For girls, I use this term “anorexia of the soul,” which I first read in a New York Times article. What I understand it to mean is that this girl is wasting away on the inside. She’s obsessed with surface—being the best student, or the fastest runner—but inside, her sense of self is undernourished, it’s starving. She doesn’t realize it because people keep praising her for being the top student or the fastest runner, and her sense of self gets tied up in that surface. I just don’t see that with boys. You will certainly find a lot of boys who are very comfortable, when you ask them to tell you about themselves, saying, “Well, I’m a really good gamer.” That’s also a pretty impoverished sense of self, but it doesn’t seem to bother the boys. And unfortunately, perhaps, they’re more robust and less prone to existential collapse than girls. That boy who’s a champion gamer is not going to fall apart if some other guy gets to level two in a game before he does. That’s okay, he still has status among other boys. Whereas the girl whose identity consists of being the “smart girl” or “Justin’s girlfriend” tends to crumble if she doesn’t get into the university of her choice or if Justin dumps her.
I think if we understood these realities a bit better, the whole abortion as empowerment idea would crumble, because it becomes clearer and clearer to me that a great many girls (and women) have an abortion because someone else told them too, or didn’t support them, or said or implied they wouldn’t love her anymore if she didn’t. Tragic.by