Amanda de Cadenet’s Response to This Messy, Remarkable Generation
Time's up, and times are different. The only thing for certain now is that social norms are changing fast. We, as a society, are changing. Our adolescents are changing, and the parents of this generation better come prepared.
Operating under this media delirium and searching for guidance and answers, we turned to famed photographer, #GirlBoss, and Super Mom Amanda de Cadenet, founder and CEO of the digital media company GirlGaze.
As host of her own talk show The Conversation (which she produced with Demi Moore) and author of It's Messy: on Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women, she told Beyond The Interview what parents of 2018 need to be aware of, and how both men and women can move forward in a post-#MeToo world.
De Cadenet—who has interviewed some of the most notable women of our time including Jane Fonda, Hillary Clinton, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Arianna Huffington—is more than familiar with the everyday struggles and trauma women go through, especially dating back to childhood. More so, she's a mother with a firm grip on the particular struggles of this generation.
So, where do we even begin?
"Children are being exposed to so much more in this day and age, so as we guide them, we need to ensure that we are creating an open dialogue about what they see and hear," de Cadenet says.
And kids are seeing and hearing a lot more than you think.
"The average age of children looking up pornography is 9 years old, so you need to make sure that you are talking to your children and addressing issues such as sex and consent at an early age, otherwise they are more than likely to be misinformed," de Cadenet tells BTI.
De Cadenet admits in her best-selling memoir, It's Messy (2017), that she has "been through the shitty—slut shaming, cheating, divorce, sexual abuse, domestic violence, [and ]going broke," along with "the fantastic—exciting career, passionate love, marriage, and beautiful children," and even "the ugly—betrayal, health scares, body issues, and friendships gone bad."
"The idea of writing a book was initially quite daunting," she tells us. "But after releasing the book, any feelings of vulnerability dissipated when the messages of support and appreciation started coming through."
She defines her purpose very clearly:
"I want to encourage people to talk about how everyone experiences failure in their lives and to embrace those failures."
And what has she learned through the feedback from her fans?
"I found that by opening up about my experiences, I was encouraging other women to feel comfortable about revealing their own experiences. And the message in my book is really about learning to embrace your mistakes and how the bad times in life will eventually shape the person that you become."
And sure, we've all had some bad times, but after last year when the #MeToo movement broke out, the world was ripe for a reckoning after hearing about how many women had faced sexual abuse and how many sexual assaulters had been given carte blanche for years.
"Women have spoken. Men have fallen. Corporations are nervous," writes Jodi Kantor in the New York Times. "The #MeToo moment has shifted social attitudes, inspired widespread calls for change and resulted in unprecedented accountability. But the revelations about the pervasiveness of harassment — and of the legal and institutional failures to address it — illuminate how tough it will be to extinguish."
What does de Cadanet suggest doing during this shift?
"Abuse of power has been called out from housewives to the White House," she reminds us. "The head of our nation was caught actively bragging about sexual abuse, and unwarranted sexual advances. I think that as more and more victims across so many different social backgrounds stand up, we begin to find our common ground with each other. People [need to] stop looking at each other's differences and start thinking of how we are all united, and what we can do to stand up for each other."
"We are exchanging ideas of what is appropriate, where we draw the line, and what we can do to improve issues that are arising. It is a cultural movement, so we are changing the way we think and act—not just in the #MeToo movement."
There are other concerns during this time, too, like the unspoken divide the movement has created between men and women. The resentment. The hesitation. The fear.
"We should not create a Men vs. Women ideology in society, and certainly there are many men who recognize and fight against gender injustices," de Cadanet says.
"Everyone should try and be open and supportive of the dialogue that we are entering now. Sexism and misogyny are systemic. I hope that men recognize these challenges we face and provide support to everyone who is fighting these injustices."