Saturday, November 23, 2013

MY Voice

Mt. Roberts, Juneau, AK

I've written before about the struggles of being a Millennial, my complicated relationship with my generation, and my anger with how we're portrayed in the media. So when I read an article this week about the "100 Things Every 20-Something Needs to Realize," it had me seeing red. Really, I should have known better---listicles about twentysomethings almost always get under my skin. I realize that the majority are written in good fun, but something about the overgeneralization just bothers me. But for reasons unknown, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to click. I was almost immediately sorry that I did.

The article, if you can even call it that, was idiotic at best and offensive at worst. While many of the items on the list are painfully generic and sophomoric stereotypes (and certainly eyeroll-worthy)  a few actually made me grit my teeth with rage. To spare you from actually having to read the article yourselves, here are a few highlights: 

(Note: The original quote is bold, my thoughts are italicized.)

3. Shaving is more than a suggestion. That goes for both men and women. Or, we could stop judging people based on the amount of hair their bodies produce or assigning a person's value based upon physical appearance.

4. If you eat enough pizza,  you will turn into a tub of oily cheese. Or, we could stop judging people based on their food choices. See also: LAY OFF ME, I'M STARVING.

19. The way people see you is just as important as the way you see yourself. Or, you could just be confident in who you are.

34. If you can get her in to bed by date 3, then you'll get bored with her by week 2. So, if a woman has sex too early in a dating relationship (by the author's standards) she's a slut? Doesn't it take two to tango? 

43. If you're feeling shitty, get some exercise. Yes, exercise is a beautiful thing, but I'm fairly certain it won't solve all of the world's problems.

50. You should live in New York City for at least a year. How is this even logistically possible? Do we all take turns? Are rent scholarships available?

57. Make mistakes now. Making them later will be too late. Won't "later" still be our "now," just...later? Maybe reading this article was my first mistake.

82. Slow and gentle will always get her off. Rough and intense only works on occasion. How scientific is this statement? Was there a survey? Did mine get lost in the mail?

89. You don't have ADD. Yes, actually. Some people do. 

90. You're most likely the cause of your own depression. Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me. 

Perhaps this article was meant to be satirical, and I'm taking it far too seriously. Perhaps there was a disconnect somewhere and I just didn't understand tone of piece. Or, maybe this is exactly what the author was going for and my reaction was the intended effect. The context of the article suggests that the author is privileged, heterosexual white male, but I don't want to generalize. He is entitled to his opinions, views, and beliefs, and has every right to voice them. 

But so do I.

So, why am I letting a stupid article like this bother me so much? Many would say that this transparent cry for attention doesn't even warrant a response. And they're probably right. But if this prejudicial voice can be heard, so can mine. This so-called "Voice of Generation-Y" certainly does not speak for me. And I want my voice heard. I want blogs like Live Inspired and The Militant Baker to be heard above the din of articles like this, blogs that promote positivity and openness, advocacy and community. 

With articles like this floating around the Internet and getting attention, it's no wonder that my generation is viewed the way it is. I'm so sick of it. Stop generalizing. Stop equating individualism with narcissism. And for the love of god, STOP TRIVIALIZING DISABILITIES AND MENTAL ILLNESS. 

I realize my voice is just one of millions. I realize this blog post is just one of millions. I realize that others have said what I'm saying louder and stronger and more eloquently. But I want to add my two cents. Because if I raise my voice, and you raise your voice, together we can be heard over the stereotypes. And maybe, just maybe, history will remember Generation-Y/Millennials/Me Generation as a generation that stood for equality and acceptance, peace and creativity. Maybe I'm just waxing poetic. But maybe, just maybe, I'm right. 

I can't wait to find out.

What are your thoughts on these types of articles? Are they offensive, or all in good fun?

1 comment:

  1. I love this so much! I don't think you're missing the point or misunderstanding the tone- I think you're not going to let people talk shit about you and your people, and it makes me proud to be a millenial, too.

    The articles that make me burn like that are the "no no no!" lists about ways you should never use Facebook or Twitter so you don't become "that person." Again: let people be people and go about your life. No more judgement disguised as rules, thanks.