Too rich, too thin, too in control of women’s bodies

Wolf_Of_Wall_Street.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-largeA rich Wall Streeter looks in the mirror and sees someone at the cusp of poverty.

An anorexic looks in the mirror and sees someone who is fat.

One is addicted to money. The other to starvation. As each grasps for power.

Enter Mike Huckabee.


In my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough.

That’s former Wall Street trader, Sam Polk in a New York Times piece.

Holly Peterson, daughter of a Blackstone (equity) founder, tells a similar story. At a dinner party of the rich elite a woman complained, “The thing about 20 (million dollars) is 20 is only 10 (after taxes).” Everyone at the table nodded, knowingly.

It’s tough living on mere millions a year.

Mr. Polk eventually wondered how shifting money around helped society — or how deregulation and placing a higher tax burden on the middle-class than the rich did much good.

He looked around and saw too many wealthy traders looking into fun house mirrors that reflected financial insecurity. Leaving Wall Street was terrifying, but he knew he needed more money like an alcoholic needed another drink.

anorexia[1]It all reminded me of anorexics who see themselves as fat. Remember the saying, “You can’t be too rich or too thin”? Really, you can.

Most anorexics were victims of physical or sexual abuse. They compensate for the loss of control over their bodies by gaining (apparent) control over what is ingested into them. Anorexia emerges from a need for power.

Mr. Polk says Wall Streeters are grasping at power, too:

Wall Street is a toxic culture that encourages the grandiosity of people who are desperately trying to feel powerful.

But it’s not just Wall Streeters and the eating disordered who feel power-deprived.

Mike_Huckabee-blogEnter Mike Huckabee complaining that Democrats give women free contraception— courtesy Uncle Sugar (U.S.) — because they can’t control their libidos.

In a double-speak “war for women” Mr. Huckabee and his ilk seek to control women’s contraception, uterus and libido. (No sex! Except for reproduction).

I guess it makes far-righters feel more in control.

I wonder if distorted perceptions lie at the heart of the war on women.

Whether addicted to money, starvation, or controlling women, we will all be healthier when we get at the root of our problems and deal with them, instead.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Why Is There A War On Women?
Anorexia: Physically and Spiritually Dying
Spilling Sperm Harms Unborn, Law Says

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on January 31, 2014, in feminism, politics/class inequality, psychology, reproductive rights, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. “I wonder if distorted perceptions lie at the heart of the war on women.”-absolutely! and so much more.

    “Enter Mike Huckabee complaining that Democrats give women free contraception— courtesy Uncle Sugar (U.S.) — because they can’t control their libidos.” I cannot believe he said/thinks that–and I am sure he is not alone. Just goes to show how important it is that we keep talking about such issues so that we can effect change, Georgia.

  2. Big companies putting over profit is more than some $ addiction, it’s the problem that society has had since forever. Greed, and corruption lead from the hunger for more and more and selfishness at the same time. I think a lot of that is not simply due to $, but why a lot of leaders have fallen or gone corrupt through the history of time is the ego maniaism from power. That’s why the quote comes with great power comes great responsibility. But because of the selfishness and self centeredness of powerful leaders only wantinng more they destroy others who get in their path for more power. $ many times is connected with power or usually powerful people especially men are goijng to become wealthy or very wealthy, but I think what takes them over more than $ is the power. I think it’s a power addiction of what else can I conquer and gain or I want more than this guy and to achieve more and be above this guy and that.

    And unfortunatley that can lead to some guys backstabbing, or pushing people aside for their own profits and destination for more power. I think a lot of the problems are from power hunger more than the $ side, because that’s what is common from the CEos not providing health care to workers and corrupt leaders today compared to the dictators and conquerors and corrupt kings of the past. EVen the great greek plays always hinted of this huge human flaw and lead to the downfall of the great leaders as described in the greek plays. The key flaw, hubris, and lead leaders to do foolish stubborn mistakes out of their on love or lust of power from their over sized egos.

  3. What a loser complaining about ‘women’ getting free contraception. People are always going to have sex and sex is always going to make babies, why would you want to put someone in a position of being pregnant when they don’t want to be when it can be prevented?
    I think you are right when you talk about people being addicted to money. I really think some people are addicted to the point of being mentally ill. Just look at decisions people in charge of big companies make, choosing profit over human health and a clean environment. There is a huge, collective addiction problem.

  4. I am completely repulsed by Mr. Huckabee’s perspective. Complaining about women getting FREE contraceptives from the government. In all due reality the whole idea of contraceptives being FREE is completely false. Women are employed in this country and pay taxes, therefore part of those tax dollars go towards certain bills that advocate and are for woman’s rights and women empowerment (Pro Choice). And to say that women should only have sex when it involves having an offspring is absurd.

    I suppose men should only have sex until their ready to have an offspring as well and not like the typical male whom is able to have as many sexual encounters as wished and not necessarily having anything to do with reproduction but more with pleasure. Really Mr. Huckabee, Women should control their sexual desire?! He is one ignorant man!!

    The day men stop having intercourse for pleasure and solely base it on the needs of reproduction is the day pigs will fly. SMH. Ridiculous!

  5. My best friend has a many conservative beliefs or more on the right side. But he’s very intelligent and gets things from multiple sources. And sometimes his opinions can be a bit much, hes very knowledgable and it’s crazy the stuff he knows. I”ll just say he’s not a fan of Obama at all. The gun control not good, NSA troubling, and he noted all the inside and out of the problems with obamacare. I had my doubles about him against all this, but he always had detailed examples. It is kind of scary though that the world’s worst dictators wanted gun control from citizens and registry on all citizens guns and make them vulnerable to have them taken if govt or president goes corrupt and american’s unable to protect themselves.

    • Countries with the strictest gun control include Great Britain, Australia, Japan and Germany. None of them are despotic.

      But there’s a strong correlation between limiting women’s reproductive rights and despotism. As I wrote in another post:

      The 20th century’s most loathsome regimes focused on controlling women’s reproduction. The Nazis closed family planning centers and outlawed abortion, eventually making it a capital offense, says Steven Conn, Associate Professor of History at Ohio State. Stalin banned abortion. Ceausescu outlawed contraception and made miscarriage subject to criminal investigation. Today China forces abortion and sterilization. Conn observes:

      The day after the evil Ceausescu had been executed, the National Salvation Front issued two decrees; it lifted the ban on the private ownership of typewriters, and it repealed the laws that policed pregnant women.

      America’s right-wing extremists look eerily similar to these despots, lending an ironic twist to their claim of being all about freedom through free markets.

      Markets must be free. But women must be controlled?

      And, just because you can spout a lot so-called “facts” doesn’t mean that they are true or that the person is well-informed. So your friend may be well-informed or not. Not clear he is.

      And what about this:

      The callousness of the Republican party was revealed at the State of the Union address. When Obama said,

      “Because of this law (Affordable Care Act), no American can ever again be dropped or denied coverage for a preexisting condition like asthma, back pain, or cancer. No woman can ever be charged more just because she’s a woman.”

      Democrats stood and cheered. Republicans sat in stony silence. House Speaker John Boehner grimaced

  6. Every news outlet reported it the same way except for Fox, which is adept at editing things to their liking. Studies have found that people who watch fOXNews are less informed that even people who don’t watch any news at all.

    Here’s what a former Republican pundit has two say:

    My old Republican worldview was flawed because it was based upon a small and particularly rosy sliver of reality. To preserve that worldview, I had to believe that people had morally earned their “just” desserts, and I had to ignore those whining liberals who tried to point out that the world didn’t actually work that way. I think this shows why Republicans put so much effort into “creat[ing] our own reality,” into fostering distrust of liberals, experts, scientists, and academics, and why they won’t let a campaign “be dictated by fact-checkers” (as a Romney pollster put it). It explains why study after study shows – examples here, here, and here – that avid consumers of Republican-oriented media are more poorly informed than people who use other news sources or don’t bother to follow the news at all.

    You can get the links he refers to at this post:

    No Longer Blinded by the Right

    And see this, too:

    Vote to Help the Rich, Hurt Yourself

  7. I don’t know if you saw this or not, but some feel media like msnbc edit out speeche’s to make things said worse than they actually are or change the context. Here’s a clip here.

  8. I read his statement, and it just confuses me. He basically said women deserve respect and control of their own bodies which is why we’re restricting contraceptives and abortion clinics. Setting aside the contradictory goals of restricting contraceptives and access to safe abortions, I can’t understand how his statements are logical. A 4th grader would understand that, if you say they can have any color of crayon they want as soon as you remove all but one crayon, that they don’t really have a choice.

    You can’t say you’re for women’s health and women’s choice and then go and remove all the choices.

  9. “Whether addicted to money, starvation, or controlling women, we will all be healthier when we get to the root of our problems and deal with that, instead.” Well said! It amazes me that people living on “mere millions” can feel so insecure about it.

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