Younger Women Vs Older Women

Younger Women Vs Older Women
(c) 2002 by Regena English

Does it really matter which road women take to success just as long as they reach their goals without demoralizing themselves in the process?

Recently Oprah did a show on What Younger Women Thought About Older Women based on an article in Mode Magazine by Suzanne Braun Levin. The older women interviewed by Mrs.Levine accused their younger counterparts of being impatient and unappreciative of the sacrifices of older women in this society.

    "What [younger women] have to understand is that we had to make a choice between family and work, and if we tried to push both of those in the same life, we had to compartmentalize... All we want to hear from them is 'Thank you.'"Suzanne Braun Levine,former editor of Ms. Magazine

    "The biggest criticism that older women have with younger women is they want it all too fast. All they know is 'Let me at it. I can do the job, let me do it now,' ...that whole sense of entitlement."Carole Hyatt, career woman, author and mother of a 30-year-old

Older women of all people should be able to understand who and what it took for this country to be the land of opportunity that it is today. Instead, many are tapping their feet with impatience waiting to hear thank you from younger women as if it were owed to them. How presumptuous of them to assume every young woman is indebted to them for the struggles they endured to be the women they are today. The only people they should expect words of gratitude from are those they actually helped along the way.

Somehow I don't think these successful women would demand as much "thankfulness" from their sons for birthing them as much as they are from younger women they don't know. Yes we should always be thankful for the aid given by others to us,but, the logic used on Oprah was based on simplemindedness.

If only they would honestly look back twenty-five years and remember who they once were. They would see themselves as twenty or thirty- something women dreaming and striving to be independent much like the twenty and thirty-something women of the new millennium.

Something I found interesting was how women on the show was successful in their own right, but, yet was ready to smite others for not pursuing success as they did. Carol Hyatt said her daughter wanted too much too soon and was aggressive in how she ran her promotions business.

She based her judgement on how she ran her business, which was as a "Queen Bee", a dominate woman who uses her womanly wiles to get her way. She was so blinded by the fact her daughter approached business differently than herself,she couldn't see the big picture which was, her daughter is a success in her chosen field.

Young women on the other hand complained about older women not being open to change, new ideas, and are too serious in the workplace. I can remember feeling intrigued witnessing the dialogue, two generations of women finding faults in one another's success rather than celebrating them. I couldn't help but think men don't have these issues so why are women snapping at each other's differences and contributions?

The Generation Xers on the show felt as if someone owed them something, they have everything but yet were still empty with blame. Actually, I was left with the impression they weren't sure of their complaints with older women. Alison Stewart went so far as to say she wished they would grow old gracefully, which is a personal definition of a life process therefore, irrelevant to the topic at hand. Another complaint logged, they don't reach back.

Ok lets be fair, all women in positions that could help other women don't do so, some out of fear of being upstaged, as was mentioned by the mother who liked being the Queen Bee. Then you have those who can sense the deceit in the women under them. Why would they reach back and pull someone up the career ladder with them if the only people they have to chose from are those that have disdain towards them? One would be insane to do so!


Whenever statements concerning older women were made they started with a compliment then a big "but," which cancels out the compliment. There will come a day inwhich those vocal young women will be the older women of tomorrow and they too will have an accusing finger in their face. Why? No matter how pious they find themselves towards their fellow woman, their imperfections will be seen and faulted, identical to what older women are facing in 2002.

    The quality I don't admire in some Baby Boom women is that they don't reach back. There's not that girls' club the way there is the boys' club. I've encountered some women who don't want to help. The thing that I think is sort of bonkers of Baby Boom women is this relentless pursuit of youth. I wish they could grow old gracefully and really accept it."Alison Stewart, 35, news anchor.

    "I do think that young women have a responsibility to know our history, [and] to engage [older women] and find out what it was like, and say thank you. But [older women] also have the responsibility to find out what our lives are like."Jennifer Baumgardner, in her 30's.

Those young women complaining about the seriousness of older women need to take heed. Had they spent their time blurring the fine lines between work and play they wouldn't be the successes they are today because no one would've took them seriously nor found them productive. The general purpose of work is to earn a living in exchange for labor. You can't be productive if you're using that time to play.

My questions are, did either group decide, "hey I'm pursuing my career to make a way for other women?" Probably not, so why is it so much bitterness between the two generations of women?

I believe Oprah put light on a nasty but hidden truth on how some women relate to each other in the workplace; mistrust, resentment, and overly critical of each other. You would think the opposite would be true but having witnessed the backstabbing and cruel remarks by women to women in the workplace I can honestly say Oprah aired out some dirty laundry.


The show lacked a certain group of women, those women who have come to understand that their power to freedom, opportunities, and prosperity comes from within first, then exhibits itself outwardly. They embrace all of their past decisions, whether perceived as Good or Bad, because they can grasp how those choices added up to make them the women they are today.

These women don't see it as surrendering of their power to reach back and pull others (who are ready to move) up the ladder with them. Absent from the show, were these wise women who don't feel the need to attack the younger generation for their choices in life.

When will women learn it's when they give themselves acknowledgment and appreciation they can break free of being overly concerned with getting it from others? In truth this show had nothing, I mean nothing to do with appreciation and acknowledgment. No, it's the continuum of the age old struggle of women having difficulty coping with "what is."

The "what is" for many women is this:
Growing older and seeing the younger as threats.
The younger seeing the older as unknowledgeable and in the way.
Is this an issue for all women? Heck no, but for some reason it can be quite a dilemma in the workplace.

The show lacked graciousness and awareness that contributions of both men and women of every race, religion, and profession helped to make "outward" opportunities for this society (America, the Land Of Opportunity) possible.

Does it really matter which road women take to success just as long as they reach their goals without demoralizing themselves in the process?


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