How To Break Up With The Patriarchy

Alli Kelly

The impact of the patriarchy on female lives is no mystery. We know our lives are deeply rooted in the patriarchy and how we’ve been indoctrinated into society as women. It’s taken many women before us to bring these concerns to light and to fight tirelessly for equality. They’ve focused on the topics of equal pay, equal treatment in homes, in parental roles, and equal respect for our bodies, to name a few. But what about the day-to-day impacts on the way we think, feel, and simply exist in the world? 

Dr. Shefali Tsabary brings these small manifestations the patriarchy has on women to light. Even better, in her book, A Radical Awakening: Turn Pain into Power, Embrace Your Truth, Live Free, she provides a playbook to face these issues and tackle them at the individual level. Here are a few ways to start dominating as a female in a patriarchal society. 

Challenge the Status Quo

Take a look at your life and the many facets that lie within it: your relationships, your career, what you believe is right and wrong, the way you think about yourself and your body. Dig deep and seek to understand where these beliefs have come from. Once you do, take a step back and decide if these beliefs truly align with the way you want to live your life, or if they are a set of rules you’ve been fed to follow. 

Set Boundaries to Find True Love

Finding love that is healthy, comfortable, natural, and unselfish actually comes from having a deep understanding of oneself and feeling completely fulfilled as an individual. Oftentimes what we think is love, is actually just attachment. Once you’re able to see the distinction between the two, set personal boundaries to protect yourself. Take the time to understand if the other person is rooted in self-love as well. 

Become Sex-Confident

So much of female empowerment comes from feeling confident in ourselves. One of the biggest pieces of that puzzle is feeling confident in your skin and knowing what your body needs to function. We’re naturally sexual creatures; take advantage of your natural instincts to understand your body and understand what you want (and don’t want). And don’t be afraid to ask for it!

Release Your Children From Expectations

This one is a little radical, but hear me out: the way we raise our children is a reflection of us, not them. Our children are entities of themselves. Yes, they were given life from their parents, but ultimately we are all individuals. If you’re someone who wants to have children or does have children, think about raising them with basic human needs, behavior, and beliefs, but allow them to become the people they want to outside of our ideas of who they should be. 

Stop Being Nice (but Always be Kind)

There’s a thin line between niceness and being a push-over. You are entitled to your feelings, thoughts and boundaries and that means saying no and putting your foot down. And if that means you’re not being ‘nice’, well that’s a great sacrifice to make in order to be authentic. 

These changes are just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless lessons to learn from Dr. Shefali that would truly radicalize our culture and the way women are expected to behave. It is possible to live a truly authentic life, it just takes courage. 

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Alli Kelly

"Feminism is for everyone. We all need to take an active part in deconstructing the way the patriarchy has shaped us as women. Get educated, get out there, and make a difference for yourself and your sisters."
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