Double Dose: Pregnancy-Bias Complaints Surge; Feminism, Food & Politics; Study on Feminists' Attitudes Toward Body Image; Anti-Depressants and the "Obesity Epidemic"

By Christine Cupaiuolo — March 28, 2008

Today’s just a mini-dose … I’ll be at WAM! this weekend and hope to see many of you there!

More Women Pursue Claims Of Pregnancy Discrimination: “Pregnancy-bias complaints recorded by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission surged 14% last year to 5,587, up 40% from a decade ago and the biggest annual increase in 13 years,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

The Carrot Some Vegans Deplore: Kara Jesella writes in The New York Times:

Two things that you can find a lot of in Portland, Ore., are vegans and strip clubs. Johnny Diablo decided to open a business to combine both. At his Casa Diablo Gentlemen’s Club, soy protein replaces beef in the tacos and chimichangas; the dancers wear pleather, not leather. Many are vegans or vegetarians themselves.

But Portland is also home to a lot of young feminists, and some are not happy with Mr. Diablo’s venture. Since he opened the strip club last month, their complaints have been “all over the Internet,” he said. “One of them came in here once. I could tell she had an attitude right when she came in. She was all hostile.”

The story begins like something straight out of The Onion, but it turns into a rather, er, meaty discussion of feminist politics and food.

Perceptions: Feminists More Open-Minded on Weight: “A new study finds that women who describe themselves as feminists are more forgiving than other women when assessing the attractiveness of women who are either very underweight or very heavy,” reports The New York Times.

You’ll find the study in the journal Body Image — also see Rachel’s smart analysis. Here are some previous studies on feminism and body image.

The Mystery Suspect in the U.S. “Obesity Epidemic”: Writing at Women’s Media Center, Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D., an author and lecturer at Harvard, discusses the effect of psychotropic drugs on weight gain. She begins:

Here’s one surefire way to make anyone feel helpless, hopeless, even crazy: Teach them that others will value them mostly for being thin and being nurturing, and put them in situations where they are too agitated or sad to be cheerful caretakers for family and friends. When they ask for help, give them a pill that may calm them down or pep them up but will have a good chance of increasing their weight. This has been the fate of millions of women, who then are more likely than men to blame themselves for their part what is being called the U.S. obesity epidemic.

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