Today is my last post for April's NaBloPoMo, the theme of which was "Growing (Up)." Like January's theme (change), I feel like it's a topic that is naturally occurring in my life and not one I have to really force myself to think about. Today, however, I am taken by how many of the students I come into contact with on a daily basis still have some significant growing up to do.
The most troubling remarks I heard today were in reference to Rhianna and Chris Brown. A group of girls was talking about how sad it is that they broke up because they had "a real fairy tale." Not even considering the missing word "relationship" at the end of that, this was already a problem for me. I have a real issue with little girls being raised to hope for fairy tales and Prince Charmings. The most troubling part was yet to come, though. One of them said, "Yeah, and I don't get why it's everyone's business whatever happened between them." (Never mind the irony that she's violating her own concern by taking part in this conversation.)
Then the other girl said, "Seriously - cuz, you know, like sometimes a bitch needs a beat-down."
I was aghast. This is beyond troubling to me. Here is a group of girls that I feel are fairly representative of a good section of the current Millennial generation (generally those born between 1982-2001, although I see a difference between those born before 1990 and after, generally). Having just finished Whatever It Takes and now almost being done with The Tipping Point, I really believe that this attitude has seeped into and pervaded the culture and will take a strong, similar force to turn it around. Because I deal with a lot of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, sometimes I want to believe that it's too late, that we will not be able to turn them around, that we should just give up on them and work on the kids growing up now. But we can't give up; these misguided young adults are going to be working members of our society and we can't allow these attitudes to continue to spread. I just don't know what to do, frankly. I hope someone does and I hope that I can help in some way. I know that, ideally, I should have said something to those girls today. I didn't, though, because I don't think they would have really heard me; I'm not an authority figure to them. I'm just the girl who tells them to quiet down all the time. My brain is muddled and troubled about this today. I know it's going to be on my mind for a while.