Her claws are flexed in readiness,
Set free from captivity,
Fur bristling underneath a hostile sun,
And knowing that it was all wrong,
Her life of chain link fences
Clanging in the midnight dark,
And always whispering a dirty joke,
The punch line that is never dealt,
Because it never really should have been.
I’ve started listening to Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed and it opens with an anecdote about a cheetah that is kept in captivity and she asks whether the cheetah has any idea that it should be out in the wild. And the answer was probably.
I know that it’s all a bit obvious, and we can all see the analogy that she is trying to make between women and a caged animal; it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the similarities.
But she does have a point that we actually need to remind ourselves of every now and then. As an educator, I hope that I am really encouraging all children to be the person they are supposed to be. I probably fail at times, but then I’ve been bombarded with the same messages, and I’m a product of that.
Interestingly, Glennon says that it is at about 10 years old that we realise we are supposed to fit into certain boxes, and from that age onward, doors are slowly closed, one after the other. And, of course, this is the age of the kids in my tutor group. The ones that I have to keep an eye on and encourage and discipline and all the other things that really parents should be doing.
It is an honour to have these kids look up to me, but there is also so much responsibility there. I would hate to think that we might lose an awesome female Prime Minister or inventor or footballer, just because I’ve said something prejudiced.
It has given me much to think about – exactly what a good book should do!
One thought on “she’s an untamed beast”
It’s always a delicate balance, I think, Rachel. On the one hand, yes, we should all be who we are meant to be, and not live up (down?) to other people’s expectations of how we ‘should’ be. It’s so important that we find out who we really are. At the same time, we have to live with just about eight billion other people on the planet. That means we sometimes have to adjust to others. It’s very hard to strike that balance and come out with a whole, integrated self.