I’ve been hearing a lot about the advent of “the woman-child” lately. Urban Dictionary, that wondrous source online, defines it as a woman who is above the age of 25, lives at home, and “whines a lot”. One of the writers at Jezebel decided to explore this phenomenon more thoroughly, and wrote an entire article on the woman-child, full of mockery and derision towards these women who “clearly” have no sense of responsibility or know what it’s like to truly be a real adult.
The inner feminist in me is enraged. Outwardly, I’m eyerolling. Because honestly, what’s so bad about being a “woman-child” anyway?
By the standards of society, states the article, I, myself, am a woman-child. Why? Because I’m single, childless, and give into the many pleasures in my life. I like to go out to coffee shops and write. I like to hang around with friends, read books, and watch TV. I collect My Little Ponies (okay, that one is definitely a childish thing to do – but who is it hurting, really?). I like artists like Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepsen. I’ve been known to dance around my house wearing only a towel, singing at the top of my lungs to these songs. I own cats. I like to sleep in late on Saturdays and Sundays. I am a woman-child.
I accept it – but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I work a full-time job and take care of children. I am responsible, pay my bills on time, and give to charities when I can. So my fridge may not always be full and I eat take-out a lot – so do many so-called adults with children. I like the pleasures in life. So do many adults with children. I resent being infantilized because I’m childless and single. And I resent being mocked because of it, too.
Also, why is it one or the other? I worry about global warming, the latest US or Canadian election, nuclear war. I read the Financial Post and I look at economic trends. I can hold my own in any conversation about any “grown-up” topic, because I watch the news like any other adult. People who enjoy traditionally childish things can still also enjoy a lot of adult pleasures. I enjoy many kinds of wine. I enjoy nice restaurants. I definitely love shopping and I love a rousing debate (just ask my friends!).
So, Jezebel writers, don’t you think that this is just another way to run women down, to make us feel inferior, to make us feel less-than? For a site that touts feminism, I was amazed to see this article. I don’t see a thing wrong with what anyone does with their lives, childish or not. I don’t see a thing wrong with my My Little Pony collection, my collection of children’s books and movies that I keep for nostalgia’s sake and because yes, I still enjoy them, or the fact that I like to sleep in late on Sundays. Maybe it’s because you, personally, miss those times in your life now that you have kids? But that’s okay – why can’t you rediscover them with your children? Why do you need to call other women “children” in order to feel better about yourself?
I’m so tired of the judgement. I’m tired of women running each other down. Who cares what people’s hobbies are or what they enjoy? If you don’t like it, I direct you to mind your own business, or check out a mother’s congratulatory view on the issue. We women-children can look after ourselves, thanks.