On 9 August 1956, 20 000 women staged a march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950. Five decades on women have made great strides in South Africa’s society but, the kind of women that marched to the Union Building in1956 are fast becoming extinct. The young women of today don’t have the same values of the women of August 9th 1956.
I feel like my generation has a sense of entitlement created in them by the very same people who are supposed to teach them the ways of the world – their parents – parents’ today parent out of guilt and not out of wisdom. We live in a world where you are what you have and as result parents are working long hours to get their kids ‘the best in life’ and to do that parents spend an obscene amount of hours at the office and to ease their guilt about not spending enough with their kids they give their kids everything that their little hearts desire and so it goes – the vicious cycle of consumerism. I often hear my friends say “my mom is my best-friend” and that to me is another big mistake that parents are making because being someone’s friend means that you are their peer and being someone’s peer means that you have no authority over them and being a parent without authority is like going to war without weapons – it just doesn’t work – and that’s why even though my mom and I have a very open and honest relationship I would never in a million years say “my mom is my best-friend” – she is my mother and I am her child – I feel a strange sense of freedom because my role in the relationship between my mother and I is so clearly defined.
I think if we want this generation – my generation – of woman to posses the same morals and values as the women of the 1950’s then we need parents to lead and we need kids to learn how to follow as things stand right now the youth are like shepherdless sheep.