Today I’ve been thinking about patriarchy, and what it has to do with health, because for a long time, I thought patriarchy was kind of over there. It’s a system that keeps people of color and marginalized and women down, and it’s not good; but I never really fully, I think put it all together the way it goes together with health until the last couple months. So, I wanted to talk a little bit about that to give you that perspective because I started talking about it when I first started writing my book a little over a year ago and it’s like, it’s a whole new level of getting it. And now I’m getting it at a different level.
So what we know is that the patriarchal system that we have now is set up and designed very specifically to have CIS white men in charge, right? Like that’s, that’s what it was designed to do. That was the whole system. It didn’t want women in charge. I mean maybe if they’re white women maybe, but still all women get paid a lot less than men, even if they’re white. And then if you happen to be an individual that is a person of color on top of being a woman, right, then you have two marginalized identities. So patriarchy keeps women in a certain place and keeps marginalized groups in a certain place. It tells us that women should be in certain careers. For a long time, it was like, it was only okay to be a teacher, or to be a nurse.
Those were kind of your options, right. Or, or some sort of nanny or childcare worker. Those were all okay. So there were these certain careers that were okay and that were told that, well, you know, women, they’re so emotional and they’re hysterical right. Comes from Hyster from the hysterectomy, from the uterus. We’ve been told, well, you know, you’re too emotional. You’re too emotional to run the country. You’re too emotional to have a position of power. We’ve been taught that you are nurturing, you should be in the home with the children. Women are more nurturing, you’re more helpful. And then we’re told that we should be able to help without asking for compensation. Be of service that asking for money is something that is evil and bad. And yet the rest of the, you know, the other half of the gendered groups can ask for money.
And if you’re charging for or asking for more, then you’re selfish, right? Just like if you’re angry, you are you know that you are called lots of different names, right? You aren’t told that you’re assertive. Like a man is. If you, for goodness sakes, if you take care of yourself, then you’re looked at as selfish. So we’re put in this position as women- this is the baseline, very subtle place of ideas and beliefs that are communicated to women from birth even before, right. Oh, you’re going to have a girl. Oh, she’ll be so sweet. She’ll be so sweet. Where is the boy? You know, I hope he’s a good athlete.
These patriarchal beliefs about the other, right? The non-white males, the non cisgendered white males have developed the systems that we live with, the industrialized food system, our healthcare system, the diet industry, which is part of the industrialized food system. All of these different, even though women are disproportionately in, like I work in a college of education. So they’re disproportionately disproportionate in education. That system too is designed to keep women in the same place. These systems are designed to keep women thinking that taking care of themselves is selfish. And it, the system is encouraging women, both literally and figuratively to keep their legs crossed, to wear certain outfits that are appropriate to worry about what other people think and worry about other people’s feelings first ahead of your own. And for goodness sakes, buy all the products to keep you looking a certain way. These message of, as I’ve talked about before in the podcast, treat yourself and I’m going to put that in quotes, right? There’s this “treat yourself” message. That is really a patriarchal message. An industrialized food complex message and a diet industry message that is backwards and mixed up.
These systems are designed to keep the women who are in not the women, the, the others who are in power to keep them in power, to keep the money going in that direction. Not to change it, not to shift it right? Because then the systems would be different. So we’ve been told this message as women we’ve been told to take care of others, we’ve been told to put ourself second. And we’ve been told that it’s selfish. It’s very selfish to take time away. Right? That is probably the number one thing that I hear when I first start working with women who say, well, but that’s so selfish. That’s well, I can’t, I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t take that time away. Right. These systems are designed. Remember these systems are designed and the messages keep get putting out there that lie like, oh, after you’ve taken care of the entire family, if you’ve ever watched ads, look for this, you’ve taken care of the entire family. And now it’s your turn. Why can’t your turn be first? Why can’t that be the first thing? So when we’re told to do all this, what happens? We don’t take care of ourselves first. We don’t take care of our, our needs. Like our real, not just like, oh, I want to do all these wonderful things for myself. I’m going to go in a seven day to treat retreat. I’m talking about eating nutritious food comes second, right? We’re sold the bottle of a protein shake from the grocery store because women don’t have time to make themselves a good nourishing meal.
There is research evidence that demonstrates the connection between emotions and chronic illness, adverse childhood events (ACE), basically traumatic events, adverse childhood events. There’s a little assessment in easy assessment that you can do to see if you had any adverse childhood events (ACE). Most people I know have had at least one. We’re taught to not say no, right? We have to say yes to everyone. We’re taught that, oh, come on. Just one more. When we are taught not to say no. And when we don’t say no, we are much more likely to have chronic illness. We’re much more likely to have an experience of a physical disorder and a mental health disorder. We’re also taught not to express our anger. We shouldn’t express our anger. We’re good little girls. We sit in the chair, we cross our legs. We put our hands in our lap. We answer the teacher, we raise our hands. And if somebody says something to you that makes you angry, you stay calm, right? These are the messages. When we don’t express our anger, there’s also an increased likelihood to experience illness. Now here’s the interesting thing, right? The healthcare system, part of the patriarchal system, right? This has been influenced by the patriarchal beginnings of our country and really of the world, right? So the healthcare system is not designed to look at the emotions, right? It’s not something that they’re taught in medical school and to look at how the emotions and how they might be influencing the autoimmune disorder, these different disease processes that women are more likely to get. So illnesses like an autoimmune disease that a majority of women in the United States face.
Here we have this system that is just looking at the physical, right, which is fine. Yes, there are physical causes of illness and they’re not taking into account how these different things that we’re taught to do or not do is influencing our physical health. The trauma that we’ve experienced as humans, how that’s affecting our health, the emotions that we’re feeling, the beliefs that we’re holding, the epigenetics right of trauma in our society, and in a particular cultures. None of that is taken into account. It is not part of the system. And that is a huge failing, in my opinion, that is a huge failing. Now I want to be clear that if you are like, “oh crap, I don’t feel my anger and therefore, it’s my fault that I have this illness.” I am NOT, I am not saying that. It is not your fault.
It is not your fault. In fact, far from it. If we’re going to put blame anywhere, I would blame the systems. The systems are failing. That’s what I would say. The systems are failing to take care of women and people of color and any marginalized community. The L G B Q T+ community is being failed by our system as well. And actually, all of these systems are really designed to keep women in their place. The systems are failing, but they’re actually not failing because they’re designed to keep women down. They’re designed to keep marginalized people down. So they’re designed this way. They’re failing for us, but they themselves, they’re not failing. They’re designed to keep women small. They’re designed to keep people in their place, right? These careers that they’re like, women are really good teachers. You should be a teacher or that we’re encouraged to be that. That would be good. I see my mother teacher as a teacher, I should be a teacher. Or a nurse, right? They’re the ones that are historically underfunded and overworked. In addition to being, having crappy work environments. Teachers and nurses are prime examples of this poor wages, and long hours.
So how can we counteract patriarchal systems that are influencing all of these other systems? How do we start to change this? That’s been the big question that I’ve been thinking about. The biggest thing that I can see that is a radical act is to begin taking care of ourselves. And I mean that with like capital T, capital C, capital O capital, you know, all the, all the capitals, all of it capitalized! And this isn’t just for women. This is for men too. I love this idea of there’s a divine feminine, and there’s a sacred masculine. We want the masculine, we want the divine feminine and the sacred masculine together, but we want them in balance. We don’t want the toxic masculinity. This isn’t just for women. It’s for men, it’s for people of color it’s for any community right now. To take care of ourselves as the Nap Ministry states, if you don’t follow her on Instagram or Facebook, you totally should. She’s amazing. I can’t remember her name, but you can search it under Nap Ministry. One of the things that she says is rest is a radical act against the system. Rest is a radical act, because these systems, the industrialized system, right, the patriarchal system has gotten all of us working our tails off for someone else. Right? So resting is a radical act. I completely agree with that.
And I’ll add that. Not only is rest so important. Rest is such a radical act because it also helps decrease inflammation in our body. If we’re getting enough rest, I will also add that another radical act is eating nutritious, whole food, eating real food, not a barcode, not a box. Nothing in that particular real, if you can help it. Whole foods, real foods, nutrient- phytonutrient, dense foods like vegetables. Those were nuts, nuts seeds could vegetables, healthy fats like avocado. So good for you. And I would say some grains that are okay. Like rice would be a good one. Quinoa is a good one. A healthy protein is important too. Like beans. Those are really important for like lentils are one of the most perfect proteins. So eating that good food where take care of yourself and you nourish your body.
You putting your body first is a radical act against the system saying no to what doesn’t light you up, or doesn’t get you to the next stage of you want being able to learn how to say no, at least more often than you are currently. That is a radical act against all these old ways of being. Practicing awareness of your emotions, practicing awareness of your beliefs, the thoughts that you have. The emotions that arise and tending to them, being there with the part of you that is struggling; being in full self-compassionate awareness is a radical act to move out of the old patterns that have been placed on us by these systems. Leaning into the divine feminine energy of intuition, and pairing and partnering with our spirit guides to work with energy. All of those are traditions that have been told not to. If you think back to the witch hunts and how women were basically all considered witches, and all of that was pushed away from us, and we were told that we need to shut that it down. So to be in the energy with guides with intuition is a radical act that will get us out of this mess. When women take care of themselves, when women are able to truly show up and take care of themselves, there is a power available. Not only to them, not only to that individual woman, but the people that they’re with, right, which could be a family, or could be a community or both. When these women are able to take care of themselves. When we are able to take care of ourselves, we can do so much more in the world. We are vibrant, we are vital, we are powerful. And when we are powerful, our families and communities are powerful. And when our communities are powerful and supported, we can start to transform the entire system that has kept us all small.We can make the system one where humanity, where wellness and where love and compassion is at the center.
Okay my friends, that’s a lot to chew on for this episode. So I talked a little bit about that on my Instagram and on my Facebook, I would love to have you follow me there. I invite you to join me in that discussion. And also I send out an email every week that gives you a little deeper insights into these podcast episodes and about what I am seeing in my own life in regards to health and wellness. I hope that you all are resting and nourishing yourselves and taking care of yourselves with such love and compassion. All right dear ones, take good care of yourself.
Thanks for joining me on this episode of whole body upgrade. If you’d like to learn more about working with me, you can visit me on Facebook or Instagram or on my website, www.Centeredyou.com.