The Stories That We Tell…

The following quotes are taken from If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie.

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The stories we tell about the creation of the Earth and the origins of humankind show us how our culture views the world, our place in it, and our relationships with the other living things which inhabit it.

No matter what women might achieve in the world, the fundamental message of the sacred texts of the world’s largest religious grouping, which for 2,000 years have supplied the foundational beliefs of our Western culture, is that men should not trust women, and that women should trust neither themselves nor each other.

The same kinds of acts that are perpetrated against us, against our daughters and our mothers, are perpetrated against the planet: the Earth which gives us life; the Earth with which women have for so long been identified.

What if women rose again? Not in battle, but what if we could reclaim, somehow, that power and respect which women had lost? What if we could somehow dismantle this planet-destroying patriarchy, and recreate a world in which we lived in balance?

The world which men have made isn’t working. Something needs to change. To change the world, we women need first to change ourselves – and then we need to change the stories we tell about who we are. The stories we’ve been living by for the past few centuries – the stories of male superiority, of progress and growth and domination – don’t serve women and they certainly don’t serve the planet. Stories matter, you see. They’re not just entertainment – stories matter because humans are narrative creatures. It’s not simply that we like to tell stories, and to listen to them: it’s that narrative is hard-wired into us. It’s a function of our biology, and the way our brains have evolved over time. We make sense of the world and fashion our identities through the sharing and passing on of stories. And so the stories that we tell ourselves about the world and our place in it, and the stories that are told to us by others about the world and our place in it, shape not just our own lives, but the world around us. The cultural narrative is the culture. If the foundation stories of our culture show women as weak and inferior, then however much we may rail against it, we will be treated as if we are weak and inferior. Our voices will have no traction. But if the mythology and history of our culture includes women who are wise, women who are powerful and strong, it opens up a space for women to live up to those stories: to become wise, and powerful and strong. To be taken seriously, and to have our voices heard.


Blackie, Sharon. If Women Rose Rooted. September Publishing. Kindle Edition. 2019.

Dr Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction, a psychologist who has specialised both in neuroscience and narrative, and a mythologist with a specialization in Celtic Studies. Her unique approach to working with myth, fairy tales and folklore highlights the insights these traditions can offer us into authentic and meaningful ways of being which are founded on a deep sense of belonging to place, a rootedness in the land we inhabit.

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