Why the Wellness Movement Needs to Stop Churning out Cliche Mantras and Start Focusing on Education.
As I sit in the ER waiting for the doctor to tell me why in ten minutes I went from laughing pool side after a six mile run to on the floor, sheet white, with cold sweats, an unbelievable pain in my side and vomiting out the car window on the way to the hospital I am struck again by how little I know about my body.
I tend to consider myself pretty educated when it comes to my body. I research running plans, work out and cross train regularly, have a nutrition certification, and know more about my ovaries than most due to ovarian cysts. I’m no doctor or anything but I am constantly trying to learn what my body is doing. Most of all since I am now in my 30’s and can no longer wear badge of honor of not having been to a doctor in ten years. I also am entrenched in the wellness community very deeply. I see constant talk about excepting your body. About loving your body. About how a woman’s body is her body and no one else needs to talk or having an opinion on it and while I 100% agree with this, the mantras seem hallow in moments like this.
We need to stop telling women just to love their bodies. We need to have them demand education about them.
The female body in particular has been ignored int his category. Things like ovulation are almost completely ignored in health classes besides for the basic cliches like you have your period every 27 days (Actually pretty darn rare to be that regular) and that its when your eggs are released (Also wrong its the uterian wall shedding). There is no mention of why crapping might occur, why periods come late and what your hormonal cycle has to do with it. There is no talk that women have three holes: the urethria, vagina and anus. Or that you can only get pregant really 5 days out of the month.
Why is this? Well a lot of it has to do with our culture and what I call the virgin/ whore cliche and what it had to do with the medical community (Granted I hope this is changing as more women get into Medicine). Basically if it doesn’t have to do with reproduction, the medical complex doesn’t really want to talk about it out of the OBGYN office. Of course this has to do with our culture view of women. That doesn’t even need specific research to back it up but if you do need it look at the treatments for hysteria, mental illness in women and how it was treated up to as late as the 1970’s in the United States. The first study of the clitrous wasn’t actually even done until the early 2000’s.
Loving your body is great but as women we need to understand more about our bodies. We need to push forward with research about the female body and what our bodies truly need and how powerful they are. Stop pushing out cliches and mantras about all bodies being beautiful and tell girls hey, this is what cellulite actually is and how our bodies develop and age. Or the fact that the word Cliterous doesn’t even come up in my auto correct.
So what do we need to focus on instead of just mantras?
- Female reproduction
- Training as women not as men
- Hormone changes and levels through life
- Women history both domestically and worldwide
- The wage gap
- How to fight propaganda/ the way our grandmothers were taught
- Female pleasure
- Healthy female/ female relationships
- Life without having children
- How to retain our individuality with children and partners
What are some of the things that you think that women and girls should be taught or have more educate themselves in order to more then just “Love their bodies?”