toonedegreeoranother,thatwomenshouldnottakeuptoomuchspace,that theterritoryweoccupyshouldbelimited.Thisisastrueofcinchbeltsasitisoffootbinding. 121.QuotedindeRiencourt,SexandPowerinHistory,p.319. 122.KathrynWeibel,Mirror,Mirror:ImagesofWomenReflectedinPopularCulture(NewYork:Anchor,1977),p.194. 123.ChristyFerguson,"ImagesoftheBody:VictorianEngland,"philosophyresearchproject,LeMoyneCollege,1983. 124.QuotedinE.M.SigsworthandT.J.Wyke,"AStudyofVictorianProstitutionandVenerealDisease,"inVicinus,ed.,SufferandBeStill,p.82. 125.SeeKateMillett,"TheDebateoverWomen:Ruskinvs.Mill,"andHeleneE.Roberts,"Marriage,Redundancy,orSin:ThePainter'sViewofWomenintheFirst TwentyFiveYearsofVictoria'sReign,"bothinVicinus,ed.,SufferandBeStill. 126.Gay,TheBourgeoisExperience,p.197Millett,"DebateoverWomen,"inVicinus,ed.,SufferandBeStill,p.123. 127.Vicinus,"Introduction,"p.x. 128.Lasch,TheCultureofNarcissism,p.343(emphasisadded). 129.Chernin,TheObsession,p.148. 130.CharlesGainesandGeorgeButler,"IronSisters,"PsychologyToday(Nov.1983):67.

TheBodyandtheReproductionofFemininity
Earlyversionsofthisessay,undervarioustitles,weredeliveredatthephilosophydepartmentoftheStateUniversityofNewYorkatStonyBrook,theUniversityof MassachusettsconferenceonHistoriesofSexuality,andthetwentyfirstannualconferencefortheSocietyofPhenomenologyandExistentialPhilosophy.Ithankall thosewhocommentedandprovidedencouragementonthoseoccasions.TheessaywasrevisedandoriginallypublishedinAlisonJaggarandSusanBordo,eds., Gender/Body/Knowledge:FeministReconstructionsofBeingandKnowing(NewBrunswick:RutgersUniversityPress,1989). 1.MaryDouglas,NaturalSymbols(NewYork:Pantheon,1982),andPurityandDanger(London:RoutledgeandKeganPaul,1966). 2.PierreBourdieu,OutlineofaTheoryofPractice(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1977),p.94(emphasisinoriginal). 3.Ondocility,seeMichelFoucault,DisciplineandPunish(NewYork:Vintage,1979),pp.13569.ForaFoucauldiananalysisoffemininepractice,seeSandra Bartky,"Foucault,Femininity,andtheModernizationofPatriarchalPower,"inherFemininityandDomination(NewYork:Routledge,1990)seealsoSusan Brownmiller,Femininity(NewYork:Ballantine,1984).

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4.Duringthelate1970sand1980s,maleconcernoverappearanceundeniablyincreased.Studyafterstudyconfirms,however,thatthereisstillalargegendergapin thisarea.ResearchconductedattheUniversityofPennsylvaniain1985foundmentobegenerallysatisfiedwiththeirappearance,often,infact,"distortingtheir perceptions[ofthemselves]inapositive,selfaggrandizingway"("DislikeofOwnBodiesFoundCommonAmongWomen,"NewYorkTimes,March19,1985,p. C1).Women,however,werefoundtoexhibitextremenegativeassessmentsanddistortionsofbodyperception.Otherstudieshavesuggestedthatwomenarejudged moreharshlythanmenwhentheydeviatefromdominantsocialstandardsofattractiveness.ThomasCashetal.,in"TheGreatAmericanShapeUp,"Psychology Today(April1986),p.34,reportthatalthoughthesituationformenhaschanged,thesituationforwomenhasmorethanproportionallyworsened.Citingresultsfrom 30,000responsestoa1985surveyofperceptionsofbodyimageandcomparingsimilarresponsestoa1972questionnaire,theyreportthatthe1985respondents wereconsiderablymoredissatisfiedwiththeirbodiesthanthe1972respondents,andtheynoteamarkedintensificationofconcernamongmen.Amongthe1985 group,thegroupmostdissatisfiedofallwiththeirappearance,however,wereteenagewomen.Womentodayconstitutebyfarthelargestnumberofconsumersof dietproducts,attendersofspasanddietcenters,andsubjectsofintestinalbypassandotherfatreductionoperations. 5.MichelFoucault,TheHistoryofSexuality.Vol.1:AnIntroduction(NewYork:Vintage,1980),pp.136,94. 6.Onthegenderedandhistoricalnatureofthesedisorders:thenumberoffemaletomalehystericshasbeenestimatedatanywherefrom2:1to4:1,andasmanyas 80percentofallagoraphobicsarefemale(AnnetteBrodskyandRachelHareMustin,WomenandPsychotherapy[NewYork:GuilfordPress,1980],pp.116, 122).Althoughmorecasesofmaleeatingdisordershavebeenreportedinthelateeightiesandearlynineties,itisestimatedthatcloseto90percentofallanorectics arefemale(PaulGarfinkelandDavidGarner,AnorexiaNervosa:AMultidimensionalPerspective[NewYork:Brunner/Mazel,1982],pp.11213).Fora sophisticatedaccountoffemalepsychopathology,withparticularattentiontonineteenthcenturydisordersbut,unfortunately,littlementionofagoraphobiaoreating disorders,seeElaineShowalter,TheFemaleMalady:Women,MadnessandEnglishCulture,18301980(NewYork:Pantheon,1985).Foradiscussionof socialandgenderissuesinagoraphobia,seeRobertSeidenbergandKarenDeCrow,WomenWhoMarryHouses:PanicandProtestinAgoraphobia(New York:McGrawHill,1983).Onthehistoryofanorexianervosa,seeJoanJacobsBrumberg,FastingGirls:TheEmergenceofAnorexiaNervosaasaModern Disease(Cambridge:HarvardUniversityPress,1988). 7.InconstructingsuchaparadigmIdonotpretendtodojusticetoanyofthesedisordersinitsindividualcomplexity.Myaimistochartsomepointsofintersection, todescribesomesimilarpatterns,astheyemergethroughaparticularreadingofthephenomenonapoliticalreading,ifyouwill.

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8.Showalter,TheFemaleMalady,pp.12829. 9.Ontheepidemicofhysteriaandneurasthenia,seeShowalter,TheFemaleMaladyCarrollSmithRosenberg,"TheHystericalWoman:SexRolesandRole ConflictinNineteenthCenturyAmerica,"inherDisorderlyConduct:VisionsofGenderinVictorianAmerica(Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,1985). 10.MarthaVicinus,"Introduction:ThePerfectVictorianLady,"inMarthaVicinus,SufferandBeStill:WomenintheVictorianAge(Bloomington:Indiana UniversityPress,1972),pp.xxi. 11.SeeCarolNadelsonandMalkahNotman,TheFemalePatient(NewYork:Plenum,1982),p.5E.M.SigsworthandT.J.Wyke,"AStudyofVictorian ProstitutionandVenerealDisease,"inVicinus,SufferandBeStill,p.82.Formoregeneraldiscussions,seePeterGay,TheBourgeoisExperience:Victoriato Freud.Vol.1:EducationoftheSenses(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,1984),esp.pp.10968Showalter,TheFemaleMalady,esp.pp.12144.The delicatelady,anidealthathadverystrongclassconnotations(asdoesslendernesstoday),isnottheonlyconceptionoffemininitytobefoundinVictoriancultures. Butitwasarguablythesinglemostpowerfulideologicalrepresentationoffemininityinthatera,affectingwomenofallclasses,includingthosewithoutthematerial meanstorealizetheidealfully.SeeHelenaMitchie,TheFleshMadeWord(NewYork:Oxford,1987),fordiscussionsofthecontroloffemaleappetiteand Victorianconstructionsoffemininity. 12.SmithRosenberg,DisorderlyConduct,p.203. 13.Showalter,TheFemaleMalady,p.129. 14.ErvingGoffman,ThePresentationoftheSelfinEverydayLife(GardenCity,N.J.:AnchorDoubleday,1959). 15.BettyFriedan,TheFeminineMystique(NewYork:Dell,1962),p.36.Thethemesongofonesuchshowran,inpart,"ImarriedJoan...Whatagirl...whata whirl...whatalife!ImarriedJoan...Whatamindloveisblind...whatawife!" 16.SeeI.G.Fodor,"ThePhobicSyndromeinWomen,"inV.FranksandV.Burtle,eds.,WomeninTherapy(NewYork:Brunner/Mazel,1974),p.119seealso KathleenBrehony,"WomenandAgoraphobia,"inVioletFranksandEstherRothblum,eds.,TheStereotypingofWomen(NewYork:Springer,1983). 17.InJonathanCuller,RolandBarthes(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,1983),p.74. 18.Forotherinterpretiveperspectivesontheslendernessideal,see"ReadingtheSlenderBody"inthisvolumeKimChernin,TheObsession:Reflectionsonthe TyrannyofSlenderness(NewYork:HarperandRow,1981)SusieOrbach,HungerStrike:TheAnorectic'sStruggleasaMetaphorforOurAge(NewYork: W.W.Norton,1985). 19.See"HungerasIdeology,"inthisvolume,foradiscussionofhowthisconstructionoffemininityisreproducedincontemporarycommercialsandadvertisements concerningfood,eating,andcooking.

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20.AimeeLiu,Solitaire(NewYork:HarperandRow,1979),p.123. 21.Striking,inconnectionwiththis,isCatherineSteinerAdair's1984studyofhighschoolwomen,whichrevealsadramaticassociationbetweenproblemswithfood andbodyimageandemulationofthecool,professionally"together"andgorgeoussuperwoman.Onthebasisofaseriesofinterviews,thehighschoolerswere classifiedintotwogroups:oneexpressedskepticismoverthesuperwomanideal,theotherthoroughlyaspiredtoit.Lateradministrationsofdiagnostictestsrevealed that94percentoftheprosuperwomangroupfellintotheeatingdisorderedrangeofthescale.Oftheothergroup,100percentfellintothenoneatingdisordered range.Mediaimagesnotwithstanding,youngwomentodayappeartosense,eitherconsciouslyorthroughtheirbodies,theimpossibilityofsimultaneouslymeetingthe demandsoftwosphereswhosevalueshavebeenhistoricallydefinedinutteroppositiontoeachother. 22.See"AnorexiaNervosa"inthisvolume. 23.DianneHunter,"Hysteria,PsychoanalysisandFeminism,"inShirleyGarner,ClaireKahane,andMadelonSprenger,eds.,The(M)OtherTongue(Ithaca:Cornell UniversityPress,1985),p.114. 24.CatherineClementandHlneCixous,TheNewlyBornWoman,trans.BetsyWing(Minneapolis:UniversityofMinnesotaPress,1986),p.42. 25.ClementandCixous,TheNewlyBornWoman,p.95. 26.SeidenbergandDeCrow,WomenWhoMarryHouses,p.31. 27.SmithRosenberg,DisorderlyConduct,p.208. 28.Orbach,HungerStrike,p.102.Whenwelookintothemanyautobiographiesandcasestudiesofhysterics,anorectics,andagoraphobics,wefindthattheseare indeedthesortsofwomenonemightexpecttobefrustratedbytheconstraintsofaspecifiedfemalerole.SigmundFreudandJosephBreuer,inStudiesonHysteria (NewYork:Avon,1966),andFreud,inthelaterDora:AnAnalysisofaCaseofHysteria(NewYork:Macmillan,1963),constantlyremarkontheambitiousness, independence,intellectualability,andcreativestrivingsoftheirpatients.Weknow,moreover,thatmanywomenwholaterbecameleadingsocialactivistsandfeminists ofthenineteenthcenturywereamongthosewhofellillwithhysteriaandneurasthenia.Ithasbecomeavirtualclichthatthetypicalanorecticisaperfectionist,driven toexcelinallareasofherlife.Thoughlessprominently,asimilarthemerunsthroughouttheliteratureonagoraphobia.Onemustkeepinmindthatindrawingoncase studies,oneisrelyingontheperceptionsofotheracculturatedindividuals.Onesuspects,forexample,thatthepopularportraitoftheanorecticasarelentless overachievermaybecoloredbythelingeringorperhapsresurgentVictorianismofourculture'sattitudestowardambitiouswomen.Onedoesnotescapethis hermeneuticproblembyturningtoautobiography.Butinautobiographyoneisatleastdealingwithsocialconstructionsandattitudesthatanimatethesubject'sown psychicreality.Inthisregardtheautobiographicalliteratureonanorexia,drawnoninavarietyofplacesinthisvolume,isstrikinglyfullofanxietyaboutthedomestic worldand

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otherthemesthatsuggestdeeprebellionagainsttraditionalnotionsoffemininity. 29.KimChernin,TheHungrySelf:Women,Eating,andIdentity(NewYork:HarperandRow,1985),esp.pp.4193. 30.MarkPoster,Foucault,Marxism,andHistory(Cambridge:PolityPress,1984),p.28. 31.Liu,Solitaire,p.99. 32.BrettSilverstein,"PossibleCausesoftheThinStandardofBodilyAttractivenessforWomen,"InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders5(1986):90716. 33.Showalter,TheFemaleMalady,p.48. 34.SmithRosenberg,DisorderlyConduct,p.207. 35.Orbach,HungerStrike,p.103. 36.Brownmiller,Femininity,p.14. 37.TorilMoi,"RepresentationsofPatriarchy:SexandEpistemologyinFreud'sDora,"inCharlesBernheimerandClaireKahane,eds.,InDora'sCase:Freud HysteriaFeminism(NewYork:ColumbiaUniversityPress,1985),p.192. 38.Foucault,DisciplineandPunish,p.136. 39.Foucault,DisciplineandPunish,p.136. 40.Afocusonthepoliticsofsexualizationandobjectificationremainscentraltotheantipornographymovement(e.g.,intheworkofAndreaDworkin,Catherine MacKinnon).FeministsexploringthepoliticsofappearanceincludeSandraBartky,SusanBrownmiller,WendyChapkis,KimChernin,andSusieOrbach.Anda developingfeministinterestintheworkofMichelFoucaulthasbeguntoproduceapoststructuralistfeminismorientedtowardpracticesee,forexample,Irene DiamondandLeeQuinby,FeminismandFoucault:ReflectionsonResistance(Boston:NortheasternUniversityPress,1988). 41.See,forexample,SusanSuleiman,ed.,TheFemaleBodyinWesternCulture(Cambridge:HarvardUniversityPress,1986). 42.Mitchie,TheFleshMadeWord,p.13. 43.Mitchie,TheFleshMadeWord,p.149.

ReadingtheSlenderBody
ThispieceoriginallyappearedinMaryJacobus,EvelynFoxKeller,andSallyShuttleworth,eds.,Body/Politics:WomenandtheDiscoursesofScience(NewYork: Routledge,1989).IwishtothankMaryJacobus,SallyShuttleworth,andMarioMoussaforcommentsandeditorialsuggestionsontheoriginalversion. 1.SeeKeithWalden,"TheRoadtoFatCity:AnInterpretationoftheDevelopmentofWeightConsciousnessinWesternSociety,"HistoricalReflections12,no.3 (1985):33173. 2.SeeMichelFoucault,TheUseofPleasure(NewYork:RandomHouse,1986).

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3.SeeRudolphBell,HolyAnorexia(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1985)andCarolineWalkerBynum,HolyFeastandHolyFast:TheReligious SignificanceofFoodtoMedievalWomen(Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1987),pp.3148. 4.SeeKimChernin,TheObsession:ReflectionsontheTyrannyofSlenderness(NewYork:HarperandRow,1981). 5.SeeThomasCash,BarbaraWinstead,andLouisJanda,"TheGreatAmericanShapeup,"PsychologyToday(April1986)and"Dieting:TheLosingGame," Time(Jan.20,1986),amongnumerousothergeneralreports.Concerningwomen'spreoccupationinparticular,seenote24below. 6.SeeMaryDouglas,NaturalSymbols(NewYork:Pantheon,1982)andherPurityandDanger(London:RoutledgeandKeganPaul,1966). 7.Thisapproachpresupposes,ofcourse,thatpopularculturalimageshavemeaningandarenotmerelyarbitraryformationsspawnedbythewhimsyoffashion,the vicissitudesofMadisonAvenue,orthelogicofpostindustrialcapitalism,withinwhich(ashasbeenargued,byFredricJamesonandothers)theattractionofa productorimagederivessolelyfrompuredifferentiation,fromitsculturalpositioning,itssuggestionofthenovelornew.Withinsuchapostmodernlogic,Gail Faurschouargues,"Fashionhasbecomethecommodity'parexcellence.'Itisfedbyallofcapitalism'sincessant,frantic,reproductivepassionandpower.Fashionis thelogicofplannedobsolescencenotjustthenecessityformarketsurvival,butthecycleofdesireitself,theendlessprocessthroughwhichthebodyisdecodedand recoded,inordertodefineandinhabitthenewestterritorializedspacesofcapital'sexpansion."("FashionandtheCulturalLogicofPostmodernity,"Canadian JournalofPoliticalandSocialTheory11,no.12[1987]:72.)WhileIdon'tdisagreewithFaurschou'sgeneralcharacterizationoffashionhere,theheraldingofan absolutehistoricalbreak,afterwhichimageshavebecomecompletelyemptyofhistory,substance,andsymbolicdetermination,seemsitselfanembodiment,rather thanademystifier,ofthecompulsivelyinnovativelogicofpostmodernity.Moreimportanttotheargumentofthispiece,apostmodernlogiccannotexplainthecultural holdoftheslendernessideal,longafteritsnoveltyhaswornoff.Manytimes,infact,theprincipleofthenewhasmadetentative,butultimatelynominal,gestures towardtheendofthereignofthinness,announcinga"softer,"''curvier"look,andsoforth.Howmanywomenhavepickedupmagazineswhosecoversdeclaredsuch aturn,onlytofindthattheimageswithinremainedessentiallycontinuouswithprevailingnorms?Largebreastsmaybemakingacomeback,buttheyareattachedto extremelythin,oftenathleticbodies.Here,Iwouldsuggest,thereareconstraintsonthepurelogicofpostmodernityconstraintsthatthisessaytriestoexplore. 8.SeeRobertCrawford,"ACulturalAccountof'Health'SelfControl,Release,andtheSocialBody,"inJohnMcKinlay,ed.,IssuesinthePoliticalEconomyof HealthCare(NewYork:Methuen,1985),pp.60103. 9.IraSackerandMarcZimmer,DyingtoBeThin(NewYork:Warner,1987),P.57.

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10.DalmaHeyn,"BodyVision?"Mademoiselle(April1987):213. 11.SeeLoisBanner,AmericanBeauty(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1983),p.232. 12.Banner,AmericanBeauty,pp.5355. 13.SeeWalden,"RoadtoFatCity,"pp.33435,353. 14.IthankMarioMoussaforthispoint,andfortheHeatherLocklearquotation. 15.SackerandZimmer,DyingtoBeThin,pp.14950. 16.Foucault,TheUseofPleasure,pp.6470. 17.SeeDouglas,PurityandDanger,pp.11428. 18.SeeCrawford,"ACulturalAccountof'Health.'" 19.JohnFarquhar,StanfordUniversityMedicalCenter,quotedin"Dieting:TheLosingGame,"Time(Feb.20,1986):57. 20.SeeMarciaMillman,SuchaPrettyFace:BeingFatinAmerica(NewYork:Norton,1980),esp.pp.6579. 21.Millman,SuchaPrettyFace,p.77. 22.SackerandZimmer,DyingtoBeThin,p.32. 23.Thesequotationsaretakenfromtranscriptsofthe"Donahue"show,providedbyMultimediaEntertainment,Cincinnati,Ohio. 24.Thediscrepancyemergesveryearly."Wedon'texpectboystobethathandsome,"saysanineyearoldgirlintheCaliforniastudycitedabove."Butboysexpect girlstobeperfectandbeautiful.Andskinny."Amaleclassmateagrees:''Fatgirlsaren'tlikeregulargirls,"hesays.Manyofmyfemalestudentshavedescribedintheir journalsthepressuretheirboyfriendsputonthemtostayorgetslim.Thesemenhaveplentyofsocialsupportforsuchdemands.SylvesterStallonetoldCornelia Guestthathelikehiswoman"anorexic"sheimmediatelylosttwentyfourpounds(Time[April18,1988]:89).Butfewmenwanttheirwomentogothatfar.Actress ValerieBertinellireports(SyracusePostStandard)howherhusband,EddieVanHalen,"helpskeepherinshape":"WhenIgettooheavy,hesays,'Honey,lose weight.'ThenwhenIgettoothin,hesays,'Idon'tlikemakinglovewithyou,you'vegottogainsomeweight.'" 25.Themostfamousofsuchstudies,bynowreplicatedmanytimes,appearedinGlamour(Feb.1984):apollof33,000womenrevealedthat75percentconsidered themselves"toofat,"whileonly25percentofthemwereaboveMetropolitanLifeInsurancestandards,and30percentwerebelow.("FeelingFatinaThinSociety," p.198).SeealsoKevinThompson,"LargerThanLife,"PsychologyToday(April1986)DalmaHeyn,"WhyWe'reNeverSatisfiedwithOurBodies,"McCall's (May1982)DanielGoleman,"DislikeofOwnBodyFoundCommonAmongWomen,"NewYorkTimes,March19,1985. 26.Onculturalassociationsofmalewithmindandfemalewithmatter,see,forinstance,DorothyDinnerstein,TheMermaidandtheMinotaur:Sexual ArrangementsandHumanMalaise(NewYork:HarperandRow,1976)GenevieveLloyd,TheManofReason(Minneapolis:UniversityofMinnesota

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Press,1984)andLuceIrigaray,SpeculumoftheOtherWoman(Ithaca:CornellUniversityPress,1985). 27.BramDijkstra,IdolsofPerversity(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,1986),p.29. 28."MutableBeauty,"SaturdayNight(Feb.1,1892):9. 29.MaryJacobusandSallyShuttleworth(personalcommunication),pointingtothesometimesboyishfigureofthe"newwoman"oflateVictorianliterature,have suggestedtometheappropriatenessofthisinterpretationforthelateVictorianeraIhave,however,chosentoarguethepointonlywithrespecttothecurrent context. 30.Dinnerstein,TheMermaidandtheMinotaur,pp.2834.SeeChernin,TheObsession,foranexplorationoftheconnectionbetweenearlyinfantexperienceand attitudestowardthefleshyfemalebody. 31.HistorianLeeAnnWhiteshaspointedouttomehowperversethisbodysymbolismseemswhenwerememberwhatapregnantandnursingbodyisactuallylike. Thehourglassfigureisreallymorecorrectlyasymbolicadvertisementtomenofthewoman'sreproductive,domesticspherethanarepresentationofherreproductive body. 32.SeeBanner,AmericanBeauty,pp.28385. 33.Itisnoaccident,Ibelieve,thatDollyParton,nowdowntoonehundredpoundsandtrulylookingasthoughshemightsnapintwoinastrongwind,openedher newshowwithastatementofitsimplicitlyantifeministpremise:"I'llbustmybutttopleaseyou!"(Surelyshealreadyhas?)Hertelevisionpresenceisnowrecessive, beseeching,desiringonlytoserveclearly,herpackagersareexploitingtheculturalresonancesofherdiminishedphysicality.Parton,ofcourse,isnoandrogynous bodytype.Rather,likeVannaWhiteof"WheelofFortune"(whoalsolostagreatdealofweightatonepointinhercareerandisobsessiveaboutstayingthin),she hastremendousappealtothoselongingforamoretraditionalfemininityinanerawhenwomen'spublicpresenceandpowerhavegreatlyincreased.Parton'sand White'slargebreastsevokeanurturing,maternalsexuality.Butafterweightreductionregimenssettoanorexicstandards,thosebreastsnowadornbodiesthatare vulnerablythin,withfragile,spindlyarmsandlegslikethoseofyoungcolts.PartonandWhitesuggestthepleasuresofnurturantfemalesexualitywithoutanyencounter withitspowersanddangers. 34.TheWaistLand:EatingDisordersinAmerica,1985,GannettCorporation,MTITeleprograms.Theanalysispresentedherebecomesmorecomplicatedwith bulimia,inwhichthehungering"female"selfrefusestobeannihilated,andfeminineidealsaretypicallynotrejectedbutembraced.

Feminism,Postmodernism,andGenderSkepticism
AversionofthisessayoriginallyappearedinLindaNicholson,ed.,Feminism/Postmodernism(NewYork:Routledge,1989)mostofithasbeenre

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printedherevirtuallyunchanged.However,thelastsectionoftheessayhasbeensubstantiallyexpandedtoincludeadiscussionofthedramaticandhighlypublicized Thomashearings(andtoalesserextenttheTysonandKennedySmithtrials)ofthefallandwinterof199192theseeventsseemedtometoillustratestrikinglysome ofthecentralpointsmadeintheoriginalessay.PartsofthisdiscussionoriginallyappearedinSusanBordo,"'Maleness'Revisited,"Hypatia7,no.3(Summer1992): 197207.Theideasof"Feminism,Postmodernism,andGenderSkepticism"werebrewinginmymindforalongtimebeforeIactuallysetpentopaper,andthusthey havebeenaffectedbymanyconversations,inparticularthoseinwhichIengagedwhileavisitingscholarinAlisonJaggar'sseminaratDouglassCollegein1985(and especiallymytalkswithAlisonJaggarandYnestraKing),thosethatoccurredwhileIwasaRockefellerHumanistinResidenceattheDukeUniversity/Universityof NorthCarolinaCenterforResearchonWomenin198788,andthosethathavecontinuouslytakenplacewithLynneArnaultandLeeAnnWhites.Forcommentson earlierdrafts,IthankPatrickKeane,TedKoditschek,EdwardLee,MarioMoussa,LindaNicholson,JeanO'Barr,LindaRobertson,BruceShefrin,LynneTirrell, JaneTompkins,andMaryWyer. 1.JeanGrimshaw,PhilosophyandFeministThinking(Minneapolis:UniversityofMinnesotaPress,1986). 2.SusanSuleiman,"(Re)WritingtheBody:ThePoliticsandPoeticsofFemaleEroticism,"inTheFemaleBodyinWesternCulture,ed.SusanSuleiman(Cambridge: HarvardUniversityPress,1986),p.24. 3.ThisisnottosaythatIdisdaintheinsightsofpoststructuralistthought.Mycriticismhereisaddressedtocertainprogrammaticusesofthoseinsights.Much poststructuralistthought(theworkofFoucaultinparticular)isbetterunderstood,Iwouldargue,asofferinginterpretivetoolsandhistoricalcritiqueratherthan theoreticalframeworksforwholesaleadoption. 4.MydiscussionhereisfocusedontheemergenceofgenderanalyticsinNorthAmerica.ThestoryiftoldinthecontextofFranceandEnglandwouldbedifferentin manyways. 5.CarolGilligan,InaDifferentVoice(Cambridge:HarvardUniversityPress,1982).Itmustbenoted,however,thatGilligandoesnotviewthedifferent"voices"she describesasessentiallyoronlyrelatedtogender.She"discovers"theminherclinicalworkexploringgenderdifference,butthechiefaimofherbook,asshedescribes it,isto"highlightadistinctionbetweentwomodesofthought"thathavebeenculturallyreproducedalong(butnotonlyalong)genderlines(p.2). 6.DorothyDinnerstein,TheMermaidandtheMinotaur:SexualArrangementsandHumanMalaise(NewYork:HarperandRow,1976)NancyChodorow, TheReproductionofMothering:PsychoanalysisandtheSociologyofGender(Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1978)Gilligan,InaDifferentVoice.

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7.ThomasNagel,TheViewfromNowhere(Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,1986). 8.MinnieBrucePratt,"Identity:SkinBloodHeart,"inEllyBulkin,MinnieBrucePratt,andBarbaraSmith,YoursinStruggle:ThreeFeministPerspectiveson AntiSemitismandRacism(Brooklyn:LongHaulPress,1984),p.18. 9.Atthe1988EasternmeetingsoftheAmericanPhilosophicalAssociationinWashington,D.C.,Ipresentedapaperdiscussingsomeconsequencesofthefactthat theclassicalphilosophicalcanonhasbeendominatedbywhite,privilegedmales.Butthesemenhavealso,aswaspointedouttomeafterwardbyBatAmiBarOn, overwhelminglybeenChristian.AlthoughIamJewishmyself,Ihadnottakenthisintoaccount,andIhadtothinklongandhardaboutwhatthatexclusionofmine meant.Iwasgratefultobeenabled,byAmi'sinsight,todoso.Thisis,ofcourse,thewaywelearnitisnotaprocessthatshouldbefreighted(asitoftenis nowadays)withtheconstantanxietyof"exposure"andpoliticaldiscreditation. 10.BarbaraChristian,"TheRaceforTheory,"FeministStudies14,no.1(1988):6769. 11.Grimshaw'sPhilosophyandFeministThinkingisanexampleofworkbyafeministwhoexpressesthesetheoreticalconcernsthroughthecategoriesand traditionalformulationsofproblemsoftheAngloAmericananalyticstyleofphilosophizingratherthanthoseofContinentalpoststructuralistthought. 12.NancyFraserandLindaNicholson,"SocialCriticismWithoutPhilosophy:AnEncounterBetweenFeminismandPostmodernism,"inNicholson,ed., Feminism/Postmodernism,p.35. 13.FraserandNicholson,"SocialCriticismWithoutPhilosophy,"p.29. 14.DonnaHaraway,"AManifestoforCyborgs:Science,Technology,andSocialistFeminisminthe1980s,"inNicholson,ed.,Feminism/Postmodernism. 15.FraserandNicholson,"SocialCriticismWithoutPhilosophy,"p.35. 16.FriedrichNietzsche,OntheGenealogyofMorals(NewYork:Vintage,1969),p.119. 17.MichelFoucault,"OntheGenealogyofEthics,"interviewwithFoucaultinHubertDreyfusandPaulRabinow,MichelFoucault:BeyondStructuralismand Hermeneutics(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1983),p.232. 18.TheFraserandNicholsonarticle,whichexhibitsastrong,historicallyinformedappreciationofpastfeministtheory,isfairlybalancedinitscritique.Incontrast, othertravelsthroughthesameliteraturehavesometimestakentheformofasortofdemolitionderbyofpreviousfeministthoughtportrayedinreductive,ahistorical, caricatured,anddownrightdistortedtermsandpresented,fromtheenlightenedperspectiveofadvancedfeministmethod,ashopelesslyinadequate.

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19.SusanBordo,TheFlighttoObjectivity:EssaysonCartesianismandCulture(Albany:StateUniversityofNewYorkPress,1987),pp.11418. 20.Haraway,"AManifestoforCyborgs,"p.199. 21.SeeChristian,"TheRaceforTheory,"foranextendeddiscussionofsuchdynamicsandthewaytheysustaintheexclusionoftheliteraturesandcriticalstylesof peoplesofcolor. 22.Suleiman,"(Re)WritingtheBody,"p.24. 23.Haraway,"AManifestoforCyborgs,"p.219. 24.JacquesDerridaandChristieV.McDonald,"Choreographies,"Diacritics12,no.2(1982):76. 25.DrucillaCornellandAdamThurschwell,"Feminism,Negativity,Intersubjectivity,"inSeylaBenhabibandDrucillaCornell,eds.,FeminismasCritique (Minneapolis:UniversityofMinnesotaPress,1987),pp.14362. 26.Suleiman,"(Re)WritingtheBody,"p.24. 27.Haraway,"AManifestoforCyborgs,"pp.205,223. 28.CarrollSmithRosenberg,DisorderlyConduct:VisionsofGenderinVictorianAmerica(Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,1985),p.291. 29.Haraway,"AManifestoforCyborgs,"p.191. 30.Harawayelidestheseimplicationsbyadoptingaconstantanddeliberateambiguityaboutthenatureofthebodysheisdescribing:Itisboth"personal"and "collective."Hercallfor"polyvocality"seemsattimestobedirectedtowardfeministcultureasacollectivityatothers,towardindividualfeminists.Theimagesheends herpiecewith,ofa"powerfulinfidelheteroglossia"toreplacetheoldfeministdreamofa"commonlanguage,''soundslikeaculturalimageuntilwecometothenext line,whichequatesthisimagewiththatof"afeministspeakingintongues."Isuggestthatthisambiguity,althoughplayfulanddeliberate,nonethelessrevealsatension betweenherimaginationofthecyborgasliberatory"politicalmyth"andalingering"epistemologism"whichpresentsthecyborgasamodelof"correct"perspectiveon reality.Iapplaudtheformerandhaveproblemswiththelatter. 31.FriedrichNietzsche,TheWilltoPower,ed.andtrans.WalterKaufmann(NewYork:Vintage,1968),p.272. 32.Haraway,"AManifestoforCyborgs,"p.216. 33.Grimshaw,PhilosophyandFeministThinking,p.73. 34.Inspeakingof"thepracticeofreproduction"Ihaveinmind,notonlypregnancyandbirth,butmenstruation,menopause,nursing,weaning,andspontaneousand inducedabortion.Idonotdeny,ofcourse,thatallofthesehavebeenconstructedandculturallyvaluedindiverseways.Butdoesthatdiversityutterlyinvalidateany abstractionofsignificantpointsofgeneralcontrastbetweenfemaleandmalebodilyrealities?Thequestion,itseemstome,istobeapproachedthroughconcrete exploration,notdecidedbytheoreticalfiat. 35.CoppliaKahn,"Excavating'ThoseDimMinoanRegions':MaternalSubtextsinPatriarchalCulture,"Diacritics12,no.3(1982):33.

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36."OnSeparationfromandConnectiontoOthers:Women'sMotheringandtheIdeaofaFemaleEthic,"keynoteaddress,tenthannualconferenceoftheCanadian SocietyforWomeninPhilosophy,UniversityofGuelph,September,1987. 37."Philosophy,Psychoanalysis,andFeminism,"UniversityofNorthCarolinaWomen'sStudieslectureseries,ChapelHill,October,1987. 38.Idiscussthispointindetailwithrespecttothehistoryofphilosophyin"FeministSkepticismandthe'Maleness'ofPhilosophy,"inElizabethHarveyandKathleen Okruhlik,eds.,WomenandReason(AnnArbor:UniversityofMichiganPress,1992). 39.PatriciaWilliams,"TheBreadandCircusLiteracyTest,"Ms.2,no.4(Jan.Feb.1992):p.37. 40.Grimshaw,PhilosophyandFeministThinking,pp.8485. 41.Grimshaw,PhilosophyandFeministThinking,p.102. 42.LynneArnaultmakesasimilarpointin"TheUncertainFutureofFeministStandpointEpistemology"(unpublishedpaper). 43.Bellhooksisparticularlyinsightfulaboutsexismas"apoliticalstancemediatingracialdomination,enablingwhitemenandblackmentoshareacommonsensibility aboutsexrolesandtheimportanceofmaledomination.Clearlybothgroupshaveequatedfreedomwithmanhood,andmanhoodwiththerightofmentohave indiscriminateaccesstothebodiesofwomen."Shegoesontoanalyzethissexualizationofmalefreedomandselfdeterminationasamythofmasculinitythatis dangerousand"lifethreatening"notonlytowomenbuttotheyoungmenwho"blindlyandpassively"enactit.(Yearning[Boston:SouthEndPress,1990],p.59.) 44.MariaLugones,"Playfulness,'World'Travelling,andLovingPerception,"Hypatia2,no.2(1987):320. 45.NancyCott,TheGroundingofModernFeminism(NewHaven:YaleUniversityPress,1987),p.282. 46.Cott,TheGroundingofModernFeminism,p.277. 47.Cott,TheGroundingofModernFeminism,p.281. 48.Cott,TheGroundingofModernFeminism,p.231. 49.Cott,TheGroundingofModernFeminism,pp.232,237. 50.Cott,TheGroundingofModernFeminism,p.235. 51.Suchdestabilizationisnotequivalenttorecognitionthattheverynotionof"race"isaculturalconstruction.Onecanacknowledgethelatter(asIdo),yetinsistthat whenthecontextcallsforitweremainabletotalkingeneraltermsaboutthesocialandhistoricalconsequencesofbeingmarkedasacertain"race." 52.Cott,TheGroundingofModernFeminism,p.239.

"MaterialGirl"
Earlierversionsofthisessayweredeliveredatthe1988meetingsoftheSocietyforPhenomenologyandExistentialistPhilosophy,DukeUniversity,Syracuse University,the1990meetingsofthePopularCultureAsso

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ciation,theStateUniversityofNewYorkatBinghamton's1990ConferenceonFeminismandCulturalStudies:Theory,History,Experience,andSiennaCollege.I thankallthosewhoofferedcommentsonthoseoccasions,andCynthiaWillettandCathySchwichtenbergforreadinganearlierwrittendraftandmakingsuggestions onit.ThisversionwasoriginallypublishedinMichiganQuarterlyReview(Fall1990),andisherereprintedwithsomerevisionsandseveralnewillustrations. 1.QuotedinTrixRosen,StrongandSexy(NewYork:Putnam,1983),pp.72,61. 2."Travolta:'YouReallyCanMakeYourselfOver,'"SyracuseHeraldAmerican,Jan.13,1985. 3."PopularPlasticSurgery,"Cosmopolitan(May1990):96. 4.TinaLizardiandMarthaFrankel,"HandJob,"Details(Feb.1990):38. 5.JennetConant,JeanneGordon,andJenniferDonovan,"ScalpelSlavesJustCan'tQuit,"Newsweek(Jan.11,1988):5859. 6."Donahue"transcript05257,n.d.,MultimediaEntertainment,Cincinnati,Ohio. 7.DahleenGlanton,"RacismWithinaRace,"SyracuseHeraldAmerican,Sept.19,1989. 8.Essencereaderopinionpoll(June1989):71. 9.Sincethisessayfirstappeared,DuraSofthasaltereditscampaignoncemore,renamingthelenses"Complements"andemphasizinghow"natural"andsubtlethey are."Noonewillknowyou'rewearingthem,"theyassure.Oneadfor"Complements"featuresidenticalblacktwins,onewithbrowneyesandonewearingblue lenses,asiftoshowthatDuraSoftfindsnothing"wrong''withbrowneyes.Theissue,rather,isselfdetermination:"Choosingyourveryowneyecolorisnowthemost naturalthingintheworld." 10.LindaBien,"BuildingaBetterBust,"SyracuseHeraldAmerican,March4,1990. 11.ThiswassaidbyJaniceRadwayinanoralpresentationofherwork,DukeUniversity,Spring,1989. 12.JohnFiske,TelevisionCulture(NewYork:Methuen,1987),p.19. 13.MichelFoucault,DisciplineandPunish(NewYork:Vintage,1979),p.138. 14.RelatedinBillMoyers,"AWalkThroughtheTwentiethCentury:TheSecondAmericanRevolution,"PBSBoston. 15.Foucault,DisciplineandPunish,pp.2627. 16.SusanRubinSuleiman,"(Re)WritingtheBody:ThePoliticsandPoeticsofFemaleEroticism,"inSusanRubinSuleiman,ed.,TheFemaleBodyinWestern Culture(Cambridge:HarvardUniversityPress,1986),p.24. 17.JacquesDerridaandChristieV.McDonald,"Choreographies,"Diacritics12,no.2(1982):76. 18.CathySchwichtenberg,"PostmodernFeminismandMadonna:TowardanEroticPoliticsoftheFemaleBody,"paperpresentedattheUniversityofUtah HumanitiesCenter,NationalConferenceonRewritingthe

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(Post)Modern:(Post)Colonialism/Feminism/LateCapitalism,March3031,1990. 19.JohnFiske,"BritishCulturalStudiesandTelevision,"inRobertC.Allen,ed.,ChannelsofDiscourse(ChapelHill:UniversityofNorthCarolinaPress,1987),pp. 25490. 20.QuotedinJohnSkow,"MadonnaRockstheLand,"Time(May27,1985):77. 21.Skow,"MadonnaRockstheLand,"p.81. 22.MollyHite,"WritingandReadingtheBody:FemaleSexualityandRecentFeministFiction,"inFeministStudies14,no.1(Spring1988):12122. 23."FatorNot,4thGradeGirlsDietLestTheyBeTeasedorUnloved,"WallStreetJournal,Feb.11,1986. 24.CatherineTexier,"HaveWomenSurrenderedinMTV'sBattleoftheSexes?"NewYorkTimes,April22,1990,p.31. 25.Cosmopolitan(July1987):cover. 26.DavidAnsen,"MagnificentMaverick,"Cosmopolitan(May1990):311. 27.Ansen,"MagnificentMaverick,"p.311KevinSessums,"WhiteHeat,"VanityFair(April1990):208. 28.SusanMcClary,"LivingtoTell:Madonna'sResurrectionoftheFleshy,"Genders,no.7(Spring1990):2. 29.McClary,"LivingtoTell,"p.12. 30.E.AnnKaplan,"IstheGazeMale?"inAnnSnitow,ChristineStansell,andSharonThompson,eds.,PowersofDesire:ThePoliticsofSexuality(NewYork: MonthlyReviewPress,1983),pp.30927. 31.E.AnnKaplan,RockingAroundtheClock:MusicTelevision,PostmodernismandConsumerCulture(NewYork:Methuen,1987),p.63. 32.McClary,"LivingtoTell,"p.13.

PostmodernSubjects,PostmodernBodies,PostmodernResistance
Aversionofthisessaycontainingonlyreviewsofthebooksandmyintroductorycommentsonpostmodernism,appearedasareviewessayinFeministStudies18, no.1(Winter1992).Theessayasitisprintedherecontainsanecdotalmaterialandnewculturalanalysisthatdidnotappearinthereviewessay,andsomeofthe bookreviewsthemselveshavebeenrevised.IthankEdwardLeeforhisinsightsintomodernityandpostmodernityandhisinvaluablecriticismsofearlierdraftsofthe essay.ThanksalsotoLindaAlcoff,LynneArnault,andtheeditorsofFeministStudiesfortheirsuggestions. 1.CharlesJencks,WhatIsPostModernism?3ded.(London:St.Martin'sPress,1989),p.16. 2.Jencks,WhatIsPostModernism?p.30.

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3.JaneFlax,ThinkingFragments(Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1990),p.3bellhooks,Yearning(Boston:SouthEndPress,1990)JudithButler, GenderTrouble(NewYork:Routledge,1990). 4.Flax,ThinkingFragments,p.5. 5.Flax,ThinkingFragments,p.194. 6.Flax,ThinkingFragments,p.226. 7.hooks,Yearning,p.155 8.hooks,"PostmodernBlackness,"inYearning,p.29. 9.Flax,ThinkingFragments,p.221. 10.hooks,Yearning,p.31. 11.hooks,Yearning,pp.2122. 12.hooks,Yearning,p.229. 13.Flax,ThinkingFragments,pp.219,183. 14.hooks,Yearning,p.111. 15.hooks,Yearning,p.63. 16.MariaLugones,"Playfulness,'World'Travelling,andLovingPerception,"Hypatia2,no.2(Summer1987):320. 17.DomnaStanton,quotedinScottHeller,"TheHumanBodyandChangingCulturalConceptionsofItDrawAttentionofHumanitiesandSocialScienceScholars," ChronicleofHigherEducation(June12,1991):A4. 18.Seetheintroductiontothisvolumeforclarificationofmyuseofthetermmaterialhere. 19.ErvingGoffman,ThePresentationofSelfinEverydayLife(GardenCity,N.J.:AnchorDoubleday,1959).Goffmanalsoexploresthespecificallygendered dimensionofthepresentationofselfinGenderAdvertisements(NewYork:HarperandRow,1976). 20.Butler,GenderTrouble,p.136. 21.Butler,GenderTrouble,p.93. 22.Butler,GenderTrouble,p.92. 23.Butler,GenderTrouble,p.91(emphasismine). 24.Butler,GenderTrouble,p.137. 25.Butler,GenderTrouble,p.137. 26.Butler,GenderTrouble,p.137. 27.SuzanneKesslerandWendyMcKenna,Gender:AnEthnomethodologicalApproach(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1978)HollyDevor,Gender Blending:ConfrontingtheLimitsofDuality(Bloomington:IndianaUniversityPress,1989). 28.EstherNewman,MotherCamp:FemaleImpersonatorsinAmerica(NewYork:PrenticeHall,1972),p.127. 29.JanMorris,Conundrum(NewYork:NewAmericanLibrary,1974),pp.2526. 30."People"column,SyracuseHeraldJournal,Sept.4,1992,p.A3. 31.EvenSandraDee,inherday,didnotbelievethatshewaswhatmenwanted.In1992,lookingextremelythin,sherevealedthatshehadstruggledwithfoodand bodyimageproblemsthroughouthercareerandhadinfactbeenanorexicformuchofheradultlife. 32.Hooks,Yearning,p.22.

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INDEX

A
Abortion,7197 andfathers'rights,8893 rights,90,9394,313n.313. SeealsoFetusesPregnantwomen Academics,25960,280,285 feminist,23233,24042,28185 postmodern,240,260,263,27883 Accused,29 Activespirit:vs.passivebody,1115,90 andreproductiverights,90 Acton,William,162,169 Addams,Jane,158 Advertisements,10010,29698 AfricanAmericanstargetedby,100102,12425,25758,26364 CrystalLight,139 dietingrelated,99112passim,126,129,199 DuraSoftcontactlenses,251,25558,340n.9 foodrelated,99134passim,199 genderdifferencerepresentedin,118,11921,12829 genderdualityin,14 genderrepresentednontraditionallyin,13134 idealwomanof,164 withmuscles,19395,296 andplasticbodies,24750,251 andsex,287 VirginiaSlims,100102,103 women'sstrengthsin,2079 Affirmativeaction,28 AfricanAmericans,911 andabortionrights,95 advertisementstargetedfor,100103,12425,25758,26364 andbeauty,63,25158,26365 bodydiscriminations,254 andbodyimage,63,100102,103 children'sviewofblackandwhitedolls,26263 cosmeticchanges,253,254,25758,264 dietandexercisefor,63,103 andHill/Thomashearings,9,11,23536,237 hooksand,124,28384,285,286,316n.72,339n.43 Jezebel,235 men,9,11,125,23536,237,286 models,25 postmoderndeconstructionand,28384 racistideologyand,911,7980 sermonmode,42,284 inservitude,911,22,124 subjectivity,316n.72 women,911,22,63,100102,103,12425,23536,264 Age:ofanorectics,156 ofcosmeticsurgerypatients,246 Aging,45,2526,104,153 Agoraphobia,159,16784passim,331n.28 andfemininity,168,170,17475,17980 andgender,167,329n.6 andpower,17980 asprotest,175,176 AIDS,287 Alterity:andcriticalimagination,41 Amenorrhoea,anorecticsand,207,320n.9 AmericanCivilLibertiesUnion,80 AmericanMedicalAssociation,80 AmericanPhilosophicalAssociation,337n.9 AmericanSocietyofPlasticandReconstructiveSurgery,259 AnatomyofMelancholy(Burton),161 AndesCandies,129,130 Androgyny,206 eatingdisordersand,141,148,174,324n.83 Madonnaand,269,274 AngloAmericans.SeeWhites "Animalcules,"90,315n.64 Animality:ofbody,23,4,144 andmuscles,193 racismand,911,236 Annas,George,80,314n.48 Anorexiamirabilia,6869 Anorexianervosa,8,15,35,4547,137,13964,16784passim,31928 ambivalentculturalattitudestoward,2012 "axesofcontinuity,"142,14464,321n.14 andBIDS,5,5556,57 boyfriendsinfluencing,64,15455,334n.24 andbreasts/bodilybulges,46,141,159,178,18889,2079 vs.bulimia,323n.55,324n.79 consumercultureand,2012 andcontrol,59,14254passim,17172,

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Anorexianervosa(continued) 323n.58 SandraDeeand,342n.31 anddomesticarena,159,160,171,2078 female,4552passim,12831,140,15461,167,17073,320n.10,329n.6 andfemininity,47,159,17075,179,180,2079,33132 feministculturalperspectiveon,5355,6063 andhysteria,46,49,50,6667,15759,16784passim,306n.12,319n.3 Madonnaand,269 malefemaleself,15557,174,17879,324n.79 medicalmodeland,49,50,5152,6465,6667,319n.3 andmedievalsaints,6869 multidimensional,48,52,140 nineteenthcentury,50,51,62,64,168,319n.3 andnorms,203 asoverdeterminedsymptom,14142 "paradox"of"epidemic"of,201 aspathology,4961,175 physiologicaldisorderswith,140,207,320n.9 andpower,142,14344,15464,17779,180 asprotest,6465,175,176,177 thinking,5760 AnorexiaNervosa(Garner),48 Anxiety: aboutbodilyboundaries,199 aboutfemaledesire,20412 andflab,18791 Appearances: andbacklashagainstfeminism,16667 eatinggluttonouslyand,117,318n.12 externalcoercionand,303n.30 gendergapinconcernover,166,329n.4 politicsof,332n.40 andreality,104. SeealsoBeautyCosmeticchangesFashion Appetite.SeeDesireHunger Architecture,modern/postmodern,277 Aristocracy: Greek,185,198 Victorian,117,191 Aristotle,1112,13,16,90 Arnault,Lynne,336,339n.42 Arnold,Roseanne,296 Atwood,Margaret,81 Augustine,4,14445,146,147 Authority,96 ofexperience,9597 Flaxand,280,285 hooksand,285. SeealsoPatriarchy Autobiography,33132 Autonomy,ofwomen,9597 "Axesofcontinuity,"142,321n.14 control,142,14854,321n.14 dualist,142,14448,321n.14 gender/power,142,143,15464,321n.14 historicalconnections,142,321n.14 synchronicity,142

B
"BabyM,"94 BallyFitnessCenter,195,301n.2 Banner,Lois,159,325n.103 BarOn,BatAmi,337n.9 Barthes,Roland,170 Bartky,Sandra,332n.40 Bartlett,Katherine,30910 Baudrillard,Jean,104 BazaarBookofDecorum,114 Bear,bodyas,23 Beauty: anorexiaand,68 genderandidealsof,204 Madonnaand,269 normsof,2930,63,25155,29798 raceand,63,25158,26365. SeealsoCosmeticchanges BeautyMyth(Wolf),29 Beauvoir,Simonede,5,17,235 BehuniakLong,Susan,30910 Belief:practicevs.,16566. SeealsoReligion Bell,Gary,92 Bell,Rudolph,68 Beneke,Timothy,67 Berger,John,11819 Bertinelli,Valerie,334n.24 BestLittleGirlintheWorld(Levenkron),48 BettyCrocker,12223,129 BIDS(BodyImageDistortionSyndromeorBodyImageDisturbanceSyndrome),5560,307n.25 Big,39 Bingebehavior,private,114,126,12931,148 Binswanger,Ludwig,140,31920 Biologism,33,287 Butlerand,29091 feminist,231,232. SeealsoBodies Biology: andculture,3337 andeatingdisorders,5253 andsexual"difference,"36. SeealsoBodyNatureReproduction "Biopower,"17 Blacks.SeeAfricanAmericans Bloomer,Amelia,327n.118 Bloomers,327n.118 Body,13738,28789 vs.activespirit,1115,90 animalityof,23,4,144 archetypes,22728 asbattleground,26364,268 boundariesof,16,199 Cartesianismand,4,39,7273,14445,22728,229,322n.25 collusion/resistanceand,17780 asconfinement,14445 asconstructionandresource,3637 culture'sgripon,1623,66,142,260 deceitof,3,4 desubjectified,7280 disciplineof,

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25,16667,17172,179,186 "docilebodies,"17,18,38,16566,186 indrag,29293 asenemy,145,18891,301n.2 epistemology,34,39,22729 eruptions,18991 "essentialist"viewof,17 feministdiscourseon,16568 heaviness,3,4 integrity,7280,94 "intelligible,"18182 invasionsof,7297,31015 aslimitation,14445 "lived,"14243 locatedness,4,22743 asmachine,4,245 managed,68,166,17174,191212 material,16,38,24546 "maternal,"291 metaphorsfor,28889 "natural,"142,26970,288 andnatureculturedivide,3336 "newscholarship"on,17 objectificationoffemale,182,26774 "old"feminismon,2324 paradigmshiftre,288 passive,1215,67,90 plastic,38,39,24558 politicsof,1523,139,288,300 postmodern,40,213,22730,277300 praxis,18084,27071 pregnant,36,9192,96 asproperty,11 "reading,"24,185212 andreproductionoffemininity,16584 rightsover,7280,94 selfapartfrom,5,144,14648,152,155 andselfrealization,5,301n.2 siteofsin,4 social,187,198202 temperature,34 astext,38,165,16874,18084,29193 "useful,"18182 womenas,511,1215,143. SeealsoBodysizeEatingdisordersMindbodydualism Bodybuilding,246,301n.2 andanorexia,15152,179 andflab,191 maleness,179,211 Travoltaand,246,32324 BodyImageDistortion(orDisturbance)Syndrome(BIDS),5560,307n.25 BodyPolitic,21,34 Bodysize: BIDSand,5557 socialsymbolismof,19197. SeealsoFleshinessOverweightSlendernessVoluptuousness "BodyVision"(Heyn),189 Bonbrestv.Kotz,87 Bopp,James,88,89,91 Borgesfable,104 BoskindWhite,Marlene,54 BostonUniversitySchoolofMedicine,80 Bourdieu,Pierre,165 Bowman,Patricia,8,234,235 Boyfriends,andeatingdisorders,64,15455,204,334n.24 "Braburners,"1920 Brando,Marlon,195 Breasts: anorecticsand,46,141,178,207 cosmeticsurgeryon,20,25 "disciplined,"20 infashion,159,208,333n.7 implants,20,25 withthinbodies,333n.7,335n.33 Breuer,Josef,158,331n.28 Brownmiller,Susan,2324,180,332n.40 Brownv.theBoardofEducation,262 Bruch,Hilde,6667,140 andBIDS,55 andcontrol,14950 EatingDisorders,45 andmale"dictator,"155 andmindbodydualism,14647,148 andparentsofanorectics,156 Brumberg,JoanJacobs,32,6168passim,308n.44,309n.45 Bulimia,35,137,13940,146,168,319n.2 vs.anorexia,323n.55,324n.79 consumercultureand,201 andfemininity,335n.34 feministculturalperspectiveon,54,6063 male,128 andnorms,203 aspathology,4966passim andsexuality,323n.55 thinking,5760 Bunch,Charlotte,17 Bush,Barbara,122 Bush,George,84 Butler,Charles,118 Butler,Josephine,158 Butler,Judith,38,279,28995 Butterfly,inM.Butterfly,293 Bynum,CarolineWalker,118

C
Canetti,Elias,118 Capitalism,consumer,25,199202,245,27778,333n.7 Carder,Angela,77,80,85,311n.22 Careerwoman,170. SeealsoProfessionalsPublicdomain Cartesianism: andbody,4,39,7273,14445,22728,229,322n.25 epistemology,4,39,22728,229 andfemaledisorders,67 andsubjectivity,96 Catholicchurch: andpregnantwomen'streatment,81. SeealsoChristianity Cellulite,191 Cerclage,78,311n.21 Cesareans,forced,7680,311n.19,312nn.26,31 Chapkis,Wendy,332n.40

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Charleton,Walter,161 CharleyGirl,163 Cher,25,26,104,246 Chernin,Kim,153,163,332n.40 feminist/culturalanalysis,3233,54 ongoalindieting,146 HungrySelf,3233 Obsession,3233,45,137,320n.11 andprotest/retreat,176 "tyrannyofslenderness,"33,141,185 Childbirth.SeePregnantwomenReproduction Chodorow,Nancy,219,220,221,224,23132,233 Christian,Barbara,221 Christianity: andacademics,337n.9 andanorexia,14546,149,202,321n.14 disdainforthebody,14447,149 fasting,185 andpregnantwomen'streatment,81 and"purity,"198 andsexuality,4,6,14546 Cixous,Hlne,17,41,175,231 Clark,Kenneth,26263 Class,103,191,222,22930 anorexiaand,62,320n.10 andbodyrights,7577 andfemininity,117 generalizationsabout,40,23839 medicalestablishmentand,7577,8384 andmuscles,19395 slendernessand,62,19195. SeealsoAristocracyMiddleclass Clment,Catherine,175 Clinton,Hillary,12122 Clothes,162,32728 Dior,325n.103 men'swearlook,171,2089,242 Scurve,162 Victorian,143,162,208,212,325n.103 Cocoon,39 Cognitive/perceptualmodels,ofeatingdisorders,4546,5460 Collins,Amy,20 Collusion,andresistance,17780 CompleteWoman,17273 Compulsion:fitness,150,15152. SeealsoObsession Conductmanuals,Victorian,11214,130,183 Congress,U.S.,84,240 Conn,Eric,9192 Conolly,John,17980 Construction:ofAfricanAmericanbehavior,23536 ofbodyapartfromself,5 offemalebody,3637 offemininity,4748,117,16875,20911 ofgender,61 ofidealmotherandwife,118 ofimages,1045 ofmasculinity,174,219 ofpersonality,199202 ofself,5,15,170. SeealsoDeconstructionReconstruction Consumerculture,15 andbodyasmachine,245 capitalism,25,199202,245,27778,333n.7 femalepsychedout,10310 andmanagementofdesire,15,68,187,199202 postmodernismand,27778. SeealsoAdvertisementsMedia Context: andfemininity/masculinity,24 generalizationsand,23334,238. SeealsoCulture Continuity.See"Axesofcontinuity" Continuum,eatingproblemsas,47,61 Control: advertisingword,105 anorecticsand,59,14254passim,17172,323n.58 "axisofcontinuity,"142,14854,321n.14 bodybuildersand,152 corsetsand,162 dietingas,59,146,14950,162,191 andflab,18991 ofhunger,68,130,143,146,171 Madonnaand,272 managedself,68,152,166,17174,191212 reproductive,71,7797 selfidentifiedwith,14546 ofsexuality,16162 social,130,16667 total,59,146,149. SeealsoDisciplineRightsWill Cornell,Drucilla,226 Corsets,Victorian,143,162,212 Cosmeticchanges,25158,264. SeealsoCosmeticsurgeryPlasticity Cosmeticsurgery,25,30,24650,259,296 ageofpatients,246 agingand,25,26,104 onbreasts,20,25 costs,25 feminist,3132 liposuction,25,18991 Cosmopolitan,100,103,272 Cott,Nancy,241,243 Courts:DistrictofColumbiaCourtofAppeals,77,80,311n.22,312n.24. SeealsoSupremeCourt Crawford,Robert,187,199 Creationstories,34 Creativity: Madonna's,272. SeealsoCosmeticchangesSelfcreating Criticism.SeeSocialcriticism Cronenberg,David,189 CrystalLightad,139 "Culturaldope,"30,3034n.34 Culture,13738,18283,28789,29495 vs.aging,45,153 andbiology,3337 andblack"heritage,"12425 bodyasmetaphorfor,165 consciousnessraisingand,3031 vs.death,45,153 "directgrip"on

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bodiesby,1623,66,142,260 andeatingdisorders,27,3238passim,4569passim,137,13964,17174,32021 andfleshiness,102,26970 formations,217 industrialized,118,157 metaphysicsof,41,72 MiddleAges,118,185 ofmystification,3031 naturecultureduality,3336,195 andoppressor/oppressedmodel,27,2830,97 plastic,246 postmodern,24575,277300,333n.7 psychopathologyascrystallizationof,13964 andslenderness,1023,14041,15455,185212 transformationof,3642,240,243,28485,295 women'screated,97. SeealsoConsumercultureFashionFeminist/culturalperspectiveGreeksHomogenizationMediaNormsPracticesReligionSocialpositionTextVictorian culture/Nineteenthcentury CultureofNarcissism(Lasch),163 Cyborg,22728,338n.30

D
Dallas,261,265 DangerousLiaisons,117 Davis,Angela,95 Davis,Kathy,31 Davis,William,4849 DeadAgain,39 Death: controlaxisand,153 culturevs.,45,153 "Decentering,"28384,285 Deconstruction,38,229,295 ofbodyrepresentations,1517 ofdualisms,15,4142 feminist,21719,22543 andoppressor/oppressedmodel,23 postmodernist,21719,22530,262,27374,28289 DeCrow,Karen,65,175 Dee,Sandra,297,342n.31 DemonLover,286 Depression(1930s),76 Derek,Bo,253,254,255 deRiencourt,Amaury,162 Derrida,Jacques,218,22627,267,281,288,291,294 Descartes.SeeCartesianism Desire: tofeed,118 forfood,11016,118 managementof,15,68,187,198202,2056 managementoffemale,68,7879,8687,11016,20512. SeealsoHungerSexuality Destabilization,13134,242,27374,293,339n.51 Detailsmagazine,24647 Devor,Holly,293 Dewey,John,218,28081 Dexatrim,103 Diacritics,231 DietCoke,126 Dieting,18586,2023 advertisementsrelatedto,99112passim,126,129,199 amongwomen,53,329n.4 anorectic'sstartwith,149,178 ascontrol,59,146,14950,162,191 fasting,185 feminismand,30,31 andhungerasdangerouseruption,143 Madonnaand,26970 moralityof,19293 starvationaspsychologicalrealityof,103 totalcontrolwith,59,146,149. SeealsoEatingdisordersWeightloss Dietrichrule,87 "Difference,"24,25,22224 academicsand,25960 gender,3642,63,11819,21920,24041,26568 Gilliganand,219,336n.5 hooksand,285 mediaand,25862 powerand,26068,299300 race,26065 resistanceand,38,261,262,263,26568,270 textual,21718 "world"travellingand,287. SeealsoOtherness Dijkstra,Bram,11416,117,206 Dinnerstein,Dorothy,5,208,219,23132,327n.109 Dior,Christian,325n.103 Discipline: ofbody,25,16667,17172,179,186 ofbreasts,20 Foucauldian,130,254. SeealsoControlDesireDietingFitnessWill DisciplineandPunish(Foucault),139,143,16566 Discourse: academicsandpopular,25960 anorexiaas,176 bodily,170 onbody(feminist),16568 Butlerand,29091 plastic,25865 ontranscendence,39 DistrictofColumbiaCourtofAppeals,77,80,311n.22,312n.24 "Docilebodies,"17,18,38,16566,186 Dohm,Hedwig,158 Domesticarena: agoraphobiaand,170 anorecticsand,159,160,171,2078 bodybuildingand,211 hourglassfigureand,159,208,335n.31 hysteriaand,15759 labordivisionbygenderand,71,11721,171 liberationfrom,20811 transcendencefrom,68 transcendenceinto,118

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Domesticarena(continued) womenin,42,71,11721,159,171,208. SeealsoReproduction Dominance: Foucaulton,2628 male,29,3637,262 andnormalizingculturalforms,2930. SeealsoPower Donahue,Phil,25154,25556,258,29394 Dora(Freud),158,175,331n.28 Doublebind: anorecticsembodying,17374 consumercultureand,187,199202,297 Douglas,Mary,165,186,19899 Dragperformers,38,29294 "Dreamofeverywhere,"3940,218,22529 Dreyfus,HubertL.,143 Dualism,137,27879 activespiritpassivebody,1115,90 "axesofcontinuity,"142,14448,321n.14 deconstructing,15,4142 gender,1115,90,11721,23343,29394 goingbeyond,15 hooksand,287 inindividualrights,72 inverting,41 ofmeaning,168 natureculture,3336,195 normativepathological,54 inpluraluniverse,23343. SeealsoGenderMindbodydualism Duke,David,3839 DuraSoftad,251,25558,340n.9 Dworkin,Andrea,21,332n.40 DyingtoBeThin(Sacker&Zimmer),18889 Dyson,Michael,286

E
Eating.SeeDietingEatingdisordersFood Eatingdisorders,3233,4560,13738,168,18586,319n.2 conferenceson,45,4749 ascontinuum,47,61 cultureand,27,3238passim,4569passim,137,13964,17174,32021 developmentalmodel,4546 familyand,4546,47,64,156,178 female,4552passim,12831,140,15461,167,17073,320n.10,329n.6 andfemininity,4748,159,17075,179,180,2079,33132,335n.34 feminist/culturalperspectiveon,3233,5355,6066,69 genderand,4554,12831,320n.10,329n.6 andhysteria,46,4951,6667,15759,16784passim,306n.12,319n.3,325n.93 male,46,5253,128,329n.6 andmasculinity,15557,17174,17879,20911,309n.48 medicalestablishmentand,4954,55,57,61,6469,319n.3,320n.9 mindbodydualismand,14454 multidimensional,48,52,140 andnatureculturedualism,35 nineteenthcentury,50,51,62,64,168,183,308n.44,319n.3 aspathology,4866passim,140,175,18586 perceptual/cognitivemodels,4546,5460 psychoanalyticmodel,46 sexualabuseand,46,64,148,179,323n.54 andslenderness,46,5760,67,6869,140,141,14748,154,15960,17072,204 superwomansyndromeand,47,17374,331n.21 andwill,14748,15354,178,180,196,323n.58. SeealsoAnorexianervosaBulimia EatingDisorders(Bruch),45 Eckstein,Emma,162 Eichenbaum,Luise,32627 Enemy: bodyas,145,18891,301n.2 Womanas,23637 Epistemology: body,34,39,22729 Cartesian,4,39,22728,229 deconstructionof,21719,22529 Derrida's,22627 Flaxand,280 Eruption: bodily,18991 hungerasdangerous,143 Essence: dietandexercisefeatures,63 DuraSoftad,25758 andhairstraightening,254,255 onoverweight,103 andpowerof"difference,"26365 VirginiaSlimsad,100102,103 Essentialism: andeatingdisorders,47 feminist,17,19,37,4041,222,225,275 andgender,17,19,37,4041,9495,222,225,275,292 andrace,283,316n.72 Ethnocentrism:feminismand,217,221,222,225. SeealsoRace Eugenics,7576 Europeanness,romanticizationof,99100 Evianad,247,250 Evolutionarytheory,7576 Exercise,68 compulsive,150,15152 Madonnaand,26970,272 mediaon,63,199 norms,18687. SeealsoFitness Exotica,25 Experience: ofembodiment,151 "livedbody,"14243 women'sreproductive,9497

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Eyecolor,contactsand,251,25558,340n.9

F
Faludi,Susan,42 Family: andeatingdisorders,4546,47,64,149,156,178. SeealsoFathersMothers Fashion,2425,25355,333n.7 forcool,233,331n.21 andeatingdisorders,46,140,15455,159 exotica,25 feministsand,1820,2223,162 Scurve,162 Victorian,143,159,162,208,212,325n.103. SeealsoClothesCosmeticsurgeryHourglass/"Fuller"figureSlenderness Fasting,185 FatalAttraction,117 Fathers: andeatingdisorders,64,156,178 andfetuses,83,8893,313n.31 rights,8893,313n.31 astrueparents,8993 Fat.SeeFlabFleshinessOverweight Faurschou,Gail,333n.7 Fear: ofoverweight,14041 ofpregnancy,46 ofsexualrelationships,46 ofwomanhood,15556,16061 ofwomen,16061,163 Femaledisorders,16784. SeealsoAgoraphobiaEatingdisordersHysteria Femininity,27,16884 andagoraphobia,168,170,17475,17980 andambiguity,29394 bodilyrequirements,1819,22 bodyastextof,16874 andclass,117 constructionof,4748,117,16875,20911 contextand,24 andeatingdisorders,4748,159,17075,179,180,2079,33132,335n.34 hysteriaand,50,169,17475,17980 ideologyof,17071 Madonnaand,269 normsfor,48,16869 "old"feminismand,24,182 practicesof,16566,181 professionalsand,171,309n.48 andprotest,177 racismand,63 reproductionof,16584 transcendenceofdomestic,68 Victorian,24,50,15758,16263,169,181,330n.11. SeealsoDomesticarenaWomen Femininity(Brownmiller),2324 Feminism,4549,71,137,18384,21543,337n.18 andabortionrights,9495 academics,23233,24042,28185 AngloAmerican,1523,225,229,337n.11 backlashagainst,163,16667,177,241 Brumbergcriticizing,6465 "collective"/"personal,"338n.30 consciousnessraising,3031 anddevouringfemale,16162 and"difference,"3642,21718,21920,22224 "dilemmaoftwentiethcentury,"243 discourseonbody,16568 andeatingdisorders,3233,47,5355,6066,69,156,160,176,177 essentialism,17,19,37,4041,222,225,275 andethnocentrism,217,221,222,225 fathers'rightsand,92 French,18283 andgenderskepticism,21518 HillaryClinton's,12122 homogenizing,259 andhysteria,50,169,177,181,331n.28 IceTand,275 Madonnaand,26869,273 materialist,231 methodologism,21725,23739 andmindbodydualism,5,1516 andnatureculturedualism,33,3435 andneurasthenia,169 nineteenthcentury,157,16162,327n.118,331n.28"old,"2325,31,32,182,260 andoppressor/oppressedmodel,23,26,28 paradigmof1960s/1970s,167 andpersonalchoices,30 politicsofbody,1523,288,300 post,241,243 postmodern,31,21730,240,279300 and"racefortheory,"221 assystemiccritique,2933,54,309n.48 andtranscendence,3742 anduniversalism,21925 Victorianvaluesinvertedby,183. SeealsoFeminist/culturalperspective"Women'sliberation" Feminist/culturalperspective,54,60 oneatingdisorders,3233,5355,6066,69. SeealsoCultureFeminism FeministMassMeeting(1914),18 Fetuses: fathersand,83,8893 "fetalprotection"policies,81 injuryclaims,87 legalstatuschanges,87 rights,77,78,81,8788,93,95,31215 assupersubjects,8088,316n.76 FibreThin,99102,103 Fiske,John,26062,263,265,268,269 Fitmagazine,152,246 Fitness,301n.2 compulsive,150,15152 Madonnaand,26972 women'sbenefits,15051. SeealsoBodybuildingDietingExerciseMusclesWeightloss Flab,18791. SeealsoFleshiness Flashdance,110,11617,19598,198 Flax,Jane,40,27981,283,285,287

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Fleshiness: cultureand,102 flab,18791 Madonnaand,269 andmaternalpower,208. SeealsoBreastsHourglass/''Fuller"figureOverweightVoluptuousness FleshMadeWord(Mitchie),183 Fliess,Wilhelm,16162,327n.117 Fly,189 Fodor,I.G.,170 Fonda,Jane,26 Food: advertisementsrelatedto,99134passim,199 andclass,62 essentialtohealth,34 freeandeasyrelationshipwith,99102,103 andlove,12127 meneating,10810,122,134 meneatingandwomenpreparing,11727 menpreparing,11921,13132 rejectionof,62,68,130,185,308n.44 andsexuality,11017,317n.7 temptationandfall,11214 astransgression,112,12831 womendevouring,117,161,163,206,318n.12 womeneatingrestrictedquantities,11016,134,183 womenserving,11727,12930,171,326n.109. SeealsoDietingEatingdisordersHunger Footloose,163 Ford,Miriam,241 Foster,Jodie,29 Foucault,Michel,1617,38,278,332n.40 "biopower,"17 Butlerand,290,29192,294 and"directgrip"ofculture,16,142 "discipline,"130,254 DisciplineandPunish,139,143,16566 "docilebodies,"17,18,38,16566 ondominance,2628 "everythingisdangerous,"223 Flaxand,281 and"gaze,"27 "genealogical"works,16566 HistoryofSexuality,16566 "intelligiblebody,"181 "micropractises,"17,18 and"mirrorings"ofnature,218 "polyhedronofintelligibility,"32 poststructuralismof,17,38,40,217,332n.40,336n.3 andpower,2628,29,38,14344,167,240,26162,288,295 andresistance,262,263,295 "usefulbody,"181 UseofPleasure,198 Francis,Bev,179 Frankfurt,Mike,150,152 Fraser,Nancy,22122,22324,337n.18 Freud,Sigmund: Dora,158,175,331n.28 feministsand,231 Flaxand,280 andFliess,16162,327n.117 andhysteria,46,67,15758,169,175,327n.117,331n.28 StudiesinHysteria,158,331n.28. SeealsoPsychoanalysis Friedan,Betty,159,170 FrusenGldj,126,129 Furies,89

G
Garfinkel,Paul,140 Garner,David,48,52,140 Gay,Peter,161,163 Gaze: Foucaultand,27 Madonnaand,268,270,27374 male,268,27374 Gender,191,21543,336n.4 activespirit/passivebody,1115,90 andagoraphobia,167,329n.6 andappearances,166,329n.4 "axisofcontinuity,"142,15464,321n.14 "binaryframe"of,29394 andbodynorms,34 andbodyrights,7679,85 Butleron,28992 constructionof,61 "difference,"3642,63,11819,21920,24041,26568 duality,1115,90,11727,21112,23343 andeatingdisorders,4554,12831,320n.10,329n.6 essentialismand,17,19,37,4041,9495,222,225,275,292 andfoodandlove,12227 andfoodandsexuality,11017 generalizationsabout,40,23739 Gilliganand,219,336n.5 andhysteria,5051,167,329n.6 ideology,11031,183 and"justbeingpeople,"242 labordivisionby,71,11731,171,208 nontraditionalrepresentations,13134 as"performance,"28994 skepticism,21543 andslenderness,187,20412. SeealsoAndrogynyFeminismMenSexismWomen "Genderprescriptions,"243 GenderTrouble(Butler),279,28995 Genealogy: Butlerand,28991 Foucauldian,16566 GeneralFoodadseries,forAfricanAmericanconsumers,12425 Generalizations: aboutclass,40,23839 andcontext,23334,238 aboutgender,40,23739 aboutrace,40,23839 socialcriticismand,23839,24243 Genesisstory,89 Genetictesting,86 GeorgeWashingtonUniversityHospital,77 Germans,andJews,237

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Ghost,39 "Ghostinthemachine,"73 Giddens,Anthony,3034n.34 Gilbert,Sara,296 Gilligan,Carol,47,48,219,221,233,336n.5 Gilman,CharlottePerkins,15859 Glamour,5556,154,334n.25 Godey'sLady'sBook,11214 Goffman,Erving,170,289,290 GoodMother,117 Greeks: andanorexia,149,321n.14 bodilymastery,185,198 disdainforthebody,149 andmindbodydualism,34,1112,13,16,90,14445,147 Grimshaw,Jean,40,230,231,23738,337n.11 Guest,Cornelia,60,334n.24 Gull,W.W.,319n.3 Guttmacher,Alan,1213

H
HagenDazs,10810,112,126,13334 Hair: AfricanAmericansand,254,255,26364 BoDerek'scornrows,253,254,255 HallandOates,116 Hamilton,Linda,297 HandbookofEatingDisorders,5253 Handmaid'sTale(Atwood),81 Hannah,Darryl,163 Haraway,Donna,221,22530passim,338n.30 Harrison,Michael,85 HarttoHart,261 Healthcare: ofpregnantwomen,8283,8485. SeealsoMedicalestablishment HeavenCanWait,39 "HeavyBear"(Schwartz),13,4,56,11 Hegel,G.W.F.,12,42 Hemingway,Margaux,.163 Henry,Jules,139 Heterogeneity,39,22829,234,237 "Heteroglossia,"228,338n.30 Heterosexism,289,290,294 Heyn,Dalma,189 Hill,Anita,89,11,71,23439passim Hillman,James,89 Hispanicwomen,11 Historicism,282 HistoryofSexuality(Foucault),16566 Hite,Molly,26869 Hobbes,T.,96,165 Hochschild,Arlie,309n.48 Hollingworth,Leta,241 Home.SeeDomesticarena Homogenization,2426,62,63 "difference"and,63,259 andeatingdisorders,32021,321n.14 offemininity,16869 plasticbodiesand,25051,259 bytelevision,26061 Homosexuality,34,1023,294 Hooks,bell,279,28287,299 andblackwomen's"homeplace,"124 onsexism,339n.43 onWest'stalk,42,284 Yearning,40,279,283,28586,287,316n.72 Hormelad,131 "HottentotVenus,"9 Hourglass/"Fuller"figure,16364,333n.7 Dior,325n.103 anddomesticarena,159,208,335n.31 Monroe,141,208 andreproductivesphere,208,335n.31 Victorian,159,208,325n.103 afterWorldWarII/1950s,159,206,208. SeealsoBreastsVoluptuousness Howling,189 Hubbard,Ruth,85 Hudson,James,52 HumanGenomeProject,28788 Humanism,liberal,242,260 Hunger,4,8,14 inadvertisements,10516 bulimicsvs.anorecticsand,323n.55,324n.79 controlof,68,130,143,146,171 asdangerouseruption,143 asideology,99134 assexuality,11017,148,161,163,183,317n.7 aswoman,117,16061,163. SeealsoEatingdisorders HungerStrike(Orbach),3233,305n.4 HungrySelf(Chernin),3233 Hunter,Dianne,175 Hurt,William,154 Hypatia,20 "Hyperreal,"104 Hypothalamicfunction,eatingdisordersand,52,320n.9 Hysteria,15759,16784passim,331n.28 andeatingdisorders,46,4951,6667,15759,16784passim,306n.12,319n.3,325n.93 andfemininity,50,169,17475,17980 feminismand,50,169,177,181,331n.28 andgender,5051,167,329n.6 malephysiciansand,46,5051,67,158,169,175,180,327n.117,331n.28 mutenesswith,17677 nineteenthcentury,46,4951,6667,15759,16768,169,180,

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Hysteria(continued) 327n.117,331n.28 andpower,17980 asprotest,17577 intwentiethcentury,168,306n.12

I
"IBelieve"ads,29697 IceT,275 Idealizationofmotherhood,feminist,231,232 Ideals: beauty,204 domesticwoman,118 media'swoman,16364,182,321n.12 slenderness,20412 Victorianwoman,16263,183,321n.12,330n.11. SeealsoNorms Identities: gender,23637 performativetheoryof,28990 Ideology: offemininity,17071 gender,11031,183 hungeras,99134 racist,911,7980 "Incalculablechoreographies,"267 "Indeterminacy,"39 Indulgence: infood,12930. SeealsoDesireSecrecyTransgression Industrialization,118,157 Informedconsent,doctrineof,7380 "Insipidgoody,"163 Institutions: masculinismof,42 restraintoverpassions,17980 transcendenceand,4041 InternationalJournalofEatingDisorders,307n.25 Interpretation,ofsymptoms,67 Invalidism,female,157 Irigaray,Luce,17,41,165,231

J
Jackson,Michael,246 Jacobus,Mary,335n.29 Jaggar,Alison,336 Jameson,Frederick,333n.7 JellOads,1058,112,121,124 Jencks,Charles,278 Jews: andexclusionfromphilosophicalcanon,337n.9 andeatingdisorders,63 Germansand,237 Jezebel,AfricanAmerican,235 Johnson,Dianne,29 Johnson,DonHanlon,1617 Johnson,Jennifer,8182 Jouissance,260,262,273,274,286 JournalofEatingDisorders,64

K
Kahn,Copplia,23132 Kali,116 Kaplan,E.Ann,273 KenyaDoll,263 Kessler,Suzanne,293 Kid'sKitchenMeals,131 King,Ynestra,41,336 Klein,Binnie,137,323n.48 Klein,Martin,313n.31 Klein,Nancy,313n.31 Kmartadvertisement,14 KrafftEbing,Richardvon,162,169 Kramer(MalleusMalificarum),161 Krauch,Kathy,15152 Kristeva,Julia,17,231,290,291 Kruger,Barbara,263

L
Labordivision,gendered,208 indomesticsphere,71,11731,171 foodrelated,11727 inpublicdomain,71 Laborforce.SeePublicdomainWorkingclass Lacan,Jacques/Lacanianpsychoanalysis,175,181,280,281 Language.SeeDiscourseMetaphors Lasch,Christopher,141,163 Law: andbodilyintegrity,7280,94 doublestandard,72 onforcedtreatmentofpregnantwomen,7782 informedconsent,7380. SeealsoCourtsRights Lawrence,D.H.,160 Lear's,20 Lee,Edward,341 Leeuwenhoek,Antonievan,12,90 Lesbians,1023,294 Lesegue,E.D.,319n.3 Levenkron,Steven,48,6061,148,15556 Lewis,C.S.,294 Liberalhumanism,242,260 LifeExtension(Pearson&Shaw),153 Liposuction,25,18991 Liu,Aimee,15,148,149,150,159,172,178 Lizardi,Tina,248 Locatedness,body,4,22743 Locke,John,96 Locklear,Heather,195 LookWho'sTalking,13 Lorde,Audre,41 Loren,Sophia,208 Love,foodand,12131 "LuckyStar"(Madonna),273 Lugones,Maria,239,28687 Luhan,Mabel,21516 Lyotard,J.F.,217,221,281

M
McCabeandMrs.Miller,110 McCarthy,Mary,164 McClary,Susan,38,27274,294

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McDonald,ChristieV.,226 McFallv.Shimp,73,74,7778,310n.4 Machine: bodyas,4,245 economybasedon,118,157 McKenna,Wendy,293 MacKinnon,Catherine,332n.40 McLish,Rachel,246 "Macrocosm"/"Microcosm,"186 MadeinHeaven,39 Madonna,38,26575,294 "wannabes,"268,270 Madyun,Ayesha,7879,80 Magazines: AfricanAmerican,63,100102,103,254,255,25758,26364 onbodysculpting,152,246 oncosmeticchanges,24647,254,255,25758 fashionspreads,171,182 onfemininity,171,17273 onfitness,63,182 foodanddietingimages,63,199 ongenderandart,21516 onMadonna,268,269,272 andmuscles,19395 onoverweight,103. SeealsoAdvertisements "Maidenformwoman,"57 Mainardi,Pat,18 MalleusMalificarum(Kramer&Sprenger),116,161 Maneater,116,117 Marginality,feminismand,22425,231 Marriage,agoraphobiaafter,176 Martin,Emily,36,95 Marx,Karl,16,30,3334,38,218 Masculinity,27 andambiguity,29394 anorecticsand,15557,17174,17879,20911,309n.48,324n.79 andbodybuilding,179,211 constructionof,174,219 contextand,24 hypervaluationof,64 ofinstitutions,42 musclesand,19395 mythof,339n.43 normsfor,48 professionalsand,171,23233,309n.48 andrights,219 andselfmanagement,195,205,20912 Victorian,50 ofwomeneating,110 Masson,Jeffrey,327n.117 Masturbation,assexualabuse,16162 Materialbody,16,38,24546 "MaterialGirl,"245,26575 Materialism,feminist,231 "Maternalbody,"291 Maternalpower,208 "Maternal"work,12324 M.Butterfly,293 Meaning: andhomogenizedimagery,26 medicalmodeland,6667,69 ofslenderness,26,46,57,170 textualizationand,38 transformationof,168 Meat,andsex,317n.7 Media,321n.12 and"difference,"259 andeatingdisorders,4546,47,186 idealwomanof,16364,182 Madonna,268,269,27274 misogynist,11617,235,27475 andsex,287. SeealsoAdvertisementsMagazinesMoviesTelevision Medicalestablishment: andbodyasmachine,245 andeatingdisorders,4954,55,57,61,6469,319n.3,320n.9 andhysteria,46,5051,67,158,169,175,180,327n.117,331n.28 andinformedconsent,7380 andNewReproductiveTechnologies,39,8687 nineteenthcentury,5051,64,158,16162,169 andpoor,7577,8384 andpregnantwomen,7587,31116 sexualitymedicalized,14243,16162. SeealsoCosmeticsurgeryFreud,SigmundPathology Men,137,143,21920 academics,337n.9 asactivespirits,1215,90 AfricanAmerican,9,11,125,23536,237,286 appearanceof,166,204,329n.4,334n.24 dominanceof,29,3637,262 eatinginadvertisements,10810,122,134 eatingdisordersamong,46,5253,128,329n.6 ateatingdisordersconference,4749 eatingandwomenpreparing,11727 andfashion,22 andfemaledesiremanagement,20412 foodpreparationby,11921,13132 andlabordivision,71,11727 malegaze,268,27374 mediainfluenceon,4546 men'smovement,28 "notgettingit,"239 nurturedbymother,32627 objectified,118 andoppressor/oppressedmodel,23,28 poststructuralistconceptionsby,96 inpublicdomain,42,11718,134 andsexualharassmenthearings,23940 andsexualityoffood,11012 andslendernessofpartners,64,15455,204,334n.24 sterilizedinvoluntarily,76 U.S.Senate,240 womenas"new,"17174 andwomenas"toomuch,"32627. SeealsoBoyfriendsFathersMasculinityPatriarchy MenonRape(Beneke),67

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Menopause,carryingbabyafter,39,304n.42 Menstruation,anorecticsand,207 "Mentallydefective,"involuntarysterilizationof,7576 Metaphors,165,28889,308n.44 Metaphysics: anorexiaas,147 andbodyasmachine,245 ofculture,41,72 MetropolitanLifeInsurancetables,154,334n.25 "Microcosm"/"Macrocosm,"186 "Micropractises,"17,18 MiddleAges: fastingin,185 femalefoodpreparationin,118 Middleclass: dieting,185 femaledisorders,118,157,16768,177 nineteenthcentury,157,185,19192 postWorldWarII,159,208 andsocialsymbolismofbodyweight/size,19193. SeealsoYuppies Mill,JohnStuart,15758 Miller,Nancy,31617n.77 Millett,Kate,163 Millman,Marcia,202 Milton,John,88 Mindbodydualism,25,1115 activespiritpassivebody,1115,90 andeatingdisorders,14454 feminismand,5,1516 fitnessexerciseand,15152 gendered,1115,21112 lawand,73 andMadonna,275 MinuteRice,133 MiracleWhipLight,126 Misogyny: andhungerassexuality,11617 andpublicsexualharassment/rapecases,235,23637 songs,27475 MissAmerica,19,45,324n.76 MissSovietUnion,103 Mitchell,S.Weir,66,158,180 Mitchie,Helena,183 Modernism,96,227,277,280 ofFoucault,38 socialcriticism,242. SeealsoCartesianism Modernity,postmodernismand,27778 Mohr,Richard,3536 Moi,Toril,180,231 Monroe,Marilyn,141,208 Montesquieu,88 Morality: andbodilyinvasion,31213n.31 ofbodymastery,15,68,19297. SeealsoWill Morgan,Kim,20911 Morris,Jan,294 Morrison,Toni,41 Mothers,7197 andeatingdisorders,45,47,64,156 evil,83,95 feminismand,23031 infilms,117 ideal,118 maternalpower,208 nurturingchildren,32627n.109 selfdenialby,118,318n.15 surrogate,94. SeealsoPregnantwomen Movies: bodilyeruptionin,189 bodytranscendedin,39 femininityin,16970 hungerassexualityin,110,11617 andmasteryofbody/self,19597 andplasticityofbodies,39 PumpingIron,153 slasher,117 Ms.magazine,182,21516 Multiplicity,postmodern,28687 Muscles,24,28,191,19395,324n.76. SeealsoBodybuilding

N
Nagel,Thomas,217,219 "Narrowcircleoftheself,"220 Nathanson,Barnard,85 NationalRighttoLifeCommittee,88 NativeSon(Wright),275 "Natural": body,142,26970,288 sexuality,289,29091,292,294 Nature: "mirrorings"of,21819,227,229 naturecultureduality,3336,195. Seealso"Natural" Nelson,LawrenceJ.,81,87 Neurasthenia,168,169 NewEnglandJournalofMedicine,76,80 NewHopeforBingeEaters(Pope&Hudson),52 NewlyBornWoman(Clement),175 Newman,Esther,29394 NewReproductiveTechnologies,39,8687 Newsday,65 Newsweek,34 NewYork,151 NewYorkCenterfortheStudyofAnorexiaandBulimia,45,47,6061,140 NewYorkDeliPotatoChips,129 NewYorkHerald,327n.118 NewYorkTimes,287 Nicholson,Linda,22122,22324,337n.18 Nietzsche,Friedrich,218,22223,229 Nikeads,207,296 Nineteenthcentury.SeeIndustrializationVictorianculture/Nineteenthcentury Nolte,Nick,154

Page355

Norms,2532,62,263 beauty,2930,63,25155,29798 bodyfunction,34 bodyweight,64 dieting,186 exercise,186 femalebody,16667,2089 femininity,48,16869 Madonnaand,26970 male,21620 masculinity,48 andpathology,49,54,186 plasticbodiesand,25051,25455 resistanceto,29598 slenderness,2024 Nurturing,female: breastswiththinlimbsand,335n.33 feedingothers,11727,12930,171,326n.109 withmachoprowessandcontrol,173 mothers'childrearingand,32627n.109 romanticizationof,233 andselffeeding,12526,130,171

O
Obesity.SeeOverweight Objectification: epistemological,4,21819 ofmen,118 politicsof,332n.40 professionalwomenand,241 ofwomen/femalebody,118,182,26774. SeealsoGaze Obsession: femininity,180 food,100102,126 hunger,146 slenderness,15960. SeealsoCompulsion Obsession(Chernin),3233,45,137,320n.11 "OdetoMother"(Poloquin),118 O'Keeffe,Georgia,21516 Omolade,Barbara,22 O'Neill,CherryBoone,148,155 "OntheSubjectionofWomen"(Mill),157 "OpenYourHearttoMe"(Madonna),27274,294 Oppression: offemalebody,16667 oppressor/oppressedmodel,2331,97 by"tyrannyofslenderness,"141 Orbach,Susie,305n.4,332n.40 andanorexiaasprotest,176 ateatingdisordersconference(1983),4749 feminist/culturalanalysis,3233,54 HungerStrike,3233,305n.4 andoneselfas"toomuch,"32627 andpsychicvaluesofanorectics,180 Otherness,96,22933. Seealso"Difference" Overweight,4,154 AfricanAmerican,103 anorexiacoexistentwith,201 fearof,14041 andnorms,2034 socialattitudestoward,2012 andwill,19293 womenfeeling,154,204,334n.25. SeealsoFleshinessWeightloss

P
Paltrow,Lynn,80 Pankhursts,157 Pappenheim,Berthe("AnnaO."),158 Paradigmshift,288 Parents: andeatingdisorders,45,47,64,149,156,178. SeealsoFathersMothers Parker,Dorothy,160,164 Parody,dragas,29294 Parton,Dolly,335n.33 Passivity: vs.activespirit,1115,90 Madonnaand,26869 ofmedicalpatient'sbody,67 andreproductiverights,90 Pathology,141 ascrystallizationofculture,13964 eatingdisordersas,4866passim,140,175,18586 ofprotest,6465,15960,175 Patriarchy: andfemalehunger,68 Madonnaand,268,274 andmutenessofhysteric,17677 and"notgettingit,"239. SeealsoDominance,male Pearson,Durk,153 Penis,animalitysymbolizedby,4 Penn,Sean,269 PennsylvaniaStateSenate,8889 People,advertisements,100 Pepper,Chili,29394 Perceptual/cognitivemodels,ofeatingdisorders,4546,5460 Perfectionism,149,15152,331n.28 "Performance,"genderas,28994 Personality:constructionof,199202. SeealsoHysteriaSelf "Personalpolitics,"1718,338n.30 Personhood: fetal,87,95 ofwomen,72,79,94,312n.24 Peters,Joan,37,304n.40 Phaedo(Plato),3,144 PhilosophyandFeministThinking(Grimshaw),337n.11 PhilosophyandtheMirrorofNature(Rorty),21819 PlannedParenthoodofCentralMissouriv.Danforth,90 Plasticity: body,38,39,24558 discourse,25865 Madonna's,27273 asparadigmofpostmodernism,24546. SeealsoCosmeticchanges Plato,34,34,14445,147,165 Playboy,45 "PlightofBlackMen"(Dyson),286 Pluralism: dualityin,23343 televisionasplastic,258. Seealso"Difference"Heterogeneity PMS,3637

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Politics,3233,219 anorecticsand,159,176 ofappearance,303n.30 ofbody,1523,139,288,300 BodyPolitic,21,34 "correct,"221 and"difference,"263 erotic,26768 offemaledisorders,16869 "personal,"1718,338n.30 andplasticbodies,25153,257 ofsexualizationandobjectification,332n.40 ofsubjectivity,7197 talkshowsand,25859. SeealsoFeminismRacismSexism "PoliticsofHousework"(Mainardi),18 Pollitt,Katha,8384 Poloquin,Bud,118 "Polyhedronofintelligibility,"32 "Polyphonicvocality,"285 "Polyvocality,"338n.30 Poor,medicalestablishmentand,7577,8384 Pope,Harrison,52 "PossibleCausesoftheThinStandardofBodilyAttractivenessforWomen"(Silverstein),17879 Postcerealad,110 Poster,Mark,17778 Postmodernism,15,31,32,191,21530,242,277300,31617 academic,240,260,263,27883 celebratory,29496 conversation,25865 and"culturaldopes,"3034n.34 deconstructionist,21718,22530,262,27374,28289 defined,38 effacementsofcultureof,24575 embodied,40,213,22730,277300 feminist,31,21730,240,279300 logicof,333n.7 Madonnaasheroineof,38,26575 multiplicity,28687 plasticityasparadigmof,24546 resistance,38,261,262,26570,272,277300 subjects,26775,277300 andtranscendence,3740,227 Poststructuralism,15,40,96,27879,28889,336n.3 Continental,337n.11 and"decentering"thesubject,283,285 and"difference,"38,40,21718,223,285 feminismand,17,332n.40 Flaxand,281,283,285 ofFoucault,17,38,40,217,332n.40,336n.3 hooksand,283 andliberalhumanism,242 andpoliticsofbody,17,18 Power: "axisofcontinuity,"142,14344,15464,321n.14 constitutive,16768 and"difference,"26068,299300 femaledisordersand,142,14344,15464,17780 Foucaultand,2628,29,38,14344,167,240,26162,288,295 Madonnaand,272,27374 maternal,2089 physicalbodyasinstrumentandmediumof,14344,179 andresistance,38,261,262,26568,295 selfmanagement,20912 televisionand,26062. SeealsoAuthorityControlDominanceOppressionPolitics Powerlessness,ofanorexia,154 Practices: vs.beliefs,16566 body,18084,27071 offemininity,16566,181 historicallydeveloped,41 "micropractises,"17,18 ofreproduction,230,338n.34 slenderness,182 socialcriticism,24243 Pratt,MinnieBruce,220 Pregnancy,Birth,andFamilyPlanning(Guttmacher),1213 Pregnantwomen,36,7797 addicted,8384,314n.40 anorectics'fearofpregnancy,46 cerclage,78,311n.21 andcouple'spregnancy,91 embodiment,36,9192,96 andfather'srights,8893,310n.4 forcedcesareans,7680,311n.19,31213nn.26,31 asincubators,8088,90,94 andmedicaltreatment,7587,31116 andNewReproductiveTechnologies,39,8687 personhoodof,72,79,94,312n.24 subjectivityof,8088,91,92,9397. SeealsoAbortionFetuses PresumedInnocent,117 Professionals: women,171,23233,24042,309n.48. SeealsoAcademicsMedicalestablishment Progress,131 Protest: femaledisordersas,6465,17477 pathologyof,6465,15960,175,177 andretreat,17677 Psychoanalysis,327n.117 oneatingdisorders,46 feminist,231 Flaxand,28081,285 andhysteria,46,67,158 Lacanian,175,181,280,281. SeealsoFreud,Sigmund Psychology: dieting,103 onfemaleconsumers,10310. SeealsoPsychoanalysisPsychopathology Psychopathology,ascrystallizationofculture,13964 Puberty,anorexiaat,156 Publicdomain: genderedlabordivisionand,71,11718,171 menin,42,

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11718,134 womenin,3637,68,134,170,171. SeealsoProfessionals PumpingIron,153 Purity,15152,198,278

R
Rabinow,Paul,143 Race,191,222,22930,301n.6,339n.51 anorecticsand,320n.10 andbeauty,63,25158,26365 andbodynorms,34 andcosmeticchanges,25158 feminismand,217,22930 andfetusdoctorrelationship,314n.48 generalizationsabout,40,23839 andmuscles,19395 postmoderndeconstructionand,283 andpublicsexualharassmentrapecases,23537 sexismand,286,339n.43 "womenofcolor,"22930. SeealsoAfricanAmericansEthnocentrismRacismWhites Racism,301n.6 andanimality,911,236 andbodyrights,7576,7980 CentralParkrapeand,286 andcosmeticchanges,25154 andfemininity,63 feminismand,221,229 and"justbeingpeople,"242 postmoderndeconstructionand,28283 andpublicsexualharassment/rapecases,9,23437 "Rambolina,"173 Rape,68,9,29 acquaintance,8,23436 ofblackwomen,236 CentralPark,286 fathers'rightsand,92 infilms,117 gang,275 insongs,275 Reality: andappearances,104 dieting,103 Reason,21920,281 Reconstruction: ofdevelopmentaltheory,231 offeministdiscourseonbody,16568 andoppressor/oppressedmodel,26 ofsubjectivity,9697,28485 "RedBloomers,"37 Reebokads,29697 Reilly,PhilipR.,76 Religion: legalmedicaldismissalof,7879,80. SeealsoChristianity Representations: deconstructionofbody,1517 genderedlabordivision,11824 ofheterogeneousreality,229 homogenizationby,2426 nontraditionalgender,13134 "subversive,"131 ofunrestrainedfemaleappetite,130. SeealsoMedia Reproduction,1112,230 abuse,7579 anorecticsand,46,207,320n.9 andbodyasconstructionandresource,3637 controlover,71,7797 experience,9497 offemininity,16584 freedomfrom,20911 hourglassfigureand,208,335n.31 andinvoluntarysterilization,7576,79 NewReproductiveTechnologies,39,8687 practicesof,230,338n.34 rights,7197,31017. SeealsoMothersPregnantwomen Resistance,17780,263,29598 Butlerand,292,294 Madonnaand,26870,272 postmodern,38,261,262,26570,272,277300 andpower,38,261,262,26568,295 undercutandutilized,16768 Retardedpersons,involuntarysterilizationof,7576 Retreat: femaledisordersas,17677 fromfemaleotherness,22933 andprotest,17677 Rice,MargerySpring,318n.15 Rich,Adrienne,41,23132 Rights,219 abortion,90,9394,313n.31 bodilyintegrity,7280,94 fathers',8893,313n.31 fetal,77,78,81,8788,93,95,31215 reproductive,7197,31017 women's,71,94,312n.26 Rightwing,andabortionrights,95 Rochinv.California,7475,78 Rocky,195 Roev.Wade,90,93,312n.26 Romanticization: ofEuropeanness,99100 offemalevalues,231,232,233 Rorty,Richard,21819,222,281 Rosen,Trix,151 Roth,Geneen,105 Ruddick,Sarah,41,231 Running,compulsive,150,152 Russell,Jane,159 Russell,Lillian,102 Russia,andslenderness,103 Rustv.Sullivan,75,76 Ryle,Gilbert,73

S
Sacker,Ira,18889 Sacks,Michael,153 SammyandRosieGetLaid(hooks),28283 Sanger,Margaret,158 Schwartz,Delmore,"HeavyBear,"13,4,56,11 Schwarzenegger,Arnold,246 Schwichtenberg,Cathy,26768 Scurve,162

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"Secondshift,"309n.48 Secrecy,eatingin,114,126,12831,148 Secretads,193,296 Seidenberg,Robert,65,175 Selectivity,andviewfromnowhere,22223 Self: anorecticmale/female,15557,174,17879,324n.79 bodyapartfrom,5,144,14648,152,155 constructionof,5,15,170 controlidentifiedwith,14546 decentered,28384,285 dietingfordevelopmentof,185 femininityand,170 managed,68,152,166,17174,191212 (seealsoDiscipline) "narrowcircleof,"220 slendernessandinnerstateof,19197 Selfcreating,272,296. SeealsoTransformation Selfdenial: withfitnessexercise,152 offood,118,130,201,318n.15 bymothers,118,318n.15. SeealsoControlWill Selfesteem,andbodyimage,5657 Selffeeding,12526,130,171 Selfrealization,bodyand,5,301n.2 Selfrestraint.SeeControlDiscipline Selfsacrifice.SeeSelfdenial Selfsufficiency,controland,153 Semchyshyn,Stefan,86 Senate,U.S.,240 SenecaFallsConvention,157 Sex.SeeGender Sexchanges,39,294 Sexism: andbodyrights,7579 aboutfashion,22 postmoderndeconstructionand,28283 andpublicsexualharassment/rapecases,23537 raceand,286,339n.43 women'scollusionin,2829. SeealsoMisogyny Sexualabuse,69 andeatingdisorders,46,64,148,179,323n.54 ofhysterics,46 masturbationas,16162. SeealsoRape Sexualharassment,Hill/Thomashearings,89,11,71,23440 Sexuality,287 ambiguity,293 androgyny,141,148,174,206,269,274,324n.83 Christianityand,4,6,14546 eatingdisordersandattitudestoward,46,148,323n.55 feminismand,183 filmpunishmentsforfemale,117 andfood,11017,317n.7 genderas"performance"and,290 heterosexism,289,290,294 homosexuality,34,1023,294 hungeras,11017,148,161,163,183,317n.7 Madonnaand,26869 andmasturbationassexualabuse,16162 medicalizationof,14243,16162 "natural,"289,29091,292,294 andpoliticsofsexualizationandobjectification,332n.40 temptress,68,14,29,71,148 Victorianviewofwomen's,16263,183 Shaw,Sandy,153 Shields,Brooke,155,163 Showalter,Elaine,169 Shrimpton,Jean,102 Shuttleworth,Sally,335n.29 Silber,Sherman,39,304n.42 Silverstein,Brett,17879 Simulations(Baudrillard),104 Singer,Lori,163 SixteenAgain,39 Skepticism,gender,21543 Slavery: AfricanAmericanwomenand,911,22 andwomen'srights,157 Slenderness,185212,333n.7 boyfriendsand,64,15455,204,334n.24 changesindefinition,57 classand,62,19193 cultureand,1023,14041,15455,185212 decodingidealof,187212 eatingdisordersand,46,5760,67,6869,140,141,14748,154,15960,17072,204 femininityand,17071 feministsand,29,3233,160 andflab,18791 andgender,187,20412 Madonnaand,26970 meaningof,26,46,57,170 overdetermined,67,187,20412 practicevs.text,182 andself(innerstate),19197 andsocialbody,187,198202 spiritualdimensionsof,6869,196198 andsuccess,62,63,191 "tyrannyof,"33,141,154,185 SlimFast,108 Smith,Dinitia,151,15354 Smith,WilliamKennedy,8,234,236 SmithRosenberg,Carroll,17576 Smithv.Brennan,87 Snitow,Ann,37 Soapoperas,6 Socialbody: contradictionsof,187,199202 slendernessand,187,198202 Socialconductmanuals,Victorian,11214,130,183 Socialcontrol: offemalebody,16667 offemalehunger,130

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Socialcriticism: feministsystemic,2933,54,309n.48 andgeneralizations,23839,24243 modernist,242 talkshowsand,25859 Socialformation,femalepathologyas,17778 Socialmobility,masteringthebodyand,19596 Socialposition,191 andbodyshape/size,187,19197. SeealsoClassGenderRace Socialprotest.SeeProtest Solitaire(Liu),156 Songs,misogynist,27475 SonsandLovers(Lawrence),160 Specter,Arlen,235 Spirit,active,vs.passivebody,1115,90 Spiritualdimensions: offasting,185 inmasteryofdesire,198 ofslenderness,6869,19698. SeealsoMindbodydualismReligion Splash,163 Sprenger(MalleusMalificarum),161 Stallone,Sylvester,60,334n.24 Stanton,ElizabethCody,158 Starvation: addictiontobiochemicaleffectsof,180 aspsychologicalrealityofdieting,103 againstwill,154. SeealsoHunger StayingAlive,246,32324 SteinerAdair,Catherine,47,309n.48,331n.21 Sterilization,involuntary,7576,79 Stewart,PamelaRae,81 StreetcarNamedDesire,195 Strober,Michael,64 StudiesinHysteria(Freud&Breuer),158,331n.28 Subjectivity,73 black,316n.72 ofcorpses,311n.11 embodied,7280,151,26775 andfather'srights,91,92 fetal,8088,316n.76 andfoodrelations,100,103 informedconsentand,7374,79 andlifesupport,311n.11 Madonnaand,26775 politicsof,7197 postmodernismand,26775,277300 reclaimingreproductive,9397 reconstructing,9697,28485 rhetoricandpolitics,96 subversive,295 ofwomen,8088,91,92,9397,26775 Subordination,ofwomen,262 Subversion,29295,29899 Success: classand,62,191 andslenderness,62,63,191 SuchaPrettyFace(Millman),202 Suleiman,SusanRubin,226,227,267 Supersubjects,fetal,8088,316n.76 Superwoman,47,17374,309n.48,331n.21 SupremeCourt: NewJersey,87 U.S.,72,75,81,90 SurgicalSolution(Reilly),76 Symbols: animality,4 bodyshape/size,187,19197 bodyassystemofnatural,19899 consumption,202 femaledisordersas,16869,17677,181 femininity,181. SeealsoText Symposium(Plato),3 Systemiccritique,feminismas,2933,54,309n.48

T
Taft,WilliamHoward,192 Taftv.Taft,78 Talkshows: "Donahue,"25154,25556,258,29394 onfather'srights,91 onobesity,2034 OprahWinfrey,60,82,255,296 aspostmodernconversation,25859 onsexchanges,39 Technologies: andbodyasmachine,245 NewReproductive,39,8687 forphysicaltransformation,185,24550. SeealsoCosmeticsurgeryLiposuction TeenAgeWerewolfinLondon,189 "TelephoneCall"(Parker),160 Television,26062,321n.12 "Fame,"153 femininityinshows,16970 foodanddietingimages,199 idealwoman,16364 muscleson,195 "Nightline,"91 andplasticpluralism,258 "semioticresourcesof,"261 soapoperas,6 "Thirtysomething,"121 "20/20,"187. SeealsoAdvertisementsTalkshows Temptationandfall,withfood,11214 Temptress,womanas,68,14,29,71,148 TerminatorII,297 Text: bodyas,38,165,16874,18084,29193 "difference,"21718 slenderness,182 subversion,299 worldas,226. SeealsoMedia ThinkingFragments(Flax),40,27980 Thinness.SeeSlenderness Thomas,Cal,82 Thomas,Clarence,89,11,71,23439mpassim Thompson,Kevin,56 Thurschwell,Adam,226

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Tiegs,Cheryl,163 Timaeus(Plato),34 Time,193,268,269 TomJones,110,11617 Torture,public,143 Totalization,and''difference,"259,260 Toys,children's,263 Transcendence,4,15,3642,227 anorectics',202 ofbody(Cartesian),322n.25 ofdomesticarena,68 domesticarenaas,118 ofhungeranddesire,6869 "Transcenders,"37 Transformation,42 cultural,3642,240,243,28485,295 inhealthsystem,31516 ofmeaning,168 physical,66,185,24550,26972. SeealsoCosmeticchangesDietingFitnessPlasticity Transgression: bodyassiteof,4 foodas,112,12831 Madonnaand,26869. SeealsoTemptress Travolta,John,246,32324 Trickster,bodyas,228 Truly,Madly,Deeply,39 TruthorDare,272 Twiggy,102 Tyson,Mike,234,236

U
Ultrasound,85,86 UnitedWay,80 Universalism,feminismand,21925 UseofPleasure(Foucault),198

V
VanHalen,Eddie,334n.24 VanityFair,272 Victorianculture/Nineteenthcentury,177 aristocracy,117,191 conductmanuals,11214,130,183 corsets,143,162,212 dietingin,185 eatingdisorders,50,51,62,64,168,183,308n.44,319n.3 evolutionarytheory,75 fashion,143,159,162,208,212,325n.103 femininity,24,50,15758,16263,169,181,330n.11 feminism,157,16162,327n.118,331n.28 hysteria,46,4951,6667,15759,16768,169,180,327n.117,331n.28 idealwoman,16263,183,321n.12,330n.11 masculinity,50 medicalestablishment,5051,64,158,16162,169,327n.117 middleclass,157,185,19192 "newwoman"of,206,335n.29 resurgent,159,208,331n.28 andsexualityofwomen,16263,183 slendernessideals,212 socialsymbolismofbodyweightandsize,19192 andwomeneating,110,11216,117,130,183 Videos,Madonna,27274 "Viewfromnowhere,"3940,21729 Virey,J.J.,9 VirginiaSlimsads,100102,103 VisionQuest,173,19596,198 Voluptuousness: AfricanAmericanfemale,9 cultureand,102 Madonna's,26970 afterWorldWarII,159. SeealsoHourglass/"Fuller"figure

W
WaistLand,20911 Walker,Alice,41 Walkerv.Pierce,76,7980,311n.16 Washington,Desiree,234,235,236 Watts,Alan,14546 Weaver,Sigourney,173 Weightloss,30,31,68 advertisementsand,99 boyfriends/husbandspromoting,15455,334n.24 vs.flabasenemy,18791 intestinesremovedfor,140. SeealsoDietingFitness WeightWatchersads,112,126,129 West,Cornel,42,284 West,Ellen,140,146,147,15657,159,31920 White,Vanna,335n.33 Whitehead,A.N.,1,2 Whitehead,MaryBeth,94 Whites: anorecticsamong,320n.9 asbeautynorm,25 feminist,1523,225,229,337n.11 hooksand,285 Whites,LeeAnn,335n.31,336 Wife,ideal,118 Will,68 eatingdisordersand,14748,15354,178,180,19698,323n.58 fitnessexerciseand,151,15354,301n.2 "male,"21112 overweightand,19293. SeealsoControlDiscipline Williams,Patricia,235 Winfrey,Oprah,60,82,255,296 Winnicott,D.W.,280 Winstonv.Lee,75,78 Witch,AnitaHillas,235 Witchhunts,161 Wittig,Monique,17 Wolf,Naomi,29,304n.35 Wollstonecraft,Mary,1718 Womanhood,fearof,15556,16061 Women,137 AfricanAmerican,911,22,63,100102,103,12425,23536,26364 ambivalenceabout"fe

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maleness,"37 asbodies,511,1215,143 "consuming,"206 dietingamong,53,329n.4 indomesticarena,42,71,11721,159,171,208 eatingdisordersamong,4552passim,12831,140,15461,167,17073,320n.10,329n.6 eatinggluttonously/devouring,117,161,163,206,318n.12 eatingaslovesubstitute,12526 eatingrestrainedquantities,11016,134,183 eatinginsecret,126,12830 asEnemy,23637 fearof,16061,163 feelingfat,154,204,334n.25 femaledisorders,seeAgoraphobiaEatingdisordersHysteria fitnessbenefits,15051 asfoodconsumers,10310 ashunger,117,16061,163 andhungerassexuality,11017,148,161,163,183 andlabordivision,71,11731,171,208 andmaledominance,29,262 managementofdesirein,68,7879,8687,11016,20512 mediaideal,16364,182,321n.12 menas,92 needsunnurtured,326n.109 "New"(lateVictorianera),206,335n.29 "New"(1920s),241,335n.29 as"NewMan,"17174 objectified,118,182,26774 andoppressor/oppressedmodel,23,28 aspassivebodies,1215,90 personhoodof,72,79,94,312n.24 inpublicdomain,3637,68,134,170,171 (seealsoProfessionals) andslendernessideal,20412 sterilizedinvoluntarily,76 subjectivityof,8088,91,92,9397,26775 subordinationof,262 andsuperwoman,47,17374,309n.48,331n.21 astemptresses,68,14,29,71,148 as"toomuch,"160,32627 "traditional"vs.feminist,48 Victorianideal,16263,183,321n.12,330n.11. SeealsoFemininityFeminismMothersNurturing,femaleSlenderness Women'sFranchiseLeague,157 "Women'sliberation,"1523,268. SeealsoFeminism Wooley,Susan,5556 Wooley,Wayne,5556 Workethic,15,201 Workingclass,andmuscles,19395 WorldAntiSlaveryConference,157 "World"travellers,28687 WorldWarII,159,208 Wright,Richard,275

Y
Yearning(hooks),40,279,283,28586,287,316n.72 YellowWallpaper(Gilman),15859 Young,IrisMarion,95,96 Yuppies: nontraditionaladsfeaturing,13334 willexercisedby,15354 workingout,195

Z
Zimmer,Marc,18889,306n.17 Zirelli,Linda,17

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