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Diet Season, or a feminist take on “Spring Renewal”

It is spring, and I want to say something about narratives.

Spring has always brought with it numerous narratives about rebirth, new beginnings, fresh starts, relief, hope, beauty. This is because the season is really, truly a time of rebirth, for nature. Scientifically speaking, spring is a time in which the climate permits growth, flourishing, and birth in the natural world. This truth stands on its own, free of human judgment. But the narrative takes on a moral meaning when humans adopt it for their purposes. For example, Christians adapted this narrative for their Easter story, in which their prophet is resurrected after being persecuted and killed. The prophet brings a message about forgiveness: that after evil, you can still be loved by something good. You can start over. Death and rebirth are no longer scientific truths here, but instead have become the backdrop of a moral human story. Now, I will not make any kind of assessment of one of the most powerful human narratives in the history of human narratives. I simply want to point out how a “neutral” narrative can take on a moral, i.e. good vs. evil, weight, when used for a certain human end.

In the past few weeks since spring sprang in my French city, I have noticed lots of changes, and not just in climate. Sure, the trees are blooming in pinks and whites and yellows. There are certainly many more birds and bees. Luckily, the farmer’s market ...