I came upon this article from the Irish Examiner today, published two weeks ago and it’s emphasis, whether intentional by a slightly bitchy writer or just a naive look at the twenty-something generation, seems to be on making women in their 20’s feel bad about themselves. With the crux of the article asking, why can’t all twenty-somethings be like the 23 year old Oscar winning phenomenon? We twenty-somethings are failures at life, because we aren’t like good old J. Law. Charming right?
According to the article, the bulk of us are apart of Irelands stuck generation and we spend our time binge-watching Netflix, while 27 year old Lena Dunham has won numerous awards for creating her own TV show. The whole tone of the article seems to be passively aggressively hinting at the notion that if these successful young women can do it with such elegance and ease, then why can’t the rest of us? Why aren’t we more ambitious? Why are we wasting our 20’s? Why aren’t we more like us when we were that age?
The reason behind our lazy ways seems to be because we are not adults, we are ‘kidadults’. A generation of passive, lazy people who still live at home with their parents and who consume the accomplishments of the rare twenty-something success story from the comfort of our family couch.
I mean, all twenty somethings are like this, a TED talk said so;
“Hanging out and hooking up are just some of the ways today’s ‘kiddults’ are wasting their 20s, says clinical psychologist, Dr Meg Jay.”
God, there is just so much wrong with that sentence. Look, everyone in their twenties goes out and hooks up, but we aren’t defined by that. You can’t just dismiss an entire generation because you think they aren’t ambitious enough. The truth is, people in their twenties are ambitious now, we want great jobs and to be successful.
Except, we are paying for the mistakes of the previous generation. They are the ones who monumentally screwed us economically and now thing it’s ok to bash twenty-somethings because it looks like we aren’t working? That is total crap.
The opportunities just aren’t there anymore. We all wish they were but there are only so many unpaid internships you can get treated badly at before you start to lose confidence. But the writer of this article seems to think we should be so lucky to be doing unpaid internships – it’s all about experience guys! – an old chestnut trotted out by our elder generation who feel we should be grateful for the scraps they throw down from the employment table.
Why can’t we be happy working for free without any regulation and most of the time, no intentions of full time employment. I mean, the intern culture in this country is just depressingly grim, but the article takes a even worse turn when the girl who is doing an unpaid internship pipes up with this little gem;
“From a personal point of view, becoming a mum is definitely part of my long-term plan. For now, though, I’m just focused on my career.”
What is grating about this isn’t the idea of having children, its the fact that this was even an issue for the writer to include. Would you ask a male twenty something about his plans to have future children? No, it wouldn’t be asked. But for women, children obviously have to be included in the conversation, even if you are in your early twenties, as it’s obviously never too early to be thinking about kids ladies!
Even another comparison to J.Law is included;
“Even overachieving Lawrence says she can’t wait to move off centre stage and start a family.
“I do feel like the reason I was put on this Earth is to be a mother,” says the starlet, who’s dating British actor, Nicholas Hoult, “which is why it’s funny for me to end up with such an overwhelming career.”
So you can want to be successful in your career, but it’s always better to move from “centre stage” and have children? I mean, Jennifer Lawrence thinking it’s ridiculous for her to have such an amazing career, calling it ‘overwhelming’, just hurts my soul.
It’s the whole notion that ‘Oh gee gosh! How did I get such a good job – I have a vagina!”, like women shouldn’t want to be ambitious, and that they should be shocked with themselves when they do a good job is just such a dangerous line of thinking.
You can’t just assume that we’re a lost generation, we’ve been dealt a really shitty lot. We were lucky enough to come of age in the worst financial crisis in decades. So, yeah, we might be a bit slower getting things going, but trying to suggest that we don’t want to be successful is just insulting. We don’t need advice from thirty and forty somethings. You’ve done enough – seriously you have.
We’ll be fine – even if we are millenials.