It was better in the old days:
“Life was better growing up in the ’70s.” I hear this so much that I have to ask, better for who?
Let’s compare the experiences of the ’70s and ’80s to this generation, shall we?
The music was undisputedly the best. Talent oozed from people like the late great Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross (when she went solo). The bands like Queen, Pink Floyd, Earth, Wind and Fire. The list is endless, and there is, in my opinion, no “greater” artists than the ones during the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.
Most households would tune into the radio stations to listen to music that soothed their soul, whether Rock, R&B, Reggae or anything in between.
Music had the “ability” “transport” you from your surroundings to a place you never knew but longed for anyway.
Then there was the playing in the streets and parks, cycling to friends, swimming in rivers and lakes, and the only thing we had to worry about was chores and getting home before the street lights came on.
Life as the ’70s and ’80’s child was great, you thought, and you pity the children of today, who dont have the freedom you had.
I don’t, because underneath the sunny skies and music-filled days was a darkness that wasn’t spoken about: darkness, you had to “brush off” if you were a victim of it.
The older generation (those who were adults), during that era, believed in corporal punishment. That’s how they were reared, and they felt they were decent, upstanding citizens, so they continued with that until it was outlawed. We were told that children should be “seen and not heard.” So we knew not to interrupt or render our opinions during adult conversations.
We never spoke about sex because sex was what adults did, but what those well-meaning adults didn’t get was that sexual predators were betting on our silence once they came looking.
While our parents told us about the bogeyman down the street and cautioned us about “stranger danger,” they never realised or refused to believe that predators were much closer than they thought.
The loving uncle, the over-indulgent aunt, the best friend, the caring parent or step-parent, and so on. We were never told about the dangers at home, thus allowing these predators unfettered access to our bodies. As children do, most victims spoke up, mentioning what was happening to an adult they trusted, only to be dismissed as if all little girls are born enticing men and all little boys are there to be introduced to sex as a rite of passage to becoming a man.
So many victims who grew up in that era confronted their parents later on only to be told “it was a different time” then.
I call “bull” on that excuse because while corporal punishment was allowed, paedophilia never was. Think about it for a minute; if sexual abuse was allowed or was “the norm” in those days, then why was it not done more transparently like corporal punishment? Why was it “necessary” to “hide” behind closed doors or under the “cloak of darkness?” Why swear the victims to secrecy or threaten them?
The 70’s merely emboldened the predators to commit their dastardly crimes. It was never ok.
Thank goodness children of this generation have the freedom to speak up about abuse more than before.
Thank goodness children of this generation no longer have to “be seen and not heard.”
Thank goodness children of this generation know and understand their rights.
Although abuse is still prevalent, the victims are “allowed” to speak up.
Parents, guardians, teachers or caregivers, are no longer able to pretend as if this is a ’70’s show; where all we do is dance and listen to good music while our hearts, minds and bodies are breaking.
While this doesn’t apply to ALL the children of that era, there are enough adults around today, who have been harmed, when they were children of the ’70s.
There is no comparison between then and now; because “then” we were silenced, and “now” we can speak up.
(Bill Cosby and Jeffrey Epstein are examples of what was happening. Then you include priests, nuns, teachers, coaches and family members, and suddenly that ’70’s show doesn’t look so good anymore.)
If you or anyone you know needs help, please contact your local authorities and lifeline organisations.
Refuse to excuse abuse!