Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert, is her follow up book to the infamous Eat, Pray, Love. Which is one of those love it or hate it kind of book. This book is a search for her to find acceptance for a second marriage. I mentioned a book club yesterday, here, where we discussed Gilbert’s messages on divorce, on intimacy, on gender roles, on marriage.
If you can get beyond her paternalistic style (which I didn’t really do, but whatever) she has some interesting perspectives on marriage and the history of the institution. For instance, Christians didn’t believe in marriage until the 11th century (because they realized they couldn’t stop couples from getting hitched, or least knocked up.) Marriage was a promise you made in private, just you and your partner, alone before God. Then the church took up the banner of marriage, women suddenly lost the right to divorce, had to submit to coverture (a state where the woman literally and legally ‘ceased’ to be during marriage) among other medieval forms of torture.
And that is just one example. I know, I promised that wouldn’t be a wedding/marriage blog. BUT! I think it is really important to discuss gender roles and the parts we play in our relationships. Sometimes I relish those ‘traditional’ woman jobs, like baking pies or washing the floor. I feel strong and useful when I can use my hands to get something accomplished. But sometimes, I wash the floor because that is ‘what I am supposed to do.’ Sometimes it doesn’t happen if I do it.
Committed is certainly worth a quick read. She takes awhile to get to her point, just skim.
With my nose in a book,