SHE SAYS: just don’t forget your undies
We don’t mind if you can’t sew. Just wear underwear.
According to a survey, the vast majority of Generation Y females are losing their womanly ways.
Traditional female skills such as sewing, ironing, cooking, homemaking and other ‘womanly’ traits are on the decline and instead women are driving automatic cars and contributing to a growing incidence of consumerism.
A lot of my friends are having babies at the moment, and little girls at that. I’m not sure what’s going on: either they have all eaten at the same restaurant or I’m simply noticing it more as I reach ‘that’ age. Anyway, chances are these little girls won’t grow up possessing the skills of the female generations past.
What will they grow up like? What is the one thing we want to instill in these little girl’s lives that in 50 years time they thank us for? Indeed, what would I have liked to know when I was a little girl growing up dreaming of conquering the world?
I’m not sure the ability to sew a skirt hem or roast a chicken is relevant to the prosperity or happiness of young women in today’s day and age.
And of course Generation Y women don’t need to learn how to iron. There’s not enough material on their short shorts to iron.
The Martha Stewarts of our generation and the generations to come are changing.
Perhaps Generation Y women don’t sew because women role models in the 21st Century are, to say the least, lacking in the homemaker skills department. Actually, strong, independent and happy female role models in the public eye are lacking.
What’s not lacking is the barrage of Hollywood road kill that are idolised, revered and held up on drunken pedestals with their life a mess, their hair artificially extended and their outfits missing underwear.
Our young women are not watching Martha Stewart make 20 dishes and two soap bars from a single 1.5 kilogram chook. They’re watching pseudo-reality shows such as The Hills and Jersey Shore.
Snooki is influencing our teenagers that being promiscuous, dressing in tights as pants, and making a living from being a D-grade celebrity is fun.
I’m pretty sure Snooki can’t sew. But I’m confident she could roast more than a lamb on a Saturday night out on the town with her Guidos.
And if your Generation Y daughter brings a puppy home in a knock-off designer handbag, blame Paris Hilton. But make sure you tell her she can be a responsible pet owner, and still have a designer handbag; it’s much nicer when free from puppy poo.
When did we say as a society, that these 20-something year old women were the epitome of idolism? Where was the referendum that agreed we would splash these girls all over our magazine covers, our TV shows and our gossip columns as folly to aspire to? I didn’t vote for this.
In fact, show me one Generation Y female who will admit to voting for this. You can’t, and if you could, I suspect they wouldn’t admit to it at least publicly. Yet for some reason these ‘role models’ are still splashed on the covers and are still making money from cheap cosmetic lines.
Actually, come to think about it I really hope knowing how to use those cheap cosmetics isn’t a gauge of being a woman. I only learned myself a couple of weeks ago at the Revlon counter.
So where are the stable, intelligent 25 year olds who we can profile?
Who will show our young women that being compassionate, intelligent, multi-skilled, and confident are the markers of a modern woman.
When will we accept that women are no longer defined by roles of pre-war subservience, where our only worth was deemed by our ability to iron our men’s shirts and have dinner on the table by 5 pm?
We should encourage little girls to be all that they can be, with dignity and class. Not a world that debates whether Britney Spears is miming, if Lindsay Lohan is wearing underwear or indeed if 70 per cent of Generation Y women really do wash their own cars as claimed.
Women are arguably in the best position we have ever been in. We can have a career, we can have children, we can cook, we can take out the bins and if we’re lucky we can have it all at around the same time.
We have evolved. We have realised that we can bake our cake and turn it into a successful business, too.
But there is still a long way to go before we can say we have reached equality or indeed overcome subjugation. We don’t have equal pay. We rarely have positions of leadership.
Even with the rise of our first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, women in senior management are atypical and we are left debating whether Gillard should get married or carry a handbag.
If I’m lucky enough to have a daughter, I know I’ll teach her how to sew and how change a car tyre. But I won’t mind if she isn’t interested in ironing her man’s shirts, or roasting him a delicious chook on a Sunday night.
As long as she doesn’t do drugs, completes school, thinks for herself, dreams big then endeavours to achieve it and most importantly, wears underwear, she’ll be ok.
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