You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today. And then one day you find 10 years have got behind you. No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.
Earlier this year, Jay wrote an article for the Huffington Post concerning her book and the “9 Ways Twentysomethings Screw up Their Lives,” highlighting the quarter life crisis that people our age are experiencing. Are we squandering the most transformative and foundational years of our adults lives?
Most of her points are frighteningly valid and can provide any 20-year-old with some introspection. However, she makes a controversial point, that some may find teeters the brink of anti-feminism, when she says women in their 20s are “ignoring their ovaries.”
Being 21, married, and carrying a baby was common for our grandparents, however a cultural shift has occurred within the last generation or so. Women seem more concerned with managing their careers and personal schedules rather than a baby bottle and diaper changes. As user-friendly birth control flooded the market and women began flooding the workplace, Jay argues that “by the new millennium, only about half of 20 year olds were married and by the age of 30 even fewer had children, making the 20s a time of newfound freedom.”
Women seem constantly bombarded with mixed messages. Not only are they pressured to balance school, work, love and money but they are now being told that they have to start timing when they want to have babies. Despite marriage and family still being an active and important part of a woman’s future, it seems that women are figuring out their place separate from the mother and wife role.
Celebrities like Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Brooke Shields, and Halle Berry have helped glamorize childbearing between the ages of 40 and 50. Women feel less pressured to marry and have children early.
Jay argues that, at 35, a woman’s ability to have a baby drops considerably and that women need to inform themselves about fertility in their 20s to avoid the troubles that come with trying to get pregnant in later years.
Laura Diogo, a 22-year-old psychology undergraduate at Concordia, said she agreed with Jay’s points.
“Most 20-somethings are still in university, living on their own, working to pay the rent and don’t have the time or money to support a new family,” said Diogo. “I think it is important for every woman to be informed about their fertility.”
It seems hard enough to manage a school and work schedule without the ticking sounds of our biological clock. While Jay argues that 30 is not the new 20, she fails to consider alternative reasons as some women are waiting longer to start their families. As much as I want to believe women can ‘have it all’, the fact of the matter is, women today are faced with some very difficult decisions and it pays to get your priorities sorted out sooner rather than later.