the Loius C.K. predicament

"...but what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn't a question, it's a predicament for them."  - Louis C.K.

I didn't realize I had been searching for the word - the word for those times I wouldn't call rape and that were not exactly molestation. I'm a writer and I still couldn't find the word. But then, Luis C.K. (or someone on the committee who writes things like this) issued an apology and I found it; predicament.

I always just assumed that even outside of a consensual sexual encounter, when a man shows you his penis, you're supposed to do something with it; look at it, touch it, admire it... I believed this, I learned this, with my whole heart, so much so that I made it my love language. I don't remember how, but I remember where and I remember who.

I was fourteen when a family member put me in this predicament for the first time. And other men, including my boss, the husband of a family I worked for, and even a boyfriend, followed along over the years. Each time wondering if other people were seeing the things I was seeing. I wondered if it was normal to feel nauseous while watching someone masturbate. I wondered if it was normal to cry while giving head. (I still wonder that.)

How did you end up in those situations?

Did you secretly want this to happen?

Are you talking about this because everyone else is?

Are you overreacting just a bit?

Is everyone?

I know. I ask the same questions. It's okay.

It's just that that word predicament jumped out at me today. It's a word that describes all those really difficult, unpleasant and embarrassing situations many of us have found ourselves in, but it seemed silly, and even benign, to report. That thing that happened that was probably nothing to write home about, literally. Nothing to share with anyone who could and would have loved to help you. Those moments you knew, your whole body knew, that this can't be right;

this can't be the way I become more of myself; This can't be the way men show me love; This can't be the reason I question my own actions: did I lead him on? Did my eyes somehow say, 'show me your dick. You can jack off at me, on me.' What did I do? 

I'm not angry. This post isn't even about Louis C.K., or any of the other men, er- boys whom have suddenly - and quite publicly - learned a valuable lesson on how it's not okay to dehumanize people. I'm a little more relieved to have a word, because, words are powerful.

The truth is, these men have been exposing us to them in ways that were seemingly innocent are or at least really hard to prosecute. But now, women (and men!) are finding their voice, finding words to expose these men, to feel a little more human, to move from, "what are you gonna do with this dick?" to, "what are we gonna do with this preDICKament.?"

The Myth of Emotional Eating

I'll be brief and I'm not gonna sugarcoat this, because I love you. And I love me. And I've already spend years and years perfecting eating in shame, chronically dieting, binge eating and listening to everyone else, except me, when it came to my relationship with food. I've done all this, so you don't have to. You're welcome :)

If we ever hope to break free of food rules, diet culture and body image issues, we need to be willing to redirect and see things differently. Amen? 

I'm assuming (sorry) that somewhere, somehow, you learned from someone's Great Aunt Beverly that Emotional Eating is something to be avoided, ashamed of and even punished for. 

The act of putting a Milky Way or a Ding Dong (does anyone eat those anymore?)  in your face because you're stressed is somehow a reflection of who you are and how you have no discipline and you're ruining your life. 

First of all, it's not true. It's not true. Again, it's NOT true. 

The problem is not that we are emotional eaters; the problem is us confusing 'emotional eating' with 'shameful eating'. 

Let's explore the difference...

 

I AM AN EMOTIONAL EATER WHEN I...

* eat when I'm bored

* eat past the point of fullness because the meal taste so good

* eat when I'm not hungry, so that I don't miss out on family dinners or outings, where everyone else is eating

* think about food/plan my next meal while I'm eating a current meal or have just eaten

 

Now, watch for the subtle but distinct difference between

Emotional Eating and Shameful Eating:

 

I AM A SHAMEFUL EATER WHEN I...

* eat when I'm bored...and consider myself to be "bad" for it. 

* I eat past the point of fullness because the meal taste so good...and I feel compelled to exercise and burn off what I ate or I promise myself somewhere deep inside that I will never do this again. 

* I eat when I'm not hungry, so that I don't miss out on family dinners or outings, where everyone else is eating...and I end up bingeing because of my belief that if I eat when I'm not hungry I have failed intuitive eating/willpower/listening to my body perfectly. 

* I think about food/plan my next meal while I'm eating a current meal or have just eaten...and I am unable to find pleasure in my present meal. In fact, I feel distracted, displeased, anxious or irritable until my next meal. 

Friends. Not only is Emotional Eating not the enemy, it is NECESSARY, because food is love. It is comfort. It is meant to be pleasurable and deeply enjoyed- why else do we have taste buds?? It's like, why would we thousands have nerve endings on our genitalia if sex was ONLY meant for procreation?? It's the same. And also I wanted an excuse to mention sex stuff. 

Our relationship with food is complex and fascinating and infuriating and dazzling. Take my advice, just for today: (Did you even ask for my advice?) Be proud, so utterly proud, of your ability and your desire to eat with your emotions. To be connected to the earth, its bounty and the people who inhabit it, in such a special way. That's all you need to do today. 

You with me? Yikes? Hallelujah? Meh?

With love,

Erica