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On Our Best Behaviour : The Price Women Pay to Be Good - Elise Loehnen

On Our Best Behaviour

The Price Women Pay to Be Good

By: Elise Loehnen

Paperback | 30 May 2023

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'A stunning, big and bold encyclopedia of how to live' Lisa Taddeo

'A guide to liberation and a return to the authentic feminine self' Gabor Maté

Why do women equate self-denial with being 'good'?


We congratulate ourselves when we resist the donut in the office breakroom. We celebrate our restraint when we hold back from sending an email in anger. We put others' needs ahead of our own and believe this makes us exemplary. Journalist and podcast host Elise Loehnen explains that these impulses – often lauded as distinctly feminine instincts – are actually ingrained in us by a culture that reaps the benefits, via an extraordinarily effective collection of social mores:

Lust. Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Wrath. Envy. Pride.

These so-called 'deadly sins' have been used by the patriarchy to control women throughout our history. For instance, a fear of gluttony drives us to ignore our appetites and an aversion to greed prevents us from negotiating a better salary at work.

So, what would happen if we stopped trying to be 'good'?

Provocative and bold, On Our Best Behaviour is a probing analysis of history and contemporary culture that explains how women have internalised the patriarchy, and how they unwittingly reinforce it. By sharing her own story and the spiritual wisdom of other traditions, Elise Loehnen shows how we can break free and discover a path toward a more balanced, fulfilled way to live.

'Brilliantly reframes our toxic cultural programming' Lori Gottlieb

'Half historical docent, half big sister with a hot cup of tea, read this and change your life' Terrence Real


About the Author

Elise Loehnen is a writer, editor and host of the podcast Pulling the Thread, where she interviews cultural luminaries on the big questions of the day. She has co-written eleven books, including five New York Times bestsellers. Previously, she was the chief content officer of Goop, the lifestyle and e-commerce company established by Gwyneth Paltrow in 2008, where she co-hosted The Goop Podcast and The Goop Lab on Netflix. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and sons.
Industry Reviews
With equal parts wit, wisdom, erudition, and warmth, author Elise Loehnen takes us on a guided journey through history, culture, and our own psychologies to not just investigate the limiting effects of Patriarchal thinking in women's lives, but to free them. Pleasure, connection, trust, and joy - all these and more await the reader lucky enough to spend time in conversation with a truly remarkable mind. Half historical docent, half big sister with a hot cup of tea, read this author and change your life -- Terrence Real. New York Times bestselling author

A stunning, big and bold encyclopedia of how to live - the first post-pandemic book to take our latest measurements and provide something fresh to comfort, embolden, enlighten and enrich who we are today. Loehnen is never instructive but always right. The book never flags and each section has a takeaway for how to live wiser, and an anecdote to help you feel less alone. On Our Best Behavior is nothing short of a tangible necessity in our new intangible world -- Lisa Taddeo, bestselling author of Three Women

What if women finally found freedom - because we gave it to ourselves? In On Our Best Behavior, Elise Loehnen brilliantly reframes our toxic cultural programming and helps us to see that what we thought were our sins are actually our greatest virtues. This book is the gift we have all been waiting for -- Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of maybe You Should Talk to Someone

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