Sabrina Reyes-Peters

Health and the Kyriarchy, part 3

Find part 2 here!

Modern medicine, and alternative health/wellness movements, are both oppressive, and for multiple reasons.

That's where we left off last time. If you perused a few of the links I provided, you likely see how the medicine industry, whether modern or alternative, is oppressive. It has racist factors, classist factors, and gender factors. Underneath all of that, however, is what I believe to be a larger problem: it's that corporate greed, through capitalism, has gotten U.S. citizens trapped in a cycle: poor nutrition leading to illness, leading to symptom prevention or masking (if you're privileged enough), leading to more illness. The agricultural industry is based on profit and productivity (why is junk food so cheap?), as well as the insurance industry, and the pharmaceutical industries. If you follow the money and connect the dots, you'll see it's a for-profit system.* If you still need convincing, read The Communist Manifesto, and then tell me it does not sound familiar.

Also as a result of capitalism, among other things, is the way in which bodies are treated. They are treated as machines made as a sum of individual parts; treat the part that is broken, and you're on your merry way. Sometimes, you really only have one thing that needs help, and its treatment works out - that's great. But many times, the body needs to be treated as a whole being, not as a broken machine that needs repair in order to retain productivity.

What's the solution?

I've been sitting on this for quite a while, because I am going to propose something of which I know little. I might be treading dangerous waters. I have no sources to cite for my solution; it is only my barely educated opinion.

I'm going to propose that the above industries be taken out of private interests, first of all. As long as the government serves the interests of the rich, and only seeks profit, people are going to continue to get sick. Second of all (and this is not in order of importance), the issues of sexism and racism need to be addressed; those come within the capitalist package, but are separate issues. Third, health care needs to be a shared responsibility once it is taken out of the hands of the rich.** Fourth, the body needs to be treated more as a whole.

I'd welcome more thoughts on this. I'm currently educating myself on the socialism front, thinking about related things, and as a result, this post has been more ranty than intelligent.

*The Paleo community, especially The Paleo Mom, while it can be militaristic, has been good about discussing this topic. I recommend you check out The Paleo Mom for actual scientific references.

**This is also an opinion piece, but it makes a lot of sense: Food and the Socialist Revolution