The New York Times

The Gender Politics of Fasting

BOTH CESAR CHAVEZ AND SIMONE WEIL STARVED THEIR BODIES FOR SPIRITUAL AND POLITICAL REASONS. WHY IS ONLY ONE OF THEM REMEMBERED AS ANOREXIC?

Last summer I took part in a 24-hour fast, as part of a “Break Bread Not Families” prayer and fasting chain. I spent a day not eating, in spiritual solidarity with the 2,400 children who had been separated from a parent at the border. Many of these children were being detained a few miles from my house in McAllen, Tex., where their parents were signing deportation papers on the promise of reunification — and where President Donald Trump visited on Jan. 10. The hosting organization was LUPE, or La Unión del Pueblo Entero, a nonprofit organization that works on local issues in South Texas and was founded by the labor activists Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez in 1989.

Chavez — who died in 1993 and is considered

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times4 min read
The Pleasures of Binge Reading
Why should Netflix provide all the fun? One night a couple of summers ago, the power went out and, unable to watch Netflix or engage in my customary internet fugue, I lit a candle and picked up a thriller by Ruth Rendell. For the first time in as lon
The New York Times6 min read
Growing Up With Murder All Around
“An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago” By Alex Kotlowitz 287 pages. Nan A. Talese/Doubleday. $27.95. On July 22, 2012, Darren Easterling was murdered in Park Forest, a mostly African-American suburb south of Chicago. Two days later, the loca
The New York Times5 min read
Sherwood Anderson's Revolutionary Small Town
How “Winesburg, Ohio” changed American literature. In the autumn of 1915, while living in a bohemian boardinghouse on Chicago’s Near North Side, Sherwood Anderson began work on a collection of tales describing the tortured lives of the inhabitants of