2 Women's Rights You Need to Fight For

Joining the cause for women’s rights starts by honoring your own rights. And that starts with making choices in honor of your health, rather that at the expense of it.

“The challenges that confront women now are more subtle than those of the past, harder to recognize and thus to remove...They are problems that come from the nearly impossible standards of perfection that women have somehow rushed to embrace, problems that come--inherently and inevitably--simply from being female.”

~ Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection

You have a right to your health.

You have a right to your pleasure.

You have a right to honor your body.

March is Women’s History Month, which we at Walnut Health honor as this month’s Walnut Weekly theme.

On top of that, this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

How does one even begin to compose a meaningful post that somehow encompasses two rivers that run so deep?...

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At Walnut Health, we fight for women's rights, specifically the right to your personal brand of health--one that makes you feel good and builds you up, rather than breaking you down.

We continually try to straddle the lines between ra-ra sisterhood, body-positive self-love, and hardcore “get fit”. We continually try to encourage a mindset that does not veer too much toward brazenly harsh, “woo factor”, "medical", “gym-y”, or “smoothie bowls rule the world”, if that makes any sense at all.

In short, our fight for women's rights goes something like this:

Health is personal, and pleasure is personal. You have a right to a positive relationship with your body, and you have a right to health that feels good to you. You do not have to sacrifice health for pleasure, and you do not have to sacrifice pleasure for health. You deserve empowered health.

We stand for your rights, and we want you to stand for them as well. This is your story. There is no perfect way to tell it, and there is no "ideal". You deserve more than a trend. Your health matters, and you, more than anyone else, knows what works for you.

So, in the spirit of women's history and women's rights, and in the spirit of awareness, here are two oft-ignored women's rights you need to fight for:

1. The right to nix the "ideal" and honor your body

Let’s talk about the notion of “ideal” for women throughout the 20th century, shall we?

In just the past 100 years, we have moved from the “Gibson girl” in 1910 (bust and booty with a tiny, cinched waist) through several other decade-based trends into Marilyn Monroe’s figure in the 1950s, Twiggy in the 1960s, a little more hip in the 1970s, some “hard bodies” (lean and thin and strong) in the Jane Fonda 1980s, some more height and “waif” in the Kate Moss 1990s, a little more “athleticism” in the Victoria Secret model 2000s…and some great booty since then.

And today?

Well, in case you haven’t looked at any fitness/health media/social media lately, two messages lead the charge:

  1. Skinny is good, but not “skinny fat”: You want to be skinny, but also lean.
  2. Strong is the new skinny.

While these messages purport at least some version of “health”, they still paint quite a tiny box to try to squeeze into.

Even if you’re on the skinny side, you don’t want to be skinny fat! God forbid! You need a booty! You need Michelle Obama arms! You need toned abs and thigh gap!

You want it all, you need it all--otherwise known as some warped version of Violet Beauregarde.

Strong might be the new skinny…but that still makes it a “trend”. And at what cost? “Health” becomes a coping mechanism to help you feel good enough, to help you fit in, to help you find a “cure” for the issues that you don’t want to deconstruct. And, far too often, somewhere along the way, your health ultimately suffers as a result.

You relinquish your right to honor your body when you follow “ideal” trends that diminish your health. [Tweet this]

2. The right to pleasure-filled health

“Rather than acknowledging that feminine perfection is a life, we continue both to believe in the myth and to feel guilty when we—inevitably, inherently—fall short of it.”

~ Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection

We, as women, often try to do it all, be it all, and do and be it all perfectly. In the world of fitness and “health”, trying to fit into this myth can lead to disordered eating, eating disorders, and obsessive exercise. On the flip side, it can lead to a “screw it” mentality. Either way, the notion of “health” is used in a way that leads to more harm than good.

It's time to recognize that marching for self-care matters. In the fight for women's rights, remember this: Fighting for the right to pleasure-filled health empowers you to spend more time on values and motivates you to fight for the greater cause of women in all respects. Why? Because pleasure-filled health requires connection to yourself and to others. It inspires you to share stories, and it motivates changes on a larger scale. If you feel good, you have more to give to others.

It’s time for a women’s rights movement in the name of pleasure-filled health.

You have a right to your health.

You have a right to your pleasure.

You have a right to honor your body.

Joining the cause for women’s rights starts by honoring your own rights. And that starts with making choices in honor of your health, rather that at the expense of it.

“On the day that the intelligence and talents of women are fully honored and employed, the human community and planet itself will benefit in ways we can only begin to imagine.”

~ The Red Tent

This month, we kick off our monthly Walnut Weekly Write-In! What would YOU like to learn more about? Write to us at info@walnuthealthllc.com with your questions, and we might dedicate a Walnut Weekly to you!

Our 6-week online course is all about helping you identify the root causes of your feelings and learn healthy coping strategies. It offers tools for increasing conscious awareness of the ways in which you seek pleasure, increasing connection to your body and needs, and developing a new relationship with your body–one that preserves pleasure while building a sustainable approach to eating, exercising, and even intimate relationships.

SUSTAINABLE PLEASURE:

HEALTHY HABITS THAT ACTUALLY FEEL GOOD

To preview our 6-week online course, take this Course Tour.