Is the Art of Communication Dead?

Wolf whistling is to become a crime. Well, good. It’s not just a bit of a laff. It’s not funny. It’s not harmless. The reason that I can say this with such certainty is because I am a woman. I’ll tell you how it has made me feel in the past: frightened to leave the house, hugely intimidated, incredibly embarrassed.

It is undoubtedly worse for teenagers. As I got older, they no longer intimidated me, they just irritated the hell out of me. I never want my girls to feel intimidated. I want them to be empowered. They are all black belts in Taekwon-do and through the martial art we are teaching them how to be strong and fit and how to use their bodies and their strength in the most effective way to keep control in any given situation. However, even with this knowledge, I know that as females they are still incredibly vulnerable.

It’s not just the unwanted attention from men. I worry about teenage boys’ attitudes to girls. I worry because I know how influenced boys are now by on-line porn. I know that this gives the boys unrealistic expectations of what girls will do and do the boys actually care what the girls want? I actually wonder whether girls and boys know how to communicate with each other any more. I know that boys can be hard to drag off their X boxes. My step-daughter told me that most of her friends at Uni are using Tinder. At Uni?! I nearly fell off my chair! If there was one place you could always guarantee to pick someone up it was in the Student Union Bar. What’s the world coming to?

There has definitely been a huge cultural shift since I was a teenager and I just don’t get it. I’m not saying that I should, nor that I want to, but equally I don’t want my girls to grow up feeling powerless.

I recently came across this vlog by Nicole Arbour. In it she talks about how modern dating is fucked. She swears a lot in it, but her message is a valid one and it’s one that is bothering me too. Check her vlog out, here’s the link (but if you have kids at home, you might want to use earphones).

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/05/05/is-modern-dating-fuked-vlogger-nicole-arbour-exposes-a-harsh-reality/

To be honest, her view on dating makes me feel that no-one is really feeling empowered any more. I get the impression that someone needs to take control of this situation. Things need to change. I’m too bloody old to change anything, but I want to give my girls the feeling that they are in control and if we all empower our kids in this way, perhaps effective communication between young people will resume.

If you enjoy my blog, I would be very grateful if you voted for me in the Mumsnet Blogging Awards: Best Writer and best Comic Writer categories. It is a quick one – takes seconds and here’s the link, thank you 🙂

http://www.mumsnet.com/events/blogging-awards/2016

20 thoughts on “Is the Art of Communication Dead?”

  1. It is something that I think makes most women feel uncomfortable – I’ve also experiences men beeping at me whilst walking alone down the street. It needs to stop. #fortheloveofblog

    1. Yes. I asked my daughters how it made them feel and the younger one in particular got quite upset about it, saying how much she hated it. Thank you for commenting.

  2. just brilliant! She makes every single point that I’ve made with my girls about how the art of communication is being lost – and it’s not that we are just old and not accepting that life has changed from when we were younger – it’s not what this generation want either – so much second guessing – drives me insane – conversation all the way – honesty too. Loved the bit with the apple – one funny girl – made the whole thing just so ridiculous! Thank you for sharing #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. Thank you for your comments, Helen. I saw her Vlog a while back and just loved it. Like you I thought that every point she made was so valid and sadly, so true.

  3. Definitely things are a bit too disposable these days and people don’t seem to value getting to know people as much as we used to. And like you say, quite why you’d need a dating app at uni is beyond me – chat to people, be respectful, see if you have a connection and see what happens! #KCACOLS

    1. Thank you for your comments. I was so shocked when my step daughter told me about Tinder. I replied: what you mean a couple of your friends and she said: no loads of people! Sad times.

  4. Oh I need to listen to the podcast when the children are in bed as I don’t have any headphones. So I will probably leave another comment then but I wanted to say that I really agree with what you have written. Tinder at University is very depressing :-(. What happened to dating and courting. Goodness now I sound like my Mother. We need to be encouraging communication #KCACOLS

    1. I often catch myself sounding like my mother these days! (Although I swear a lot more than she does!) Do watch the Vlog as she makes a lot of excellent points. Thank you for commenting.

  5. You make an excellent point Alison. It certainly made me uncomfortable when I was younger. To the extent that I would start to feel like it was my own fault – was I dressing inappropriately? But I wasn’t. I am so clueless, I had to Google Tinder as I had no idea what it was?! Now I am shocked! So naive. Thank you for raising an important issue. #KCACOLS

    1. Thank you for your comments. I would regard myself as a fairly confident person, but still felt intimidated as a teenager by men shouting out and wolf whistling. The Tinder thing is shocking!

  6. Use of the Internet has moved so quickly and it gives people an anonymity they don’t have face to face. It worries me, as this then means people say things they would never say out loud! My rule is that if you wouldn’t say it face to face, you shouldn’t say it online! Thanks for sharing. #KCACOLS

  7. I agree, the art of communication does seem to be lost on the younger generation who are so reliant on communication via social media and phones! My boys are only young but I’d like to think they will go out and meet and make friends like I used to! #KCACOLS

    1. It really is so different to when I was young, it’s actually incomparable and I think as parents, we sometimes have to accept that things have changed and just try to understand it. Easier said than done! Thank you for commenting.

  8. I couldn’t’ agree more with this! The amount of ‘dick pics’ I got when online dating or actually on a daily basis to social media accounts despite clearly stating I have a partner is just so frustrating. When I’m walking and get whistled or honked it really annoys me too because I’m so super self conscious, being overweight and all, that I know they’re just doing it to take the piss! So frustrating. I’m so glad that my partner is full of nothing but respect for me and my daughter and I hope to raise my daughter to command the respect she deserves and feel empowered too. Thanks so much for linking up to #KCACOLS I hope to see you back again next time!

    1. I love what you say about your partner and the way you want to bring up your daughter. We have to try, as parents, to cut through all the crap and show our girls that there is a lot more to life than being people pleasers and putting up with anything they don’t feel comfortable with. Thank you for your comments.

  9. I agree that pornography has a big influence on young people these days, but not just on the boys. It gives the girls unrealistic expectations of what a womans body looks like and what is “sexy”. I think it is a very dangerous thing and I’m no prude. I have a son and a daughter and I certainly want to make sure that my daughter feels empowered as she grows up but I also want my son to feel the same. I think it is an uncertain time for both boys and girls. Thanks for sharing this thought provoking piece on #fortheloveofBLOG x

    1. Yes, you are absolutely right about the damaging effect of porn on girls. Also that your son must feel empowered too. Both must find their own identities. Thank you for your comments.

Leave a Reply