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FREEDOM

The patriarchy is a lazy cult-leader.



The patriarchy pisses me off. 


Photo of a sign that says, "our bodies, our minds, our power" and "fuck the patriarchy"

On a daily basis, I experience rage—on behalf of my clients, friends/family, strangers, and my own damn self—about the harm caused by the patriarchy. 


I am so angry about the way men have learned to show up in the world, and how that robs them of their vulnerability, their softness, and humanity. 


I’m angry that we as a society treat men like dumb spoiled babies who lack the biological ability to be introspective, emotionally literate, and considerate of others. (As if having a Y chromosome makes it impossible for the person to write thank-you cards, understand consent, or keep the house clean lol.)


I’m angry about the way women and AFAB folks (assigned female at birth) have learned to show up in the world, too— as if we exist to cater to the feelings, convenience, comfort, pleasure and gratification of men


As if we were biologically designed to be obedient (read: submissive), selfless (read: exploitable), and attractive (read: fuckable). As if we’re only worthy of respect, kindness, and safety when we spend our lives catering to men.


As you can probably imagine given my line of work, I’m also angry that so many femmes waste their lives in the constant pursuit of arbitrary and unrealistic beauty and body ideals. 


Granted, there are many different underlying causes for body image issues (check out my book BODY NEUTRAL: A Revolutionary Guide to Overcoming Body Image Issues to learn about them all!). But a lot of femmes struggle with this because they’ve learned to view themselves through the male gaze, and to measure their own worth by how happy, comfortable, and sexually aroused the men around them are. 


In short, the patriarchy has convinced far too many of us that the most fulfilling and rewarding thing we can do is to cheerfully and prettily allow ourselves to be objectified, exploited, and oppressed.


But actually that’s not quite accurate, is it? Because after thousands of years of refining its technique, the patriarchy doesn’t really have to work very hard to objectify, police, or exploit us, does it? 


Having convinced us all that their respect, kindness, love, and lack of violence are conditional (ie: dependent on our ability to make them happy), men now get to benefit from patriarchy without actually doing any of the work. 


Because men rarely threaten us directly, we often move through the world feeling like we have total agency and freedom… so we assume that we just happen to want to do all the things that make men happy!


We just personally really care about looking thin, young, and attractive! It feels good to focus on everyone else’s needs, and put ourselves last! We find it rewarding to consistently do more than our fair share of domestic labor and childcare! It’s not for them, it’s for us!


This, my friends, is called internalized oppression.


Internalized oppression is where we align ourselves with our oppressors in an effort to survive and get our basic needs met, in the hopes that doing so will mean we are “rewarded” with their approval, kindness, respect, or love. It’s where we take on the beliefs, values, and rules (for what to think, feel, like, want, and be) that benefit them… and we internalize them so deeply that we often mistake them for our own


Internalized oppression may feel like a choice, but can a choice made in the context of coercive control (the strategy often used by cult leaders, domestic abusers, and men who really really want you to give just please give them a handjob) really be considered “freely made”? No.


The patriarchy no longer has to lift a damn finger to control or objectify us, because the overarching coercive control of patriarchy convinces us to  “willingly” control and objectify ourselves. And if I’m being honest, this is the laziest shit I’ve heard. 


Seriously. 


If men want to use us for their own personal gain (as pleasant “set decoration,” mothers and caretakers, and providers of sexual gratification or emotional/domestic labor, for example), shouldn’t they at least have to get off their asses and try harder?


I think so, yes. 



Excerpt from This Is (Not) About Your Body

In it, I talk about how and why coercive control works, compare society to a cult, and discuss how internalized oppression is an illusion—one that we can break free from! I also teach you exactly how to unlearn this shit, reclaim your power and agency from the patriarchy, and stop doing your oppressors’ job for them!!



By the way, if this topic resonates with you (and you’re as pissed off about the patriarchy as I am!), I have a brand new group coaching course coming your way!!


It’s called Project Ugly, and it’s an eight week online coaching program designed to help women and AFAB folks divest from self-objectification and disrupt the patriarchy by breaking all the “rules of desirability” we learned for how to make life better for men. 


Through eight weeks of self-study content (in the form of webinars and worksheets), plus a recorded community Q&A call, you will learn how to repel and disgust anyone who would oppress and exploit you. 


The is probably the coolest course I’ve ever created, and I cannot wait to teach you how to become properly ugly to the patriarchy, including:

  • Holding men accountable for what they do and say. 

  • Speaking up, and advocating for your desires and needs. (In the bedroom, the office, and the world!)

  • Setting boundaries, saying no, and learning not to smile.

  • Dressing and expressing yourself outside of the male gaze. 


Enrollment for Project Ugly isn’t technically open yet, but you can save up to $69 if you register before the official enrollment date! 


Check out all the course details, syllabus, and schedule here– then just hit reply if you want to take advantage of the presale offer, and I’ll send you an invoice and handle registration via email!


Yours in disrupting the patriarchy forever,

Jessi

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