This blog is about why everyone should read the book Untamed by Glennon Doyle.
A quick background on the book: This book is written by Glennon Doyle and tells her story on how she “untamed” herself from the cages she remained in for the majority of her life that society puts women in. Her story consists of how she overcame and her thoughts on obstacles in her life such as bulimia, alcoholism, a failed marriage, being cheated on, falling in love with a woman, and the troubles of motherhood. While I won’t go into detail and spoil the book for you guys, I do want to share two quotes from the book that had a big impact on me. Both of these quotes I read almost everyday and have shaped my perspective on how I live my life and the societal expectations put on individuals, especially women.
“We weren’t born distrusting and fearing ourselves. That was part of our taming. We were taught to believe that who we are in our natural state is bad and dangerous. They convinced us to be afraid of ourselves. So we do not honor our own bodies, curiosity, hunger, judgment, experience, or ambition. Instead, we lock away our true selves. Women who are best at this disappearing act earn the highest praise: She is so selfless. Can you imagine? 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.”
So basically what she is saying is women are programmed to put their needs last and everyone else’s needs first? As an empath, this was beyond eye opening to me to read and absorb. I read it multiple times just to fully understand the repercussions to how I am living my life. In life woman hear things like, “Don’t get an abortion, think about the baby”, “I know you don’t want to, but it will make them happy”, “Don’t sleep around, it makes you less desirable to partners”. How are we to be happy or make the right decisions when we constantly look to please other people and do what is best for everyone, besides ourselves. Since exploring this, I have learned that selfishness is a strength, not a weakness. But throughout my journey, I have also realized that retraining my brain to think of what is best for myself is extremely hard, but possible. With this said, I do not mean selfishness as in don’t care about other people at all but instead to make your feelings and decisions a priority, over what others expect you to do.
“It’s okay to feel all of the stuff you’re feeling. You’re just becoming human again. You’re not doing life wrong; you’re doing it right. If there’s any secret you’re missing, it’s that doing it right is just really hard. Feeling all your feelings is hard, but that’s what they’re for. Feelings are for feeling. All of them. Even the hard ones. The secret is that you’re doing it right, and that doing it right hurts sometimes.”
This right here, gives me chills almost every time I read it. Life is really hard sometimes but its important for everyone to feel and let in all of their emotions. Now this is where I want to talk about men and one big insight they could take away from Untamed that Glennon talks about in the book. Women are described as gentle, sensitive, caring, emotional and are almost constrained to these feelings and they are expected of them. Men are also constrained to certain emotions as well. Glennon talks about how men are taught that they should be tough, taught that “real men don’t cry”, taught that a real man pushes their emotions away. Men are encouraged to be strong, fearless, proud, and leaders. Why not instead do we encourage everyone to be strong, gentle, fearless, sensitive, proud, emotional, and leaders? If everyone was held to the same emotional standard then don’t you think we would be able to understand each other better as a collective community? Let it be known to everyone that it is okay to feel everything you are feeling. If “feelings are for feeling”, why is anyone ever taught that they are a weakness?
In conclusion, not only do I think this book is a must-read for all women, but I think it is a must read for everyone. Glennon Doyle covers a multitude of different topics that are relevant to our society, and it is almost impossible to read the whole thing and not resonate with something. Even parts where I did not resonate, I gained perspective. I was able to put myself in another’s shoes and begin to understand different issues, in different ways I never even thought of.