Don’t Call Me A Girl!!! The Woman-Child Effect

Have you ever read or heard something that made you say, “Are they serious?” When something is so absurd that you are forced to question the validity of it? A nervous laugh leaps out of your mouth because what has transpired is so ridiculous that it just cannot be real?

And then there’s a pause.

Alas, the smile from your nerves disappears, your question is answered, and you are left in a sort of limbo between your reality and the realness of actuality with the “wtf” face that looks a little like this:

That is exactly what happened to me when I read this excerpt from “Woman-Child”, an essay from Girls writer, Deborah Schoeneman.

Let me briefly mention that I LOVE this show. It’s quirky, silly, funny, and right up my alley since it’s about a group of, wait for it, mid-20 somethings!!! Yea, that’s my shizz right there.

Anyhoot, back to the matter at hand.

I am always interested in a good read to feed my famished mind while at my mindless job. I just so happened to stop over by Jezebel, and stumbled onto the excerpt. After the first few lines of the article, I felt a bit like tying Ms. Schoeneman up and making her listen to every Rihanna, Katy Perry, & Nicki Minaj record ever to exist. Allow me to introduce you to the Woman-Child.

The “woman child” is having a real moment. She’s an increasingly prominent and powerful breed of pop-culture female who seems to be aging backwards. She’s a counterpart to the “man-child” stars of Judd Apatow movies; she would rather rally girlfriends to see The Hunger Games than the more peer-group-appropriate What to Expect When You’re Expecting. The women-children love the new television shows with “girl” and their style gurus are celebrities who often dress younger than their years: Zooey Deschanel, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj. From sporting sparkly nail polish to religiously reading every bestselling young adult novel, these women seem to be reliving their teenage years with real gusto.

Deborah proceeds to pull the reader deeper and deeper down the proverbial rabbit hole, as she expresses her disdain for women that, “prioritize her female friendships as if she were in a high school clique by posting pictures of her girls’ birthday dinners or boozy vacations on Facebook while her peers post wedding and baby pictures with similar zeal. She truly believes that women are in it together and is all about helping her friends start businesses, meet guys and pick out a cute outfit for a big event. Competiveness among females in the workplace is perceived as totally 80s. “Women-children” are increasingly looking back to create a new common ground and it’s a warm fuzzy ground.”

Oh yes she did!!!

How dare women of the 21st Century be far more concerned with their careers than having children and getting married. She continues, “Women with big jobs are also more panicked about holding on to them in the current economic climate, prioritizing their careers over becoming wives and mothers. Wearing a dress with a pink bow is a lot more fun than worrying about a pink slip.”

Girlie nail art is for our little girls and teenagers, ladies!!!! *looks down at talon-like nails I’ve had since I was 14 dripping with metallic glitter polish*

We are big girls women now. Simple. Plain. Boring. Those are our new mainstays.

I’m not going to go line by line explaining the 50 Shades of what’s wrong with this thinking. She is most certainly entitled to her traditional views of the roles of  women, I’:

– Women still get paid less than our male counterparts in the very same positions (some of that is our fault; the rest we’ll work on), yet there are more women than men attending institutions of higher learning. We’ve earned our right to have party and fun. Why waste our time going to college and having to bear these ridiculous student loan debts if we should fast forward to being homemakers and baby bearers?

–  Mothers don’t enjoy colorful nail polish, The Hunger Games, a good drink (or 4) with friends, and frilly dresses?

– I don’t know one child or adult child that isn’t absolutely despising the return to their childhood bedrooms post-college.

Please know, I am not at all offended by Schoeneman’s stance of the current state of adulthood.

She is only one of many that believe marriage and children at this age are ideal.

But as a 24 year-old woman that lives alone after recently out of the safe space of my mother’s womb home, has two Bachelor’s Degrees with the Direct Loan payment statements to prove it, I can’t possibly conceive having a husband and child right now. As I told one of my best friends, where would I stow them, in my overhead?

My 20-somethings, we have not lived yet!!! There is an entire world out there for us!!! There are foods I haven’t tried, beaches I haven’t tanned (more appropriately, burned) on, men I haven’t met, nights I won’t remember, & moments I’ll never forget. What will have to show to our sons & daughters?

Perhaps my emotional sentiment finds their roots in a recent conversation with my grandmother in which she revealed the hurt she felt by her mother calling her an old maid for being unmarried at 25. No surprise there. That was the expectation then. I had no idea that this line of logic still existed now. Maybe its because my immediate friend and family base is full of business owning, college educated, drinking, partying, vacationing, career-driven women just like me.

Even the love of my life, my mother, applauds women of this age for waiting and marrying for the right reasons versus for the sake of being married and she was married with child at 20!

What do you think? Are we a lost generation or a generation of innovation?

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