The Journaling and Meditation Long Con: The Individual Can’t Fix the Systemic

Self-work and inner reflection are important. But they are not a fix to systemic problems, particularly in dating culture.

Rachel Presser
10 min readJun 15, 2022


woman in yoga gear sitting on a parquet floor with plants, crystals, and a journal
Licensed via Adobe Stock

The “toxic positivity” cult on Instagram wants to sell mindfulness workshops and meditation retreats while we’re being eaten alive by record gas prices, groceries cost as much as takeout, and measly stock portfolios are falling like dominoes if you even have enough disposable income to invest.

Legitimate worries about climate change and ascendant fascism are labeled as “doomerism”, but all the yoga, crystals, and journaling aren’t going to stop the root cause: money in politics, governments with revolving doors, and the outsized influence of the rentier class on legislators. The planet has become a pizza bagel trapped in the toaster because of this.

So while we focus on what we can change at the ground level and modicums of individual happiness where we can obtain them, many people put this energy into finding a partner. It’s totally valid to want to experience romantic love, companionship, and sex before the oceans dry up.

So this is my cue to point out that single women who date men have been sold a particular con.

A recent piece by the epic Shani Silver has gone viral, having elicited quite a reaction — along with major misinterpretation.

Commenters called her angry and bitter, someone who needs to work on these issues and then she’ll finally land a man. But the thing is, what she described and this beautiful essay by Morgan Parker that prompted her response are systemic issues in dating now.

Women also get blamed for the outcomes regardless: instead of urging men to be more honest about their intents, women are told to just pick them better. You want more than sex? Women shouldn’t engage in casual sex AT ALL then!

It’s a bunch of bullshit.

People stumble into the loves of their lives without having to suffer for it!

It’s a big world, one that still has a lot of beauty in it. Getting out in the world…



Rachel Presser

Game dev, writer, small biz & tax consultant to indie devs. That loud socialist Frog Slut from The Bronx, now in Angel City.