Over at the Guardian, there is a curious article by Laura Bates entitled, “‘There is an urgent need to update adult thinking to catch up with the reality of teenagers’ lives.'”
The article essentially states that according to research and polling done by a 20-something woman named Emma Gees, adolescent girls are under witheringly intense pressure in their lives. This pressure in many ways is nothing new in a world dominated by Western images, Western schooling, and “sexual liberation,” but the survey and article also blame feminist topics de jour at the moment: cat-calling and body-shaming.
Is there really pressure?
While it is indubitably true that women are under intense pressure to “look a certain way”—and this pressure mostly comes from other women—the article seems to connect this pressure to a “lack of understanding from older women and mothers.” Huh. The same generation that invented all the concepts described in the article—sexual harassment, everyday sexism, and misogyny—also happens to be mostly oblivious to the effects of those concepts on their daughters. Why would this be?
The fact that this article pops up in the “Life & Style” section of the Guardian says a lot about how mothers view their daughters: accessories in life whose importance ranks up there with these super serious topics:
It is very easy to mock media that is directed towards women and mothers, as it assumes some very negative things about womankind. However, since we are talking about the fate of the next generation and not displeasure with calendars and pudding, it is telling that articles they should deem serious pop up in un-serious places.
This is a quote by the sage and wise 24-year-old Emma Gees who promulgated the survey relied on by the article:
There are so many double standards, and girls are confused about what to do and how to behave, and they don’t know where to turn for advice and help.
First blush: the free-for-all of sexual liberation and second-wave feminism has some clear-cut losers and those people are called children and teenagers.
Second blush: These “depressed” girls already know one thing with perfect clarity—their mothers are completely worthless and they learned this at a very early age.
I think it should be part of the curriculum and people like teachers and frontline staff should have training to know how to talk to young people about these issues
You mean training on how to help a girl find her way into womanhood? On figuring out who she is? What her role in life should be? You mean generational tasks for mothers, aunts, grandmothers and the rest of the decaying “family unit?” These young girls are clearly in the “Identity v. Role Confusion” stage of their life, when firm guidance from mothers might be most crucial, not some indifferent government professionals.
And in order for girls to be fully supported, that training, Gees believes, needs to include an understanding of societal double standards.
Ah, there is some real mother/daughter bonding in 2015—hoping the problem has a penis.
When elders make no demands of the young, the young cannot grow up. When the female elders of a generation are tap, tap, tapping away on their iPads reading preposterous articles about poodles, “dadcore” fashion, and how to take better selfies, it is no wonder that their charges have no direction in life.
When grown women are wasting their time wishing that sexism is the reason that their daughters are so depressed, so alienated from life, it is no wonder their daughters are so depressed—the daughters are alienated from their own family.
In fact, it’s not about what they’ve done at all, but they don’t have the confidence to challenge it. What kind of a world is that?
The problem isn’t a deficit of confidence, it is that the next generation of women was given nothing to believe in.
Read More: A 3 Point Primer In Modern Female Privilege