Diagnosis: Patriarchy

Johanna Modak
10 min readApr 23, 2020


I took this photo of myself the morning after the 2016 election and sent it to a group of friends with the caption, “I don’t know where to exist in my body today.” I still don’t exactly know what I meant. I was just…uncomfortable, dismissed. There was no refuge, no safe space to turn inside my own physicality.

When I look back at this photo now, what stands out to me is how wacky my outfit was. I’m not usually a fashion icon or anything, or even particularly concerned with matching, but I do have a style, and this is not it. It wasn’t until recently that I…