The New Feminism: Taking It Back

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A Kundalini practitioner recently shared with me the symbology of the Adi Shakti. A mesmerizing interlocking of a karmic circle, a double-edged weapon and two encompassing swords, this is a representation of primal feminine power from a tradition that champions, not male-female equality, but all that is incomparable about a woman’s energy. In this depiction, every female is charged with balancing the woman and the mother:

“As a mother you are supposed to sacrifice, tolerate, be very patient, be very thoughtful of others, and understand all the pros and cons of any situation. As a woman you must give nothing; you have to protect yourself first; and you need not tolerate any nonsense. Woman must be able to ascertain which is the correct relationship—woman or mother,” sword or shield. (© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, circa 1977)

The sword is her incisive determination to dedicate herself to a path of truth, intolerance of assault, and fierce rejection of all that comes between her intuition and her integrity. As she is a warrior, she is also a nurturer.

It has been my mission to help women reclaim that inner compass, pick up their swords, and defend the enigma of their most unquantifiable beauty and power. It is my grave concern that this power has been co-opted by a paternalistic, male-dominated system that seeks to engender fear, control by coercion, and undermine a woman’s inner voice by suggesting that science has cracked the code of the human condition. A system that turns a blind eye to all the times science and medicine have erred. That we, as a society, have let fear lead us down a shameful path.

This system is populated by men who seek to deny women access to their own primacy. But it is certainly not all men or just men. It is also women. It is an ethos of mind-centered dominance that neglects the power of a heart-centered intention. The proponents of this system fear a woman's full expression. I believe that the women who are complicit are sometimes Stockholm Syndrome victims marching to the beat of their own subjugation.

I want to shed a righteous light on how a woman's experience is being micromanaged and suppressed - the bill of goods we have been sold on a "solution" that only seems to usher in problems of deep existential complexity:

  • On birth control, and how we have called women's lib what looks more like mental illness, hormone hijacking, and even death in the name of divorcing us from our most primal connection to the natural world, our cycles.
  • On ultrasound, and how we have medicalized pregnancy through technology that has never been established to be safe, living in a state of fear and uncertainty instead of going inward, trusting, marveling.
  • On birth, this font of personal transformation and transcendence, now about laying on our backs, disconnected and vulnerable, waiting for doctors to rescue us from the problems they create.
  • On mammography, the wolf in sheep's clothing driving disease where it claims to prevent it.
  • On antidepressants, cleaning up for all of the ways that our current medical paradigm has failed us, forcing 1 in 4 women into a state of dependency predicated on the illusion of their chemical imbalances.

There is, perhaps, no greater example of this corruption than the commandeering of their children by the CDC, an organization that manipulates science in the service of profit, at the expense of lives. An organization recently accused of suppression of data supportive of the role of vaccination in autism. An organization that defiantly dismisses the evolution of our understanding of human physiology, including the role of the microbiome, xenohormetic toxicant effects, and transfer of adventitious agents.

In an explosive recent article, Heather Green balks at female physicians who threaten their female patients over vaccine non-compliance in pregnancy:

If you don’t support a woman’s right to make healthcare decisions for her child, don’t call yourself a feminist.

You heard that right: a woman’s right. A mother’s right. Let’s call it like it is because in the vast majority of parenting relationships it’s the mother at the helm of the health and wellness ship. Mothers decide what kind of diet a child eats, what supplements they take, and what vaccines they do or don’t receive. Perhaps if more fathers were healthcare captains this right to parent as one sees fit wouldn’t be debated at all.


As women, we have the right to decline injecting our bodies with attenuated influenza and mercury while we’re carrying a child and any other time that we please. We have the right to say no thanks to a triple jab of bacteria, formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), and fetal cow serum in the Tdap vaccine. We have that right when we’re pregnant, when our baby is born, and every day after that. We have the right to state our wishes to an obstetrician or midwife without them responding, “I’m going to fight you on that one.”

In this model, passive compliance is actively threatening our most sacred and indomitable power – a mother’s right to protect her child. When we trust men (and women acting in their masculine energy) to dictate how we should interfere with physiology, we are complicit in a stance that states we are not good enough, we are broken, and so are our babies. We can’t birth them without your help, they would die of inborn mistakes, and we need a pharmaceutical flowchart to navigate their growth and wellbeing.

Many of you will feel you don’t have the space or energy to pick up this sword, to recapture the true meaning of health, peace, and happiness. I argue that you don’t have the space or energy not to.

In today’s health climate, a failure to challenge industry, government, and media claims can lead you and your family down a lonely road of remorse, heartache, and financial ruin. This is the picture of chronic neurodevelopmental delay, autism, autoimmunity, obesity, and cancer, plaguing our families at rates that are so astronomical, this crisis almost seems normative.

We have also been denied the opportunity for transformative evolution. The psychedelic experience of childbirth, the "Phoenix Process" that comes from walking through what seems like it might break us. As Elizabeth Lesser, author of Broken Open, says, every experience of struggle offers us what we need to be born anew. These are ways that we achieve enlightenment and a connection to our primal power. We are told that feelings of discomfort are nuisances to be medicated away. We are herded like cattle into holding pens of conformity.

I am here to tell you that saying yes to yourself begins with saying no to the medical-agricultural-industrial complex, and to help inspire those of you open enough to feel it, to begin to wonder. To begin to experience gratitude for what is. I like to call this a position of personal non-resistance. While we hold our swords aloft, we simultaneously access a softness, a yielding, an acceptance, for what happens here on the ground. This is balancing the woman with the mother. It's fighting so that we can love better, freer, with less fear. This is living mindfully, in a state of calm alertness, never asleep at the wheel, lulled by the narcotic of what is FDA approved, CDC recommended, and physician endorsed.

Begin to tap into all that is beyond the grasp of allopathic medicine. Take it back, and rise up with a new kind of feminism. A kind that looks like women banding together, talking to one another, trusting in their guts, and building a model of health that is so compelling, the current model will soon be revealed for its transparent agenda, missteps, and offenses. This is where your power lies. Once you taste it, the world will know, and there will be no stopping you.

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About Dr. Kelly Brogan

KELLY BROGAN, MD, is a holistic psychiatrist, author of the New York Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your OwnOwn Your Self, the children’s book, A Time For Rain, and co-editor of the landmark textbook Integrative Therapies for Depression. She is the founder of the online healing program Vital Mind Reset, and the membership community, Vital Life Project. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from M.I.T. in Systems Neuroscience. She is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. Learn More