FOUR waves of feminism, and women are still miserable. That’s a fact. That’s official – you have it from the horse’s mouth. Some bird at the Guardian, Bridie Jabour, tells us that ‘every 31-year-old I know is miserable’. Yikes, all of them! Perhaps this last feminist wave, the #MeToo wave, will be the one to drown them all and in the darkness bind them.
Bridie: ‘I recently went to a girls’ night with a group of women I loosely know through university, and halfway through noticed how unhappy everyone at the table was. There was a divorcee, a newlywed, someone who was casually dating and another parent. But none of that seemed to matter to their generally miserable dispositions.’ (How on earth can a newlywed be miserable, I ask myself.)
Bridie goes on to explain the misery which includes, but is by no means limited to, the realisation that they are mortal, the further realisation that they may not, in fact, become rich and famous, and that one’s skin around one’s chest is becoming ‘a little looser.’ Truly, what tragedy has befallen all the snowflakes?
Workism stalks their thoughts along with the question of whether to devote their entire lives entirely to themselves, which in millennial parlance is known as ‘remaining childfree’.
Bridie again: ‘There is a distinct loss of ambition. People who have spent years striving and hustling are suddenly questioning it all. If they are not happy being defined by their job, then what do they want to be defined by?’ Yup, the millennials really were done up like a kipper on that whole ‘workism’ thing.
In fairness to Bridie, she does understand that little good can come from this rumination. ‘It’s not nice to think about yourself too much, the conclusions reached, the anxiety, the relentless measuring up and down. It’s not going to end with you being happy.’ Amen Sister. Further, ‘one of the unanticipated reliefs of having a child is all of the time spent not thinking about myself. I hadn’t realised how sick I had become of me.’ Well indeed, and just think of those around you, Bridie, how sick they all are of your moaning.
Perhaps I’m being harsh, and Bridie is a laugh a minute. That night out with the other millennials sounds like an absolute hoot, I’m sure you had them all rolling in the aisles.
Seriously, though, the mental state of the millennials is no laughing matter. I just ask the question, why are they so miserable? They have everything they say they want: they can try to enter any profession, they can all go to university (something unthinkable merely 30 years ago), they can have sex as much or as little and with whoever they want (also unthinkable not that long ago), they can travel, they will never have to fight a war. Yet they are still profoundly miserable.
Yes, it is true they have ridiculous amounts of personal debt, and government after government keeps piling up the nation debt. And relations between the sexes are at a pretty low ebb.
For most of this, I blame the boomers. I always blame the boomers because it’s always their fault. They were the first generation who believed they were different from all the others, that they were the very first special, unique snowflakes who owed nothing to their parents and even less to the generation to come.
The boomers built the entitlement schemes that will see the average millennial work until he or she is 105. They are the ones who said that national borders are for racists, thereby weakening the social fabric of the country. The boomers were the ones who said that when it comes to sexual ethics the only rule is that there are no rules (and that seems not to have worked out so well if programmes such as Girls and Fleabag are anything to go by).
Then of course there is the anti-motherhood strand of feminism that belittles the one thing that is unique to women, namely motherhood. Not sure the feminists thought that disastrous ideology through.
I do hope the millennials find some inner peace and tranquillity. They are most likely to achieve this by becoming conservative as it is scientifically proven that conservatives find life more meaningful than liberals do. That’s a fact. That’s official. But then you, cheerful reader, knew this already.