In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 21, 2005 / 12 Adar II, 5765

Bulimic broads

By Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I slogged through Martha Beck's Leaving the Saints and Jane Fonda's My Life So Far. The first tackled bulimia and left the Mormon Church, and the latter tackled bulimia and sexual threesomes after ensuring American prisoners got more torture in Vietnam. My conclusions: (a) avoid women with bulimia stories; and (b) read Henry James. The latter will be less painful.

I blame Toni Morrison. And maybe Oprah. Since these two have been slinging nouveau literature, wannabes have conjured up bulimic, anorexic, incestuous horror in a confessional format lodged between the mesothelioma lawyers and windshield replacement ads of afternoon TV. There they wax whiny about childhood abuse they just recollected, misogynistic marriages through which they binged and purged, and their new selves that involve fluffy hair and a book contract.

These sobbing tales of self-discovery and barfing make the intermittent Ovaltine commercials Oscar material. Mistress-to-a-murderer Amber Frey got her book atop the bestseller list. This is what happens when Maya Angelou is the inaugural poet. We didn't have this kind of trouble when Robert Frost was in charge and good fences made good neighbors.

Dr. Beck, Harvard PhD, life coach, bulimic, and incest recollector extraordinaire, bears a striking resemblance to Frau Farbissina, the Austin Powers sidekick, something that makes it all the more difficult to take her lion, camel, butterfly meditations, and evolutions seriously. Beck's book has four themes: (1) she threw up a lot; (2) Mormons are loaded with problems because they cook, clean, raise decent children, head to church with regularity, and, worst of all, helped her through a pregnancy in which she was bedridden (one can understand why she hates them so); (3) she threw up a lot; and (4) her father, Mormon scholar, Hugh Nibley, molested her, something she recollected after she passed out whilst listening in on BYU students allegedly confessing to date rape, child sexual abuse, and pretty much anything Toni Morrison has loaded into her dime-store smut.

It's your standard Oprah stuff. Lo and behold, after reading Beck's ad nauseum tome, I found this in the preface, "More recently, and in particular, the wonderful people at O, the Oprah Magazine have given me the opportunity and encouragement to speak in my real voice, to both discover and convey what I believe to be most true. I'm inspired by the great O herself and editor-at-large Gayle King." My Oprah theory rates a Nobel. The obsequious Frau Beck heaped praise with the none-too-subtle hope of getting this bulimic book on O's list. Her relativist hedging is beautiful to behold: "what I believe to be most true."

My favorite part of the book comes when Dr. Frau confronts a rattlesnake in her Phoenix home, something that hasn't happened here since Ronald Reagan hosted TV's Death Valley Days. But, she believes this to be true stuff rearing its ugly head, or at least slithering its head in through the arcadia door. Frau Martha tells us that she talked the reptile out of her house. "Life-coached" him to better digs, $5,000 a week, and Tony Robbins videos? If she speaks as she writes, the snake's rapid exit makes sense. My guess is that, truth, whatever it is, be told, she threatened to throw up on the critter and he fled.

Much of the book defies logic. She complains of Mormons' clannishness and their shunning of non-members. She says that her Mormon high school teachers in Provo, Utah cautioned her against her friendship with a Catholic girl. I got 9 million Mormon converts around the globe who can refute the shunning allegation. When Mormons spot fresh missionary targets, they aim, fire, and suffocate with attention. This Provo Catholic lass was Utah's only missionary work.

Another Beck story, true to the O formula for literary greatness, involves hair. Dr. Frau whines that a Utah hairdresser wanted to call her husband for permission before cutting her hair (the husband is now ex- and may be coaching and living with the snake). I only lived in Utah for 6 years, but have been a Mormon for 31 years. Men have never been in charge in our faith. Our prohibition on tobacco came because Emma Smith hated cleaning up the chaw after the men of the church met with Joseph in their home. My husband is afraid to park his car too far over in the garage for fear of my leaving him. Men please women in the Mormon culture — it was one of the great draws for me, a woman who came of age during the Barbarella era.

Which brings me to Hanoi Jane. The Fonda book also has four themes: (1) she threw up a lot; (2) she engaged in threesomes with Roger Vadim when they were married (move over Elfriede Jelinke, 2004's Nobel literature winner, for writings about "raw, depraved, sadomasochistic" sex); (3) she threw up a lot; and (4) she's really sorry about that whole giving aid and comfort to the North Vietnamese thing. While Ms. Fonda is not yet evolved into a "life coach," she has been consulting psychics and cavorting with "smart, hip Christians" while "humming with reverence." I believe she may have confused faith and conversion with a Lionel Ritchie concert, but Fonda gets the benefit of the doubt as she explores Christianity, the musical.

After finishing these two wonders of writing, I have a tie for my annual Barf Award for worst book of the year. These top Naomi Wolf's best efforts, so I am inspired to begin a new award: women who have done the most to support my call to disenfranchise the vomiting sex once again. I have other candidates for this year's Wacky Broad, so the competition will be stiff. There's Lil' Kim who committed big perjury while explaining her friends, colleagues, and their weaponry. And MIT professor, Nancy Hopkins, who, when listening to Harvard president Larry Summers discuss differences among (remember the transgenders here) the sexes, left the room because she feared she would throw up.

So, with four decades of feminism under our nonchastity belts, we have come a long way. I ask you, as you ponder the words of Fraus Beck and Fonda and the fortitude of Prof. Hopkins: Is this the behavior of those who would be titans of industry and cutting-edge scientists? I am woman, hear me barf.

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JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Send your comments by clicking here.

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© 2005, Marianne M. Jennings