“Fat is a feminist issue” has been a mantra for some years now. This comes from a book by another Jewish feminist, working in the almost Jewish tradition, following Freud, Jung and others, of psychology. She has done much to try to help women but in my view has failed to see the link in her own religious roots, as Dworkin did not (see “Feminist”).
It is the Jewish tradition, passed into the Christian tradition in Europe and Muslim tradition closer to its roots, which has brought and maintained marriage in our Christian centric society. One of the ten commandments is against adultery, blessings fall on married people, Jesus advises an adulterous woman, saved from stoning, to go her way and “sin no more” and also claimed he had overcome the world which he declared was “an adulterous place”. These, shows this link to marriage.
However, girls have, in reality, evolved so that young girls are generally attractive, but after marriage and children can either let themselves go or become like those they thought they looked better than before marriage after having children. This body morphosis probably leads to much of the depression associated with post natal states. The question then is would women have evolved to be so attractive when having not had their first child if marriage was not the aim. It certainly is unlikely to be the state we started from when our ancestors first descended from the trees to walk upright. It is male centric to demand that the wife starts as a beautiful thing and even the catholic church maintains that Mary is beautiful. The Jewish rooted religions therefore have some blame for this situation. Should girls and or feminists adapt to it? Men have gone along with it for so long it may be hard to wean them off it, wean being operative as attempts to force them off it may lead to reactioin or provide opportunities for attractive women that were opposite the intent of the feminists.
Susie Orbach’s latest book, Bodies, was published in January 2009.
I have some sympathy with those suffering with their image as the Danes induced poor body image in me after the Rebecca ø Fest and it took me years to get over that after taking a long time to find a way out of it.