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Fat Is a Feminist Issue Hardcover – Mar 1997

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bbs Pub Corp (March 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883659875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883659878
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #417,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Virtually all feminist debate on body image and beauty imagery owes its existence to Susie Orbach's enduring formulation" -- Naomi Wolf, bestselling author of The Beauty Myth "Susie Orbach's pioneering work isn't just the first to expose the links between sexual politics and female dieting; it remains the classic work on the subject ... it is more essential than ever that Fat is a Feminist Issue be read by every woman" -- Susan Faludi, bestselling author of Backlash "[Orbach's] pungent psychoanalytic insights and plain good sense ensure that this is still the sharpest, and best bible for the food junkie" The Independent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Susie Orbach is a psychotherapist, writer and co-founder of The Women's Therapy Centre in London and The Women's Therapy Centre in New York. Her books include Hunger Strike, What's Really Going on Here?, Towards Emotional Literacy, Susie Orbach On Eating and The Impossibility of Sex. She lectures widely in the UK, Europe and North America, has written for several magazines and newspapers, and has provided consultation advice for organisations from the NHS to the World Bank. She continues to help many individuals and couples from her practice in London. She is also a visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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By Jodi-Hummingbird TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 29 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a book I have heard mentioned every now and then for many years and I have always wanted to know what the book was about. So when I saw a cheap used copy I couldn't resist buying it to find out.

I'm somewhat overweight and have many serious health problems, which contribute to my weight issues in a number of ways. I didn't expect to relate so much to the different reasons that I could be choosing to stay overweight, but after reading this book I now have no doubt that at least part of my inability to maintain a healthier weight is not physical.

I'm a feminist, of course. (I don't understand at all any woman who wouldn't want to be identified as a feminist, someone who supports equal rights for men and women, and who find the term cringe-worthy. It is only a terrible term if you believe all the anti-feminist and status quo supporting media and propaganda and so on, surely?) But I was surprised in reading this book how much of it really hit home with me, but how little any of it had to do with my gender or with feminism!

Not all the possible reasons for staying overweight had to do with feminism, as the title of this book may suggest. In fact, the vast majority of them did not. Some of the parts which did have to do with gender, such as mother-daughter competitiveness issues, I didn't relate to at all, possibly because they the book is very dated. (My mother has always worked and so doesn't envy my ability to work, for example.)

Some of the book is very dated, but it is easy enough to skip over those parts and to spend time contemplating the more timeless concepts. I'd very much recommend this book for men dealing with high or low weight issues, as well as women. It is a classic and you're sure to gain some real insight into your unconscious thoughts and actions by reading it.

This book provides lots of food for thought!

Jodi Bassett, The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E.
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Format: Hardcover
I first read this book in 1978. And I'm so happy to have read this a few times more.
One of the most valuable questions that Susie Orbach asks is, "How will I be who I wish to be, if I look as I am supposed to look?" I suggest that when you ask this question, do so with the intention of envisioning an answer that works well for you, regardless of what you have seen, "out there." This is a question allows women to take ownership of their mind, body and soul.
Each year, I interview high school students, regarding their eating and body image beliefs. And I have seen a growing problem. By this time in their lives, both women and men now, get so caught up in an imaged protrayed by all forms of the media, that we can lose sight of who we are really meant to be.
The reasons for the problem have a long history with women, and a different reason for women than men. As men are complimented more on how they look, not as a means to flirt with them, but as a measurement of having what it takes, they are being pushed into some of the body image issues that women have a long history with.
This is also an excellent question to ask myself, in times when normally I might doubt my eating choices, my beauty, my being enough, or how my ability to be open to others, and still have boundaries in place.
I am eternally grateful for this book. Three excellent follow up books to this book, are, "My Mother Myself," by Nancy Friday," "Fat and Furious," by Judi Hollis, then "Overcoming Overeating," by Carol Munter and Jane Hirschmann.
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Format: Paperback
I first read a similar book by Evelyn Tribole called "Intuitive Eating". Both of these books approach weight loss the same way - figure out why you are eating, and then work at it from a psychological approach, rather than going on a specific diet.

What I like about Evelyn's book is that it is for the individual to do by herself, whereas Susan's book is more for a group therapy approach. She also has some other interesting reasons about why I might be overweight, which made for very interesting reading.
However, between the two books, I preferred Evelyn's because it gave more specific information to work with and let me do it by myself, rather than a full support group (as a stay-at-home mom with a 3-year-old, very important).
I did appreciate both books though, because they emphasized the same thing - the overeating is not because of lack of willpower, but because of psychological reasons - and that makes lots of sense to me.
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