November Salon Series: The Pill and Patriarchy

By: Lauren MacDonald 

Our November Salon Series was inspired and guided by Kristen Portney, a doula and student of psychotherapy. She offered to share her curiosity, personal experience, and research about hormonal birth control with the BADP community. She led us in a discussion about how the ancient wisdom of self-care, fertility tracking and health care has been threatened by capitalism and patriarchal dominance for hundreds of years.

The conversation was powerful, positive and passionate. However there were experiences shared that carried the all too common themes of shame, guilt, fear, manipulation, and repression of sexuality. Many of us shared our personal experiences, positive and negative, about using conventional pharmaceuticals and birth control methods. We talked about how different hormones and procedures affected us mentally, physically, and emotionally. We talked about methods of fertility tracking, herbal alternatives for birth control and abortion, and the benefits of emotional support through transformative times like pregnancy and puberty. We imagined the ideal doctor’s office visit to include education about all birth control methods including fertility awareness. We asked questions, of each other, of our ancestors, of the world.

An image came to mind to me as were sharing, our experiences and wisdom were flames flickering on candles; we were passing a candle flame, one by one, until the whole room was lit by candle light, the light that will burn the veil that is cast over us all by patriarchal oppression. 

The what-ifs, whys, and how’s were inspiring and lead me to ask you to light another candle! Below are some resources to some topics discussed. Please feel free to comment on blog with articles, books, events, workshops, safe space resources to continue conversations and share our ancient wisdom! 

Thank you to everyone for coming on a chilly November night to shine brighter together!





Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation by Silvia Federici

Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom (Revised Edition): Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing by Christiane Northrup M.D. 

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