Probably the most arogant article I've ever read
January 27, 2001 9:05 PM   Subscribe

Probably the most arogant article I've ever read
Jesus. Hermenaut is ususally pretty good but this attack on anorexics is incredibly cynical. Can everyone else fill in the blanks about why this is such cynical crap? Thanks.
posted by davidgentle (15 comments total)
He's just pissed off that the Establishment has invented the diagnosis of anorexia specifically to eliminate the hunger strike as a viable means of protest. Who wouldn't be?
posted by kindall at 10:35 PM on January 27, 2001

Well, the opening paragraphs are sour and deliberately contentious and bitchy just to fit the inimitable Hermenaut mold.

But overall it's actually an interesting article about how hunger strikes affected the women's suffrage movement, and comes to an interesting conclusion.

Tho I have to say, I find Hermenaut kind of hard to take ever since they printed an article slamming MST3K, complaining because the MST cast talk over the movies. The definition of "unclear on the concept". Hermenaut also griped that the MST3K Amazing Colossal Episode Guide was the most worthless movie review book ever, somehow completely ignoring that it SAYS "episode guide", not "movie reviews", in the title. I'm still irked that they printed that article in their normally fun and astute zine.
posted by wiremommy at 11:05 PM on January 27, 2001

Anorexia is a valid medical and psychological condition. The author is perfectly aware that his sentence "[if you are an anorexic] you are a moron no more deserving f social pity than snowmobilers who drive drunk into trees," will irritate readers - which is the purpose of the article.

He attempts to connect his knowledge of hunger strikes with present-day anorexia in order to give himself an aura of respectibility. The fact is, the two are completely unrelated. The Suffragists knew what they were doing in their hunger strikes and they made that clear. Anorexics today don't have much of a choice in what they do, and they don't claim that they're on a hunger strike for some political reason.

Perhaps the author wants to see people use hunger strikes as a tool for protesters again. I don't know, but I think that there are other more effective ways of protesting, which is the reason why we don't have to resort to hunger strikes.
posted by adrianhon at 5:48 AM on January 28, 2001

Anorexia is a valid medical and psychological condition.

So is "caffeine-induced sleep disorder", not doing in well in math, and having trouble writing clearly, according to the DSM, at least...
posted by dagnyscott at 6:24 AM on January 28, 2001

I don't know what the DSM is, but I think you're presenting a pretty poor argument here. Schizophrenia is a valid medical and psychological condition. Are you suggesting that we should rank it equal with 'not doing well in math' and 'caffeine-induced sleep disorder'? The fact that you believe they're not worthy of our attention doesn't mean that by association, every valid medical and psychological condition is a waste of time.
posted by adrianhon at 6:45 AM on January 28, 2001

Nice to read the 'PI' truth once in a while .
CURE for anorexia : Fry some bacon .
posted by ojsbuddy at 8:58 AM on January 28, 2001

People who reflexively cheer the politically incorrect are as tiresome as people who reflexively protest it.
posted by argybarg at 9:11 AM on January 28, 2001

CURE for anorexia : Fry some bacon

Oh my god, you're a genius! What's next from your great mind?

CURE for Down's syndrome: Think, you idiot!
CURE for depression: Cheer up!
CURE for poverty: Get a job!

posted by Jart at 9:29 AM on January 28, 2001

Adrian, without debating the truth of your position, if you don't know what the DSM is, why should we take your word on what is and isn't "a valid medical and psychological condition"?

(The DSM, usually called the DSM-IV, is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. It's the official set of diagnostic criteria of the American Psychiatric Association, and usually taken to be the authoritative statement on what is an isn't a mental disorder. There are lots of reasons to dislike the hegemony of the DSM-IV, but the fact is that it's what the mental health industry in the US uses as the standard.)

posted by rodii at 12:19 PM on January 28, 2001

The article's author is not male, as so many assumed, but female. Dara Moskowitz writes restaurant reviews for my local alt-weekly, City Pages.

posted by GaelFC at 1:20 PM on January 28, 2001

The DSM is called "the Bible of the psychological profession" with good reason, as it inspires precisely the same controversy as yer Old and New Testaments. It's fiercely politicised, and appointments to the editorial board are accompanied by Byzantine power struggles. It's also in the habit of including and excluding conditions to suit the "fashionable" symptomatologies of the weekend supplements, and the demands of the legal and insurance industries.

Anorexia, bulimia and self-mutilation are to modern psychiatry what schizophrenia was to the 1950s and RD Laing: the manifestation of the period's malaise. And for every disease, there's a watered-down fashion of madness in its wake.
posted by holgate at 2:01 PM on January 28, 2001

Rodii: Because I've read enough and heard enough about anorexia to know that it is a valid medical and psychological condition. I don't need to read the DSM to know this any more than I need to read a biology book to know what a protein is. But I do see your point.

Besides, since then I've spoken to a psychology graduate friend of mine who assures me that anorexia is what I thought it was.
posted by adrianhon at 2:38 PM on January 28, 2001


Not disagreeing with you about anorexia. The point I take from what Dagny was saying is that lots of things can be "valid conditions"--a psychology student of a certain area would have assured you that hysteria was a "valid condition"--but that that's not necessarily a good guide to whether a society does or should treat them all with equal gravity. Especially since, as Holgate notes, those definitions are fraught with historical, ideological and economic considerations.

(PS: Do they use the DSM in the UK? or anywhere outside the US?)
posted by rodii at 2:49 PM on January 28, 2001

I think 'suicide by starvation' is accepted by the Almighty.
posted by ojsbuddy at 9:30 PM on January 28, 2001

I actually think the original article is pretty much bang on.
posted by wackybrit at 8:22 PM on January 29, 2001

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