This isn’t one of those “omg Gen X/Y/Z/Millenials are literally the WORST!” blog posts.
Although, it kinda is.
I told myself I wasn’t going to jump any deeper into the “Blurred Lines” debate, but this is starting to get pretty ridiculous, y’all.
Look, I completely understand the side of women who were raped feeling uncomfortable. Being raped is one of the worst, most traumatic and awful things that can happen to someone. You don’t just “get over it” and move on easily. The struggle some women face is incredibly real and daunting.
What I don’t understand is how it’s suddenly become the responsibility of the rest of the world to coddle people.
Is “coddle” a harsh word? Yeah, it probably is.
A couple (very brave, might I add) women wrote this letter to The Post at Ohio University explaining that the song “Blurred Lines” includes lyrics that trigger their memories (and PTSD) from when they were raped. “I know you want it” has before been said to be a common phrase some men have used when violating women. I believe it. I won’t deny that is probably said by too many men taking advantage of a woman.
First of all, kudos to those women for being strong enough to publicly admit what happened to them and to tackle a terrible situation head-on. However, I am very concerned for them. If they believe hearing a musical rendition–sans any “triggering” lyrics–of a song is going to cause some extreme post-rape PTSD flashbacks, how do they even go grocery shopping?
I imagine that these women attending Ohio University must run up against he song constantly. It probably plays in every bar and restaurant, at several off-campus stores, at parties, in dorms… I don’t think I’ve been able to escape that song, and I pretty much only hear music in my car and over the speakers at Heinen’s.
My point is that if a person who can’t handle hearing an instrumental arrangement to a song they know has lyrics that remind them of being raped without having an anxiety attack–they need serious help.
I’m not trying to be mean. I encourage any woman (or man) who has been raped to SEEK HELP. There is nothing shameful about speaking with a therapist. It is something that absolutely needs to be done. Expecting the rest of the world to stop and fix itself so that you can make it through the day is simply unreasonable.
Bad things happen. I wish they didn’t. People are damaged and scarred and struggle. If I could flip a switch that would stop rape and murder and lying and everything bad, I would. Wouldn’t you?
But, since we can’t, I don’t understand why we should be expected to make sure people who are struggling never have to face reality outside of a happy protective bubble they need while they heal.
The world is really hard, and the sooner we all accept that and seek the right support system to cope with that, the better.
Now, what does this have to do with Gen X/Y/Z/Millenials? Well, sometimes I feel like people “my age” really do expect the rest of the world to bend to meet their wants.
When I was in college, I met people who had no idea how to do laundry or make a packet of instant oatmeal. As a 27-year-old, I know people whose parents bought their car and still make all the insurance payments for them. Every day I am faced with surprise of meeting people who have degrees and jobs and absolutely no sense of independence. It boggles my mind.
We are a generation filled with people who read buzzfeed lists with gifs that prove that we’re getting “soooo old” because we go to bed early when we have to work in the morning. It’s like we all feel shocked that we’re growing up and have more responsibilities and we feel the need to share it with the world because this is so unique to us. Honestly, I have no idea what the big deal is.
Growing up is kind of the whole point of things. Our parents don’t have and raise us so they can pay our car insurance for us until we’re 35. We’re supposed to move out, get jobs, start our own families and do things for ourselves. Our parents all seemed to do it without constantly sharing meaningful blog posts that just TOTALLY speak to them right now, you guys. Our parents, and their parents, and even their parents, all purchased insurance and did laundry and cooked themselves a well-balanced dinner long before we did, and often at a younger age than we are. Hell, by the time my dad was my age, he had a child in the first grade.
Yet here we are. Instead of learning how to cope with the big, scary world, and handling the responsibilities that come with being adults, we’re whining on the Internet about how much it sucks to pay bills. Because we’re the first generation that ever had to learn personal financial responsibility, apparently.
Why? Is this a direct result of social media? Is it because we all feel like we have a voice and it should be heard that we spend so much time and energy complaining when we should just be doing?
Is it because our parents spoiled us and tried to protect us from everything when we were young that we have no idea how to protect ourselves?
Am I too hard on people because I expect them to be mature adults who can handle themselves and learn how to cope in the world? If I am, that makes me very sad, because I feel like “growing up” was something we should have all been planning on doing. It’s not like I’m shocked that I’m 27. It logically followed that I’d become this age given enough time. Getting older is quite preferred to the alternative (death, obviously).
Anyway, I just don’t see why things like lyrics in popular music and doing household chores have become such major sources of anxiety for us.
The world is full of things we don’t like, and it is our responsibility to learn how to deal with them.
I’m sorry women have been raped. I’m sorry popular culture glorifies sex (and alcohol and drugs, etc.) to an extent that we often feel surrounded by negative imagery that could have harmful effects on society. I wish I had a solution. Until then, the only thing we can do is to face the reality that the world does not behave the way we want it to and learn how to cope with that gruesome reality.