Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Women's Services Part Deux


This post made alot of readers angry/insulted. I wrote about two Women's Services posters that I found offensive and asserted my concern as to why there isn't a parallel "Men's Services" to for Men to help their wives with issues that are socially rampant. The already existing version is for "Loved Ones With Pornography Problems". I proposed a "Loved Ones with Eating Disorders", held in a Men's Services. I feel differently, today, about my harsh statements about it being a "men's" problem and not a "woman"'s. Partly, because I think that this whole thing is extremely gendered anyway. Men have eating disorders and woman look at porn too. So, that I retract. And also because it read as an attack on the bond of marriage. But, I still stand by my feelings about these issues being systemic to a culture of perfection. I know nothing about the treatments/therapy that goes on in Women's Services. I am talking about core issues-why are these so prevalent? That's what interests me. If we can talk about the cultural issues and the problems stemming from them, then we can start to turn this thing around.


allyson elizabeth said...

I don't know a lot about pornography addictions, but I think a support group for those with eating disorders is vital. Or even a large lecture where they discuss some of the eating behaviors that are involved with the disorders.

For example: a women with anorexia may eat a lot of one kind of food. It could be a strange combination (lettuce and mustard, pasta noodles and lemon juice) that she considers to be calorie free, or somehow calorie deficient. This is a food she knows she can eat without gaining weight.

I also have a problem with the "fed up with food" poster. I can't imagine it being effective for people who have actually developed disordered eating patterns. The diagnostic criteria for women with anorexia is to be severely underweight and still believe they are too large; they don't recognize they have a problem. So they certainly aren't going to be strolling into a group meeting.

I think a support group for their loved ones is a fabulous idea. People with eating disorders can lie and manipulate to make it seem they don't have a problem. They can hide it from their families and friends, and can become very agitated if confronted. A group that helps loved ones understand the disorder and how they can help them seek treatment seem very empowering. You should make a suggestion to the Women's Center. I would support that.

**I talked about anorexia but other eating disorders are prevalent, perhaps more so. And since the overwhelming majority of those with eating disorders are women, I used the feline pronoun, but men can also have these problems.

morganne blair witchfield said...

I should disclaim that I feel support groups are absolutely vital. I guess my feelings are while we are treating the symptoms, let's perhaps dig into the why's.

That was my concern too, Allyson, about the poster. I couldn't imagine any one of my relatives/friends who have eating disorders, seeing that poster and feeling energized to go seek help. I showed several friends (and I know you and I have talked about this in the past) the posters and most have agreed that they look like "Mormon-ads". Shame on me for not proposing another design and complaining about it. All in time, though.

Thanks for your post.

Jendar said...

i completely agree with you morganne.