Guilty of Secret Surrenders to Abundance: Women, Binging and Purging

  • Melanie Rock University of Toronto


In the past decade, eating disorders have exploded as the "new" women's problem for clinicians to explain and solve. In this paper, the author addresses how bulimia relates to gender inequality in contemporary North America by aiming to show that capitalism intersects with male power to generate immense credibility of a slender ideal for women. The binge/purge cycle itself bears witness of the strength of this archetype. While binging demonstrates rebellion against cultural voices urging women to reduce, purging marks a re-interpretation of such indulgence as personal failure.
1992 National Student Competition