Lydia’s Library Books

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Academic Books category.

The Cult of Thinness

According to research from this book, the ratio of males with eating disorders to females with ED is 1:10.

Why is that? Most literature I’ve read styles male EDs as being vocational (ie they’re wrestlers, so they purposefully gain weight, etc.), even while admitting that there has to be more to it. This book devotes a whole section on male body image through a discussion of body builders who simply cannot stop. Continue reading this entry »

Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body

The title of this entry is the name of (one of) the book(s) I’m reading right now (by Susan Bordo), and I’ve got to say… it’s one of those books that makes you feel kind of silly because everything you’ve thought about in moments of revelation is already in there. No matter, I’m glad I found it. I don’t agree with everything I suppose, but that’s for another post (I swear, I’m going to start posting again! I have time off from work now- that gives me some prime thinking time).

Anyway, one of the major points that Bordo makes in this book is that eating disorders are less pathology and more a product of a misogynistic culture. Personally, while I feel like this is a very legitimate and truthful argument, I also think that there is a lot to gain from contemporary psychological theories and explanations- especially those that place eating disorders under the category of coping mechanisms. However, this entry isn’t really going to go into that. I’m just going to start with the very basics of eating disorders and negative body image as a result of Western culture. My starting point is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately (so much, in fact, that I got a book on Plato out from the library..), and that’s the separation of mind and body into a dualism. Continue reading this entry »

Further Reading

I like theory… but I fully recognize how boring it is to read! It can be so damn boring sometimes! However, when it comes down to it, I’m stuck reading theory all the time. Historic and sociological works are more interesting to me because they can really get down into how theory impacts reality and people, which is more of my cup of tea. Anyway, this post doesn’t really have anything to do with that, other than within the realm of indigenous feminist criticism there are some really smart people writing really interesting stuff that might be dry and boring to some, but to me, feels alive and energetic. This post is going to be a list of related books that I haven’t yet read, but sound good!

Also, here’s an article:

However, while well intended, feminist activism can sometimes be disempowering and even racist towards Aboriginal people, resulting in the same kind of dispossession as that inflicted by colonial governments.


CoverMaking Space for Indigenous Feminism is a collection of writings by Indigenous scholars who employ a feminist analysis in a very critical way to analyze inequities in power relations (native and non). It’s a short book, with sixteen contributions. Joyce Green, in Taking Account of Aboriginal Feminism, explains why this may be.

Even where contemporary social relations are understood to be shaped by colonial and patriarchal practices, Aboriginal women are reluctant to use a gendered analysis to criticize Aboriginal men. Indeed, feminist analysis is widely considered to be divisive, corrosive of family and community, culturally inappropriate and even colonialist. A number of prominent Aboriginal intellectuals have dismissed feminism’s relevance for Aboriginal women while others have celebrated Aboriginal women’s traditional and maternalist roles to the exclusion of analysis of gendered power relations.

Considering feminism’s historic disregard for the racial identities of women of color (while assuming that all women can unite under some sort of ‘sisterhood,’ putting their womanness first), this makes sense. Feminism alone is not ‘for everybody,’ but “aboriginal feminism,” as outlined by Green and others,

“brings together the two critiques, feminism and anti-colonialism, to show how Aboriginal peoples, and in particular Aboriginal women, are affected by colonialism and patriarchy.”

This seems to me to be pretty necessary: native women have had to put up with a lot of bullshit. Colonialism and land theft, sexist legislation (this piece talked a lot about Canada’s Indian Act in this regard, and off the top of my head I’m reminded of the Hyde Amendment), forced sterilization (esp. in the US in the 70s, in the years between Roe and Hyde), economic oppression, and more. As a non-native woman, I’m really not one to talk. But historically, this is a group that has been given the least and taken from the most, and now it’s been reported that one in three American Indian women will be raped in her lifetime. That’s not just sexism.

Continue reading this entry »