Are women of my generation whiny?
It’s a question worth asking.
Are we too demanding, have we been served with a silver platter and been too blind to see it? We can’t possibly be the first generation to deal with difficulties, but somehow all we seem to do is complain.
Can too much choice make you complacent? Is that what’s going on? Too many opportunities, but we want more, better, higher, brighter, and we want it all right now. Most of us feel entitled to it, but honestly, I wonder, through which sordid twist of circumstances did we begin to believe in this foolish myth? What was this holy gift descended from the skies that made us buy into the idea we were somehow more special than the others that preceded us? My generation, for the most part, hasn’t struggled, and yet, it is the most tortured, the most self-absorbed, the most unsatisfied. But we think we’re lost, confused. There’s a stark contrast in these representations. Our answer to such confusion is wandering. So we wander, and moreover, we claim it’s our right; to explore, to ‘figure ourselves out’, to be aimless, to seek for something even if we don’t know what we are seeking for. I was just watching the first episode of ‘Girls‘ tonight, and the first impression we get of the principal character of the series is the moment she gets financially cut-off from her parents… at the… tender age of twenty-four (now, as I write this, I’m fully aware of the irony and hypocrisy of my statement). What’s to note is that Hannah (the principal character) is actually shocked that her parents would do that. In fact, she’s completely at a loss. My generation is used to interning rather than having a job, which basically requires for the most part that our parents supply us with living means. It was earlier this summer that a friend made me realize this idiosyncrasy. He has a few years on me, and as he pointed it out, that was definitely not something that was possible in his generation. The thing is, he’s not even that old, just one generation above, in his thirties, to be more exact, one fateful letter in difference.
But I guess one may ask why I’m making such a generalization after watching one show, one time. Here’s the thing: ‘Girls‘ is not the only example of blatant navel-gazing, existential crisis, extended Peter Pan syndrome (other examples include the movies ‘Lola Versus‘, ‘Liberal Arts‘, ‘The Lifeguard‘, to name a few), and truth is, I don’t even mean this in a pejorative way, merely just noticing (ok, whilst still being critical of it all). What’s striking is that it has now become the norm. Consider comparing tv series from two decades ago (yes it has been that long since the 90’s, I know, it hurts) to more contemporary shows, and you will notice a very great distinction between the maturity of principal characters. For one thing, I am becoming self-conscious at how wise the likes of Dawson’s Creek, Felicity or even Buffy were. Yes, even Buffy. You will note that Buffy was twenty-five or so when the series concluded, and way WAY more self-possessed than characters in today’s tv shows. Maybe that’s only a normal consequence of all this vampire slaying, who knows.
The point is, the message from women of my generation to the world seems to be: “I’m nowhere near being put together as an adult, but I think it’s my right to be a mess”, and frankly, I’m no longer sure that’s a suitable way to be remembered.