Eataholics Anonymous

Eataholics Anonymous
Food, Sex, Gender & Memory Lane

Cut by: Davita Cuttita

In between being insanely busy with school, work and friend events; I’ve been thinking a lot about two things:

1.) Food
2.) Boys

And as usual, my thoughts ran far, far, away with me and ended up here as I realized a few things…

Whenever you watch TV, there seems to be a certain scenario in place. For example:

WOMAN: Woman sits in an office; a PA announcement/co-workers will tempt her with food such as a doughnut, cake, etc. Also, the woman is almost always at work in an office or doing some form of exercise. After this temptation, the woman will respond in one of two ways (or both):

a.) She first internally debates with herself about the amount of exercise she’s done that day and whether or not she’s “done enough” or “been good enough” to indulge. In the end, she pulls out a dietary supplement or calorie-reduced snack and munches away sneakily.
b.) She turns down the temptation, smiling all the while and informs her tempter(s) of the joy of some cereal or whatever that is helping to suppress her appetite and keep her trim.

MAN: Man is sitting around with his friends and usually has a “super manly” profession such as a construction worker. He is eating a hamburger, pizza or some other fast food and typically berates the man who is eating a homemade lunch, a non-fast food meal or a smaller version of fast food meal than he is having.

Another important thing to note is that this paradigm kinda works both ways. Try and keep up with the sarcasm.

For example, if the man decides to eat something healthy/a small meal he suddenly has to “defend” himself against an onslaught of criticism from other men or even from himself (oftentimes the man’s stomach will start yelling comments at him). Is he eating a bowl of Cheerios? He CAN’T possibly be eating it because he enjoys the taste or just felt like having Cheerios. No, he’s eating them because he wants to lower his cholesterol and has to be a good manly-man to live forever and fight bears for his family! Men don’t make good food choices, that’s why they have women to cook for them and Hungry Man TV dinners!

On the other hand, the woman is usually the one berating herself wondering how many stairs she climbed today or getting anxious about whether or not her spin class would be enough to burn off a slice of cake. Instead she looks both ways, and reaches into her desk drawer or office fridge and starts munching away at something and right as other people hear the sound of her chewing or smell the aroma of her snack, what happens? IT’S GONE! VANISHED!! Then she looks around snidely like she didn’t do it.

Do you know what that scenario reminds me of? RATS. Has anyone ever seen rats up close and personal? You walk into a dark alley/your kitchen and make a little noise, shine a light perhaps and then they’re just there and right before your friend comes over they fucking disappear like phantoms and you start yelling “But I saw a rat man, it was RIGHT THERE! It looked at me!” and your friend just rolls their eyes at you? Yeah. That’s what it reminds me of. It also reminds me of something much worse.

Alcoholism. Gambling addictions. The list goes on. These are serious conditions and I am NOT saying they are the same; they are NOT THE SAME at all. What I *am* saying is that how people, moreso than ever women; end up hiding the foods they enjoy and eat them in some sort of shameful secrecy much like how those people indulge away from questioning gazes and prying comments.

The women feel guilty about their food because of what’s in it or perhaps they are “cheating” on some diet but they can’t help their eataholicism…it’s just so damn delicious! They just can’t fight that cookie, cupcake, can of coke, or slice of pizza! It haunts them that they’re doing this to themselves…putting all that fat, sugar and oh-so-goodness into their veins—I mean, mouth. BUT THEY CAN’T HELP IT!

Why? Why is it wrong to enjoy food?

Also, why is it that as a society, we tend to apply gender roles to food?

Women eat salad to keep their waists trim.
Men eat hamburgers to be full.

This is strange because obviously, there is a connection between food, gender and sex. Consider how some believe the consumption of strawberries, oysters and baby duck or chicken foetus to be powerful aphrodisiacs, for example. So I kinda sat back and racked my brains for a second to find out what or why exactly QUANTITY of food consumption hits women so hard when it suddenly hit me.

I was out for a night on the town with a guy friend I hadn’t seen in a long time so we decided to hit up a nice restaurant so we could catch up on events. I don’t recall what he ordered, but I remember the shock on his face when I ordered a large medium-well steak with mashed potatoes and all that deliciousness.

“What’s the matter?” I asked then rolled my eyes.

“I know, I know. Girls aren’t supposed to eat tons but I’m hungry and I like steak so I don’t care.”

“No, no, it’s not that!” he informed me. “It’s just that, they say girls who eat a lot or girls who have big appetites are usually good in bed and have big sexual appetites, too”.

He smiled.

I suppose now would be the appropriate time to mention that this friend also had a crush on me and was hoping for “more” if we ever crossed that bridge (but as personal policy, I never date my friends so that was a no-go).

Nor was this the last time I ever got what I call the “I hope we fuck” smile from a date/friend. There have been a few other occasions where I’ve gone out with a guy, ordered a big meal, finished it and gotten “the smile”. With my ex-boyfriend, I recall once when we went out and he kept ordering me things, even as I protested that it was too expensive or I didn’t want it just to make me eat more (no, we wasn’t into feederism; ). Afterwards at his place, we made out so hard I thought his skull would pass through mine. What made this and consequently, our relationship worse was the whole “trophy” aspect that followed. Since I’m fairly fit from running 4–5 times a week and thus by no means adipose; I’d be paraded around to friends with his background vocals of “look at my girlfriend, she eats so much and looks so hot!”

I have yet to put out, and hooray I can eat like crazy and not care; but this is where my EXTREMELY mixed feelings about this new myth come around because it implies that a woman who eats like an animal will also fuck like one, too. (Nine Inch Nails, anyone?). Women are labelled by so many things and now our eating habits or how much we choose to eat or not to eat suddenly become a bigger part of the mix. It gets scarier when you put two and two together and realize that the older idyllic of a woman eating little is still considered “ladylike” by some and that these two will (if not already) be co-existing. To say it simply, we’ll have people who start thinking like this:

Eating little: Ladylike
Eating a lot: A Whore in the Bedroom


On the other hand, it’s good that some people really don’t care how much you eat or what but women: we totally gotta lay off of eachother and ourselves. Stop treating food as an extension of gender conventions. I often hear women say “food is like my lover” or “food is my best friend”. You damn right it is! And as far as I’m concerned, it’s a lot like one for the following reasons: food is there for you whenever you need unconditional physical and mental nourishment and oral “gratification”.

Oh yeah, it also tastes good.


~ by davitacuttita on October 28, 2008.

8 Responses to “Eataholics Anonymous”

  1. You are a damn genius, and if i’d had my morning coffee already i’d be able to say something more interesting and coherent than that.

  2. No, no, that’s profound enough! LOL. Just kidding, feel free to come back later, if you want. Thanks for reading!

  3. One of the things that’s been bouncing around in my brain for a while now is this idea that people seem to think of history in months and years instead of decades and centuries. It’s not nearly as Orwellian as “we’ve always been at war with Eurasia”, but sometimes eerily similar. In this case, how this ties in is the idea that in the States (not sure how it was up in the Great Wilderness of Canadia – note heavy sarcasm), food as always been as available as it is now.

    Example: i joked with someone the other day about, “lady, don’t you know there’s a war on?” And she stared blankly at me. She made me feel old even though SHE WAS OLDER THAN ME. *eyeball twitchies* People don’t seem to remember food shortages in the 30’s because of the Great Depression (and the drought in the Dust Bowl), and then food rationing in the 40s because of the war economy brought about by WWII, and then you had people who grew up into adults who got angry with their “ungrateful” children when they failed to clean their plates. After all, they didn’t have that kind of food when they were children! They were just trying to make sure that their kids had the sorts of things that they had lacked in their youths. And so we started to see children getting more food than their parents and grandparents were used to eating.

    (This next paragraph is a total tangent – i think i had an idea of where i was taking it, but it seemed to go off on its own way. Hellifino.) Look at fashion before the flapper era really hit it big: big busts, corseted waists, ample hips and roomy buttocks. Beauty ads from this era featured products to help you gain weight, not lose it. Interestingly enough, the flapper era (all straight lines, no curves) was a time of almost ridiculous prosperity. The value of a thing is based on how difficult it is to obtain it. When food is scarce, larger sizes are a sign that you are able to easily obtain food – that you have status and/or wealth. But when food is everywhere, when people’s bodies are all over the charts, the most “desirable” shapes are going to be the ones that are the most difficult to obtain.

    So i think the question is this: how far back can we go while maintaining the correlation between hunger appetites and sexual appetites? Unfortunately, history isn’t really a strong point of mine, especially with those particular subjects. I will pick Ben’s brains for more info on this, i’m guessing he’ll have something interesting to say about it.

    I overheard a conversation the other day about the difference between chastity and celibacy – the former refers to maintaining the sexual ethical norms for the culture of which you are a part, and the latter is a complete lack of participation in sexual activities.

    Here’s the problem: as a culture, we’ve taken on similar approaches to sex as we’ve done in the past with drugs: “just say no”. Given that kids are being taught to just Not Have Sex, celibacy and chastity have effectively come to imply the same thing: abstinence. But they’re not supposed to be the same thing.

    Okay, so this has already taken me i don’t know how long to write, and my brain isn’t much better than it was pre-caffeine. I’m just gonna post this and let the rest percolate.

  4. Hi again, Lindsay!

    I can definitely say that there is a BIG sexual schism between the U.S and Canada, hahahah!!

    When Grandpa and I were 11 & 12 (which was only ten years ago!) a nurse from a local hospital came to our school to explain sex to us and it’s co-ed. At age 11, the nurse teaches you the body parts, about the period, noctural emissions, etc and the next year when you’re 12, she comes back to teach you in more detail about sex, proper condom usage, abstinence, masturbation, STDs, etc and answers all your questions.

    So, here in Canada the system has always emphasized OPTIONS when it comes to sexuality consequently all “abstinence-only” pressure and debate you have in the US simply doesn’t exist here. Thanks for the thought though, I’ll probably go into detail about sexuality in Canada a bit more because it’s radically different up here somehow.

    Fast food is pretty readily available here too but once again: not to the same extent. We don’t have as much variety as you do and our meals tend to be slightly more expensive. Also, if you don’t live in the hustle of downtown or drive, (along with the hell that is winter) variety in food delivery options are almost non-existent so in a way; it’s more difficult to obtain (certain) foods here without going through some sort of trouble.

    Certain foods being aphrodesiacs can go back for thousands of years and through many cultures. However, my problem was that I don’t want anyone to be sexually stereotyped based on their consumption which seems to be the new trend amongst us up-and-coming adults.

    Also, I really liked the flapper example! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I always love your comments, they make me smile. ^_^

  5. I can definitely say that there is a BIG sexual schism between the U.S and Canada, hahahah!!

    Ben and i were talking about something along these lines the other day. I am, again, woefully ignorant of Canadian history, but here in the States we like to crow about how our earliest settlers were pilgrims who were looking for freedom of religion. How noble! Right? Uh. Well, we don’t frequently talk about the details of those sought-after freedoms: they wanted to be more harsh with religious-based punishments. People like to blame American prudishness on the Victorians, but (as i understand it) the truth of the matter is that it comes from our fire and brimstone religious nuts settlers who got pissed at England because the queen wouldn’t let them hang adulterers.

    They didn’t really do sex-ed in my schools, at least not as far as i can recall. I think in the 5th grade we got a half-hour talk about the difference between pads and tampons. My mom waited until i was 17 to try to have That Talk with me, and this is about how it went:

    Mom: You know, Lindsay, if you have any questions about…(deep breath)… S-E-X*… you know you can ask me, right?
    Me: Uh, sure mom. That’s… great. (wishes we were not in a moving car, so i could FLEE! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!)
    *pause for nice long awkward silence*
    Mom: So… do you have any questions? (winces and stiffens as if bracing for impact)
    Me: Uh, not really, no. Thanks, though. (stares out window, desperately wishing to be anywhere else right about now)

    * – yes, she really did spell it out.

    I just remembered that in college, i had to attend a sex-ed course before they would prescribe BCP for me (even though i wanted them to try to keep my endometriosis at bay). They went into how to use different sorts of condoms (male vs. female vs. dental dams, etc), and all of the myriad of venereal diseases you could catch. With a slideshow! Yay for scare tactics! *facepalm*

    Good food is hard to come by in my area (most easily described as a “ghetto suburb” = lots of old Section 8 housing), and not a week goes by where we don’t hear gunfire. Gotta love it. The nearest things are an over-priced WIC (food stamps; WIC = “women, infants, children”) store, and a drugstore that has a small selection of things like milk, eggs, coffee, mac’n’cheese and canned tuna. If you want decent produce, you pretty much need a car; the nearest decent grocery is 4 miles away, and the selection there isn’t all that great either. The shortest walking distance between there and where i live is a road that has no sidewalks, and the bus only runs every 45 minutes. The delivery options are two pizza places and a chinese place.

    This is not some back-assward place in BFE, Mississippi. This is a suburb within the Atlanta metro area.

    But the people i see walking on the side of the road? All shapes and sizes. I see women almost twice my size (and i am not small), and women who look like they could squeeze through a keyhole.

    Wow, i’m rambly today. This is my brain on not enough sleep!

    I have to admit, i’ve never quite understood the “food as aphrodisiac” bit. I mean, if it works for anyone else, that’s awesome – but i’ve never felt any kind of effect from “aphrodisiacal” (is that a word?) foods. But i tend to get all goofy for brainiacs and theatre nerds. Food is too complicated an issue in my brain to want to tie it with sexybits, which are also very complicated for a whole number of reasons i don’t need to go into. In any case, my husband is scary smart and loves a good song and dance number, so it all works out.

    I also liked the flapper thing, and i think i’m going to have to be all posty about it. But it may be a day or two – i want to do some fact-checking with Ben, and give it a re-read when i’m feeling more linear.

  6. p.s.: i wasn’t intentionally ignoring your compliment! I like posting here too because it’s all niftybits and good times. Like i said, my brain is all sorts of whee today. lol 🙂

  7. Well Lindsay, I will definitely be posting an article on sexxxy times in Canada. Just from reading your comments I knew there was a difference but I didn’t know it was THAT big of one! Thanks again for the inspiration. And I look forward to lurking around on Babble to read that flapper article when you get to it. ^_~

  8. […] Eataholics – Season One […]

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