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something I've noticed in novels, maybe you have too

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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 12:09 PM
Original message
something I've noticed in novels, maybe you have too


I'm talking about novels written in the last 10 or so yrs. and written by women.

it seems the women in the novels are always not eating because of emotions. food is ordered in restaurants and then not eaten because the woman is so upset. or she can't eat at home, etc.

or they are so emotional and busy that don't even think about eating and let mealtime go by.

what's with this? are today's real women like that? this doesn't have anything to do with weight. but everything to do with emotion.

many of the women are supposed to be tough, hardy women. these types just forget to eat.

I read this in novel after novel and it pisses me off. plus I think of the food and money wasted. even if its only in a novel.

is it a statement of our times, or what?

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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. My take as an English teacher.
Anytime you see food in literature, you need to think about communion. It is an act of sharing. It is an act of peace (you are breaking bread and not bones). That they are too distraught to eat is an indication that they are not at peace and that whatever problems exist are too great to get past and set aside to truly commune.
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tblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. What are you reading?
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? I know she is abused and very thin But I read almost no modern fiction anymore so I don't know.
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JustAnotherGen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. I only notice it
In chick lit! Think The Devil Wears Prada, Something Borrowed, etc. etc.

But in C.A. Belmond's books - the heroine Penny ALWAYS eats. ;-)
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
4. I worry that they almost never talk about going to the bathroom. Doesn't anybody pee? n/t
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. And nose-pick. Why don't they pick their noses either? nt
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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Or cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming or dusting. Even the damned
dishes wash themselves. You made a very good point..LOL.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. You ever notice that Jack Bauer never goes into the bathroom to pee?
The only time Jack uses the bathroom is when he is bleeding, or he has to splash water on his face.

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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. And while we're at it...SOAPS!!!! No one does a bit of housework,
but they're all dressed to the nines with heels, etc. One time one of my kids asked why I didn't dress like that around the house. I threw the wet cloth at him...Erica, get the damned mop and do the kitchen floor..
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lbrtbell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. Sometimes that's realistic, sometimes not
Some people do lose their appetites, particularly if they maintain a strong facade for the world to see, thereby internalizing their stress. It causes stomach pain that kills the appetite.

Then there are other people who are nervous eaters during times of stress.

I've alternated between both, depending on my stress level.

So it's kind of unfair to blame people for "wasting food" when that isn't their intention...it's a symptom of stress. It's sort of like saying you're pissed off at somebody with one leg who buys a pair of shoes, just because he's only going to make use of one of those shoes. I use this extreme example simply to illustrate that stress is a medical condition, too. Instead of worrying about the food, please worry about people who are suffering so much that they can't eat said food. :)
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fadedrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. And nobody does laundry
unless it's to hide blood stains...

How come they don't have to sort socks, underwear, put clothes on hangers, maybe even iron some, put them in drawers, remove seasonal things from closet, add bleach to stains, decide whether something should be washed in cold or hot water, who folds their sheets and bedspreads, wash throw rugs - WEEKLY?

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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. You're on a roll girl...Go...n/t
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. in mystery novels they all have housekeepers
Edited on Sat Nov-19-11 08:27 PM by pitohui
that's why they themselves never do laundry, that's somebody else's problem

well i take that back-- barbara havers don't have a housekeeper but that's probably why she's always dressed like shit!
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. Our culture values thin women.
We're supposed to "like" our protagonists.

Therefore, our protagonists respond to stress in a way to keep them thin and "likeable."

I wonder, if a study were done, what most women would do under stress...eat more, or eat less?

Personally, in times of horrific loss and grief, I've eaten little.

Outside of that, every other stress makes me want to eat more.
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ForeverFlashy Donating Member (25 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Thin women
So far, I've heard that women eat a lot when under stress. My friends sure do. But in a culture that loves thin woman, yep, good plays a significant role in novels.
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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
14. I don't think I've noticed this
But I don't read a lot of chick-lit.

Maybe it's like people on tv who rarely seem to say "good bye" when they're ending a phone conversation. Now THAT I've noticed.
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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
15. what's with 'chick-lit'?


any novel written by a woman is now called chick-lit?

is that a belittlement?

when, how did this chick-lit word start?

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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. No idea when it started
And I didn't make it up. Just as some movies are called chick-flicks.

But I forgot about Janet Evanovich. I guess the Plum series can be considered chick-lit. And I'm certainly not belittling women writers. Not all "chick-lit" is written by women. Sheesh.

Stephanie Plum eats ALL the time.
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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. if not all chick-lit is written by women does that mean that some


men write chick-lit and some men just write about women?

how does one figure out what's chick-lit and what isn't.

I'm not aiming my questions just at you but at the forum, please don't take offense.

this chick-lit business is new to me.

I don't watch movies much and when a movie is called a chick movie I take it as being demeaning and something most men wouldn't want to see. is that the same with novels that are chick-lit.

women novelists don't write for just women.
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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. I guess what I think of as chick-lit is
a book aimed at and read predominantly by women. Romance novels come to mind.

And those are written by men as well as women.
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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. lol I wouldn't read a romance novel if you paid me


romance is a construct
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. chick lit is a construct also
Edited on Sat Nov-19-11 08:35 PM by pitohui
it's the modern romance novel really, it's about mating and dating and how to win at that game, it just doesn't have the "harlequin" seal of approval on it so the younger readers can feel like they're somehow "cool"

"any" novel written by a woman is not chicklit, it has to be about the mating/dating/balance the career crap but it has to lead to a wedding, the "chicks" who like jane austen like chick lit, nicolas hornsby is one man who writes high end/upmarket chicklit

it isn't new to you if you're reading lots of books where "chicks" don't eat when they're upset, but it may be new that you're acknowledging that you're reading in a genre

i think if someone reads in a genre, that's fine, but why not admit they're reading in that genre and honor the genre

stephanie plum isn't really chicklit, she's a light end fluffy mystery writer who appeals more to women on the chicklit side of things, just as nelson demille is a light end fluffy thriller writer who appeals more to men who like the james bond/wise-cracking macho man end of things...there is a spectrum here

but there's tons of "pure" chicklit and it's easily avoidable if you find chicklit tedious and predictable, which i might as well confess that i do, don't read anything about shopaholics, don't read about "i don't know how she does it," don't read helen fielding, do i really need to spell it out to you? you must know what chicklit is, you're just in denial


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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. goodness, why are you so hostile toward me?

what makes you think I read in a genre?

they only genres I avoid are romance and the named genre horror.

guess I should get out more because until now I hadn't heard of chick-lit. so beat me with a wet noodle.
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ForeverFlashy Donating Member (25 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 06:52 AM
Response to Reply #15
24. Hmmm...
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
20. novelists tend to be older and this happens a LOT as you get older
indeed if you are a perfectionist/tend toward eating disorders (as many women novelists are perfectionists and some like jco have pretty much admitted to eating disorders) this is a pretty common thing

also as you get older there is acid reflux or there is a feeling of you just can't choke down any more bullshit and it causes you to not be able to eat, i found this slowly crept up after age 35 and now it has become a huge issue over age 50

novelists tend to be older than the average artist, in fact, novel writing is considered to be the art that has the highest age of maturity -- a mathematician who discovers new areas of math will have done almost all of his creative work by age 27, whereas a novelist will just be hitting her peak at age 40, and you start to see that some of the symptoms they mention, that they may have experienced themselves, are symptoms that can hit a slightly older crowd

have you never had that choking feeling where you just can't eat, your heart is broken and your throat is full? that's what they're describing, it's a genuine experience but i think between age 20 and say 35 i never felt it, maybe it's hormone-related too in women?

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