Summary Of Feeding Desire By Rebecca Popenoe

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Book summary The book, “Feeding Desire: Fatness, Beauty and Sexuality among a Saharan People” is written by Rebecca Popenoe. This book explores the traditions of the semi-nomadic Moors in the Azawagh area of the Niger basin of deliberately fattening their young girls starting at a tender age as soon as they start growing their milk teeth. This is believed to hasten their maturity and transition to puberty hence this practice is viewed as a way of preparation for the female for marriage. This they do by feeding them with large quantities of milk and porridge. Among the Azawagh Arabs, excessive fatness having rolls of fat is viewed as great beauty and acts as a veil that ensures modesty as this leads to restricted mobility hence the women spend…show more content…
Milk is valued among these herders as it comes from the animals they own and take care of. Women’s sexuality is viewed as a source of life and that is the reason her morality is guided so zealously. Hence, milk is given in plenty to women to fatten them. This milk is transformed into the flab and fat covering them making them beautiful and appealing to their men leading to creation of new lives. This milk also contributes to the creation of breast milk, which is used to nurture future generations and bring up the children and the cycle is repeated (Popenoe, 2003). This is what leads to succession of families. Milk is seen as a major part of the continuation of the family. Sexual secrecy is also a major part of their ritual where females on reaching the puberty level are required to wear veils and maintain decent silence when in the presence of…show more content…
Women are fattened in order to create a level of fatness that will confine the women to the tents hence keeping check on morality, as it is easier to govern them while they are confined in their tents. Fatness is used to govern the level of morality with females being taught these traditions starting from their childhood. Sexuality is viewed as a religious requirement where creation of live occurs as a result. It is for this reason that females are subjected to fattening to reduce their mobility leaving them confined to the tents where their morality is preserved. In the traditions of Moors, they maintain an air of silence when it comes to matters relating to sexuality and fattening of women finding it important to preserve their decency through silence. Matters relating to the female body are not open to public discussion where the females wear a veil of silence when outside their tents (Popenoe,

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