Ageism

Writing Challenge Day 9

This is an interesting topic. I’ve actually taught diversity classes on this topic.

Ageism is the social constructed idea of discriminating against someone because of their age.

Now, this is commonly spoken about as it relates to discrimination against older people. But, ageism is extremely prevalent as it relates to young people. One of the things that is really concerning about ageism and young people is that it is often packaged in laws that are supposed to be “good for them.”

Curfews, Dress codes, and even traffic laws work against them. Insurance rates, employment policies (including pay) all operate to control and dominate people who are less than 25 and thus requiring our supervision, despite the fact that legally we hold them to adult accountabilities at 18 and sometimes even earlier.

Culturally, we discriminate against young adults too. We make fun of them and their attachments to their cell phones. We create expectations for them to be innocent while often being convinced of their guilt. One of the biggest insults we give them is, “You don’t understand ____, you’re just a kid.”

Ageism is a pain in the ass and is disrespectful to young adults. As a society, we should encourage their development and give them equal opportunity to grow through pay, legal protection, and respect.

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