Eat, Pray, Love: Why A Woman Seeking Solo Joy Pisses Everyone Off (via Broadside)

I read the book Eat, Pray, Love, a couple of years ago, and while I found Gilbert a tad on the whiny side, I also found her to be an excellent, funny writer. It was a “quick read” and I loooove quick reads — to me, that’s the sign of awesome writing. After I finished the book, I didn’t forge a deep spiritual connection to the book (like Oprah did), instead I found it to be an engaging memoir and basically moved on to my next read.

Now, as the movie hits theaters, I’m surprised to keep stumbling upon criticism of the book and the movie that feel a little unfair and spiteful, as if the reviewers think women 1) shouldn’t travel the world on their own, at any age, especially middle age, nor 2) discuss their secret desires to experience things beyond what American society provides. I’m a libertarian at heart — if a woman wants to leave her husband, visit an Indian ashram, study Italian and enjoy the weather in Indonesia, so be it. But these reviewers, wow — ouch. Definitely some deep-seated sexism out there, and it often comes from fellow women.

Anyway, before I blab on forever, read this. I couldn’t agree more!

Eat, Pray, Love: Why A Woman Seeking Solo Joy Pisses Everyone Off Image by elycefeliz via Flickr I haven’t yet seen the film, but I did read and enjoy the book, a true story of a middle-class white woman who leaves her marriage and wanders the world to find happiness. You’d think she’d killed and eaten a few babies along the way, so vicious are some of the reviews and commentaries. Now the film is out, starring Julia Roberts as author Elizabeth Gilbert, so are the haters. Selfish! Self-indulgent! Whiny! All thi … Read More

via Broadside

2 thoughts on “Eat, Pray, Love: Why A Woman Seeking Solo Joy Pisses Everyone Off (via Broadside)

  1. dregina says:

    What kept me from being able to enjoy the book – ok, what made me hate the book – was the author’s extreme self-centeredness, her total self-involvement. She came across to me as a new-age version of the Ugly American – all the cultures and places she traveled to seemed to exist only to serve to salve her psychic wounds, or to teach her Meaningful Personal Lessons. And I didn’t enjoy her writing style – maybe I just couldn’t notice it because the more I read, the more irritated I got with the writer.

    To me, Eat, Pray, Love is an example of how savvy companies and savvy marketers have taken hold of messages of feminist self-empowerment to make tons of money off of women’s insecurities. The message that we are flawed is still there – except now we can fix ourselves by buying yoga retreats and crystals, instead of girdles and Bibles. Weak analogy, but there it is.

    What makes me personally angry about the book is that it makes SENSE for white American women to be anxious. We are facing potential environmental catastrophe. We live comfortably while at the same time we carry around the knowledge that what makes us comfortable is unsustainable. It doesn’t seem right to me that we attend to our grief and anxiousness by becoming more and more self-centered, more and more hypersensitve to our own circumstances and “in tune with our own needs” while becoming hardened to the circumstances of others. I can’t help but believe that consumerism, the desire for more and fancier stuff, more and fancier experiences, leads to a kind of spiritual death. To see what I think is the problem wrapped up in bows and presented as a solution makes me nuts.

    The more articulate version of what I am trying to say can be found here: http://bitchmagazine.org/article/eat-pray-spend.

  2. yoyomar says:

    I’m late arriving. And I know very little about this, having read only 50 pages of the book. In the true spirit of life in 2010, that qualifies me to opine: I hate it when self-indulgent people blithely write about finding themselves via exotic adventures that most of us couldn’t begin to afford. There–I’ve said it! Besides that, the sappiness quotient was off the charts. Ur lvng MIL…

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