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One Aussie teen confirms our worst fears about Gen Y.

Teenagers. What magnificent creatures. They are the foundation of what must be at least half of all ‘current affairs’ stories in the media; they are seen as immature, naïve, highly self-important, sex and drug driven imbeciles…  And as much as I’d like to say this is completely unsubstantiated and fictitious media drivel, it sadly doesn’t ring far from the truth at all.

I attend a rural Catholic high school, one of five high schools within the immediate area. The school would be considered as an ‘average’ Australian secondary institution, with around seven-hundred students and a core group of well-trained, if sometimes completely incompetent, teachers.

The majority of students come from a conservative background and there isn’t much in the way of diversity or multiculturalism. It’s the perfect breeding ground for the quintessential ‘Aussie’ teenager, and in turn the textbook place for a future ‘Teenagers gone wild’ news headline. Their close-mindedness and unbelievable sense of self-importance is at times shocking.

The recent ABC program ‘Ja’mie: Private School Girl’ is meant to be seen as a satirical look at the life of a self-absorbed teen girl, attending a private college, and living on Sydney’s affluent North Shore. But in all honesty it’s a beautifully accurate glimpse into what many of the attendees, both male and female, personalities are like at my country, unisex, average Australian school. It is unbelievably difficult to have conversations with many of my fellow teens as they are just so obsessed with their own world.

Teenagers in the media: Ja’mie Private School Girl’ is MEANT to be seen as a satirical look at the life of a self-absorbed teen girl.

You ask them how their weekend was, for example, and they’ll give you a half hour rendition of their utterly tedious end-of-week activities, but you listen, as that’s what a normal person does, right? They never ask you how your life is in return, in fact I don’t think it’s ever happened really, but why should they care? You aren’t them. Sadly though, this ignorance isn’t even the worst facet of the modern teen…

Let’s start with the females. The media’s perception of teenage girls being body-image obsessed and naïve sadly runs rather true at my school, and I can say with absolute confidence that the majority of the girls at my school fit into this category perfectly; and I don’t blame them for one second.

The society around them makes them who they are; every single influence on their life is shockingly negative. Even people who should be considered role-models, such as their teachers, conform to the mainstream social ideas on how a girl should act or dress. One perfect example was whilst on a recent school trip, the vast majority of these young women were wearing short shorts or skimpy dresses, whilst one, my girlfriend (one of the very few not unlike myself), decided to wear Doc Martens, a singlet and a skirt, which in turn caused one teacher to ask her ‘Why don’t you dress like a normal person?’.

When I heard this I sat in shock. This ‘role model’ would have preferred her not to have expressed herself through one of the most effective means possible, the way she was dressed, and be a ‘part of the crowd’; a crowd that insists on wearing clothing in which half of their bum pokes out of the bottom of their shorts.

Remember: this is a leader within my community.

Then there’s naivety. This is a huge issue in our teenage society, especially for girls. Now I’m not saying that girls are more naïve then guys, or vice-versa, I’m saying that many of the girls, at least at my school, don’t understand the consequences of what they do, especially in this wonderful age of instant communication, and also underestimate the primeval attitudes and sexual motivations of the majority of teenage boys. There is a multitude of stories that have arisen from my peers about how girls have been manipulated by guys, with the girls seeking someone to ‘love and cuddle’ whilst the guys search for someone to have sex with, culminating in broken-hearts and reputations.

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I’ve left the males until last as it makes me kind of dejected and repulsed that I am considered a part of this category of teen. They are quite simply, from my experiences, EXACTLY as the media depicts them and that makes me deeply sad.

They are, by majority, sex and alcohol driven mindless idiots. Of course there are the outliers but they are few and far between, at least where I live. There is unbelievable amounts of entrenched misogyny that exist throughout the society I live as well; with guys calling their girlfriends their ‘woman’ and constant jokes about sex and the perceived stupidity of women.

The main reason they were so against her leadership of Australia was simply because she was an ‘ugly, ranga woman’.

One example of this misogyny was during the leadership of Julia Gillard; now I’m not here to comment on Ms Gillard’s leadership of Australia, it just serves as a perfect example of the entrenched female-directed hatred my peers have. She was deeply disliked, in fact hated, by most of those around me. Why?

Was it because they opposed the way in which she was leading the nation? Not really, most said the ‘Carbon Tax’ was ‘stupid’ but they had no idea what that was, they were just repeating both their parent’s and the media’s views. The main reason they were so against her leadership of Australia was simply because she was an ‘ugly, ranga woman’ (which was most likely influenced also by their parents and the media).

Then there’s sex and alcohol; the focal point of many-a-teenager’s life; especially a male teenager’s life. At my school it is THE most important part of most of the male students lives around me; all they think and talk about is the next time they’ll get ‘pissed’ and/or ‘laid’.

As mentioned before they manipulate the girls around them and basically ‘use’ them. There is a multitude of students in my year with backlogs of sexually explicit photos of girls they know, who, through both naivety and impulse, have sent these photos to them in full confidence; thinking they’ll be kept between the two of them or deleted straight away. Instead they are kept and sent around, showed to their mates who then take the photos to add to their collection.

What is being done to combat this? Nothing. The media persistently sexualise women and promote macho, sex-driven men and their peers around them, their closest role-models, are doing it. So why wouldn’t they?

This all makes me really quite sad, as we live in a society with the ability to teach and educate people. People who can then go on to make a major contribution to the world and pass on what they’ve learned to those around them; but instead we are creating monsters, living in a culture where we promote the sexualisation of women and promote macho, sex-driven men, and as much as I hate ‘A Current Affair’ programs I must say that sometimes, they are oh-so right with their depiction of the average teenager’s life.

The author of this post is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous. 

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