Reports from the University of Michigan show that your anger toward the likes of diet culture and internalized sexism are really more society’s fault than your mom’s, but you can’t fight with society in the kitchen after two glasses of wine.
“We found that when you’re at home and your mom makes an unnecessary comment about what or how much a member of your household is eating, that will make you feel very mad,” says Dr. Gwendolyn Baptiste. “But then what are you supposed to do with those feelings?”
“You acknowledge that your mom was raised to have an even more toxic relationship to food than you; that she grew up listening to her mom body shame, slut-shame, and just generally shame other women and girls, and that your grandma inherited it from her mother, and that all of them also adopted these traditions from the culture around them,” Dr. Baptiste. “But you can’t get tipsy and start emotionally arguing with the dominant culture while standing around the kitchen sink after dinner, so, there’s that.”
Dr. Baptiste and her team confirmed that getting surprisingly drunk after just two glasses of Merlot, then really hashing things out in an upsetting and unproductive way with your mom is one of the most reliably accessible outlets for your anger about regressive social ideologies.
“Your feelings are really about the injustices of society, but arguing with your mom is what we in the field would call the ‘just kind of right there’ option,” says Dr. Baptiste. “You could go to therapy, but finding someone you like who’s in network is like, ugh.”
“You could also try to have a gentle, constructive conversation with your mom about how you’re connected by being subject to oppressive cultural norms and how you can resist them together, but she would definitely cry, then act like the conversation never happened,” Dr. Baptiste adds. “And you’re more of an angry drunk anyway, which actually you should work on, but that’s not the focus of this project.”
When reached for comment on the report, you replied, “I’ve been sayin’.”