Required Reading: Is hooking up bad for women?

August 20, 2010

A word from the been-there/wise about our 20-something experience.

August 20, 2010

My New York Times rebuttal

August 20, 2010
empty image
empty image

When my AOL Lemondrop editors e-mailed Wednesday with an “URGENT! ESSAY!” I had a feeling it was about that New York Times 20-something article

What I don’t say in my rebuttal is that I think it was a good piece – a good, really interesting, and fairly thorough piece. But to me slash us, this issue of “emerging adulthood” isn’t news. We’re at the stage of yeah, we know – now what?

My thoughts in response were intended to explain how it really feels to be an emerging adult, and what we emerging adults really wish the New York Times was writing about…

Dear New York Times, here’s why I haven’t “grown up.” Love, a 20-something

I’d love to hear your own NY Times rebuttals in comments or e-mails (

Please send them along, and we’ll see if we can’t craft a response to the Times from the actual 20-something set.


  1. Hey Jessie, I just happened upon 20-Nothings and now find my plans for a productive morning completely derailed! Thanks!

    I look forward to reading more. 🙂

  2. I came upon your blog after reading the rebuttal and was happy to see another 20-something blogging about issues that affect us as young women.

    I think it’s true that we grew up privileged enough in this country to get educated and have so many possibilities open to us that it’s hard to choose.

    I write a blog that centers on issues relating to being a 20 something Latina in business. It makes me feel better that my ambivalence between the business world and taking off and travelling the world for a few years isn’t unique to just me. It’s a generational thing; our televisions told us we could have it all if we worked hard enough, no?

    Ode to paradoxes:

  3. It takes a while to figure this out, but articles like the NYT published were all written around 1900. They are dragged out for each generation, and the current crop of 18-year-olds think the articles really do indicate they are different.

    Unfortunately, after one sees this same article recycled again and again, it begins to dawn on one that it is simply the way each successive generation is socialized by the older generations. There is nothing new, nothing unque, and nothing special about each emerging generation. But, like clockwork, each new generation falls for it hook, line, and sinker.

    A good way to start understanding what’s going on is to accept that parents lie to their kids about what things were like for them, and their attitudes at age 40 are light years different from their attitudes when they were 18. They don’t want you to know what they really did, nor will you want your kids to know what you really did when you trot out this same old article and pull the wool over your kids eyes. The fall for it every time.

  4. God, the boomers love to pick on subsequent generations for not being as good as they were. I’m an Xer and we got a lot of the same condemnation about not growing up, except it was more critical and less patronizing. Given the boomers ability to be smug, I think we got the long end of that stick.

  5. I just quit my stable job (in this economy) to pursue a Master’s degree, and my parents completely do not understand my motives. Don’t get me wrong, I liked my job and I received a lot of experience; but I couldn’t see myself making it a career. I feel the need to go back to school to explore my options and hopefully find my niche. And what better time to do that… when I am in my 20s and not married.

    If it were up to my parents, they would have wanted me to work at my last job until retirement. They don’t understand that it doesn’t work like that anymore…20-Somethings usually go through multiple jobs just in their 20s alone.

Leave a comment