As many of you know, my book club pick for May was Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I actually listened to this on audiobook instead of reading it, which I LOVED because Glennon reads it herself and most of the time it felt like a friend was telling me stories as I cooked in my kitchen or walked Luna. That being said, part of me wishes I had read the physical book just because I can’t go back and reference the pages I dogeared or quotes I highlighted for this post. But I’m going to do my best!
Also, I know that some of this subject matter is pretty heavy. Don’t worry, next month’s pick is VERY light. Gotta mix it up, right?! 😉 (Scroll down to the bottom to find out what it is!)
about Untamed by Glennon Doyle
If you’ve never heard of Glennon Doyle, she is a bestselling author, speaker, activist, and one of my favorite feminists around. This memoir dives deep into the power of trusting our own selves and listening to what we know is right for us, instead of only listening to what other people expect from us. And while she talks about it in a more general sense, she also dives deep into what she learned when she divorced from her ex-husband and fell in love with a woman (soccer star, Abby Wambach!). The way she talks about her family falling apart, realizing she wanted to be with Abby, navigating everyone else’s opinion, and rebuilding her family is really incredible.
She also discusses motherhood a lot. Some of those chapters lost me a little since I myself am not a mother. But I loved when she talked about how we can break the cycle of being matyrs for our children. Women are inherently givers who can easily dismiss their own wants/needs for the sake of their families. But we can actually inspire young girls to show up for themselves by showing up for OURSELVES. This is an angle of feminism that I’ve never really thought about before, but I love it.
There is also a pretty uncomfortable chapter about racism in here that I’ve been thinking about all week. It challenges you as the reader to acknowledge the fact that most of us have internalized societal racism throughout our lives – even if we don’t consider ourselves to be racist or condone racism. I know, it’s really tough not to be defensive and say “But I’m a good person! I’m not racist!” But the truth is, we can and should all do more to show up for people of color. The news this week was proof that there is still so much more work to be done.
My favorite part
And last but not least, my favorite chapters were all about sensitivity and caring about people and things outside of ourselves. I am very sensitive person, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I’m also extremely empathetic. I regularly weep at tv shows and movies. So I laughed out loud when she talked about Abby finding her crying on the couch and had to remind her that the tv characters weren’t real. THAT IS ME ?
But beyond that, I have trouble disconnecting from sad stories on the news, social injustices, school shootings, hate crimes, or anything that shows people suffering. I get confused and frustrated that we live in a world where so many people don’t care unless it’s directly affecting them. But when her daughter is distraught over polar bears dying from global warming, Glennon didn’t dismiss her or call her oversensitive.
Instead she says “Tish is sensitive, and that is her superpower. The opposite of sensitive is not brave. It’s not brave to refuse to pay attention, to refuse to notice, to refuse to feel and know and imagine. The opposite of sensitive is insensitive, and that’s no badge of honor.” This was probably my favorite lesson of the whole book. Crying over polar bears or George Floyd or the 100,000+ people who have died from COVID-19 isn’t crazy. And we shouldn’t let anyone tell us that it is.
Untamed Book Club Questions
I’d love to hear your thoughts in my Lake Shore Lady Community Group on Facebook!
What resonated most with you in this book? Did anything miss the mark for you?
What did you think of the polar bears chapter? Could you relate to her daughter’s sensitivity, or did you relate more to those who wanted her to get over it?
Glennon admits to asking herself “How much of this was my idea? Do I truly want any of this or is this what I was conditioned to want?” Have you ever asked yourselves these questions? Do you think you’ve made decisions based on other people’s expectations of you? Why/why not?
I loved the way Glennon talked about faith as an inner knowing instead of a public allegiance, because I feel very similarly. What did you think of that?
Have you ever seen mothers in your life act as martyrs for their children? If you’re a mother, have you ever done that yourself?
When Glennon was navigating coming out, she was met with a lot of fear from her Mother. Even though she knew that her Mom loved her/was trying to protect her, she had to preserve “their island”. I thought that this was such an incredible way to articulate boundaries. Have you ever protected “your island” from people who don’t quite understand or weren’t ready to support you?
She also talks about how she wasn’t protecting their island just so she could be happy… she didn’t want her Mom’s fear to rub off on their children. After reading this, I immediately thought of the Rodgers and Hammerstein song called “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught”. I personally think children learn to judge the LGBTQ community or people who look different from them because they hear adults doing it. Do you agree or disagree?
What did you think about the chapter about racism? Was it uncomfortable for you? Were you able to recognize some of the things she was saying in yourself? Are you open to learning more about how to be an ally?
Feminism is a polarizing word, but it’s hard to deny all of the ways the world conditions women to distrust themselves. From being told to be calmer and ladylike, to seeing diets that tell us not to trust our hunger, to victim shaming, and so much more. Did her examples resonate with you? What do you think we, as women, can do to shift this? How can we support each other more instead of allowing future generations to feel the same way?
my book club pick for June
Remember I said I’m picking something lighter this month? I meant it! My pick for June is called The Selection and it’s the first book in a young adult series ? Bare with me, these books are SO FUN. It takes place in a dystopian future with a monarchy and caste system that essentially separates the people into different classes. The book begins with our lead, America, being encouraged to apply for The Selection, where 35 girls from varying castes are chosen to compete to marry the Prince and ultimately become Queen. Do you understand why I kept saying it’s like Hunger Games meets The Bachelor on my stories?!
I only have a few chapters left in The One, which is the 3rd book in the trilogy and I’m SO SAD it’s almost over. If you’re looking for something fun, fast, and entertaining – this is it. I’m also DYING to talk about it with people, so please read them this month so we can discuss!!
PS. You might also like Our Stop Book Club Questions, Little Fires Everywhere Book Club Questions, Husband Material Book Club Questions, Big Magic Book Club Questions, and How To Download Library Books to Your Kindle!