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Thursday, April 18, 2024
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HomeCulture WarDon’t worry, young ’uns, it’s OK to be ordinary

Don’t worry, young ’uns, it’s OK to be ordinary

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ONE of the main reasons the feminist revolution was so successful was the book The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, widely credited with sparking second-wave feminism in the United States. I have never read it, but I am told it liberated all the American suburban housewives from their miserable existence of looking after a home and husband.

These women were locked behind the white picket fence, popping pills to hold it all together. The boredom was so mind-numbing that most of them were sedated. Once the feminists came along and told them that it was their husband and children getting them down, a life of freedom and excitement awaited.

And I am sure it was exciting for the boomers, who as I have said before enjoyed the strong secure luxury of a conservative childhood where mother was at home and father was able to feed the family on his income. Mother and father were young and not knocking on the door of 40 before they decided to have their ‘one and done’.

Then came second wave feminism: the protests, the free love, the bra-burning, the pill-popping. It must have been glorious. These women were the special generation who would set it all right, who would liberate women from the domestic drudgery of family life. And for a few decades I have no doubt it was very exciting. But now their granddaughters who have opportunities the boomers fought so hard for have been liberated all the way to the therapist’s office. They are popping a few pills of their own.

The professional life the feminists fought so hard for is not all it is cracked up to be, and young people are now so anxious and stressed they are not going to work and have been signed off sick. Shocker!

The Times: ‘There has been a lot of talk about the declining mental health of young people, but a new report shows just how bad the situation has become. In a complete reversal of the situation 20 years ago, people in their early twenties are more likely to have a mental disorder than any other age group and there is a greater chance of them being off work because of ill health than those in their early forties. 

‘The report, from the Resolution Foundation think tank, found that at least 5 per cent of 20 to 24-year-olds were economically inactive because of ill health, compared with less than 5 per cent of those aged 39 to 45. Astonishingly, 34 per cent of young people aged 18 to 24 reported symptoms of mental disorder, such as depression, anxiety or bipolar. In 2000 the figure was 24 per cent. The problem is worse in young women and the number of 18 to 24-year-olds being prescribed antidepressants has shot up from 440,000 in 2015-16 to 570,000 in 2021-22.’

Culprits listed are the pandemic, working from home which is isolating for the twentysomething, social media, ‘a socially acceptable form of child abuse’ and ‘education has become a more competitive environment and young people are daunted by the rat race they are constantly told they will need to compete in’. Also your job is not what you hoped it would be, ‘and you know you can’t afford to move out on your current salary; you wonder why you studied English and philosophy to wind up in a low-level insurance firm in Bromley. And one day you snap, have a breakdown, take time off work or quit altogether’.

Now listen. I have a lot of sympathy for the youth these days. I absolutely believe the lockdown was a disaster for them, that social media is evil (I literally stalk the house taking phones off my children) and that the education and work environment is very, very competitive. Essentially this generation were sold a dream of day-to-day excitement at work and a great romantic life. It was all lies.

More parents should tell their children that they are ordinary, life is often ordinary, and that there is nothing wrong with being ordinary. Not everyone can be surgeons or world-class yuman rights lawyers. In days gone past people were ordinary together – in the family, at the office and in their communities. But society today is far more atomised and competitive. It is ruthless competition between men and women, and women and men.

Then there is the housing crisis which if immigration continues at the present rate will never be solved. I think there is just a general feeling that this generation can never hope to have what their parents have. The way the country has been run means this is broadly true.

I also believe the following factors have ushered in this dark age: the fact that women and men are told to dislike each other, that masculinity is toxic, and the feminine a bit pathetic.

Men are told that there is nothing unique about them, that their role as provider and protector of the fairer sex is hereby abolished. The fairer sex are told that men are toxic, to play football (now the greatest sport the world has ever seen) and to wear trousers. Also, that men are horrible. I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in that environment either.

The youth have also been told to hate their past which was racist, hate themselves, especially if they are straight, white and male, and hate the truth (you must accept that men can become women and vice versa).

This dislocation from reality, the gaslighting from the media, the constant lies are deeply unsettling. No wonder the rising generation are reaching for the pills. But they can break free: start by turning off your phone, the TV (especially women’s football) and accept that an ordinary working life, with an ordinary family is, these days something extraordinary and worth working for.

Godspeed.

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