How The Lies of Patriarchy Are Passed Down From Mother To Daughter

Find out if you are a Good Daughter!

Women’s empowerment and the mother/daughter connection 

Let’s get real for a moment sisters. Women have been burned, owned and controlled, for a very long time. And, lied to. We know, as women, this oppression figures prominently in our collective history.

How does this affect us as daughters?

Let me explain- While we might not fully realize how the mistreatment of women has taken a psychological toll on our mothers. This unfair oppression of women has generated a narcissistic defense in many women and thus in many mothers.

That is, when mothers don’t get their needs met overtly, they are psychologically driven to use indirect means which usually manifests in manipulation. 

While not all mothers have full-blown NPD, many have Narcissistic defensive traits. As such they have lower self-worth and are driven to protect a fragile sense of self at any cost. Given how women have been treated by the patriarchal culture over the years, this is understandable, albeit destructive.

How does this show itself in daughters today? Taking recent national events into consideration … We are confronted with the reality that daughters today may not realize is how misogyny is still very much alive. Many young women today say they don’t need women’s lib. Yet, many of those same grown daughters exhaust themselves as they take on the lion’s share of the household chores and hold themselves responsible for childcare arrangements while taking their place beside men at work.

Ironically, they remain unaware they are living out their mother’s feelings of unworthiness by over functioning. If the sins of the father are visited upon the son, it is surely the lies of the mother that are visited upon the daughter.

Let me spell this out-

Despite advances in women’s lives, your mother was lied to in two different ways.

  1. The first lie was that women are not worthy. Your mother learned from living in a patriarchal culture that she was not good enough, worthy or as valuable as a man.
  2. Mom was taught she was a second-class citizen. From the first lie follows the second; the only real power is male power.

Power over, control and domination have been considered most valuable in our Western culture.


Feminine powers of receptivity, nurturing and alliance have been considered traits of weakness, not strength.

So what was mom to do? To level the playing field and get along in a man’s world, she learned to act like a man. She adopted the male version of power. Because it was and is mimicry, women have felt something missing. They have carried a sense of not quite getting it right.

Understandably she carried a sense of not getting it right. Like Ginger Rogers, doing everything Fred Astaire did but in high heels and backward, some women were crushed under the weight of it all. 

Most wounded is the Narcissistic, Borderline and Histrionic Mother. Her wounds are so deep she is the most likely to take her pain out on her most vulnerable of charges, her daughter. I would add, most of this intergenerational wounding is handed down at the unconscious level.

If you are the daughter of the Narcissistic Borderline or Histrionic Mother, you carry this pain into your life. Even if your mother has traits of these disorders, you can’t help but be affected.

As a counselor to women for 30 years, I see you in my psychotherapy practice.

Let me tell you what I have noticed-

You don’t value yourself. You are a servant to your beautiful children, you don’t know that your goddess-given powers of nurturing are enough.

You can’t ever let yourself rest.

You are always outrunning a sense of “not good enough” when in fact, you are more than enough.

Are you living out the same lie your mother lived????? If so, it is time to stop the madness, claim your worth and break the destructive cycle that passes the lie of not good enough from one generation of women to the next.  Time to rein in the micromanaging and helicoptering that give are fueled by the same lie.

 Your mother’s way is not good enough for you and it won’t be good enough for your daughters. Together, we have important work to do to bring back the value of the feminine.

We are women. We can do this.

This is how we Rise!


Do you have a Narcissistic or Difficult Mother?
Are you the "Good Daughter"? The Rebel? or The Lucky One?
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