The New Woman

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Currently sitting in a popular Wellington cafe, sipping on spirulina and munching on a spinach and feta scone with the usual abundance I reserve for only the tastiest of snacks, with my headphones firmly planted in my ears, I have perhaps the worst writer's block in the history of this blog. If you're a regular reader (welcome back friend) you probably would have noticed I haven't written anything in quite a few days. This is not an accident; I haven't been that busy, and although I discovered my old Ipod and have been jamming to The Kooks (remember them?) for the past few days, nothing of interest has happened since I last posted. I haven't had any of my infamous realisations and haven't thought of anything even vaguely of interest to write about. I was forced to watch Babadook, and as a result slept with the lights on last night, so I guess I could write some lengthy (but boring) blogpost about dealing with death and grief, and a human being's tendency to be frightened of the dark, but let's be honest here; we're all sick and tired of that same old same old depressing shit. I could try and finish that book review I promised my best friend's Mum months ago, but Margaret Atwood is just too damn complicated to summarise, and writing a critique of her latest novel is gonna need a few more weeks yet.

I think one of the main reasons I am unable to write with my usual vigour is because I'm low key worried/stressing. In a fortnight I go back to uni for my fourth and final honours year, and my final research project is still a mess of scrambled thoughts and pieces of screwed up pieces of paper with various scribblings, thrown across my bedroom floor. I have some idea of what I want to do but whenever anyone asks me what I'm planning, a stream of "ums" and "ahhs" and "it's kinda hard to explain" follows.

I did have this idea that I could document/somehow try to unravel the many complexities of 'The New Woman'. The millennials fascinate me, and as a millennial woman myself I would love to present a collection of work, both staged and candid, that documents my own people. Maybe even throw in a few floor to ceiling pop culture collages featuring people like Miley Cyrus, M.I.A and Nicki Minaj, as well as a few classic role models of course like Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai and Helen Clark. What I really want to do is make a commentary on the time we live in, on the ways in which millennial women are influenced, our actions, the complexities of modern Feminism and intersectionality; on living in such a rapid time and space. Surely now you understand why I'm finding it hard to explain?

I also thought about doing some kind of (black and white???) documentary style project about the suburb I'm currently living in, called 'New Town'. Newtown is a bloody interesting place after all, so many different types of people live here. We've got students, immigrants and full time artists, single parents, nuclear families, hippies and part time musicians. I saw a goth the other day with a coffin on a chain hanging around his neck; I think he was using it as a handbag. He was gorgeous in his strangeness. We all are really, it's a beautiful rundown place and I can imagine an exhibition space filled with 6 x 4 photographs shot on 35mm film. The problem is, street photography is hardly an original concept. In fact, it's kinda overdone. Unless I can find a more interesting way to document my neighbours, I'm heading for a mediocre project and an average grade.

That's the problem really, nothing is original anymore. Everything has been tried and overdone. We live in a time where everything useful has been invented. So what do we do? We upgrade, we buy the new Iphone even though the one we currently own is in perfect condition. I have friends with drawers full of Iphones.

We top off our obsession with self-documentation, social media and the latest technology, by distracting ourselves. We experiment with drugs, drink excessively and sleep around. Then again that's every generation since the 60s, according to my Mum and Aunty anyway. But then I start thinking that every other generation has something. The 50s was a decade recovering from the aftermath of two world wars, the 60s and the 70s had various social movements, the 80s had big hair and tight pants, the 90s had grunge. Everything that is worth doing has been done. My generation lives in a time of unoriginality and mediocrity. We don't even get the title of the technology generation, because it was the generation after us that has been entirely encapsulated by the internet, not us. We are literally the inbetweeners, the forgotten generation. Even the music became shit, sometime after Kurt Cobain carked it I believe. The only decent music has become #throwback, another file on a forgotten first generation Ipod buried underneath a pile of pale, crinkled receipts, in the bottom of a faded khaki army bag. We certainly live in a strange time, a time of uncertainty. What will kill us first, a zombie apocalypse? Nuclear war, global warming?

Fortunately for me, The Kooks are providing the perfect soundtrack for our inevitable demise.

Until next time babes, stay calm xx

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  1. The millennials are the first generation to have to deal with the surrealist world of social media, where you are judged by the masses on the number of virtual friends you have and the number of 'likes' and 'shares' you get. Everyone only puts their best selves on social media sites, so you think everyone in the universe is cooler than you and having more fun, when in actual fact a lot of your generation are struggling more than you and don't even know how to have a real conversation with an actual person.There is no 'time out'. You are connected 24/7. It must be hell, and the pressure immense. Try switching off for a day and see what happens....! Also, stop stressing, you got into honours and you are in your final year. You have a great flat and real friends who give a dam. You are doing just fine. Enjoy it for what it is and have some confidence in your self and your abilities.


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