Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Food and sex

I enjoyed this column by George Will, which is based on this paper by Mary Eberstadt. They note that what is vice and what is not has changed over the past half century. Many areas of sexual practice that were once considered immoral are now, in popular culture, considered non-issues, while choices of what to eat which were once considered non-issues are not considered vice.
Today "the all-you-can-eat buffet" is stigmatized and the "sexual smorgasbord" is not. Eberstadt's surmise about a society "puritanical about food, and licentious about sex" is this: "The rules being drawn around food receive some force from the fact that people are uncomfortable with how far the sexual revolution has gone -- and not knowing what to do about it, they turn for increasing consolation to mining morality out of what they eat."

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