Wednesday, February 2

"There is, for example, Nicole, a young woman Arnett interviews in his book who grew up in a housing project and began working at eight to care for her younger siblings. In a strikingly mature, actually adult way, she managed to hold down a full-time job, take care of her family, and earn a degree. Though this may strike some as a remarkable achievement, this view overlooks how much more fun she could have had if she didn’t have all those pesky responsibilities to weigh her down. “Is it only a grim pessimist like me who sees how many roadblocks there will be on the way to achieving those dreams and who wonders what kind of freewheeling emerging adulthood she is supposed to be having?” Henig laments. Given freedom from economic want, social mores that encourage early marriage, and limits to college access, every poor Vietnamese rice farmer and rural Pakistani bride could be going to yoga classes and selling her handmade textiles on Etsy. Wouldn’t that make the world a better place?"