Writer and podcast host Natalie Webster reflects on the much-maligned generation.
Not long ago, I was visiting with extended family at a get-together. I was listening to a conversation that my son-in-law and another young, married millennial male were having. They were discussing how objectionable catcalling was to them.
One of the young men is a delivery driver. He shared how he had to share a route with an older man, who would make lewd comments to women they would see on the route. The younger man asked to be transferred, so that he didn’t need to work with this man.
As a 50-year-old woman, I’ve never heard two men talking about how horrific it is to hear men speak to women in an inappropriate way. Listening to them chat about how shocked they are when they hear how some “older men” speak to women, was surprising and hopeful. Granted, there are still younger men, who think it’s acceptable to make comments or inappropriate advances toward women, but I’m seeing more and more of these younger millennials, who are disgusted by it, just as women have been for eons.
At the same gathering, another conversation between two millennial women centered on their recent discoveries in therapy. Both women openly shared how their therapists have been helping them navigate some of life’s speedbumps. Neither was in therapy for any major issue, just life things. I could see that neither young woman felt any stigma about therapy or hesitation to seek the help and support they felt they needed. What a change from my generation of Gen Xers.
Often, the up-and-coming generation is given a hard time by the generation that came before it. I’ve done my fair share of venting about the ways of the millennials. But, I’m realizing that they are onto something with their way of thinking. They see self-care and support of each other in a very different way than my generation ever did.
Gen Xers are the children of baby boomers, the generation of toughen up, boys don’t cry, and women carry the sole responsibility of maintaining the home. Millennials have a better grip on equality and inclusivity.
I’ve raised three millennials. What I’m finding interesting as my children share their millennial aspirations and views with me, is that they are more evolved as individuals than I gave them credit for. We have something to learn from them, as much as they have learned things from us.
When you are spending the holidays with family this season, take the time to listen. You might be surprised at what this up-and-coming generation is up to.
Writer and podcast host Natalie Webster specializes in experiences that often push her outside of her comfort zone and helps others expand their boundaries, too.