Life Moments for Women video produced by the Film, Media & Social Justice Department
of Mount St. Mary's College.
Song "Women of Today" by Faith Rivera & Beth Eichel, performed by Faith Rivera.
By Elysia Cook
Contributor and Website Manager
Although Life Moments for Women primarily draws upon stories from women with years of life experiences, the anecdotes are absolutely applicable to readers from a younger demographic. As part of Generation Y, otherwise known as the Millennial Generation, I feel that people often extrapolate the divide between members of my generation and those who are more mature. However, many of the lessons, obstacles, and aspirations that my peers and I face each day are not exclusive to our age group; rather, they’re similar (if not the same) to those experienced by women older than us.
Despite the discrepancy in time, feelings of love, loss, pride, anxiety, stress, thrill, and camaraderie are not restricted to a certain age group. This is not a novel concept. What some people overlook, though, is that these congruencies between today’s youth and its predecessors are often overshadowed by our differences. The fast-paced nature of modern society draws a distinct line between those who keep up with the rapid changes in technology, policy, and social norms and those who either can’t—or choose not to—adapt to them.
It is no surprise that younger generations, who have grown up in this time of instant gratification and re-evaluation of traditions and legislature, find difficulty in establishing a common ground with older generations who grew up in a vastly different time period. Oftentimes, people assign a negative connotation to this gap: some older women believe that younger women do not exhibit grace and class, and are too focused on themselves; some younger women believe that older women are ignorant to the present and are stuck in the past. The list of commonly held stereotypes and assumptions about both groups could go on for a while, and it would be naïve to say that these preconceptions can be easily eradicated.
That being said, I believe that it is imperative for women of all ages to also acknowledge that while there are notable distinctions across the spectrum of age, we also need to celebrate together in our core, shared trait: despite the number of candles on our birthday cakes, we are all women, and can learn from each other in a variety of ways. We must laud not only the accomplishments of each generation independently, but also how the achievements of elder generations have molded the present day’s burgeoning women and leaders.
To reinforce this notion, there must be interplay between the past, present, and future. Younger women can take away invaluable lessons from women who have experienced them before; even within different contexts, the fundamental ideas remain the same. Similarly, older women can observe and learn from younger women who exemplify the new wave of femininity within the private and public spheres.
Ultimately, it is the bridge between these two groups—rather than the space that divides them—that will empower women of all ages in contemporary society. The “Life Moments” that comprise the pages of the book are not only applicable to women of varying ages, ethnicities, and walks of life; they are indicative of how parallel we are, despite our ages, and how much stronger we are together.