A Plea to the Older Generation

In the past couple of months, I have traveled throughout some very conservative towns in the country.  I have seen what I was expecting…you know… close-knit traditions and customs.  But what really surprised me was there is huge cultural ignorance within liberal cities which pride themselves over their educated open-mindedness.  The one thing that I have seen in common among all places I visit, whether in Jersey or Pakistan, is the way women are treating each other.  And by women I mean the tensions between the older generations and the modern women.

There is a blame game accelerating….today’s girls are just rude…my mum-in-law doesn’t get anything I do….blah blah blah. Oh the negativity!

I am sick of hearing how horrible our generation is.  How we are ‘the good for nothing lot’.  With all due respect, my elders, we are a direct result of your diligence.  You are the ones who have guided us, disciplined us and nurtured us and I thank you for that.  But please do not blame us entirely.  We are your followers, you are our leaders.  Our faults reflect your shortcomings.  We did not wake up one day and invent this new culture of materialism and neglect.  No. The credit goes to you.

You stayed home.  Took care of your 4+ kids.  Did the cooking, washing, sewing, and disciplined your children.  But you also took the time out to take care of yourself.  To indulge in countless kitty parties and have an active social life.  You had maids and you had your families to help you.

The modern woman is my generation.  We are also doing all the things you did.  Cooking, washing, taking care of our kids.  But boy are our plates full!  We are attending classes, both religious and secular, we are creating cooking masterpieces you have never imaged (yay! Pinterest!). We have amazing home décor.  If I don’t posses the skill to sew, I have the skill to type 150 words per minute. We are working woman, working both inside and outside the homes.  We also visit our families and friends and host social events.  I take time to work out, to take care of myself.  To make time for my husband and to beautify myself not only for my husband but also for my kids.  So you tell me, who is doing more? (apparently, some people are keeping track)

You lived in a time when things were a lot simpler.  Yet, your complaining outnumbers mine.  With all due respect, I do more than you can ever imagine. The difference is that I don’t yell out to the entire world: look at me! I cleaned the house! Come and give me a reward!

It makes me sick.  That women are so judgmental to each other.  You are confined to your customs and rituals.  It is MY generation that is breaking the molds.  We are challengeing the rules that are keeping us against each other.  We are becoming besties with our mother in laws, our sister in laws and even the stingy neighbor next door. WE are giving each other second chances…helping rebuild each other instead of being the cause of each other’s fall.

There is so much good in us.  Please appreciate it and give us a pat on the back once in a while for cleaning up your mess.


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