Everyone thinks D.C. is lousy with politicians and lobbyists. But it's also chock-full of crime fiction writers.
Northern Virginia native Glennon Doyle, author of “Carry On, Warrior,” “Love Warrior” and her most recent, “UNTAMED,” joins us for the hour. “People” magazine describes “UNTAMED” as “her most revealing and powerful memoir yet [which] … explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others’ expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us.”
Last week, Doyle helped create the Instagram campaign #ShareTheMicNow. The event gave black actors, activists and writers control of the Instagram accounts of prominent white women like Katie Couric and Gwyneth Paltrow. #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke took over Glennon’s page for the day.
The New York Times bestselling author and activist grew up listening to WAMU and our show, and is almost as excited for this conversation as we are.
Glennon Doyle will be taking your questions and comments, so get them ready. Call us Thursday at 800-433-8850 or tweet us @KojoShow.
Produced by Kurt Gardinier
- Glennon Doyle Author, Activist and Founder of the non-profit Together Rising; @GlennonDoyle
KOJO NNAMDIYou're tuned in to The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5. Welcome. And I'm broadcasting from home. I haven't been saying that a lot lately even though I have been broadcasting from home for the past several months. But I say it today, because broadcasting from home requires the use of several, well, instruments so to speak and my laptop suddenly died this morning. So we had to get a new laptop over to my house and we did not think we would get it completely setup in time for the broadcast. So we thought that we would be airing a rebroadcast. Fortunately the miracles of our technicians got it done, and so we are broadcasting to you live.
KOJO NNAMDIToday's show has one guest. It's Author and Activist Glennon Doyle. She has written three New York Times bestsellers, two of which hit number on including her latest "UNTAMED." People Magazine describes "UNTAMED" as "her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, which explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us." Glennon Doyle grew up in Northern Virginia listening to guess what station, WAMU. That's what I'm told and listening to this show. Glennon Doyle, welcome to the broadcast.
GLENNON DOYLEKojo, I cannot believe I'm here with you. I have been listening to you for so long. My entire family is so excited.
NNAMDIOh, thank you so much for joining us. We are just as excited. We hope our listeners are too. Glennon Doyle, what was it like for you growing up in Northern Virginia?
DOYLEWell, let's see. I grew up -- I'm sorry, in Burke, Virginia. And I went to Cherry Run Elementary School and Lake Braddock High School. I had -- my parents were both educators so they were teachers, then counselors and then administrators. And my dad was a Defensive Coordinator at Lake Braddock for the football team when I was little. So I spent a lot of my childhood watching football films with high schoolers. It was childhood. It was wonderful and terrible, and it was everything.
NNAMDIYou went to Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia. What was that like?
DOYLEIt's huge. It was huge, Kojo. I want to say there were 5,000 kids there when I was there. So what I remember of it is that I had some absolutely fantastic teachers. And also that it was probably a little big for a kid like me to find her way.
NNAMDIWhy did you write "UNTAMED"?
DOYLEOh, I think my whole life I've been -- had this kind of simmering discontent inside of me, some doubting I think, of the institutions that I was in, like religion and even gender and sexuality, all of it. Kind of felt trapped a little bit like something was off. And then when I was 40 years old I was married to a good man, but it was a broken marriage to a good man. And that's a hard place for a woman to be, because we're supposed to be grateful all the time, right? So I was grateful for a lot of my -- the life that I had, and I was also just kind of angry all the time. Just simmering rage inside all the time, and I just had this kind of nagging longing for truer deeper love.
DOYLEAnd at that time I was just hitting the road to promote "Love Warrior," which was my last memoir. And it was being touted as a marriage redemption story. Okay, so it had already been picked by Oprah. It was like all over the place as a "Save your marriage" kind of memoir. And at the first promotional event for that book I looked at a doorway and saw this woman standing in the doorway. And every part of my being just said, there she is. And it was the weirdest experience of my life, because I had -- absolutely did not believe in the love at first sight thing. And also I had never -- I had no context for it. I had never even kissed a girl before. I didn't understand what was happening.
DOYLEAnd so I guess falling in love with Abby and deciding whether I was going to honor that self that kind of came back to live that day or go back to my marriage was I think probably the most pivotal decision of my life. And it really didn't feel like a decision about love. It didn't feel like, Oh, do I stay with the love with Abby or do I go back to my husband?" It really felt like, "Do I honor myself for the first time? Do I abandon myself again or do I just once and for all decide to abandon everyone's expectations of me?
DOYLEYeah, so I think that the reason I wrote "UNTAMED" is because when I fell in love with Abby it was the first time I had loved anyone beyond who I had been expected to love. And it was the first time I had wanted anything beyond what I had been trained to want and it was also the first time I'd ever felt happy and free and comfortable in my own skin, which made me question what else in my life was really my own or just things I had been conditioned to want? And that's what "UNTAMED" is about.
NNAMDIWell, the analogy that struck me that I'm sure struck just about all of the readers of this book is you begin writing about Tabatha the Cheetah. Can you talk about Tabatha and how she relates to you and your life? That's what helped me to catch on.
DOYLEYeah. Kojo, okay. So I was trying to figure out -- you know, writers are just obsessed with finding some metaphor like something that we can see that shows something that we can't see inside of us, right, an idea that we can't see inside of us. And so I was just desperate for something that would help me explain this idea that I had in myself that I was made for more than what I had, right, that I was made for different and more. And that somehow I had been tricked into settling for less, right? So I'm at this zoo kind of, like, this safari park with my kids. And we go to this thing called the cheetah run. Okay, it's like the big event for the day. And we're waiting and this zookeeper comes out and she's holding the leash of a black Labrador retriever. And we're all sitting there.
DOYLEAnd I'm thinking, okay, if this woman tries to tell my kids that this is a cheetah, I'm out of here. I'm getting my seven dollars back. But she starts speaking and she says, do you all think this is Tabatha the Cheetah? And all the kids say, No. And she says, You're right. This is Minnie, Tabatha's best friend. And we raised Minnie alongside of Tabatha to tame her. So now Tabatha wants to do everything that Minnie does. So first, Tabatha is over there in that cage. She's going to watch Minnie do the cheetah run. And then she'll do it.
DOYLESo we all get ready to watch this lab do the cheetah run and this lab starts chasing this little Jeep they have that had this dirty pink bunny tied to the Jeep. Okay, so here the lab goes. Yay, chasing this dirty pink bunny. Then the zookeeper turns to the cage and she opens it up. And this, oh my gosh, Kojo, this animal is just huge just walking over to the starting line with these rippling muscles and gorgeous fur.
DOYLEAnd then the zookeeper blows a whistle. And this majestic creature chases this dirty pink bunny down this well-worn path that they've made for her, right, never looking left or right. Just settling for this applause from these board spectators, right? And she crosses the finish line. The zookeeper throws her this old steak. And she just sits in the ground and eats. And I just -- all of me thought, that's it. Because if a wild powerful majestic animal like a cheetah can be tamed into forgetting who she is, then so can a woman. And that's when Tabatha just became -- I just decided that I was Tabatha in that moment.
NNAMDIYou are without a shadow of a doubt. A cheetah needs to be a cheetah. Okay.
NNAMDIYes, indeed. In the dedication for "UNTAMED" you write, "For every woman resurrecting herself, for the girls who will never be buried. Mostly for Tish." Why did you write that? And what does it mean?
DOYLEI think that all of us have a wild self, which is just, you know, the individual self we were born with. You know, when I was a kid I relied on my imagination and I trusted what I wanted and I expressed my feelings like all of us do. Most of us do have a childhood where we're allowed to be free for a little bit, and then all of our social conditioning kicks in, right?
DOYLESo we know that from age 10 to 13 sometimes earlier little boys and girls start understanding, oh, there's a way I need to act. There are expectations of me. Okay, so I have to all these labels. I'm a boy. So I act this way. For me, I'm a Doyle so I act this way. I'm a Christian so I act this way. We have these categories that we have to fit into and often our belonging costs us our individuality. Right? And what I found over time when I felt that self rise up when I saw Abby was that it really felt like that self that I was before the world told me who to be was -- I could hear from again.
DOYLEAnd that self that was buried underneath just all those expectations, right, and roles. And so my dream for that dedication is, God, wouldn't it be great if we could finally create communities, families, companies, nations where we could keep our individuality and still belong, right, where we wouldn't have to bury who we are to earn our belonging. And so that's the dream of the never having to be tamed in the first place is the dream for the kids. Right? That they do not have to abandon who they are to match our expectations of who they are whether that's inside a faith or inside of gender or inside of sexuality, all of it.
DOYLEAnd then Tish, well, that's -- Tish is my daughter who is extremely sensitive, Kojo. That's how I'll put it. She has big feelings all the time. And I taught her to have all of her feelings and express them. And sometimes, Kojo, when she's talking for an hour about her feelings nowadays I wonder if maybe I over did it. If perhaps I should have taught her the suffering silently gifts.
NNAMDINo, do not second guess yourself.
DOYLEOkay, thank you. Thank you. But here's the deal with her. So when I look at her now -- parenting is so amazing. One because you kind of have to figure out what you really believe so you can teach them, right, but also I just have found myself rethinking so many stories I had about myself as a child. Because I become bulimic when I was 10 years old, I think that that I was a really sensitive kid and didn't have the tools that I needed to deal with that, so I started numbing very early. And that morphed into other addictions. And so much of my life was spent, you know, in therapists' offices with diagnosis. I ended up spending some time in the hospital my senior year.
NNAMDIHold that thought for a second, because I have to take a short break. And when we come back we'll continue this conversation with Glennon Doyle. Remember exactly what you were talking about. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.
NNAMDIWelcome back to our conversation with Glennon Doyle. She's an Author, Activist and Founder of the non-profit Together Rising. Glennon has written three best-selling memoirs including her latest the number one New York Times best-seller. It's called "UNTAMED." Glennon Doyle, we interrupted you when we went to that break.
DOYLEOh, no. I was talking about my early life. And how because of addiction and some undealt with mental health issues that I live with that I spent a lot of my childhood thinking having this kind of underlying belief about myself that was, I am crazy. I think we kind of all have this shame belief that we get when we're little that has to do with our worthiness. My wife was a little gay kid raised in a Catholic church and so her shame belief is still, you know, I'm unlovable. I'm unlovable. And mine was definitely, I am crazy.
DOYLEAnd even when I got my act together and stopped drinking and, you know, was an upstanding citizen, I still kind of had that, you know, underneath that belief. And that made it really hard to trust myself, because, you know, how can you trust yourself not to sabotage your life and your people's life if you have this belief that you are not completely sane.
DOYLEAnd so I am -- raising Tish has been so interesting to me, because of the way she experiences the world so deeply she's such a sensitive kid. I have learned that, oh, I was just like her as a kid. I was just like her and I would never in a million years call her crazy. I actually think she's quite prophetic. She feels things that other people refuse to feel and she senses things that other people can't sense. And I think she's brilliant.
DOYLEAnd so one of the reasons I dedicated it to her is because I just don't want -- I don't ever want her to believe that her sensitivity is anything to be ashamed of. But that it's actually a super power and will make her life probably a little bit harder in some ways. But will be end up being -- you know, my sensitivity, which, you know, leads me to depression sometimes is also what makes me a really good artist. And my anxiety, which I call it my fire. My therapist calls it anxiety, but tomato tomato. That makes me, you know, it makes life a little bit harder, but it's also what makes me a good activist is that deep caring.
DOYLESo I don't know. The dedication was just if I knew -- if I could give that little girl one thing, Tish, it would be this book, which I think means if I could give my 10 year old self one thing it would have been this book.
NNAMDIMeeting your wife, soccer star Abby Wambach, was a pivotal moment in your life. You mentioned it already. But, you know, I watch Abby Wambach play a lot. And so my question to you would be what the heck took you so long.
NNAMDIWhat were the circumstances under which you met her?
DOYLEOkay, so, Kojo. I was at that event. It was a librarian's convention. Is what the event was. It was at the Palmer House in Chicago. There were I think 1,000 librarians all coming together to kind of preview the new upcoming memoirs and books. And so I was in a room with 10 other writers getting ready to go up to the dais and speak about our upcoming books. And so all the writers were there making small talk, which, Kojo, writers are not good at making small talk. It was just -- we were just sitting there and sweating and trying to talk about the weather.
DOYLEAnd I saw the woman I was talking to. Her head pivoted towards the door so I followed her gaze and Abby was standing in the doorway. And I don't know what happened. I was kind of shocked. She just looked like a person I had never seen before. Right, she looked like a woman and a man and like beyond either. And she had this cool steel confidence and this just utter warmth that, you know, everybody was staring at her. But then, Kojo, because there is no moment that I cannot make more awkward something happened, which is that I found myself standing up in the middle of the room and throwing my arms open. Okay.
DOYLESo now she's standing in the doorway. I am standing arms wide open and everyone at the table is now staring at me. I still don't know what came over me in that moment except that I just was unable to contain myself. So I kind of did a little bow and tried to pretend that this is just how I greet people in general, and then sat back down. She came around the table. We talked for a few minutes, and then she had to go sit back down at her place.
DOYLEAnd we probably spent about 20 minutes together that evening. And then we both went home and we started emailing and writing and fell deeply in love through letters. And the second I knew that I was in love with her -- it took me a while to admit it to myself. I sat down with Craig and told him. And that was a hard, but really important day. It was hard, but it was the right kind of hard.
NNAMDITell us a little bit about how your life has changed. You've been open about saying being in an unhappy marriage as you say to a good man for 14 years. But what is your life and family life like now? And before you respond to that question. I'll sending out a message to Al Reynolds our engineer. Al, the laptop went down again. You need to come back down to the house. Here you go. Please, go ahead, Glennon.
DOYLETechnology, it's always the hardest part of this, isn't it?
NNAMDIYes. At least we still have you. Yes.
DOYLEYes. Absolutely. Well, I would say in some ways my life looks completely different and in some ways it's very similar. I think that Craig and I -- Craig is my ex-husband. And I think probably for the first time since we met we have a truly honest relationship. We co-parent. He lives about a mile from us. And he and Abby and I speak 20 times a day. They have coached the girls' soccer team together, Craig and Abby. He actually was a semi-pro professional soccer player too. So they have that in common. He has an absolutely amazing girlfriend who is now integrated into our lives. That was hard for me interestingly enough, but we made it through. I got over my stuff. And our children are in love with her.
DOYLEAnd so it's kind of this like this beautiful strange unconventional family. And there are still really hard moments. I mean, divorce is hard. You know, once a week I have to go to the foyer and see my kids' bags all packed up and their little shoes lined up, because they have to go back and forth. And that always still gives me a pang inside. And I just remind myself that sometimes things can be hard and still be exactly right. That it doesn't mean that it's wrong just because it's hard.
NNAMDIWell, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that a landmark civil rights law protecting LGBTQ workers from discrimination. What was your reaction to that ruling and how surprised were you that a conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion?
DOYLEI find it hopeful. I think it's very unusual in these times to see anybody choosing an issue over a party, right? So that is hopeful. Kojo, I had an interesting -- I was interested in my own reaction to that because I am a super hopeful celebratory person, but I didn't feel that way. I just felt like, okay, duh, like am I really going to get excited about the fact that, you know, nine people said that I'm a full human? Like I just expect it. So while I'm grateful for it I didn't feel like celebrating in the streets. I just feel like there's a ton more work to do and that ruling is just the basics that we all deserve.
NNAMDIWe're going to take a short break. When we come back we'll be continuing this conversation with her. This break is really a good time for it to happen because the remarkable Al Reynolds is back in my house, fixing my laptop. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.
NNAMDIWelcome back to our conversation with Glennon Doyle, Author, Activist and Founder of the non-profit Together Rising. Glennon has written three best-selling memoirs, including her latest, the number one New York Times best-seller. It's called "UNTAMED." Let's go to Audrey in Maryland on line one. Audrey, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
AUBREYOh, my gosh. Okay, first, Kojo, it's Aubrey. And I am just so excited that you have Glennon on today. And, Glennon, I just have to tell you that I love your morning meeting time. And I absolutely adore your story time for "UNTAMED" kids. And my question relates to your stories. And I just loved "Old Turtle." It was the best. But I'm curious what kind of motivated you to kind of tap into this idea of "UNTAMED" kids, and sort of if you're going to continue doing these story times for kids as we kind of progress out of full on lockdown, kind of into a new normal?
DOYLEAubrey, hi. Thanks for calling in. It's so good to hear your voice. So, here was the motivation for the story time. First of all, I started my career, I was a kindergarten and third grade teacher. So, I still kind of feel like I'm just a teacher who's on hiatus right now to teach some grownups for a while, and that' I'll be back in the classroom any minute, because that was my happy place. But, Aubrey, I'm going to tell you the truth. The reason I started those story times is because I was talking to my friends who had little ones during quarantine, and they were losing their minds.
DOYLEAnd I just felt like one way that I could support the moms and the parents was to take their kids off their hands for 20 minutes and let them just take a nap or get some tea while I did a story time for the little ones.
DOYLEAnd so that was my motivation, was just to give you guys a break. And then, when I started doing them, I just remembered how much I love speaking to kids, how that's kind of my zone and my happy place. And in a time that is, you know, so challenging, there's so much potential with those kids, right, with their hearts open and their minds open. And so that's been one of the great joys of my last few months, has been those morning meetings and those story times. And I am going to continue them. I don't know if I'll be able to do them every week, but I am definitely going to make that a part of all of our community's life.
NNAMDIAnd Aubrey, thank you very much for your call. Sorry I mispronounced your name. Here is Amanda in Washington, D.C. Amanda, your turn.
AMANDAHi, Glennon. I'm so happy to connect with you, and just thank you so much for the revolution of voice that you are offering so much of us. I wanted to ask you, when you speak up on behalf of not only yourself, but others in causes like immigration, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ, you speak to voices of institutions and mindsets that don't necessarily benefit from hearing your voice and the voice of many. And I wondered how you handle the pushback, and how do you handle the feeling of vulnerability that comes with that process of speaking up?
DOYLESo, Amanda, hi. Your name is my favorite name. That's my sister's name and my daughter's name. Well, the way I handle it is that I'm scared all the time. I get very, very, very sweaty. Every single time I -- what I have learned is that it's part of -- I actually think it's part of white supremacy. We learn that success is when everyone likes us, perfectionism, this idea of perfectionism.
DOYLEAnd so what I figured out is that success often means, for me, that I have spoken up, and it's really uncomfortable, and a lot of people get mad at me, and it doesn't go perfectly, and it's a little bit messy, and then it's over. (laugh) And then I try again, and then I try again, and then I try again. So, I think the way that I used to deal with it is that when people got mad at me, I would hope it was the right people, right. You can kind of tell when the right people are mad at you, that you're on the right track.
DOYLEBut one thing I figured out is that there's no way to speak into, say, the LGBTQ movement or Black Lives movement and get it all right, because none of those groups are monolith. So, no matter what approach you take, some people are going to disagree with that approach. And so what I figured out is that is just the cost of activism, right. If you do anything, you just have to do your research, do your education, talk to your people that you're in relationship with, and make your best decision about how you're going to show up. And then you will just have to count the cost of some people not liking that and realizing that they're not even wrong not to like it, right. That they have every right to have their different approach to activism.
DOYLEAnd so it's just, for me, been an exercise, and over and over again getting comfortable with people not liking me. I think part of the privilege we give up is just the comfort of everybody thinking we're wonderful. You know, but what we gain is integrity and purpose, and so that's just worth it
NNAMDIThank you very much for your call, Amanda. Glennon, would you read for us one of your favorite chapters from "Untamed"?
DOYLESure. I thought I would read a little part from a chapter called "Racists," in this moment. Okay. “Soon after that conversation with my friend, I sat on my family room couch and patted a spot to my left and one to my right. I said to my daughters, come here, girls. They sat down and looked up at me. I told them that while they were asleep, a man who was white had walked into a church and shot and killed nine people who were black.”
DOYLE“And then I told my daughters about a black boy their brother's age who was walking home and was chased down and murdered. I told them that the killer said he thought the boy had a gun, but what the boy really had was a bag of Skittles. Emma said, 'Why did that man think Trayvon's candy was a gun?' I said, 'I don't think he really did. I think he just needed an excuse to kill.' We sat with all of this for a while. They asked more questions. I did my best.”
DOYLE“Then I decided we had talked about villains for long enough. We need to talk about heroes. I went to my office to find a particular book. I pulled it down from the shelf, came back to the couch, and sat between them again. I opened the book, and we read about Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, Diane Nash and Daisy Bates. We looked at pictures of civil rights marches and we talked about why people march. Someone once said that marching is praying with your feet, I told them.”
DOYLE“Emma pointed to a white woman holding a sign, marching in a sea of black and brown people. Her eyes popped, and she said, 'Mama, look. Would we have been marching with them like her?' I fixed my mouth to say, 'Of course, of course we would have, baby.' But before I could say it, Tish said, 'No, Emma. We wouldn't have been marching with them back then. I mean, we're not marching now.'“
DOYLE“I stared at my girls as they looked up at me. I thought of my dad in that therapists office all those years ago. It was just as if my girls had turned to me and asked, 'Mama, how do you imagine we might be inadvertently contributing to our country's sickness?'“
DOYLE“A week later, I was reading Martin Luther King, Junior's famous essay, 'Letters from Birmingham Jail,' and I came across this. 'I must confess that, over the last few years, I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens' Council or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who was more devoted to order than to justice. Who prefers a negative peace, which is the absence of tension, to a positive peace, which is the presence of justice. Who constantly says, I agree with you and the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action.'“
DOYLE“This was the first time I had encountered language that defined the kind of person I was in the world. I was a white person who imagined herself to be on the side of civil rights because I was a good person who strongly believed in equality as the right idea. But the white woman Emma had pointed to in that photograph wasn't staying home and believing. She was showing up. When I looked at her face, she didn't look nice at all. She looked radical, angry, brave, afraid, tired, passionate, resolute, regal and a little bit scary.”
DOYLE“I imagine myself a kind of white person who would have stood with Dr. King, because I respect him now. Close to 90 percent of white Americans approved of Dr. King today. Yet, while he was alive and demanding change, only about 30 percent approved of him, the same rate of white Americans who approve of Colin Kaepernick today.”
DOYLE“So, if I want to know how I had felt about Dr. King back then, I can't ask myself how I feel about him now. Instead, I have to ask myself, how do I feel about Kaepernick now? If I want to know how I had felt about the Freedom Riders back then, I can't ask myself how I feel about them now. Instead, I have to ask myself, how do I feel about Black Lives Matter now? If I want to know how I had shown up in the last civil rights era, I have to ask myself, how am I showing up today in this civil rights era?”
NNAMDIGlennon Doyle, reading from her latest book "Untamed." Last week, you helped organize the Share the Mic Now event on Instagram. Talk about the event and how the idea originated.
DOYLEThat was wild. So, I was on a text chain with two of my dear friends, Lovia Jones and Gazoma St. John (sounds like). And it was in the midst of all of this, and they are two black women. And I -- you know, one of them -- I think I had just reposted something that one of them had said. And Boze (sounds like) said to me, thank you for doing that. You know, I'm screaming every day on my platforms, and I feel like I'm just yelling into the wind.
DOYLEAnd so I wrote back and I said, well, why don't you just take my platform? Like, I have a million people on Instagram. Just -- I'll give you my passwords, take my platform for the day, for the week. Just use it and say whatever needs to be said. And the reason I said that is because I know, since getting involved with all of this, all of activism, that the voices who we need to listen to are the voices of black women, because they've been in this struggle for so much longer and they know so much more.
DOYLEAnd so Boze kind of went quiet for a little bit, and then she and Lovi wrote me back and said, okay, here's our idea. What if we take that idea and we magnify it by a million? What if we gather together 50 black women who have been using their voices for change and 50 white women with huge platforms, and we have all of the white women pass over their passwords for the day, and we flood social media with the voices of black women? Knowing that those are the voices we need to listen to if we are ever going to make our way out of this moment and into justice and freedom and equality.
DOYLESo, then Lovi said, okay, Glennon, you go get the white women, and we'll go get the black women. So, then I just sat at my kitchen for 20 minutes thinking, how in the Sam Hill am I going to do this? (laugh) So, the cool thing, Kojo, is I just started -- we all decided we were going to only pull in people who we had some relation to, who we knew and trusted in this moment who had already been using their platforms, right. These couldn't be brand newbies to the idea of antiracism work.
DOYLEAnd I just started reaching out to people. And this was one of my first -- besides being at the protests and seeing how different the crowds there looked this time around, this is one of the first moments where I thought this time is different. Because I reached out to 50 very famous white women. And I said -- I only had a few sentences at that point. I just said, hey, we're going to do this thing on Friday. Will you give up your platform and turn it over to a black woman who's doing work in the world? And every single one of them said, yes, without asking questions about who else was involved, or anything. And then Lovi and Boze, on the other end, emailed the 50 black women, and each one of them said yes.
DOYLESo the next day Lovi and Boze and I are just staring at each other at a Zoom meeting, like, oh, my God, what now? (laugh) And so it was just a week of, you know, we had get togethers with all 100 of these women. The first one, it was so beautiful, we had it at 7:00 a.m. on Pacific Time, for some reason. We didn't know if anybody would show up. I think 98 out of the 100 showed up, and we all just -- all these -- 98 women just screen after screen on Zoom, just showing up and just -- we just sat there and cried for a little bit, because it just looked like hope.
NNAMDIAnd so, the day came, and everybody switched platforms. And I think we just got some stats back that there were 16 billion impressions, because it just kept going further and further. And now people are doing Share the Mic in different countries and within their industries. You know, Share the Mic tech and Share the Mic education. And, I don't know, it's not going to solve police brutality, that's for sure, but it is going to, I think, point people towards the voices we need to listen to if we're ever going to solve any of these problems.
NNAMDIWhich is one of the reasons why people can say, with some degree of seriousness that what we are seeing now is the kind of movement that we may never have ever witnessed before. But on to Eliza, in Northern Virginia. Eliza, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
ELIZAHi. I was wondering what you thought the queer community's role is in doing antiracism work.
DOYLEWell, I think that the queer community's role is to show up everywhere, like they always have. I mean, my God, you know, Stonewall -- from Stonewall to the decision that came down two days ago, these are always things that are led by black trans women, right. We have everything to owe to black trans women. And so I think that, you know, we've always known that this movement is completely intersectional. But that word intersectional has just been kind of a liberal buzz word until now, when we are actually going to these protests and we are seeing everybody show up for each other for the first time.
DOYLEAnd we are seeing how every single marginalized group overlaps, right, in every single way. So, you know, one of the -- it's been kind of -- we're used to having pride month to ourselves, (laugh) right. And so it's been just a great honor, I think, just to use pride month to just show up for our black brothers and sisters, as they have always shown up for us. I don't think it's an either/or. I think it's and/both.
NNAMDIThank you very much for your call, Eliza. Harriett tweeted us this question: Hi, Glennon. I just finished your book on Audible, and loved it. My question is, what tools do you use for keeping yourself from falling back on old unhealthy-to-you habits? For example, how do you work through beliefs that no longer serve you?
DOYLEThat's so good. Well, first of all, I don't keep myself from falling back. I fall back all the time. (laugh) But I can think of a few tricks. You know, one of the most crucial messages of "Untamed" is just this idea that we can, as women, begin to live our lives from our desire, from our imagination, from our emotions, from what we know, from our intuition, without constantly explaining ourselves, right. That was a tricky one for me, because when I decided to make the decision to divorce Craig and to follow my love for Abby, I found myself explaining myself to everyone, right. To my parents, to my friends, to just over and over.
DOYLEAnd what I've learned is that defensiveness is for people who think that what they have can be taken from them, right. It's not for adults. And so every time now that I find myself defending myself or justifying myself or explaining myself, that is my hint that I have abandoned myself, because the truth is that I am a woman, and I can do what I want, right. Which means that all I have to do for the rest of my life is do the next right thing without asking permission beforehand or gathering consensus and without explaining myself after.
DOYLESo, what I would say is that's one flag, whenever I find myself fearful, explaining myself justifying, that's a flag to me that I'm losing myself again. And I just stop, because I do think that one of the most revolutionary things a woman can do is just never explain herself.
NNAMDIHere is Ann Marie -- Amanda, thank you for your call. Here's Ann Marie in Richmond, Virginia. Ann Marie, your turn.
ANN MARIEHi, Glennon. I love "Untamed." I want to thank you for writing it, and thank you for your activism. My question is, once you found Abby and started being more true to yourself, did your parenting style or parenting philosophy change at all?
DOYLEYes. It's Ann Marie, right?
DOYLEYes, it did, Ann Marie, because I am of the helicopter-lawnmower generation, okay, parenting generation. I was tricked, I was tamed into believing that my job was to protect my children from any sort of pain, right. To just, you know -- I am of the parenting generation of the making sure that every person likes them on Earth and that no one frowns at them and that every teacher loves them and that they never lose anything, that they get 50 participation trophies and just on and on and on.
DOYLEAnd so I was tamed to believe that a good parent protects her children from all pain. And so to bring my children what has so far been the greatest pain of their life, which is the divorce of their family, because even when divorce is right, it is utterly devastating to children, that was such a ridiculous reversal of the way that I had lived before, which was just in full protection. But here's what I figured out, that this parenting memo we got about protecting our children from everything, it's trash. (laugh) It's just not true.
DOYLEThe reason why our parenting generation is neurotic, it's why we're all so neurotic and miserable, and it's why our children -- well, they kind of suck, okay. Because kids who do not suck are kids who have lost, right, and have sat with losing, right, and learned to lose with dignity. And kids who do not suck are kids who have felt the sting of pain, and so they don't want to pass on that pain to other people. It's like what makes the kind of adults that we dream of our children being is the struggle that we are stealing from them, right.
DOYLESo, what I would say is the thing that has changed in me the most is that I no longer protect my children from every fire in their life, right. Because what I did when I lived that way, I accidentally taught them that they cannot handle life, that they constantly need a protector, or that they constantly need to avoid the fires of their life. And that's not what I want for them. I want them to be the kind of people who walk straight in to the fires of their life, of the world, of their communities, because they have walked through enough fires to know that they're fireproof. That's what I have learned for myself. I believe in kind of the alchemy of pain. And I want them to experience that alchemy and not to live afraid of pain.
NNAMDIAnn Marie, thank you for your call. We got an email from Lisa. What are your thoughts on leaving a marriage when you're running towards something, in your case Abby, versus running away from something, like an unhappy marriage? I feel like it's so much harder to leave for hope versus something and someone real.
DOYLEOh, God, that's such a good question. Oh my, God. I mean, I don't know. Here's what I would say. When I told -- finally decided that I was leaving my marriage, I remember the phone call. I decided it myself. I was looking into a mirror when I decided that, okay. It was like this moment when I was like, okay, this is you and me, Glennon. We're not going to have any more lies between us. You're going to go.
DOYLEAbby's the first one I told, before Craig. And it was -- I mean, Kojo, to -- I haven't mentioned this yet, but Abby and I had never been in a room alone together, okay. Like, we had never -- it was just that first evening with all of those people. Like we had never...
NNAMDIWe only have about a minute left.
DOYLEOkay. We had never seen each other. What I realized, in that moment, is I had to leave regardless of whether it was going to work out with Abby, right. Because I had had a knowing I could no longer pretend that what I had in my marriage was the kind of love that I hoped and dreamed for. So, I left to honor myself, not knowing whether it would happen with Abby or not. So, I hope that, regardless of that, I would have gone, but I will tell you, it is harder to leave for an idea than it is for a person. I get that. (laugh)
NNAMDIYou have written three memoirs. Will there be a fourth?
DOYLEKojo, I don't know. I can't imagine it. I'm telling you right now that everything I know is in "Untamed," okay. I didn't, like, leave anything out. I didn't know any extra things that I decided to cut. It's all in there, so if I somehow have some more epiphanies maybe at this moment, I cannot imagine it. I just -- it's the best I can do. Everything that's been in my heart and mind since I was 10 years old is in "Untamed." I left it all in the field, as my dad would say.
NNAMDIExcept that you're still on the field, and so there are likely to be new experiences in your life as your life moves along because we certainly look forward to hearing from you again. Glennon Doyle is an author, activist and founder of the nonprofit "Together Rising." Glennon has written three Bestselling memoirs, including her latest, the number one New York Times Bestseller. It's called "Untamed." Glennon Doyle, it was such a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for joining us.
DOYLEThis was a full-circle dream of a moment for me. Thank you, Kojo.
NNAMDIYou are more than welcome. Today's show was produced by Kurt Gardinier. Coming up tomorrow on The Politics Hour, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie talks about police reform and the Reach Act, which would establish an office of racial equity and required training for government employees. Plus, Todd Turner, chair of the Prince George's County Council, joins us to talk about restructuring the county's police force and entering phase two of reopening. That's all coming up tomorrow, at noon, on The Politics Hour.
NNAMDIToday we say special thanks to our engineering team in general and in particular, Al Reynolds, for making this thing work live and for keeping me laptop going. To you all, thank you for listening. Stay safe. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.
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