Psychotherapy, politics and women

 psychotherapist working with patient

I have been thinking about and reading a bit about psychotherapy. Psychotherapy for sad people is very important. Psychotherapy is very important for example because sadness and tension and stress are the leading cause of heart disease, one of the leading chronic illnesses in women, and of premature death.

But at the present moment in history the idea of freedom is not getting its due in so many ways one wonders how psychotherapy alone can in any way be enough. It may have had its place in the twentieth century. But what about in the twenty first?

It will take a helluvalot more transformation of the physical and mental make up of brains and souls and bodies of men and women before the many underlying inadequacies of society and economy and polity are overcome.

There is an inadequate conception of freedom politically, economically and socially at the present stage of history.

As political creatures we are supposed to vote in leaders in the three levels of government. This is the political means to select leaders of one’s choice to carry out public leadership functions of one’s choice. But this conception of citizens and women also especially as voters is inadequate.
The social realities women are born into cannot be represented through voter politics. Voting is not an activity that asks us to think about the meaning of freedom not does it move us towards a condition of greater freedom.

As members of families, members of public and private organisations, users and creators of public and private institutions, workers, members of social groups, members of the electronically connected human species, and myriad other groups, women are not living in freedom. The psychological needs and pressures are creating unfreedom, not freedom. It is as if women dont want to be free, otherwise how do we explain that we keep subjecting ourselves voluntarily to all these myriad of institutions that enslave our brains and bodies?

Not only politics, also economics and society in mass society and mass democracies are not up to the job of moving us towards freedom.

Plato in his Republic for example, aside from the fact that slaves and women weren’t represented, considered that the polity is too big if it numbers more than seven thousand people.

But capitalism nationalism and all the other isms have put us in mass societies for their own ends.

Numbers are just one of the hundreds of problems and inadequacies foisted on women by history, capitalism, patriarchy, women’s own weakness, general brainlessness, evolution, war, and much else.

So finally we must ask what is freedom. And my answer is, women will only be free when our minds and bodies are as adapted to each other and to life, including as immune to disease, as are the minds and bodies of crocodiles.

So we still have a long way to go. Our brains and bodies are at a very very low level of development seperately and in relation to each other. And so freedom, including freedom from disease, remains elusive.

Anandi Sharan was born in Switzerland, lives in Bangalore and last year worked in Araria District Bihar, India. She works on trying to find the best money system to help people adapt to climate change especially in India.


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