My Toddler’s Male Gaze Gave Me an Eating Disorder

Me Time for Mom:

Earlier this month, I saw the way my son’s gaze lingered on my muffin top as I bent down to pick up his binky and I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to eat again. It’s not that I don’t love my two-year-old, Eddie. But his arrogant male dominance has trampled what little self-esteem I have left and I’m not sure I can take it anymore.
 
Day in and day out, I wipe his butt, microwave his chicken nuggets, clean his juice spills, and compliment his goddamn crayon drawings. I want to shout, “The sun isn’t black, you moron!” But I stay silent, letting this talentless chauvinist walk all over me, just as society has trained me to do.
 
It all started when was eating day-old pizza over the sink, my daily respite from the walking hell I live, when my son dropped his binky. He screamed and pounded his chest like the entitled ape that he is. I quickly bent down to pick it up. And then I saw it.

 

 

His eyes drifted towards my bulging muffin top. I immediately regretted wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans, but it was too late. He let his gaze linger as if he had ownership over my body. As if he had this inherent male right to control how he sees my female form. I never felt more violated in my life.
 
Then he let out the most awful giggle I’d ever heard.
 
That son of a bitch was laughing at me.
 
I placed the binky back in his mouth and threw the rest of the pizza in the trash.
 
I didn’t eat for hours after that; I just sat on the couch and read my son picture book after picture book, trying to not let my mind drift towards the harsh reality that I had given birth to the misogynist monster sitting next to me.
 
That night I ate a slice of chocolate cake over the bathtub while giving my son his nightly bath. “You won’t break me, you bastard.” I whispered as he splashed me with bubbles. “Not now. Not ever.”

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