Speaking up

When I was younger, I protested.  As I became aware of the ‘wrongs’ in the world, I marched, picketed, rallied and performed civil disobedience.  I was mostly inarticulate, but I put my body out there and let it speak for me.  “Count me” as against the Vietnam war, U.S. interference in Central America and the perils of nuclear power plants.  “I am one of many” supporting civil rights, women’s liberation, workers rights, gay rights, environmental causes and reproductive rights.

When I look back now, I can see that my activism protesting injustice was partially fueled by the indignities and unfairness that I had experienced as a child and adolescent.  My drive to protest was largely unconscious, that is, I just knew what was ‘wrong’ and I acted.  In many ways the pattern of my life can be seen in that way; my instinctive reaction to a situation informs my response.  And I am perfectly okay with that.

Nowadays, in my later middle age, that ‘gut reaction’ is still my primary motivator and I rarely question my perceptions and instincts.  However, there is another element that has come to the fore.  In a much broader way, facts have joined with instinct to inform my opinions and actions.  And what is personally most significant – I am using my voice.

Often it is in my writing; sometimes in person.  Call it the confidence of age, if you will, but I am quite comfortable speaking my piece.  I am angry.  For decades I reacted with indignation and outrage on behalf of others.  Now I feel free to express fury on my own behalf as well.  The movie I have been urging you to go see next week, Fed Up, eloquently presents the case against the PFIC pushers I began writing about last fall.  It exposes the food industry and their governmental lackeys.

Did you know that the World Health Organization proposed guidelines (for at least the second time) more than ten years ago, limiting the amount of sugar recommended in our daily diet?  Did you know that the American Sugar Association and our government (led at the time by G.W. Bush) actually threatened to withhold U.S. funding ($406 million) for the WHO unless the recommendation was changed?  If you need proof that the bullying was effective, look at a nutrition label.  You will see that although sugar is listed under ‘Amount Per Serving’, there is nothing listed under ‘Percentage Daily Value’.  What?  The pushers won.  Outrageous.  In case you want to know more or I have been unclear, here are a couple of links to articles, in Mother Jones and the British paper, The Guardian.

Veering away from the PFIC for a moment, I want to bring your attention to an eerily parallel story regarding our public schools.  Here’s a link to a magazine article I read.  The early section entitled The beginning of “reform” really stunned me.  When the author says “Corporations recognized privatization as a euphemism for profits”, my feelings went from misery to rage. Add in the fact that something like 80% of our public schools have contracts with the PFIC to provide food products (not real food) for children…

To quote my beloved grandmother Inez Lewis Johnson, “It makes me mad enough to spit!”  Which was strong language for a lady born in 1895…

Until next time, be well.

 

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Fed Up

Just back from a preview showing of the movie I mentioned last week, Fed Up.

So much damning information about the PFIC (Processed Food Industrial Complex).  And I may need to revise the title I’ve given, to include the US Government’s role in this horror story.

Honestly, I can’t think right now.  My head is swimming with factoids and my heart is churning with emotional reactions.

So, for now, I am going to say, go see this film.  Here is a link to the trailer.  Here is a link to the list of theaters where it will be showing, starting in the couple of weeks.

On another topic:  I’ve been writing about corners.  More next time.

“Should.” “Don’ Wanna.”

Everything seems to be taking a little longer today.  I am out-of-sorts and easily irritated. “Should, Don’ Wanna” is my theme song.

Is there a pressing should?  Well, I could do X, Y or Z. Yeah. I could.  I try to remember to say ‘could’ instead of ‘should’.  It’s definitely a less violent word than should, but still triggers an apathetic “but I don’ wanna”.

Where am I going with this?  Into a dark, self-defeating hole.  Think I’ll stop now.  I’ll come back to this negative chant – which can be viewed from a more positive angle in terms of choice – some other day.

I do have a piece of (potentially exciting) news to share. Here is some information about a new movie called FED UP, that’s coming out in May. It’s clearly promotional hype, but there is one sentence, which I have highlighted below, lest you miss it (grin) that speaks directly to so much I have been trying to say in this blog. I am so, so eager to find out the veracity and the source of this statistic.

Thirty years ago the U.S. Government issued its first ever dietary guidelines and with it one of the greatest health epidemics of our time ensued. In her documentary feature debut, executive producer and narrator Katie Couric joins Laurie David (An Inconvenient Truth), Regina Scully (The Invisible War) and Stephanie Soechtig (Tapped) to explore why, despite media attention and government policies to combat childhood obesity, generations of kids will now live shorter lives than their parents.

Upending the conventional wisdom of why we gain weight and how to lose it, FED UP unearths the dirty little secret the food industry doesn’t want you to know — far more of us are sick from what we are eating than anyone has ever realized.

The truth is, only 30% of people suffering from diet-related diseases are actually obese; while 70% of us — even those of us who look thin and trim on the outside — are facing the same consequences, fighting the same medical battles as the obese among us.

Following a group of children for more than two years, director Stephanie Soechtig achieves a profound intimacy with them as they document their uphill battles to follow the conventional wisdom, ‘diet and exercise’, in order to live healthier, fuller lives. They are undertaking a mission impossible. In riveting interviews with the country’s leading experts, FED UP lays bare a decades-long misinformation campaign orchestrated by Big Food and aided and abetted by the U.S. Government.

Here is a link to the trailer, which doesn’t address the 30% and 70% statistic, but it’s worth a look.  Sugars

 

 

Poetry & tiny beads

Last Wednesday, a writer friend unexpectedly took me to a poetry reading.  As it happened, she also gave me a belated holiday gift, a collection of poems by the same poet, her favorite, Billy Collins.  If you don’t know his work, please check it out…

I thanked her the next day, for taking me ‘to another realm’.   Laughter, beauty and inspiration, I told her, were the things that I dis- or re- covered there.  Like fresh air, water or an open, silent vista.  What I needed, when I needed it, but didn’t know that I did.  I presume and hope you have sometime had that experience.  The reading was at Symphony Hall, an elegant setting, although I had never been quite so far from a reading poet before… I actually watched him on the ‘Jumbo-tron-style’ screen!  His generous gifts of story and poem were not at all diminished by the distance.  5171172_f260

That simple and most excellent evening was the cause of my delay, posting here on Thursday morning, instead of my self-imposed deadline of Wednesday evening.  Thursday passed by as many days do, filled with tasks and such.  Risking TMI, I will share that a nasty GI bug or food poisoning (my own cooking?) awoke me overnight and I spent Friday and Saturday abed.  Weak, tired and bored, I had the opportunity to read his poems (and others) and to think in the manner only stretches of un-busy-ness allow.  That is to say, deeply, which I believe implies calmly.  To be ‘relieved’ of even the brain power to plan “what I will do when I feel better” was at first frustrating, then allowed a deeper sinking into self.

Please know that I have no idea what courage, stamina and spirit it must take to survive a truly lengthy recovery from serious accident or illness.  I only wish to say how this string of events has unfolded for me, from a seat in the second balcony in Symphony Hall, to physical distress to bed rest.

There are on-topic things that I could write about and post today.  Mark Bittman had an excellent Op-Ed in the NY Times last week, which I want to discuss.   Here’s the first paragraph, for a taste.  There are so many reasons to admire this man: a chef with a global view.

In the last few years, it’s become increasingly clear that food companies engineer hyper-processed foods in ways precisely geared to most appeal to our tastes. This technologically advanced engineering is done, of course, with the goal of maximizing profits, regardless of the effects of the resulting foods on consumer health, natural resources, the environment or anything else.

Among other things, his piece led me to a new book called Lethal, but Legal, whose author discusses the ‘Corporate Consumption Complex’.  What a delightful surprise to encounter unknown kin of my ‘Processed Food Industrial Complex’!  Written by an academician, the book contains the results of mountains of research that I barely dreamed of attempting.  Many thanks to Professor Nicholas Freudenberg, whose words I will surely be sharing here, as I read about the Triple C.

In conclusion, however, here is what I wanted to share with you today.  The aforementioned string of events in my personal life has become a simple necklace, with four tiny, hand-molded beads.  In the past few days, I have written drafts of four small poems.  They are not especially good; in fact they are not yet poems, really and they may never reach that goal.  There are a few nice images and a nice ‘turn of phrase’ or two.  But the thing is – I wrote them.  A little fissure into the inner world of image and emotion, wrought by chance.  images-4

Unapologetic

I’ve always apologized too much; that is I have reflexively said “I’m sorry” several thousand times when it was inappropriate.  My mother said those words frequently and it is only in retrospect that I understand how bitterly and sarcastically she often said them.  Thanks to a dear friend, who is similarly afflicted with the ‘sorry-reflex disease’, I’ve become more conscious of my habitual use of the phrase.  This has helped me to curb its compulsive appearance in my dialog with the world.

The word ‘dis-ease’, which I used above, reminds me that these unnecessary apologies burst from my lips primarily when I am ill at ease or uneasy.  Case in point:  recently, while struggling awkwardly to remove a difficult sock, I said ‘I’m sorry’ to my spousal witness.  When asked, logically, ‘What for?’ the only response I could muster was… ‘For being alive?’

A quick check of online definitions yields two items:  first, a definition:                     regretful acknowledgment of offense or failure.

My goodness, that sounds an awful lot like shame, doesn’t it?   I also learn about  National Sorry Day, an annual event held in Australia since 1998, to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the continent’s indigenous population.  Now that’s an appropriate use of the word.

What brought this up?  An article in the newspaper, heralding the upcoming appearance of Barbie in this year’s Sports Illustrated 50th anniversary Swimsuit issue.  It is unclear whether she will be on the cover or not, however having Barbie flaunt her body in this iconic [sic] setting is part of Mattel’s “unapologetic” campaign to promote sales.  I’m not going to bother responding to the whole Barbie appearance issue; been there, done that, when my daughter was young.Barbie

What really struck me was the up-front and proud use of ‘unapologetic’.  A Mattel executive is quoted as saying “… unapologetic is a word that we use internally, [but this is the first time we are] engaging in a conversation publicly.”  I believe she means that they take pride in thumbing their collective nose at those critics who see the Barbie cult as potentially damaging for the self-image of young girls.  And more broadly, I believe the Mattel Corporation is expressing a widely held and unapologetic corporate view that profit is the driver of all decisions.

Another article, ironically placed at the top of the same page (deep in the Business section) carries forward the same theme.  It details a shift in the way the sweetener section of the Processed Food Industrial Complex is promoting its products.  Headlined: ‘The Sweetener War’, the piece describes how the combatants, team Sugar and team Corn Syrup have changed their game plans.  Less money is now going toward paying lobbyists to press their agendas with government policy makers.  In a clever (or shady?) shift, these PFIC behemoths have funded non-profit groups, billed as consumer organizations, to carry out research and ‘soft lobbying’ campaigns to influence public opinion.  Lobbyists have to be publicly registered, but non-profits are not required to reveal their donors.  Is this another Citizens United ploy?  Money talks.  Hidden money buys tremendous clout.  Manipulating or deceiving the consumer is just how the game is played.  Unapologetic.

Other recent articles have exposed the shrinking package size, but steady or rising price of packaged foods.  Unapologetic deception.  A piece about pizza consumption describes the USDA ‘dairy checkoff program’ which ‘levies a small fee on milk’, which is then used ‘to promote products like milk and cheese’.  A corporation named Dairy Management Inc., which is funded by these fees, spent ‘$35 million in a partnership with Domino’s to Chzpizzapromote pizza sales’.  Other funds from the checkoff program helped McDonalds launch new burgers with two slices of cheese.  And on and on.  This program and similar programs supporting the meat industry have been renewed in the most recent farm bill.  That’s the bill that cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP.)

Unapologetic.  ‘Let them eat pizza.’

Here’s the thing… I only read this one newspaper and I know these articles represent only a small percentage of the muck that is out there to be raked up.  It makes me very tired, because there is such relentless hoopla about the ‘obesity epidemic’, which unapologetically (perhaps unintentionally) reinforces fat stigma and here ‘we’ are subsidizing the PFIC that is contributing to unhealthy eating habits.  Where’s the money, real money, to promote eating fruits and vegetables?  Where’s the money to sponsor unbiased research and publication of results that actually serve the consumer, rather than the corporation?

Returning to the personal element… I am tired of feeling apologetic for taking up space, for how I look, for ‘being alive’.  I regret all the years of reflexive apologizing.  Why do these heavy hitters, these honchos get to flaunt their unapologetic stance?  It’s all about the raging range of social inequities that confront and offend me everyday.  Well, it’s my turn.  If I have earned nothing else in my 60+ years, I’ve earned the right to healthy entitlement.  It’s my turn to be unapologetic.

On healthy & bodies

Writing is going well.  More connections keep sprouting, from my little head, the newspaper, the Internet and books.  I’m going to offer a couple of things for you to watch/read & consider.  Here is something worth watching:

Beautiful, heartbreaking, and ‘moving’ as the friend who posted it on FB said.  Because who is perfect?   Accepting and honoring the body we each have, our vehicle in this lifetime, that’s the goal.  I thank the Gods and Goddesses for artists, humanitarians, Europeans…

And here is a link to a wordpress blogger who caught my attention with a post called ‘Bikini Body’, back in April.  Here is what she posted today.   She says it very well!             I’ll keep on reading her blog…

I’ve been reading a cookbook, called True Food from Dr. Andrew Weil’s restaurants of the same name, that I found at the library.  Always resisted the hype around this man, but some of what he (and the other authors) has to say is spot-on in terms of healthy food vs. PPFIC food products. I’ll definitely be trying some of the recipes.

And finally, here is an excerpt from a book that will be published in a couple of days, called  The Calorie Myth: How to Eat More, Exercise Less, Lose Weight, and Live Better, by Jonathan Bailor.  I’m not keen on the subtitle; I have visceral reaction to  words like:  “Lose Weight”, but what he has to say in this scrap is interesting. (Emphases mine)

Calorie Myth #3: All Foods Are Fine in Moderation

Most diets suggest that we can eat whatever we want and be fine as long as we monitor our portion sizes and don’t eat too many calories. But as we’ve discussed, calories are not all that matter. What comes along with calories can disrupt our fundamental biology for generations. So why do we hear so much about calories and eating “everything” in moderation? One reason is that many of the institutions perpetuating this myth are funded by companies that produce processed foods. These institutions can keep their corporate benefactors happy and appear reasonable by preaching a message of moderation.(The “foods” aren’t bad—your willpower is!  It’s your “personal responsibility”to resist them!) Now anyone can sell anything and everyone is happy—except for the consumers whose biology is being broken.

Why Hormones Matter More than Moderation

When we are told to focus on calories and moderation instead of food and biology, “healthy” quickly becomes a highly relative term. For example, a popular fast food chain celebrates the health benefits of its offerings that contain less than 400 calories. Never mind the high fructose corn syrup, refined flour, trans fats, and pink slime in these edible products we collectively refer to as “food,” they’re low calorie and therefore “smart” choices.

We know this is absurd. We know that the nutritional and hormonal impact of calories matters immensely. But we can see why the calorie craze is perpetuated. Want to sell anything and call it healthy?  Convince people calories are all that matter. Then mix together the cheapest and most shelf-stable ingredients you can find and call it edible. Finally, shrink the serving size until you can call it low calorie and therefore“healthy.” One-hundred-calorie snack packs for everyone!

Misguided recommendations around moderation are not new. Just a few decades ago we were given a message of smoking in moderation, but then the science linking smoking to addiction and disease became clear. The link between inSANE foods addiction and disease is now clear.

As Yale University’s Kelly Brownell puts it, “By 1964, there was sufficient scientific evidence . . . [but] many years passed and many millions died before decisive action was taken to [turn the tide against smoking]…. Repeating this history with food and obesity would be tragic.”

Will a single soda or candy bar every once in awhile kill us? Of course not. But neither will a single cigarette every once in a while. The question is what we should be recommending. The message of moderation and calories is rooted in money, not science. Accurate recommendations would revolve around food quality and hormones, not calorie count and moderation…

Again, I haven’t read this guy Bailor’s book, so I’m not recommending it or endorsing his theories… but I do appreciate his take on the PPFIC and it’s food products.

Happy New Year.  Next post will be on 1-1-14

DeConSha

DeConstructingShame is the name of the game.  Name of the blog, name of the job.  And you know what?  It’s hard work.  Picture a hard-hatted woman (yes, there is a hard head under the hard-hat), wearing overalls and work gloves.  Digging into a moldy, smelly, rotting foundation; taking it apart brick-by-brick. Bricks

The de-‘construction site’ metaphor may not be a perfect description, but I’m going with it for now.  Because shame has to have sources, doesn’t it?  The supplies come from lumber yards, cement mixers, plumbing, electrical and hardware supply warehouses.  The shame messages were passed along, almost slyly, unobtrusively, ubiquitously, by my grandparent’s and parent’s generations, and updated, (essentially unchanged) by Seventeen Magazine and it’s media cohort.

In my daily writing on DeConSha, I’ve been exploring the impossible task of achieving adolescence in the late 1960’s, where fitting in & looking good (the requirements haven’t changed much for the teens of today) inevitably led to sexual harassment and shame.  Gotcha comin’ and goin’, I say.  But nobody said that to me, to us, then.  We were displayed in our mini-skirts and it was open season for boys and men to evaluate us.  To follow the hunting metaphor, they took pot-shots at us.  My grandfather, my father, my Geometry teacher and every boy or man seemed to feel confidently superior in their maleness and comfortably entitled to rate, berate, mock or praise us.

Without a language to understand this phenomenon, without a sense of worthiness and pride, other than attractiveness to males, where could/did I go in my confusion?  If I failed to please, or if I received ‘unwanted attention’, either way, it was my fault, I was to blame and the shame of it all settled into my being.  Having been thoroughly primed, as a child, to accept responsibility for any short-comings, the searing moments of embarrassment that clustered in those years still sting.

So, I’m digging them out.  Threw away the work gloves.  Bare hands are the only way I know to do this.  Scraped raw knuckles, dry, cracking cuticles, fingernails that never were a proper feminine accoutrement… Every day I get up and I dig in the slime of the shame and although it seems endless, I choose, I must choose, to believe that it is not.

Two other notes:
Someone showed me the recently released Special K (Kellogg’s) youtube video called ‘Shhhhut Down Fat Talk’.  Don’t know what I think about it… special-k-Fat-Talk-1

As a large woman I truly detest fat talk and it is everywhere.  But I have some uneasy feelings about a member of the PPFIC (Packaged & Processed Food Industrial Complex) trotting out this campaign.  Of course, they have the money to do the research, set up a fake store and make the video.  Would love to hear what you think…

My second note is in the “Come on, who wrote that title?” category.  In the March 2014 issue of Journal of Experimental Social Psychology there will be an article entitled “The Ironic Effects of Weight Stigma”, based on studies done at UC Santa Barbara.  Of course I haven’t read the article, so I could be over-reacting (who me?)  Somehow ironic is not the word that seems most appropriate when talking about the effects of weight stigma.  Suppose I could be glad that research is happening at all.  Same with the Kellogg’s video.

Happiness, joy, habit and shame

I love sticky rice.  I love making it and I love eating it and I just plain love the look of it.
Stickyrice

Although this drawing hasn’t ‘made it’ onto a towel or tote bag with EAW designs, it’s still a favorite.  Certainly the color makes me happy.

And how does this relate to the topic of this blog?  Well, I’ve been reading in Brené Brown‘s book about the difference between happiness and joy.  One way that she defines them:

Happiness is tied to circumstance and joy is tied to spirit and gratitude.

When I make sticky rice for my family, I have created circumstances that make me happy.  I enjoy the soaking and the rinsing and sight of the rice cooker steaming away.  I love the dousing with rice vinegar and the mixing with the wide, flat bamboo spoon that I brought home from Kyoto.  So I have made myself happy.

The beauty and simplicity of the cooked rice and the memory of the little side-street bamboo shop in Kyoto awaken my gratitude.  Those pearlescent grains remind me of the joy of cooking whole foods and connect me to all that I have en-joyed in this life.  That’s an especially wonderful thing when I’ve been raking muck, about PPFIC and personal shame history, as I have been so often lately.

So what about Oreos?  Am I happy when eating Oreos?  Not an Oreo; Oreos.  Me and the rats.  What circumstances take me to the Oreos?  None of the sensory pleasure that I’ve been extolling about the rice, that’s for sure.  In fact an Oreo eaten whole can be a bit dry.  I’m not a ‘dunker’; although tea or water does help.  But it’s that creamy white center: sugar and fat whipped up together to seduce my bliss point.  Pleasure centers in my brain start ringing and singing and, as I understand it, producing a spurt of happiness chemicals.

But memories? Nothing but shame.  No gratitude or joy to be found.  Sneaking cookies, hiding cookies, eating cookies when I wasn’t hungry.  All for that unbelievably brief illusion of happiness.  How did I respond to that flush of shame?  How did my body respond to the shot of sugarfatbliss?  I would reach for another Oreo.

But to repeat the question:  What circumstances take me to the Oreos?  I believe another important piece of the puzzle is habit.  Okay, maybe that seems ridiculously obvious, but the thing is that while the pleasure centers are being zinged by the creamy filling, neurological patterns are being reinforced in my brain.  Every time I would reach for that Oreo, the habit became a bit stronger.  Again, that may seem too obvious, but understanding the process has been eye-opening for me.  It’s all part of the same show.

I read Charles Duhigg‘s book, The Power of Habit almost as soon as it was published in 2012.  I am rereading now, along with the other sources I’ve been writing about, because it so clearly dovetails with my explorations.  I want to make sense of the connections between the PPFIC’s push toward producing addictive food products and personal habit and shame.  It’s all there, it’s all of a piece, I am sure of it.

A final note about getting the car into position for jump-starting.  It has taken years of sweating and pushing to turn the vehicle of my life around, so that a jump start was even  possible.  So that this writing exploration could begin.  And as you know, you can’t push a car by yourself, even a 1960’s VW beetle.  Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with me, believing in me when I have not, reminding me I am not alone no matter how hard it gets and helping me onward by sharing her own courage, I am ever grateful to my dear friend and writing ally, jc.  Tea and toast for two.

Shame, Addiction, Causation and Deconstruction

I had intended to write about the evolution of Home Economics, sharing my own thoughts and experiences, interlaced with the methods used by the food industrial complex to subvert the Home Ec ‘movement’, if it could be called that.

Instead I have returned to the intention I stated here, on day one of NaBloPoMo.  My desire (need?) to bring together, for myself and hopefully others, the facts and ideas that have been gathering in my thoughts.  As I wrote on November first, “… [I am exploring] the personal, political and social roots of shame re: body size… de-constructing shame:  it’s not too late… [the] musings of a 60+ woman of size who [has come to] believe that shedding shame is essential to enjoying the remainder of my life.”

Personal:  canta
Now that my parents are gone, I can more freely state (suspecting that it may still evoke denial &/or dismay in my siblings) that it was in my childhood home that I was first made to feel shamed and unworthy.

As a child I was barely chubby.  At age eight, I was about 5 pounds over the ideal weight listed on insurance charts. This was in the days before BMI;  why was there an ‘ideal weight’ for an eight-year-old on an insurance chart?  I don’t get that.  Was there really?  Or was it what the family doctor said to explain putting me on a restrictive, punishing diet?  The rotund doctor, my parents (& grandparents)  shamed me for the next ten years.  My family insisted it was just teasing, but the resulting feelings were/are shame.

During those ten years a sister was born with Downs, and died at age one.  My older sister ran away, came home pregnant and went off to a ‘Home for Unwed Mothers’.   The baby was placed for adoption.  I mention these facts to show that my home life was fairly tumultuous and dysfunctional during this time.  The scary thing, when I look back, is that the adults remained absolutely fixated on controlling my eating.  I’m not going to share all those unpleasant details here.

Here are a couple of quotes from Brene Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection, 2010) that have helped me make sense of the agony of those years, and the years since.

She writes:
Shame is… ‘the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging…’

‘We are biologically, cognitively, physically and spiritually wired to love, be loved and to belong.  When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to.  We break.  We fall apart.  We numb. [addiction] We ache…’
haricot
‘Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal… damage the roots from which love grows,’
(pp. 26)

Political:
That’s what I’ve been attempting to piece together here over the past few weeks.  Frankly, it’s a bit overwhelming, trying to accurately capture the culpability of the Packaged & Processed Food Industrial Complex – including the advertising business, agribusiness, governmental non-action due to intense lobbying by the PPFIC, the pharmaceuticals industry & the ‘weight-loss’ industry – to name a few elements.  There is so much more to say about these issues and the Pushers of salt, sugar & fat.

Social:
This is where stigma, sexism and addiction come into the picture, for me.  The concepts inherent in social psychology, social anthropology, social class and socialization itself seem to weave back and forth, throughout this complex life experience that I am trying to de-construct.

A note about the way I cite the page numbers or websites/articles from which I have posted quotations… two reasons.  One is to give explicit credit to the authors, while documenting the source of my fact-oids and possibly encouraging you to read more.  The second reason is so that I can retrace my own steps and return to these sources.