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A warning: those headaches are about to get a whole lot worse

By Alice Gallen - posted Thursday, 8 March 2018

Have you ever asked yourself why 'democracy' has become the punching bag of contemporary debate? A new generation no longer seeks order, conformity or the rule of people based on freedoms. Instead this new generation feels indifferent towards shared power through political parties. I hate to yank everyone's heads out of the iClouds, but that's my generation and we are the future.

Why this indifference? Is it because we haven't had the same exposure to confining, oppressing extremist governments as past generations? Is it because we're too greedy to work collaboratively as a community to gain ground on the issues we face today? Is it because we're the generation whose lives are practically run by robots, from the morning alarm to that late night Facebook scroll - so that we have lost our sense of pride and self-sufficiency and we turn a blind eye to those in need around us?

And me? I spend too much time Snapchatting to care about the world. Not to mention the problem of technology addiction…


There's been a seismic shift from a secluded and private society to a more open and sharing and global society where new ideas and concerns swirl. However, this brings a new vulnerability that causes people to feel personally attacked by the arguments of others. This can lead people to shut their door on others of differing opinions and even the concept of public discussion – something that's very dangerous to the wider society.

I think it's sad that so many contemporary issues like feminism are based on hate and defensiveness – when most of the issues are in fact about love, and inclusiveness. One of my male friends once told me a sexist joke, at which he light-heartedly chuckled away – before teasing, "Oh don't tell me you're a feminist." And I found myself laughing along with him. Yes, there has been gender inequality. Yes, it was bad. But the image of a feminist now is most definitely not someone who wants equality – that is, elevating the rights of one half to equal those of the other. No. Now feminism is about attacking other feminists for failing to conform. It's about attacking women like myself who fail to identify either as feminist or non-feminist.

During WWI the Australian community, despite lacking gender equality, surprisingly functioned rather effectively. You see, men were forced to leave their jobs when they left to fight for their country, and the women took on the 'male' jobs such as construction and farming. After the war, both men and women were grateful for the service of the other sex to their community. Sadly, I don't believe that this same respectful response would occur among today's salad of people. I don't think we're too greedy to collaborate – rather, I think individuals simply share fewer opinions and values. This causes people to flee the safety of democracy and leap into the arms of extreme solutions.

Tough issues cannot come to an ethical resolution. Don't you think, regardless of the political colour of our government, that decisions would have been made by now on the issue of asylum seekers? Why are we still receiving reports like those of 84 interviewed asylum seekers: almost all reported severe abuse, inhuman treatment, assaults and neglect. Is it because the attitudes of people involved on both sides of this issue are more war-driven and anger-inspired than ever before?

Apologies for that intense headache my generation is causing you – seems to be a common complaint right about now. No, we don't seek order, conformity or the rule of people based on freedoms.

And so this is a warning. Those headaches are about to get a whole lot worse.

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About the Author

Alice Gallen is a Year 12 student.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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