“Untamed? Why would I read that?”
I have to admit that the thought of my finding anything relevant in Glennon Doyle’s series of essays about the taming of women by an antiquated patriarchal society—as well as her journey to freedom through the reconstruction of her new family with soccer star, Abby Wambach—seemed dubious. I am a guy.
I picked it up anyway.
I have two daughters who are not yet 10 years old, and as Doyle explained in the book, “Ten is when we learn to be good girls and real boys. Ten is when children begin to hide who they are in order to become what the world expects them to be.”
I could not put the book down. It made me want to spend time with my little girls discussing what they will inevitably face as they grow up. Each time I saw something poignant, I wrote it down.
I labeled it in my phone as a list of truths for my little girls:
“The epitome of womanhood is to lose one’s self completely. That is the end goal of every patriarchal culture. Because a very effective way to control women is to convince women to control themselves.”
“Privilege is being born on third base. Ignorant privilege is thinking you’re there because you hit a triple. Malicious privilege is complaining that those starving outside the ballpark aren’t waiting patiently enough.”
“When a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself.”
“The beauty industry convinces us that our thighs, frizz, skin, fingegrnails, lips, eyelashes, leg hair, and wrinkles are repulsive and must be covered and manipulated, so we learn to not trust the bodies we live in.”
“Brave means living from the inside out. Brave means, in every uncertain moment, turning inward, feeling for the Knowing, and speaking it out loud.”
“If you are uncomfortable—in deep pain, angry, yearning, confused—you don’t have a problem, you have a life.”
“We can either control our selves or love our selves, but we can’t do both.”
“To be brave is to forsake all others to be true to yourself. That is the vow of a confident girl.”
“This is the most revolutionary thing a woman can do: the next precise thing, one thing at a time, without asking permission or offering explanation.”
“Girls born into a patriarchal society become either shrewd or sick. It’s one or the other. I wanted my girls to know this: you are a human being and your birthright is to remain fully human. So you get to be everything: loud, quiet, bold, smart, careful, impulsive, creative, joyful, big, angry, curious, ravenous, ambitious. You are allowed to take up space on this earth.”