3 Patriarchal Beliefs That Prevent Women From Being Healed

· March 22, 2017

The patriarchy could be defined as an ideology that is manifested in social practices that cause inequality to the detriment of women. But could this social order and the beliefs that sustain it influence the healing of the feminine sex? Do we women suffer bodily from the effects of a still-patriarchal society?

Doctor Christiane Northrup, in her book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, explains that it is not possible to heal women as long as we are not doing a critical analysis and changing some of the patriarchal beliefs that we have unconsciously inherited and internalized.

“Consciousness creates the body”

-Christiane Northrup-

To start, Western civilization is inspired by the Judeo-Christian view that considers, among other absurdities, the feminine body and its sexuality – represented in the figure of Eve – as the ones responsible for the fall of humanity.

With regards to illness, Northrup ensures us that women get sick if we mistreat one another. Furthermore, she explains that when we get sick, we are cared for by a patriarchal medical system that often denigrates our bodies. Christiane points out three fundamental patriarchal beliefs that prevent our proper care:


First belief: the illness is the enemy

This thought could condition us to consider our body as our adversary, especially when it sends us messages that we do not want to hear. This is an element that can cause pain, ignoring what may be an immense source of pleasure. According to the author, it is inherent in our culture to try to kill the body as the messenger along with the message it brings.

However, the body can become the best healing system that we possess so long as we know how to listen to it. Without going into the sexual field, its movements create endorphins that make us feel better, more lively, filled with more energy. ,

Woman Painted Face

Second belief: medical science is omnipotent

This belief is based on the myth that we have been brainwashed to believe in concerning the “medical gods.” That is to say that doctors know more about our body than we do and as such, they are the only ones who can heal us.

So we forget something so obvious as the fact that every woman has the ability to gather great knowledge about herself. In this sense, a doctor can help, but it will make a futile effort if he does not listen to what the woman has to say.

Third belief: the feminine body is abnormal

The patriarchal denigration of the feminine body underlies the fear that many people experience towards their body and its natural processes to the point that they feel repugnance towards it. Christiane Northrup reminds us in her book that no scientific study can explain with complete precision and in every circumstance how or why one body in particular acts in the way that it does.

In this sense, the emergency room doctor Alyson McGregor explains that the recall of 80% of medicine in the United States is due to the secondary effects suffered by women. The reason: the animals used in laboratories for medical studies are males, as are their cells, thereby forming a reference point for the medical study that is exclusively masculine.

Emotional disconnect as a consequence of these patriarchal beliefs

Patriarchal culture has made us unconsciously assume habits that imply serious effects on our body and spirit, for they stop us from connecting to our emotions in order to understand what is really happening to us. A patriarchal society also brings with it the undermining of the feelings of women, denying or underestimating them, which has repercussions for their acceptance.

Two People Painted Faces

Many women may feel shame when it comes to expressing their emotions because they run the risk of not being taken seriously or as seeming weak. This disconnect in turn keeps us in a state of suffering that increases in proportion to the time that we hang onto it.

How to fight patriarchal beliefs?

A first step towards positive change in life and more concretely in health is to give a name to current experience and to allow ourselves to feel it completely, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

When we recognize and let go of our emotional suffering, we immediately connect with our feelings. Through these, we can discover the specific needs that we have.

Furthermore, by freeing ourselves from this suffering and the worries that come with it, we recover the energy necessary for our body to heal itself. It is also important to substitute those patriarchal beliefs with others that are more useful, like the idea that the feminine body possesses a great ability for resistance and health. In other words, to heal itself.