Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Aristotle in New Zealand and in eating disorders

When Aristotle teaches his elite male Greek students that females lack souls, that they are deformed males, then how does that affect you?  How far through time and across nations has such teaching influenced us?

Well, in New Zealand, a girl who struggled with "anorexia for nearly twenty years" has grown up to find some answers.  She's a fledgling scholar now, looking at the teachings as the "foundation of a biased and therefore incorrect metaphysics which has caused in all girls a disruption of their normal processes of development."  She suspects that what's been caused in young women is "[n]ot just a sense of inner turmoil but a fragmentation and loss of whole selfhood as they learn to see the real sexual female body as defective, disgusting, bad and shameful."

She is "Waikato University doctoral student Jane Cook."  What might we someday learn (and then unlearn) from Ms. Cook?

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