Sexism, Racism, and Ageism?  

Posted by: Cameon in , , , ,

I know for those that are reading this you are wondering what the heck "ageism" is. Well...let me explain.

Ageism is by no other definition, being afraid or judging someone based purely on their age without knowing anything else about the person. You won't find this word in the dictionary (or at least I don't think you will) because I just made it up. I figured though, that if badonkadonk is a word used by Webster, surely ageism could be. Especially when it seems to be such a large issue.

I have always been mature for my age physically and mentally. People thought I was 4 when I was 2 and 21 when I'm only 17. I am the definition of 13 Going On 30 except in a different way. My friends joke that I am a twenty something year old in a teenagers body. Except not even that. Ok...get my point?

Not too long ago, I began writing on this site called BleacherReport. It's a site where a bunch of people (mainly men) go and write about sports. Very cool site. I have gotten a lot of comments and compliments on the site. But it took a while to get those. At first, people would read my article, and then apparently go back to my profile, realize I was 17, and then go back and comment on how young I was but how amazing the piece of work was. I got sick of people saying something about my age. Even if it was a compliment. Why? Because age isn't everything.

I work at Bama Fever and my coworkers would laugh at the older guys that would come in there and hit on me. Some of them even in their late twenties or early thirties. They all got a laugh when they saw the poor guy's facial expression when he was told that I was just 17. Poor guys...they had no idea. But when they did realize how old I was...out the door they went. The conversation that had just taken place was completely thrown out the window...because of my age.
Ageism striked again when I went to join an online community that a friend of mine mentioned to me. He mentioned that it was a group of guys that did say some foul words but that ultimately, it was a good group of people. I went to join and was a member for maybe three hours. This "unmoderated site with no rules" had decided to revoke my membership because of my age. I got a little peeved...and here's why.

One of the guys from the site sent me and email which you can find here. I obviously had to tell this guy what I thought. It was nothing against him. But you can find it here. He then sent one back which you can read by clicking here. This is my response to his last email and really all the people that seem to think it's ok to judge people based on their age alone.

First off, Tim says that he won't argue my points because I'm exactly right, but then goes on to argue them anyway. Apparently seeing things in extreme situations helps people to see things and then he uses an example of a 10 year old attending a sex show. He then points out that obviously I am not the 10 year old and that their board isn't a sex show..but this example proves a point because it seems to be the middle ground. So here's my point.

At 17, I am able to attend R rated movies. R rated movies these days can contain and usually do contain nudity, sex scenes, profanity, naughty jokes, and violence. Now, if this board is worse than an 'R' rated movie maybe there should be some moderating going on. Maybe, these people would feel bad about me seeing this kind of thing because they are slightly ashamed at the kinds of things that go on there themselves.

These people seem to think it is their responsibilty to shield me from life. But here's the deal and maybe it is something that they need to understand. When you shield and "moderate" people from everyday life then when can they learn who they are and the person they want to become? How can they learn to be someone they want to be? How can they learn what is right and wrong? What is unacceptable and what is?

Not only that, but who gives these people the right to judge me based on my age? I'm 17, yes. But ask anyone, and you will quickly find that I don't act like I'm 17. As a society, we seem to be so caught up on issues like age, race, and gender. We forget about actually getting to know the person and letting them have a chance. We think that because someone is 17, they automatically have to be like every other 17 year old. We think that because someone is female, they automatically don't know anything except for things dealing with shoes, clothes, and drama. We think that because someone is african american, they automatically don't have motive except to receive welfare.

We are so quick to judge. And yet, we tell people that they shouldn't. That makes you hypocritical. It makes everyone hypocritical. And there is so much of it, that I'm afraid we are going to dig ourselves into a hole so deep that we will never be able to get out of it.

And now, I'm receiving an invitation to join this group. I guess the guilt finally hit all of these people about the slippery slope that they would eventually slide down. And yet, there are still those that are wanting to question my parents and what they allow me to see. To all the people on that parents are fully aware of those things because I am close with my parents. Again, you don't know me or them so what are you judging me based on?

This entry was posted on Monday, March 23, 2009 and is filed under , , , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


Post a Comment