As Frank Sinatra famously sang, accidents will happen. It's a simple fact of life that not everything will run as it should – and sometimes this has tragic and fatal consequences. Elon Musk is in hot water, with a lawsuit being filed against him and his company, Tesla, following the death of an 18-year old who was killed when a Tesla Model S battery malfunctioned. This isn't an isolated incident – there have been 12 cases of Tesla S batteries exploding or spontaneously combusting leading to accidents and injuries. But just what comes after something serious like this for a company?
The case against Tesla is up in the air, mainly because of the stringent insurance that Tesla will have to protect themselves. That's why it's such a cautionary tale about the importance of general liability insurance for small business, as having the right insurance can help protect your company and customers alike.
General liability insurance coverage, in particular, is vital for any business as it covers everyone involved against bodily and personal injury as well as property damage. Most importantly, it helps cover against accident lawsuits, which can alone bankrupt a company.
In addition to ensuring you have the right insurance to protect your company and customers following an accident, part of surviving the fallout of a situation like this as a company is making changes to your product to reduce the possibility of a similar accident happening again.
For example, Golden Age actress Jayne Mansfield also changed the course of history for tractor-trailers. An accident that ended up killing the star changed the regulations on tractor-trailers to prevent future accidents. Mansfield's death added stronger safety features into a potentially dangerous contraption, aptly named Mansfield Bars or underride bars, which prevent anything from sliding underneath them. Accidents can cause a company or an entire industry to change the processes and methods in which they do things.
Accidents in other companies can lead to serious change regarding how they are viewed. British theme park Alton Towers cultivated a terrible reputation following an accident on their rollercoaster, which forced a young woman to have to endure a leg amputation. The social media uproar and customer distrust of the company grew and resulted in sales for the Merlin brand dropping for their theme park offering.
The BP oil accident at Deepwater Horizon, which was later made into a film, was another example of an accident leading to terrible publicity for the brand, as well as showing the fullest extent that accident lawsuits can go to, with BP paying over $42 billion. The CEO Tony Hayward was so embattled that he made a public gaffe by claiming “I'd like my life back" when he was done with answering questions on the spillages along the US Gulf Coast. The public tide began to turn on the fossil fuel provider, and people began looking at alternative methods that weren't liable to cause as many accidents. PR meltdowns could lead to devastation for companies, all because their safety protocol wasn't in place and an accident happened.
Accidents are awful, but a fact of life. There is nothing that we can do to prevent them – but we can protect ourselves should they happen. Ensuring that nothing can go wrong is vital, and often where companies find their downfall is when evidence of reckless endangerment or incorrect practices is unveiled. But, when the definition of the word accident can be applied, the best policy is to ensure that we are as protected from the aftermath as possible.
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."