Painting toes while watching sunrise over Miami, and the wedding

I didn't mean to be watching the wedding, but I was brushing my teeth and turned on the TV in my room and voila. Well, I have my tiara, and some nail polish, so there you are.

The conference is going well. Good science, some interesting debates, some news - and a telling gaffe by someone that went public by mistake and will surely be the talk of the day.

The gaffe involved this statement, in celebrating something positive: "Getting rid of the tea party maudsley folks made a difference…"  

Can't be sure what that means (though I can guess), but it's sad on so many levels. What we really need is to be really talking.


  1. Hmmm - interesting comment, and interesting time to make it. Tea parties have very different connotations here in the UK than they may do in the US and the only real objections to them here could be from those who find them too twee and uninteresting. It doesn't seem to be bothering most of us as we get fully into the swing of a national tea party (with a bit of champagne thrown in) in honour of Kate and William. It's getting people talking. Your commentator should join in. Of course like the marriage itself the talking will take long-term work and won't be all plain sailing, but sitting down at a British tea party with a good few sandwiches and a delicious cake is a pretty good place to start.

  2. ?????? Regarding the gaffe - how horrible. You would think that scientific research demonstrating that many ED sufferers have been brought to full recovery through the Maudsley method would make all ED clinicians take notice, want to learn about it and have it as a tool in their toolbox to help their own clients.

    Glad you are finding the conference a good experience. Thanks for being there. I am proud that you are representing all of us tea party Maudsley folks.

  3. Better out than in!

  4. Tea party as in scones and cups of tea, or tea party as in (hope I'm not offending anyone here!) bonkers US political organisation who specialise in conspiracy theories? If the latter, sad that an emphasis on science should be seen as crazy - it's usually the tea party themselves attacking science in favour of superstition. You must be touching some nerves to make them feel so defensive Laura ;) good for you!

  5. I agree, this is the best thing that can happen! It let's those more moderate voices in the ED community hear what people think of evidence based research. A change is coming...

  6. I've read the gaffe time and time again and I'm trying to fathom what the person is trying to say, and who/what they are referring to. I'm not so good at idoms and prefer straight and literal talk, so I may be puzzling over this for hours... To know the context in which this was said would be helpful.

    What I see as hurtful is the reference to 'getting rid of'. It's also very unprofessional. An important point about science and research is that it should be debated - from all angles, with appraisal of the various paradigms. If the Maudsley folks are absent (absent sounds nicer than 'got rid of', which sounds brutal..) then there's a large chunk of evidence missing.

  7. 'Tea party' as in zealous grassroots organization that is challenging the status quo? (Or 'stirrers' as we used to call them in New Zealand.) While I am not a tea party fan in the political realm, I kind of like the impact we Maudsley folks seem to be making. They're noticing--they are threatened!

  8. First off: Jealous of your Miami Iced experience

    Secondly: While it probably is a reference to the tea party that is present today (and scoffed at) - you could choose to view it as a reference to the tea party of colonial times that helped guide this country to this point.

    Either way, clearly we still need to be talking not only to those outside of the eating disorder world, but those inside as well.

    Also, just because I'm curious... what did you think of the recent NY Times article?

  9. The tea party reference for those of you not familiar is implying that maudsley people are crazy zealots. It is a sad state of affairs when no one can stand up to that kind of ignorance with a strong intelligent voice surely, many would listen. Dr Julie O Toole wrote on her blog that she and her collegues submitted a bid to teach a seminar to professional at an Ed conference and were rejected. Sounds like there is some power amount the "good ole boys" to control the material. Seems like a dangerous premise. What would be the best way to counter this?

  10. As you are aware Laura, the "tea party zealots" who were meant were you and me.

    We left the AED listerv in two different but definite ways in protest to the administrator's ruling that henceforth there would be no further discussion about AN as "a brain disorder" and none about "whether or not parents cause EDs", as both topics were too controversial for the membership and led to long discussions which they found counterproductive. This "tea party Maudsley" comment was the response to us leaving.

    I think many people were shocked by the comment which the author no doubt did not intend to go to the whole listserv.

  11. I've had some time to think about the comment - and appreciate the timing. Yes, the comment - which was an innocent accident and not an attack - was about us, but probably no more specifically than the kind of comments we all make about categories and ideas, like the Tea Party.

    We all snark to our friends and would be mortified if people heard it without context. And, yes, we all have unflattering thoughts about those we disagree with and feel dismissed by.

    I've reached out to the author, and she's reached back. THAT may be the only way we bridge this sort of stuff. The fact is: the greater the gap between belief systems the more painful it all is. It's necessary pain.


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