Why Millennial Women Are Failing and How to Fix It
Recently a second-wave feminist, Baby Boomer Jeanette Kupfermann, questioned whether or not women’s liberation failed today’s millennial girls. Statistically speaking, the Boomer feminists, by and large, did fail subsequent generations of women. According to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB),
The level of well-being of young American women (ages 16 to 34) rose significantly for members of the Baby Boom generation but hit a wall for women in subsequent generations…
Perhaps for the first time ever we have concise statistical evidence proving that the ideology of the women’s liberation movement, otherwise known as 1960s second-wave feminism, fails women in practical, even life-threatening ways.
While educational attainment among women is at an all-time high, more bachelor’s degrees have not translated into more jobs. In fact, nearly 20 percent of Millennial women ages 30-34 are living in poverty. While a full one-fourth of Gen-X women have STEM careers, only one-fifth of millennial women do. Women own roughly 66 percent of American student loan debt, a statistic that forced millennial writer Julia Dent to observe:
So how can millennial women have better lives? Heck if I know. I’m constantly treading water every day just to stay afloat, and I’m definitely not the only one. I want to go back to school for a master’s degree and pursue my dream career like I’ve been told is my right as a woman in today’s advanced times, but my $40,000 student debt (not including interest) will be weighing me down for years to come. And buying a house? I don’t see that happening in the next ten or maybe even twenty years.
In other words, Dent financially invested in the notion that a “dream career” is a “right” that ensures a “better life.” Statistically speaking, more and better degrees have had no impact on women’s success in the workforce. Now that the millennial investment in the career myth has gone South, Dent is questioning what it is she and millions of other millennial women need to do in order to be happy, because if they don’t have the career then they have …nothing.
Birth control and abortion made tying “career” to “fulfillment” easy. However, anecdotal evidence supports what statistics reveal: Birth control has impeded the emotional and psychological maturity of entire generations of women and men. If fulfillment no longer involved family, and sex is now purely for pleasure, then why be bothered with the responsibilities that go along with relationships? Millennial women have missed out on the personal growth attained by their foremothers through the natural stages of marriage and children. Women’s incarceration rates have grown tenfold while the suicide rate has increased among millennial women.
When sex education focused on avoiding pregnancy at all costs, women grew increasingly ignorant of their own bodies. The majority of women are pushing off pregnancy until advanced maternal age. They remain ignorant of the multitude of complications that can impact an older first-time mom, let alone an average, otherwise low-risk birth. This is why, as the PRB notes, “Young women in Generation X faced higher rates of maternal mortality than women of the Baby Boom, and rates are even higher for Millennial women.”