Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What it means to be a 25 year old woman

My original intention was to start out this blog with an awesome first post calling for a testosterone packed, massive air campaign against Iran.
However, I found a program on Lifetime last night that was quite interesting. A number of 25 year old women were being interviewed about their lives and their future. Being the girl-oriented kind of guy I am, I paid attention hoping to gain some insights, and there were a few bits of information that, for lack of a better phrase, colored me confused.

1. Most of these women "want it all" and are absolutely convinced they can get it. What is it all? A husband, three children, and an amazing career. I was taken aback; 3 children in this era? Plus a career(NOT a job mind you!) and trying to maintain relationship at the same time?
Go Super-Mom!

2. Apparently, my generation is a bunch of job hoppers. We seek meaning and satisfaction in work, and if we aren't getting it...well, we don't tolerate failure and have a sense of entitlement as well, and we're just going to move on to the next job.
The range of the number of jobs was 3 to 7.

3. All of them thought being the boss, even it was just the boss of herself, was preferable to working for someone else. I'm assuming most guys feel the same way as well, though I personally have a bigger team spirit.

4. Ever heard of a quarter-life crisis? Women at the age of 25 get very worried; it's the median age of marriage and first child (shotgun weddings?). It's also a period in life where young people are supposed to be doing so many other things as well; these women want to be developing careers, going to grad school, traveling, and going to the gym.
Now, if I remember my lessons from psychology well, the idea of a mid-life crisis is entirely fiction: the level of happiness is pretty consistent throughout the life cycle. However, given the supposedly rising rates of teenage depression and suicide in America over the past couple of decades, I fear that this "quarter-life crisis" may be all too real for current young people, and is in part in place by the completely unrealistic demands young people (and these young women!) place on themselves.

5. The level of debt was massive. The range was between $15,000 and $60,000 among those who mentioned debt, the highest number belonging to a law student. Some of the women commented that they spent money on some pretty ridiculous things...there, is for instance, a pressure to constantly shop and keep up with the latest celebrity trends. "Keeping up with the Joneses" may very well result in massive debt for this generation.
I am, of course, unconvinced by any argument that Americans individually are not saving enough. For these women, it may in fact be rational to spend; they seem to be smart, sophisticated people in an urban environment with high future earnings. Borrowing against that for a better life NOW is perfectly reasonable.
However, one woman that was showcased knew almost nothing about financial planning...which suggests that we may indeed have a problem.

6. Celebrity culture IS the news. More people talk about Aniston and Pitt than Iraq.

7. These women are very socially conscious. They also have no inspiration in our current leaders, or any leader throughout their lifetimes.
I say nuts to that. Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II were all excellent Presidents who were far superior to Kennedy, who was specifically mentioned by one of the women as an example of an inspirational leader.

8. How do they want to be remembered?
"We care"
"We stirred things up"
"We set the bar high"
"We were risktakers""We had family and career"
"Followed our passions"
"We can accomplish anything"


Barry Kelly said...

Bush II was an excellent president???

Robert said...

I think Bush II was a damn fine leader, all in all.

I believe I am in the vast, <1% minority here, though