What has patriarchy done for us lately? Or ever? It’s assumed by many that patriarchy benefits men at the expense of women, but feminists have long pointed out that patriarchy harms EVERYBODY, men included. As a feminist, I have a vested interest in telling truer versions of popular myths, and Madeline Miller’s Circe does exactly that. She writes the story of Circe, a witch who is given very little time in The Odyssey*, but whose story shines a light on the lives of so many who are stomped on and ignored in mainstream stories and thought.
While focusing on the stories of women, Miller also shines a light on the male characters we’re more familiar with, and how bleak and empty their lives truly are under patriarchal values. By now, many of us have questioned if there’s any true joy to be had under systems where someone is “top dog,” and must fight to maintain their power that is doing what exactly for them anyway? Making them famous and feared as they are isolated with no true connections or bonds to others? Must half the world’s population be oppressed so the other half can also harm themselves and lead miserable lives?
See for yourself. The writing is beautiful and readable. The story is phenomenal. I devoured the book in two days. You know I love a witch!
*It is NOT necessary to have read or be familiar with The Odyssey specifically in order to read and love this book!
And bonus for me! I have the honor and privilege of engaging Miller in conversation about Circe for The Loft’s Big Idea series.
The Loft Presents If: Big Ideas with Madeline Miller—Why is If the Most Important Word?
If you’re in The Twin Cities, I’d love to see you there!