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Category Archives: Media

I just finished reading an awful, condescending piece on the Huffington Post. It’s called “9 Ways Twentysomethings Screw Up Their Lives” by Meg Jay. (I don’t know the rules about linking so I’m just not going to link to it. You can Google it if you’re so inclined.) In it, she details the nine things she—in her infinite, aged wisdom—thinks people my age are doing wrong. This woman can really just fuck right off with her nonsense. Instead of trying to recap it for you, I’m going to go shot for shot with it because I legitimately disagree with every single point she makes.

These are the “mistakes” we’re all apparently making (and what this twentysomething thinks Ms. Jay should take into consideration):

1. “Spending all your time with your urban tribe—you’re not at Burning Man!” First of all: Burning Man? Am I a middle-aged gay man and/or hippie? I think not. Ms. Jay, you are clearly out of touch with my generation. Straight out of the gate Burning Man is what you’re coming at us with? Second, I like my friends. Why would I hang out with my “aunt’s neighbor” or “a friend of a friend from college” when they’ll probably suck? My friends are awesome and any time I spend taking a chance on a rando is time away from what is a guaranteed good time with my friends. Would I invite said randos to a party? Sure. Maybe they don’t suck. But I’m not blowing an afternoon babysitting someone’s socially inept friend/relative who needs to be set up on a playdate.

2. “Hoping that Powerball ticket will make your dreams come true.” Really? You think this is what we do? Did I buy tickets when the jackpot was the biggest it’s ever been? You’re damn right I did. Do you know why? It’s not because I thought I’d win (I may suck at math, but I do understand the basics of statistics and probabilities); it’s because a dollar was a small price to pay for a little bit of daydreaming.

3. “Stalking on Facebook (and then sulking at home).” I don’t think we stalk Facebook as much as you’re alleging. I mean, yeah we all do it occasionally but I don’t think it’s as prevalent as you claim. I also don’t know anyone who “sulks at home” after reading Facebook. This is another situation where I think people who haven’t had Facebook as long as us loathsome twentysomethings (read: older folks) should shut the fuck up about how we use Facebook. We were here first; we know what we’re doing. And if I do want to stalk on Facebook and sulk—I think it’s a gross overstatement to say it’s causing me to screw up a decade of my life.

4. “Dating losers.” I don’t disagree with the fact that people should *try* not to date losers, but we all do it. It happens. How are we supposed to learn what we want in a mate without trying out a variety of potential mates? I’ve dated a lot of losers and I don’t regret a single one of them because I learned invaluable lessons from each one of them. Date losers—just make sure you learn from them.

5. “Being ‘too cool’ for a desk job.” Uh, some people don’t want to rot at a desk for 40 hours a week. That’s okay. There’s no rule anywhere that says a person has to get an office job to be happy or successful. There’s nothing about being “too cool” here. It’s simply not something that appeals to everyone, regardless of their age. Money and socially acceptable career paths are not the be all and end all to adult life.

6. “Spending too much time with your Playstation.” Why not? According to you, Ms. Jay, the rest of our adult lives are meant to be full of office work and general drudgery. Why the hell not play some video games? You quip that we should “pick up a book” instead. Beg pardon? I read plenty, thank you. I also play the Sims. I’m no worse off for enjoying games.

7. “Shacking up too early.” Oh HELL NO. You’re trying to say that people who live together first divorce earlier/more frequently but you don’t bother to cite any studies. I feel like I’ve read the opposite—that we’re actually better equipped to navigate the seas of marriage because we have experience living/dealing with our partners. Some people have said that any increase in divorce is likely due to the fact that folks who live together first are more liberal and liberals are generally more amenable to the idea of divorce… versus their conservative counterparts who are more willing to stay in a miserable marriage because they’re so staunchly opposed to divorce. For me living together (for four years—the horror!) was nothing but beneficial. I can’t tell you how many things we hammered out before getting married. It’s glorious and I don’t understand anyone who doesn’t do it. I’ve had people who didn’t live together first tell me how much they wish they had.

8. “Acting like you’re on a reality tv show.” Apparently we’re too melodramatic for you. I’d say this little ditty I’m writing is proof that we are melodramatic, but you backed me into this corner. This column has driven me to melodramatic snark. I hope you’re happy.

9. “Ignoring your ovaries.” There it is. There’s that pervasive pronatalist, heteronormative bullshit I was waiting for. You say don’t rush into living together, but have a baby NOW NOW NOW! What the fuck? According to you twentysomething women (I noticed you didn’t call out the men here—just the women) should “listen to” our ovaries even though you have already established that: we aren’t working the right jobs; we’re not using Facebook correctly; we’re not socializing with the right people; we’re playing too many video games and so forth. But we’re totally ready for babies. And you don’t even TOUCH on those of us whose ovaries are screaming “NO, GOD NO!” at us. Clearly all women want babies and should have them before their ovaries shrivel up and turn to dust at 30.

To summarize: Our twenties are not for fun. We are to quit dicking around, get a job, date only prince charmings, get married (so we can live with our partners with everyone’s approval), and breed like Duggars. Stop having fun. Seriously. It’s time to grow up and be miserable just like Ms. Jay. I mean, why should we wait until our thirties to hate our lives when we can start now?

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The other day I was having a lunch discussion with my workladyfriends when the topic turned to women’s magazines. I pointed out that ladymags never have new or useful information in them (not a revolutionary observation, I know). It’s always weight-loss advice like “Eat less and exercise more!” and romance advice like “Give him the best blowjob of his life!”

Is this what we’ve been reduced to? Are these the things we’re interested in nowadays?

First of all, we all know how to lose weight: those of us who don’t lose the weight simply don’t abide by those two simple rules. (Hi, I’m Rampaige and I have no self-control. I could lose weight but I don’t want to put in the work.) Second, in reading a variety of sex articles I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve done or currently do nearly everything on those little tip sheets they’re always publishing. Which begs the question: Am I a slut or are the women who read ladymags just prudes? I mean, really, do regular women not do basic things like doggie style and morning sex? Is that a thing with some women? Things like that seem to make a regular appearance on many “hot sex tips” lists. I’m legitimately concerned for the sex lives of others.

In addition to weight-loss and sex advice, throw in:

* some useless garbage about how to “have it all and do it all” (hint, you need a nanny and a chef and a personal assistant),

* an article about “[insert garment name] for every shape (between 0 and 12, natch),”

* and a shit-ton of ads with impossibly thin models (but you should love your body the way it is!) hocking products you don’t want or need but will buy anyway,

aaand you have every issue of every ladymag ever.

I don’t know what I expect because magazines like Bitch and Ms. aren’t in checkout lanes at the grocery store providing an alternative to this dreck. Cosmo and Martha Stewart Living and Good Housekeeping tell us how to be what society wants us to be: thin, pretty, domesticated, man-pleasing mommy-wives. Of course, it’s just a pleasant side effect that while we’re busily striving to meet these impossible standards we can’t possibly run companies or hold public offices or start an uprising. No, we’re far too busy trying to whittle our waistlines and perfect our oral sex technique. And while some women cast off those lookist, ageist, sexist, pronatalist shackles and run for office or start a company, even they are subjected to the same criticisms we’re all brought up to fear: not being attractive enough, dressing poorly, being too emotional, being a bitch, etc.

And really, would your average woman choose Ms. over Cosmo? Not likely. Most of us are so deeply entrenched in this bullshit that we opt for Cosmo thinking “Maybe if I just lose those last five pounds and master giving blowjobs, I can be content knowing I’m a good woman.” But contentment never comes. There’s always a new diet, a new tongue technique to make us feel inadequate and give us a reason to buy next month’s issue. (Do I sound like a feminist conspiracy theorist yet?)

We can’t win. We’re either too butch or too femme. Too cold or too sensitive. Too smart or too ditzy. Too homely or too pretty. Too stylish or too plain. Too aggressive or too passive. Too career minded or too family oriented. Too slutty or too prudish.

What the fuck are we supposed to do? I don’t even know. What I do know is I have taken it upon myself to not give a shit about what people think of me. I do what I want. I straddle the line between all of the above dichotomies. I may not be a good woman by everyone else’s standards, but I’m good enough for me.