One of the central outmoded ideas governing our health care system is the notion that the processes of a woman’s body are designed to cause suffering and pain, and that women require a great deal of medical care and testing to stay healthy.
We learn our first lessons about what to approach and what to avoid from our parents. As we get older, they also teach us more complicated lessons about how to act in public and in private. These instructions get laid down in both the orbitofrontal cortex, which says, “Yes, it’s okay to feel that and go after that,” and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which says, “No, better not do that right now. Look before you leap. That’s not appropriate.” We need both parts of our brains to be fully functional.
Though we’ve come a long way in society in a relatively short period of time, old archetypal patterns still exist in our society. We are programmed to await the knight on the white horse to bail us out financially. This old mythology is far from dead; in fact it’s the basis for nearly every Disney fairy tale we’ve been brought up with (except Mulan).