We think of ourselves as the “shift” generation: men and women in the midst of a major shift in roles and expectations about how we structure our lives. We call it a Role Reboot.
In the late 1960s, consciousness-raising groups were formed to bring women together so they could discuss their lives with each other. Through these small groups, women began to understand that the challenges in their lives weren’t theirs alone—they resulted from more systematic forms of oppression. Recognizing patterns and acknowledging problems was half the battle. And it all started with discussions that caused a small shift in consciousness. It started with the courage to go “off script.”
Fast-forward more than four decades. Like us, you may feel you’re in the middle of a huge “shift” as well.
Millennials are more liberal and more confident than previous generations, and they are highly receptive to new ideas and ways of living. Men and women in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s are the first generations to assume they will share tasks, which historically were aligned along gender lines, from earning an income to raising children. We’re all marrying later. We’re having babies later. More of us than ever are choosing never to marry or have babies. Some of us still can’t legally marry the one we love. Huge numbers of us are having babies without being married. Sometimes it feels like the rules have changed. Sometimes it feels like there are no rules.
The most rigid definitions of womanhood and manhood are breaking down, along with all the expectations and baggage that come with them. For that, we’re thrilled. But we often feel the country hasn’t really caught up—or worse, that we’re in a period of dangerous feminist backlash—and the realities of our lives aren’t well reflected in the media or the policy arena.
Despite how far we’ve come, sexism, racism, and classism (and let’s be honest, plenty of other -isms) remain dangerously infused into our culture. Society is still so conflicted about the “right” way to construct our lives, and we are too—both personally, and within our relationships. It’s a confusing moment, and we want to talk about it all. Off script.
We think of ourselves as the “shift” generation—men and women in the midst of a major shift in roles and expectations about how we structure our lives. We call it a Role Reboot.