Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Friday, 22 January 2016

21st Century Girl

I have already admitted to my dependence on my laptop, that sort of glosses over the fact that if my laptop is my only access to the good old interweb, that means that I don'y have a smart phone.   That's right no iPhone 6 or indeed even a phone with a touch screen, I still use a good old fashioned phone with buttons that allows me to talk to people and do text messages.   This combination of simple phone and a laptop has served me well for many years now, but I think it may be time to change.

I have agreed with my Daughter that when my phone contract is next up for renewal and I can upgrade I will go for a touchscreen smartphone.   Possibly more bravely I have agreed to let her select the phone and then train me to use it.   So one way or another it looks like I will be joining the 21st Century in a couple of months.

There is so much more than a phone to being a 21st Century Girl though, and I am still learning a lot of them.   In many ways I missed out on the whole process of growing up to be a woman, so much of what I did learn I learnt from observing my Mother and her friends, yet most of them grew up in the first half of the 20th Century, now I watch women my age I see that they have much more freedom than the previous generation, yet are still constrained by society in many ways.   They also have much more financial responsibility, as modern life becomes more and more expensive fewer families can live on a single income, there are also a lot more single women of mature years than when I was growing up.   Then I look at my daughter's generation and see that they enjoy more freedoms, hopefully they will be joining a more equal world (even though pay, political representation, work opportunities etc. etc. are still very far from being equal) and will be less restricted.  

Yet I also see that they, as a generation seem to be in some ways more restricted.   I am aware of an increased sense of sexualisation of women, the pressures to dress in particular ways, to be perfect in body and complexion.   I sense that these pressures increase with the amount of images available and so much more is available, they also seem to have to be available so much more as well, with social media, increased hours of learning, increased pressure to appear perfect, and to pass exams.

It's great that they have opportunities that previous generations didn't, but they also have pressures as well, sometimes I'm amazed how well many of them are doing.

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