You are here: Home>Collections

Good girls gone real

OPINION

  • Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Lena Dunham and Zosia Mamet in "Girls."
Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Lena Dunham and Zosia Mamet in "Girls." (HBO )
April 24, 2012|By Niki Fritz, For RedEye

Have you heard? Young women are rocking it!

A bevy of articles in 2011 described Millennial men stuck in extended adolescence, living in their parents' basements, passing time until their bands make it, developing PBR guts and PlayStation thumbs.

And while the boys floundered, the Gen Y women flourished, graduating college, holding down stable jobs and having fantastic hair days. As Blue Ivy would say if she could talk: Girls run the world.

Except that we really don't.

Millennial ladies are flubbing up right alongside their Y-chromosomed peers. We are stuck in entry-level positions we outgrew two years ago. We are dating Mr. Not-So-Right because he has Bob Dylan on vinyl. We are pretending we are 21 on Thursday nights and feeling 46 on Friday mornings as we climb onto the "L" clutching our double lattes. We may not be failing, but we are flailing a bit.

Perhaps because of social conditioning, we are just a bit quieter about our 20-something transgressions. Pretty, pretty princesses don't stride with pride or Facebook their fumbles.

Or perhaps, like most things, the media—be it Hollywood, NPR or Fox News—are interested only in the latest crisis of the young man. When women surpass men in college graduation rates, there is a "manning up" crisis. When women make up only 15 percent of the TV show writers—down from 29 percent three years ago, according to a study by San Diego State University's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film—it is an "unfortunate effect of the recession."

Despite the loss of female writers in the media, there have been a few female-driven hits recently, the latest being HBO's new series "Girls," which was written by 24-year-old professional muck up-er Lena Dunham. The show has been characterized as a "young 'Sex and the City,'" although it is more accurate to compare it to a female "American Pie" sequel—only funny, genuine and with less abhorrent and more just pathetic sex.

From losing her unpaid internship to having truly hideous sex to eating a cupcake in the bathtub, "Girls'" protagonist Hannah gives a voice to those young women who, like young men, just don't seem to have their act together yet.

Believe it or not, this is a story young women need to hear. Women's roles in media oscillate between being powerless damsels who need to be saved by princes to virtuous saints who need to tame the savage man. Think Bella and Sooki.

Luckily times and hopefully soon the media are a-changin'. Neither society nor men need women to be their saving grace and the gender of redemption. It is OK for women to flounder a bit now too—to take that unpaid internship, to date the wrong people, to go to India to save the whales, to get a regrettable tattoo, to try to make it as a writer, musician, meditation specialist, to "date" the really, really, really wrong people.

Of course there are 20-somethings getting hitched and popping out babies, but there also will be those among us who will mess around through our 20s before we get to the uterus-profile-picture-on-Facebook stage of life.

To all those worried real adults—my mother included—I would like to say: Relax, the kids are going to be OK. And mom, you'll get your grandbabies ... in a decade or so. But until then, I would like to tell you via the inspiring words of Hannah: "I'm busy trying to become who I am."

NIKI FRITZ IS A REDEYE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR.

RedEye Chicago Articles
|
|
|