Friday, November 4, 2016

The Gift of Fear

I had put this book in my Amazon cart a few times only to remove it later, thinking, "I'll prolly never read this..." Then I saw something Amy Poehler said where she referenced Gavin de Becker's book The Gift of Fear. Specifically when he said, "At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them." I immediately went back to the 'zon and ordered a copy. It arrived two days later and I got as far as page six, closed it, went back to Amazon and ordered three more copies for three nieces. Isabella is seventeen and leaving for college next year, Sydney and Kayla are both sixteen; all three are happy and sweet and kind and I don't want that to change. I want them to be safe and confident and bend to no one's will. I am sitting each of them down and telling them that they must read the book - it is not a choice! - and we will go over it. They are to consider it an Autumnal book report.

I'm not far into the book, but I have been underlining and bracketing and starring something on nearly every page. The thing that stood out and earned an arrow and huge exclamation point was "'No' is a word that must never be negotiated, because the person who chooses not to hear it is trying to control you...If you let someone talk you out of the word 'no,' you might as well wear a sign that reads, 'You are in charge.'...'no' is a complete sentence." These are all things that women inherently know, but reading them and being told by a man that your "no" is valid and should be accepted and respected was just so comforting. I know I'm coming to The Gift of Fear like twenty years late, but it's at the right time for me and I'm so grateful to Gavin de Becker for this remarkable book.

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