February 21, 2012
Shit Adults Say to Young People
“Cause I Said So!”
How are the lives of young people controlled?
With the viral videos, “Shit… says,” many people have brought to light underlining issues of violence that many people are victims of, and examining those that they we may actually create. Such videos have been broad but enlightening such as, “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls, and Shit Straight Girls Say to Gay Guys.” “Things like “lets go dancing, but not a gay bar,” or “not to sound racist but…” are micro-aggressions that impact the lives of minorities to cause real pain and suffering.
Many of the current examinations of the viral ads are critical to social movements movements and the general population. While we think about how straight people act to queer folks, we must also think about how ageism and
adult-ism pervade in our society and how it marginalizes the tail ends of our community. People experience marginalization by the abuse of power that takes advantage of, and makes decisions of both the young and the elderly. It is one of the only oppressions that everyone experiences, both as victims and as potential perpetrators. Decisions that impact the very livelihoods of these groups have been decided by those who “know better” and who can “take ownership” in the direction of the controlled human beings. This power dynamic dichotomy is evident in common vernacular with things like, “you don’t know better,” or “you are just a kid.” Policy is then crafted to restrict voting, medical decisions, personal autonomy, and employment opportunities based solely on age. Even the educational system creates rules that particularly impact homeless youth or young folks experiencing familial strain. It is all a form of social control by those who “know better.” Your parents financial information is usually required into the consideration in the cost of attendance, even if they do not support you. Why is it that you can be drafted into the military at 18 but you can not enter an establishment that serves alcohol? In particularly with the queer community, many public gathering spaces are very commonly crafted around 21+ establishments ie. queer bars, but with this restriction, where do queer youth go when they want to get to know each other? Not everything can be accomplished on the Internet.
Young people, and increasingly the elderly, have no public spaces to find solidarity, support, and personal connection. Many elderly folks voice that they have to go back into the “closet” as they grow older. Ageism affects the tail ends of society, and adultsm is how adults control, judge, and manipulate the autonomous rights of young people. Such isolation, must end because the everyone should have control of their own body.
We made a list of some of the things we have heard adults say to young people. These are all best read with a little bit of sass and some attitude.
Students at the University of Washington | Q Center
I am more mature than you. How old are you? Oh my god, when I was your age… You know what would be so fun for you? Cause’ I said so! Oh that probably wouldn’t be fun for you. This is boring adult stuff. We have a youth advisory board, you should totally volunteer for us! You know you should really outreach for us – we really want to get more youth involved with… You just do not appreciate how easy you have it now, thanks to the struggles I had to go through You’re so articulate! You know, I had to wait until I was old enough to go to the bars too. Just get a fake ID… ‘All-Ages?’ why would I want to be somewhere with a bunch of kids! You’re really lucky that I’m your mentor! You are so smart and mature for your age! Oh my, she’s only 13 and she’s already talks about feminism. Oh, they are only 11 and they can sing and dance so well! You don’t understand… You don’t know what your doing.
Cause’ I said so! Why can’t you understand? What do you want to be when you grow up? You still have time to figure it out. I hope this is just a phase. You’re just going through a ‘_______’ phase. You’ll grow out of being a lesbian… What could you possibly be stressed out about at your age? Just wait until you have to pay your own bills! It get’s better! If you work hard enough, you can be ANYTHING you want to be. I wish I had ______________ when I was your age, you should totally ____________ You have it WAY better than when I was your age… It’s so easy being (gay, mixed, etc) these days, not like when I was… Just wait until you have to get a real job. I wish you’d stop growing up so fast! You should appreciate being so young. Cause’ I said so! Why can’t you act your age? You gain maturity with age. If I feed you and clothe you, then no, you don’t get to make your own decisions. You don’t get to make decisions about your own body at this age. That’s cute that you’re already so interested in ___! It’ll be great when you’re older and you can actually make a difference in the world. You kids are so spoiled with your technology these days, you don’t know what it’s like to have to work for anything. High school is the best time of your life! Can you help me (insert tech-related task here)? You shouldn’t be so easily influenced by others people’s opinions. You don’t need to follow what all your friends do. Your friends are a bad influence. Are you in a gang? I know better than you. Cause’ I said so! Your not gay its just a phase. Just don’t have sex. What do you need the pill for? Abstinence is sexy! Grow up! All adults are more mature than you. Do you know what to do with that. If you have sex you’ll get STIs. I pay the bills, you just live here. Ohh not in my house. If you live under my roof you have to follow my rules.
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