A new study by the National Research Group confirmed what many experts already suspected: an overwhelming majority of teenage girls can’t even.
Results of the study triggered widespread panic as parents and educators began to wonder what they’re doing wrong. Shayla Macklin is the mother of two teenage girls; Becca, 16 and Addison, 14. Although neither of her daughters has been diagnosed with the inability, Shayla suspects that both Becca and Addison can’t even.
It’s really alarming. I don’t know how I failed them. I remember when I was their age. I’d see things that bothered me or I’d go through something that was inconvenient. And even though I didn’t like it, I managed to carry on with my day like a normal person. But if girls these days suffer the slightest annoyance or if they see something gross, they immediately shut down. They simply can’t even…not even a little bit.
The study was meticulously carried out by a team of researchers over the course of 6 months. 700 girls between the ages of 13 and 19 were observed in their natural habitats and subjected to a series of unfavorable stimuli;
• Dad jokes
• Strict mom rules
• Low battery on phone
• Boys making gross noises
• Other girls with bad fashion
• Low number of likes on Instagram selfies
• Limited wifi
Head researcher Ernest Griffin:
We figured the above list of irritations is what causes life to be so difficult these days for the average teenage girl. Yes, some girls in other countries are forced to marry boys they’ve never met and some girls have to walk several miles and carry heavy buckets to collect drinking water for their families.
But that’s nothing compared to what the average American teenager endures. I recently observed one young lady…I won’t mention her name…but her father had the audacity to order a basic internet package. The downloads of that poor girl were trickling in at only 56 megabytes per second. As the tears streamed from her eyes, I did my best to keep it together, but it was no use…I also broke down into tears. I realized it was cruel of me to expect this girl to persevere through this trauma. Needless to say, she couldn’t even.
ONE BRIGHT SHINING STAR FROM THE STUDY
Of the 700 girls who were subjected to the stressful stimuli, only 154 continued to demonstrate the will to go on living after the ordeal. Among this group, one particular 15-year old named Morgan showed an especially high tolerance for negative circumstances. After enduring a 10-minute burping contest by her two little brothers, Morgan playfully patted them on the head, asked if they needed help with their homework and quietly went to another room to listen to music.
Researchers figured that Morgan’s kind behavior was an anomaly, so they took her case to the next level. As Morgan and her friends talked around the kitchen table, Morgan’s father was prompted to interrupt the conversation and tell the girls his absolute best joke.
Morgan’s dad: “Hey girls, how come you’re no longer American when you go to the bathroom?”
Morgan: “lol I dunno dad. Why are we longer American when we go to the bathroom?”
Morgan’s dad: “Because when you’re in the bathroom, European.”
Morgan’s friends immediately rolled their eyes in annoyance, a sure sign that they couldn’t even. But Morgan, on the other hand, astounded the researchers once again with a hearty laugh and reply; “Haha, good one dad.”
At this point, researchers had already concluded that Morgan was a special case, but they nonetheless continued testing her at higher levels of inconvenience to try to find her breaking point. A dead bug was placed in the room where Morgan would see it. She emitted the same shrieking sound that all girls make in response to bugs. But she eventually concluded she was perfectly capable of sweeping it up and throwing it away. After completing these actions without a single complaint, one researcher dropped his clipboard in astonishment.
“She’s unlike any teenage girl we’ve ever seen.”
THE BAD AND THE UGH-LY
Unfortunately, 546 of the girls produced results that were the complete opposite of Morgan’s. After being presented with mom’s homemade casserole, 83% of the girls responded with “ew.” When told to be back in the house by 10:30pm, most of the girls responded with either “ugh” or “omg” (they literally spoke the letters O M G instead of the words they stand for).
Among the girls who can’t even, a shocking 21% complained that they “literally can’t.” Researchers are struggling to understand the meaning of this new classification.
This same study was conducted two decades ago. The negative stimuli of that era was significantly different, but the results from that study indicated that teenage girls from the ‘90s had a higher tolerance for stress…even when presented with the following difficulties:
• Low battery on Discman
• Having no idea who was calling when they answered the phone
• Tiffani-Amber Thiessen replacing Shannen Doherty on Beverly Hills 90210
• Dad repeatedly paging them on the beeper
• Having to rewind VHS tapes before returning them to Blockbuster
• Ross & Rachel still not realizing they’re meant to be together
• Zero margin for error on disposable camera selfies
In spite of the tension produced by the above factors, most teenage girls from the ‘90s managed to cope with these anxieties. They went on to become responsible adults with jobs and families. However, they are now faced with their toughest challenge of their lives; raising a generation of daughters who literally just can’t.