Glennon Doyle on why teen girls don’t think for themselves

girls in a field making heart gestures with their arms

By Glennon Doyle

My seventeen-year-old son, Chase, and his friends are in the family room watching a movie. I’ve been trying to leave them alone, but it’s hard for me. I understand that most teenagers think their moms are uncool, but I am certain I’m the exception.

I stand at the door and peek inside. The boys are draped all over the couch. The girls have arranged themselves in tiny, tidy roly-poly piles on the floor. My young daughters are perched at the feet of the older girls, quietly worshipping.

My son looks over at me and half smiles. “Hi, Mom.”

I need an excuse to be there, so I ask, “Anybody hungry?”

What comes next seems to unfold in slow motion.

Every single boy keeps his eyes on the TV and says, “YES!”

The girls are silent at first. Then each girl diverts her eyes from the television screen and scans the faces of the other girls. Each looks to a friend’s face to discover if she herself is hungry. Some kind of telepathy is happening among them. They are polling. They are researching. They are gathering consensus, permission, or denial.

Somehow the collective silently appoints a French-braided, freckle-nosed spokesgirl.

She looks away from the faces of her friends and over at me. She smiles politely and says, “We’re fine, thank you.”

The boys looked inside themselves. The girls looked outside themselves.

We forgot how to know when we learned how to please.

This is why we live hungry.

book cover of Glennon Doyle's Untamed

Glennon Doyle is a social activist, speaker, and best-selling author of Love Warrior, and Carry On, Warrior. She is the founder of Together Rising. Untamed is out now, published by Vermilion, RRP £14.99,

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