Healing from the Separation of Patriarchal Capitalism
Nurturing workplaces help us journey through the individual and collective trauma ingrained by late-stage, patriarchal capitalism.
I love being part of a nurturing workplace. The kind that engenders safety and trust to the degree that my colleagues are I are able to work through the individual, collective and systemic trauma ingrained by late-stage, patriarchal capitalism.
I was thinking (and feeling) a lot about trauma this morning as I watched Richard Branson, a celebrated entrepreneur who had just returned from eight minutes in outer space, share his thoughts in a press briefing. With excitement, Branson entreated:
“Imagine a world where people of all ages, all backgrounds from anywhere, of any gender, or any ethnicity have equal access to space. And they will in turn, I think, inspire us back here on Earth.”
Like many, I’m still stuck imagining a world where everyone has access to clean drinking water.
But I was also left imagining the level, and layers, of trauma that patriarchal capitalism systemically reinforces, such that a white, male billionaire can be so thoroughly disconnected from his body (the anti-gravitational effects of time in space aside). No matter how much external validation one receives about their work ‘lifting all boats’ or ‘saving the planet’ — it only takes a few seconds for any of us to connect with the truth in our bodies: billionaires and space tourism are incongruent with a world that works for all.
But that few seconds of connecting deeply with truth — even the notion that our bodies hold wisdom surpassing rational thought — is an anathema in a patriarchal world, especially if your identity is based on denying it. In fact, that’s the very definition of the inner patriarchy: disconnecting from the ‘feminine’ within — our inner feminine that feels, perceives and navigates the unknown.
This core wounding of internal separation is at the heart of how billionaires, like Branson, disassociate their extreme wealth from the plight of others. It’s how they reconcile their zeal for acting on climate change with literally separating from Mother Earth while spewing emissions from the backside of a rocket.
To differing degrees, we all suffer this core wounding. And it’s no surprise. As a system grounded in patriarchy, capitalism successfully reinforces that:
- we’re not enough
- we don’t have enough
- there’s not enough for us all
And, in convincing us of these things, we commonly respond (often just to survive), in a way that, tragically, reinforces the separation: we do more, from a space of feeling like we are and have less. We separate further from the truth that is needed to heal the core wounding that underpins our capitalist, patriarchal, neocolonial, white supremacist system: just by being, we are enough.
That’s why I love being part of a nurturing workplace. It offers me a place to just be. A place to gently reconnect with my sense of ‘enoughness’, unpacking the protective layers of disconnection that no longer serve me. It’s a space in which I can be gentle with my inability to be gentle with myself; a space in which my colleagues and I can see — indeed truly witness — each other in the painfully beautiful, slow unwinding that accompanies decolonization from any and all forms of artificial separation.