Recently, I made a career change. At my goodbye lunch, a woman I respect laid a brick of a statement on the table. Right there, between the bread and the butter, the brick proclaimed:
“Beware the patriarchy. It’s real.”
I nodded. Of course. Yes, the patriarchy. I went to university. I know that word. I know it’s a bad thing. I ate my lunch, and after the parting hugs, walked from that world into my new one. But then, something strange happened. Out of nowhere, I heard her warning pop into my head. It came at odd times, like when unloading the dishwasher or folding the laundry. I felt annoyed, wondering why someone would say that on the eve of a new adventure. It felt like the curse of a witch in a fairytale.
And then I decided to listen to the audiobook of Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I listened, intrigued to hear about Glennon’s unique life and words of inspiration, but with detachment. Her initial reference to the patriarchy left me feeling sympathetic, not empathic. I’m happily married and have never felt anything but equal to him.This patriarchy business had nothing to do with me.
But it did.
Through hearing Glennon break down her decisions through descriptive scenes and dialogue, I discovered that my entire life has been affected by the patriarchy: by the control of men over women to maintain a status quo that works in their favour. I didn’t see it. How could I? Uncomfortable memories bubbled up. My own self-effacing behaviour bothered me. How have I diminished myself to not disrupt others?
Listening to this book feels uncomfortable, but it’s worth it. Her heartwarming stories will refill your faith in people and your own abilities.
Untamed is the kind of book you re-read with a pen and paper handy. There are lines that made me literally press pause, and stare into space. This book calls all of us to stop taming ourselves and be free.
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