“So long as the feminine is unconscious,

dependent on the masculinity that is dependent on her,

the psychic constellation is incestuous –

mother bound to son and daughter bound to father.”

-Marion Woodman, Leaving My Father’s House


“I hope your session goes well and you feel liberated.”


My husband’s words are intended to be kind. I have a therapy session with our beloved mentor and it is coming on the heels of my almost mental breakdown this past month. When we sold our house and moved as a family of five from the Pacific Northwest to Asheville, North Carolina it was possibly the best financial decision we will make in our lives. What we weren’t ready to encounter was that this decision was possibly the worst emotional decision for me personally. It would take me twelve nights of dry heaving and panic attacks to muster my way through as we drove cross country to my husband’s hometown where we had purchased a house in cash from the gains of our Seattle home sale.

One month in this new town, our kids settled into new schools, and our work life was much simpler. I was not as acutely manic but still thoroughly depressed. I couldn’t shake this exhaustion that overtook my body every time I thought about going into this new town and building a new life of friendships and community. Even now, as I type the words, disdain and heartache rush through my veins.

We began visiting churches and I was almost shocked to see pastors not even acknowledge me but speak solely to my husband. I had forgotten that the South holds deep in its soil the sin of misogyny. Misogyny is ingrained dislike or contempt for women. My husband was at the top of the caste system, and bar being a woman of color, being a woman was further down on the Totem Pole than it had been in the Pacific Northwest. 

My body struggled to articulate the feelings I was experiencing without letting my trauma hijack the conversation. It was this invisible energy that weighed on me when I walked in stores, engaged other women in town, and talked with Christian men who grew up dismissing women for their gender. This move for us was a very good move for my husband and a very bad move for me. My husband is a white, Christian male from this state. He could be a progressive liberator in the Northwest and could be assumed as a good ole boy in the South. Whether or not he chose to be, he knew a language that I had only learned a few phrases of.

In 2021, a census was conducted over the 50 states showing the top states to live in for women’s economic and social well-being and women’s health and safety. The top 30 states are in the North, and the top 10 are in the Northeast. While the most unhealthy, underpaid, and at-risk states for women to live in were all in the South, the lowest being Mississippi, Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama. These statistics showed women were paid less, endured higher accounts of being raped or murdered, and were undereducated in the South. Sadly, for me, I moved from #7 in Washington to #35 in North Carolina.

My husband is a good guy, and I believe he wants me to succeed but my past trauma from men triggers me to question all men’s intent. I knew it was my trauma that made me question my husband’s goodness but it still felt paralyzing. Even for the liberated female, she must still be in a relationship with a male-dominant world. I have a list of good men I keep tucked in my top dresser drawer who I know I can trust but I am also bound to those men to ameliorate me when my trauma sends me to a place of regression.

My husband and I agree, I should call Dan.

Days before the session, I realize that I want to ask Dan if my husband Andrew is a good man. Immediately after I conjure the thought, I know I can not give Dan that much power. Here I am a woman, looking for a man to tell me what I need to know within myself. “You must answer that question yourself.” It is almost as if God’s audible voice beckons me. Without hesitancy, I whisper aloud, “yes, my husband is a good man but he hasn’t been gentle with my wounded places”.

As quickly as I am aware of my trauma from misogyny and patriarchy, I feel a rush of sadness wash over me. I return to what I have come to know is most true, I don’t have control and I must grieve what I can not change. It isn’t but seconds when Dan’s beautiful, Jewish face fills the desktop screen that I relax. A man I trust. We smile and take each other in, I know he sees me.

“Dan, will I ever be free from men’s reign on this earth in my lifetime?”

Dan smiles tenderly and doesn’t waste time, “We both know the answer is no.” For some reason, tears don’t come like I imagined they would. It was all I needed to be seen and understood. He was right.


I, a woman, will never be free of a man’s world.


“Christy, you have moved to the South, slavery is in soil and even deeper, the ancient sin of misogyny. You have returned to your father’s house.” Finally, his words were making all my invisible angst visible. It wasn’t only my trauma that had me spinning, I had moved back to the South, the very birthplace of misogyny in the United States. If slavery is the reduction of humanity based on skin color, misogyny is a reduction of humanity based on gender.

All women engage in the rite of passage to leave their father’s house. My father’s house is the symbol of a girl’s journey into womanhood, she must leave her father’s reign and become her own. Yet, the patriarch is such a historical filter the woman can never truly become her own without being marked by male impact. Eve came from Adam, a woman came from a man. The very act of taking my father’s name and then changing it to take on my husband’s name is a symbol of that continued oppression.

Even if I could somehow free myself in surname, in financial inequities, or in sexual relationships, the male dominance is still pulsing through our media, our presidencies, an umbrella of power and control. In the United States, women have yet to break the glass ceiling in politics, we represent less than a quarter of the Senate and House of Representatives. Women have yet to take the title of Madame President. 

Looking at Dan, I feel hope. The answer is not to unleash my wrath on men, it also would not alleviate the issue if I run from men and refuse relationships with them. Sure, I can change my name, own my own land, get my own education, but all those decisions would not change the fact that I can not break the ingrained misogyny that prevails.


Only men can do that.

I am at the mercy of men recognizing their sin and changing their hearts to people under their regime.

Dan says quietly, “your only hope is to have a husband who sees your grief and grieves alongside you.” Even in my marriage, I need my husband to see me. In a sense, he holds the power that I wish could be eradicated from the female world. As we say goodbye, I resolve in my heart that I will live my life in a relationship with men using my liberated female voice – one which sounds like a tender revolution of honesty, strength, and love.