Codependency is a systemic disease of the patriarchy

Women spend their lives trying to bend themselves into pretzels to fit some vague and random idea of what the perfect woman should be.

What she should look like, act like, FEEL LIKE.

She should be skinny and white and bendy and be totally interested but not too interested and she should be confident and also insecure and eat burgers and shoot whiskey and also be a vegan and drive a vintage pick-up truck and a Prius and not need a man and also be vulnerable and be smart as all hell but not too challenging and she should be totally fine with whatever you think of her and also need you desperately and be a rocket scientist but only if she has sexy glasses and also she should be a yoga instructor and she should only do crossfit and tough-mudders but not be too muscular or bulky or too skinny cuz that’s just gross but her stomach needs to be flat and she should also be curvy and she needs to dress sexy but not like a slut and also she should put crystals in her vagina to be sure her chakras are aligned and for the love of all that’s holy she needs to love sex and be totally uninhibited but only with you because otherwise she’s used goods.

And she when she doesn’t know who the fuck she is because the messaging she’s been receiving since the time she was FUCKING BORN is CONFUSING AS ALL HELL, we label her CODEPENDENT and send her to 12-step rooms to get better.

And in those rooms we tell her all the NEW things she should be.

{Look, I think Codependent No More is a brilliant book and I recommend it in my programs. I’ve seen women heal exponentially from the work done in CoDA and Al-Anon (myself included).}

I’m also sick and fucking tired of women being diagnosed as having a disease that’s simply a systemic function of the patriarchy, and then being told how to fix it themselves, or, worse, shamed for having it in the first place.

We need to fix the DISEASE, not the symptoms it produces. If you’re affected by the patriarchy in all the ways the patriarchy is designed to affect you, IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT and YOU ARE NOT BROKEN.

You’re just a woman living in the 21st Century.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

Kate Anthony