laurie penny

Reading challenge; blue cover + library + self-improvement

Time for a reading challenge update! Another 3 categories of the challenge down; the blue cover (Twitchhiker by Paul Smith), the library book (Unspeakable Things by Penny Laurie) and the self-improvement book (Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating by Leora Fulvio).

Even though I didn’t plan it, these three actually go together quite nicely.

I picked up Twitchhiker at the library; I wanted an easy read, and it looked like it would be. It was. However. I have an itch. What bothers me with this book is that it proves Carin Holmberg right. You know Carin Holmberg? Researcher, studied the power balance in heterosexual relationships in the 90s, proved that there is an imbalance not benefitting women. One of my fave feminists. Well this guy here shows that Holmberg’s study is still valid. It had me annoyed throughout the read. The fact that he’s aware of having been criticized by feminists, prior to writing the book, this because he left his wife of four days at home with the kids to travel the world via Twitter, and still includes the bit in the book, it just makes me think he’s particularly stupid. I’m not going to dwell on this tho, each to her own. But, it kept me from thoroughly enjoying the book.

To remedy my annoyance I started reading Unspeakable Things, which I knew was a feminist work that somehow had passed me by. I have no idea what I’ve been doing lately, I’m so out of touch with everything. Anyway.

At the same time, I also started reading Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating. Because hi, eating disorder, I has it. And I’m fed up with it. So I figured I might as well use this challenge to read up on binge eating. I hardly think a book will be able to “sort me out”, but it’s a step in the right direction. (PS, it’s not killing me; it’s just keeping from doing things that are truly important.)

I could and would really like to say so many things about both of these books, but I’m going to try to stay on topic. I’m sure I can make up some excuse to get back to them at a later time. So, focus!

Reclaiming Yourself from Binge Eating is not a bad book for what it is. There are bits you can just take on and use, such as keeping a food journal to find patterns in your eating, start to work with intuitive eating – already realized I can’t differentiate between actual hunger and cravings – and start trying to convince yourself to abandon this “project thin”. And this is where Laurie comes in handy.

In the first chapter of Unspeakable Things Laurie talks about how eating disorders keep women in check. You can’t rebel against patriarchy if you’re busy restricting your food intake, because this will just consume you. This means that fat = I’ve got fucking better things to do than monitor my food intake – and suddenly it is clear to me why we are so concerned with what people weigh. It’s not health (if anyone ever believed that anyway). People who are considered overweight are a threat to the current world order. Not being concerned with weight in itself is an act of rebellion. I like it! I’ll tell you, I’ve got a new goal in life, erm, I mean, I have a goal in life? I want to be a fat woman with more important things to do. This, in other words, is my motivation to abandon “project thin”. Not that I don’t have other reasons, because I truly hate admitting that it’s a project I’m involved in to begin with, but apparently none of my reasons are good enough.

Unspeakable Things; best read of the challenge so far. I was a fangirl of the book by page 2. I ordered the book approximately 2 pages after that, and I have phone filled with pictures of my favorite parts if the book. For example, one of my favorite parts is where Laurie offers a solution to oppressive objectification of women:

The solution to this seems to be more boys in tight pants.

You just have to love that this is her solution. No violence, no arguing, just boys + tight pants. I love it that there is someone in this world who would come up with this solution, no matter if it actually is a solution and no matter if it can actually be done.

If I relapsed into non-reading again, I would be OK with that. Because I read one damned good book this year. I’m not going to tho. Not least because I just got Unspeakable Things in my mail, and since I read it in Swedish but ordered a copy in English, I just have to read it again, right?


Lots of love,

signatur 1

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