January 9, 2018

And Greenbelt Makes Three

Filed under: Check It Out,In the News,NYRA Happenings,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:15 pm

Usually when there’s a map of my region with triangles on it, it’s the Pepco Outage Map.

But here’s an awesome triangle for the region.

At one point farthest to the west, we have Takoma Park, the first of them, which did it May 13, 2013. The southernmost point is Hyattsville, the second, which did it January 20, 2015. And to the northeast, the third point, which did it January 8, 2018, is Greenbelt.

These three towns at these three points have all have lowered their municipal voting ages to 16! A move with lots of good reasons and lots to think about and lots of tweets back in the day.

I was there when Takoma Park and Hyattsville each sealed the deal. Sadly, I was unable to attend Greenbelt’s due to freezing rain encasing everything in ice. But at least the people who mattered were there.

The three towns are all right by each other, too. The idea is spreading throughout the region. College Park is inside the triangle, almost totally surrounded and must surely join in at some point! The geographical proximity commands it. You, too, Berwyn Heights, especially if College Park does get in on this. And you, New Carrollton, just outside the triangle to the southeast. Why should the Green Line terminus in Greenbelt have all the fun of being in a #16tovote town when you and your Orange Line terminus could as well? Also, perhaps you’d then provide a little encouragement to a certain town just a bit south of you, just off the above map…

Yes, I’m talking about you, Glenarden! Get it together!

January 2, 2018

Stalker App

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Idiot Box,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 9:42 pm

I began my 2018 waking up to the New Year’s Day marathon of The Simpsons on FXX I’d turned on the night before and had fallen asleep watching. I stayed in bed for a while and watched some more, not wanting to get out of bed because, don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s a bit extremely cold here in the mid-Atlantic states this week.

Then during one commercial break I saw it. A rather extended ad for a product (not saying the name) for tracking someone, ostensibly a family member. This way, you’d know exactly where this person is at all times, whether they are driving too fast, etc. You know, perfect for the psycho stalker on your belated or Orthodox Christmas list.

Oh, did I mention this product was specifically geared toward parents to use on their teens? Yeah, that’s supposed to make this any better somehow. I mean, even if that did, it’s worth remembering any spying technology doesn’t actually know the relationship of the user to the person being tracked. A man could be using this on his wife rather than his teenage daughter. Think about that. What healthy reason could he possibly have for tracking his wife’s whereabouts, knowing how fast she drives, and who she sees? Doesn’t that seem gross as hell? Don’t you kind of wonder that this wife should probably get away from him?

So for that matter, what healthy reason could a parent possibly have for tracking a teen’s whereabouts, knowing how fast she drives, and who she sees? What, the parent cares and wants to make sure she’s safe? Okay, but maybe that husband just cares about his wife and wants to make sure his wife is safe. Oh, wait, that doesn’t fly.

I would go further with this analogy, perhaps going into how we don’t want the government or Google spying on us like this (even though they probably are, every time we say “okay Google…” perhaps) so that we shouldn’t be normalizing it for the next generation, but the sad thing is, youth rights aspect of this aside, you find people are often not all that bothered by it. Some people may look at the husband spying on his wife example and not find anything wrong with it. Perhaps calling up the property argument, where the car and house and phone and whatnot are property that one has every right to keep track of and otherwise do as they wish with. Of course, what they also aren’t shy about saying, they see the teen as property as well.

So what I must wonder is the mentality of the person who clings to this right and would actually seek out and actively use spying technology on a teen (or anyone else). I mean, this is rather obsessive and time-consuming behavior that, well, even someone so inclined might lose interest after a while. After all, they have something better or at least more interesting to be doing. A show or a game is coming on. Got to go make dinner. Got to go to bed and get up for work. I mean, being like “okay, she’s at school… okay, now she’s visiting a friend… still visiting the friend… on her way back here…” is boring as hell.

Unless, of course, you’re just that obsessive. Or you’re looking for something specific. Such that simply talking to the teen about any concerns is apparently out of the question.

The ad indicated the product would prevent kidnapping (they literally used staged footage of a girl being pulled into a windowless white van), so that this would keep kids safe. Well, I’ve gritted my teeth through enough conversations with coworkers and others over the years to gather that safety is barely on anyone’s radar with the idea of keeping track of kids. Some have said straight up they’d catch them lying about where they are and would punish them, with no effort to hide their glee. Safety is the stated concern, but, let’s be honest, the whole idea is, here, assert your dominance over someone in your household who drives you nuts because you can!

And even without anyone purchasing the product or any of the far too many like it that have been around for some time, the ad does its own damage. It tells the parents and teens and others watching alike that this is normal, that this is how it should be. It reinforces the already far too reinforced message that teens are property that can and will cause major trouble at any moment and that it’s the parent’s right and duty to keep them as watched and controlled as possible for the sake of themselves and others.

All of that said, it was still pretty hilarious that the episode playing when I saw this ad was Barting Over, when Bart gets emancipated from Homer and Marge after exploitation and abuse. Now the ad just needs to run during Lost Verizon.

December 14, 2017

The Actual Innocence

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Think About It!,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 7:01 pm

Five years ago today, Sandy Hook happened.

Several children who should be navigating middle school right now instead had their short lives come to an abrupt and tragic end because some shithead came into their classroom and opened fire on them for some reason.

In the above post on the day it happened, I lamented this loss of life, wondering, as I said, what they could have ever done to anybody. After all, at their age, one is new to the world and still figuring things out and likely hasn’t gotten to the point of causing any deep and deliberate harm to others like those older have. Not that it’s ever okay to kill anyone, of course, but with kids, it’s hard to see any rationale for it. An adult might have deliberately ruined your career or betrayed you in some severe way or what have you. Again, not that the killing is okay, but you can see how one so distraught might decide it’s the thing to do. With kids, they aren’t capable of doing anywhere near the damage to others that adults are.

After all, children are innocent.

And that is what the innocence of children actually is. Innocence is the opposite of guilt. It refers to what the children themselves have or have not done, and how good or evil their intentions. This varies by child, as children are individuals, and there’s no specific point where one goes from “childhood innocence” to “adult asshole” as it’s a gradual progression depending on one’s specific life and circumstances and experiences. But any innocence refers to the individual’s intentions and actions.

As such, it has nothing to do with something being done to said innocent child, nor does it have anything to do with said innocent child’s knowledge of the world.
(more…)

October 31, 2017

It’s Not Your Candy

Filed under: Foodz,Think About It!,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:33 pm

Happy Halloween!

Anyway…

No.

Stop. Don’t touch it. It’s not yours.

Earlier tonight, the kids traversed their neighborhoods in their awesome costumes and visited their neighbors with a familiar chant in hopes of a yummy treat (specifically Nerds, Starbursts, and Skittles if they came to my door!). Afterward, they went on home, checked everything for tampering for fear of the urban myth about poison or razor blades in candy suddenly actually happening, and at long last chowed down. Yay!

All this candy in the hands of kids? What are parents to do?

Nothing. It’s not theirs.
(more…)

September 30, 2017

All Politicians Are Adults

Filed under: Assorted Politics,Decrees!,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:50 pm

I hereby decree…

Stop saying badly behaving politicians are “acting like children”.

Or any derivative thereof. Including referring to a lone sensible one as the “adult in the room”. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but all politicians are adults. All mayors. All governors. All of the House. All of the Senate. All White House staff. Even the President.

Yes, even that Orange Thing currently occupying the White House.

Think of all the horrible shit Orange Thing has done. Or, no, don’t do that. It’s depressing. Think then that it’s too depressing to think about all the horrible shit Orange Thing has done and continues to do. In any case, there are a number of words to throw at him. Racist. White supremacist. Sexist. Bigot. Loudmouth. Xenophobe. Narcissist. Sociopath. Evil. And countless others.

So why then, given all that, would you pick “child”? What about calling NFL player protesters “sons of bitches” while saying neo-Nazis are “fine people” makes you think “innocent little kid new to the world and figuring things out”? What about trashing the mayor of a hurricane-ravaged city asking for help makes you think “likes to drink from juice boxes while learning about shapes and watching Doc McStuffins”?

Yet, whether the images around inauguration time showing a leather desk chair being wheeled out of the Oval Office and a high chair being carried in, whether the sign I saw at the Women’s March that said “Maybe he’s teething”, whether countless others calling him a toddler throwing a tantrum, “child” seems to be a popular go-to “insult” to hurl at him.

In response to this, a week before the inauguration, I posted this to I Support Youth Rights:

Donald Trump is a racist, misogynist bully who supports torture, advocates war crimes, mocks the disabled, threatens those who oppose him, and brags about sexual harassment, among many many many other things that add up to him being absolutely abhorrent.

But you know what he isn’t? A child. He is in fact doing all of the above as an adult. Everyone who voted for him is also an adult. His various questionable appointees are all adults. Children are completely innocent here.

So those of you who think you’re insulting Trump by calling him a child, really? All of the above and more said, and what offends you about him is that he reminds you of someone who was born only a few years ago? Do you actually think all of the above is typical childhood behavior? In any case, when in light of all this behavior you call him a child, the only ones you’re insulting are children, who are, again, completely innocent in all this and yet still are in danger of the damage the incoming administration is poised to do to healthcare, the environment, civil rights, and so much more.

So cut it the hell out.

This was posted in January, before so many things happened. Sigh.

But of course it stands. If the Orange Thing actually were a child, that would be an immense improvement. But he’s a 71-year-old man. A vile 71-year-old man. I mean, any damage a small child might do would be by accident. The Orange Thing knows exactly what he’s doing. Or he at least decidedly doesn’t care.

December 26, 2015

Slot-Shaming

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Going Places,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:15 pm

Slot machines and other gambling gadgets are everywhere in Nevada. It’s kind of gross. Not just in actual casinos. Malls. Gas stations. Even the airports. If you want to compulsively piss your money and time away, this state makes damn sure to provide. They even supply the free alcohol to quiet your ability to think or self-reflect so that you’ll keep feeding the machine.

This of course also comes the 21+ age restrictions on all this, so that even though they are unscrupulously profiting off people destroying their financial health by gambling and destroying their physical health by drinking, at least they can pretend they’re Protecting Children. 🙄

December 21, 2015

Sitters Are Now the Sittees

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:34 pm

You know what’s depressing? Twelve-year-olds in day care. Twelve!

As in, they’re in middle school, and parents need to arrange for some kind of after school care for them until they get off work.

Did I mention… twelve!

I mean, in many places, the parents don’t have much choice, as twelve or thirteen is about the minimum age a kid can be left alone at home.

Ugh. Rules like this are not only a huge insult to these kids, but they’re a boon for the care providers. I mean, if parents are required by law to use their services, they’re raking in the cash. I wonder if they’re behind the age of being left alone at home being so high, since they sure do profit from it.

And this just makes things harder on lower income families. Child care is expensive, and it doesn’t help to make parents and kids have to wait longer before the kids can just go straight home after school and take care of themselves for a few hours. They either have to shell out the money or quit their jobs. Or break the law.

And, obviously, of course kids twelve and under can go straight home and take care of themselves for a few hours before their parents get home. It’s what my sister and I did. I was home alone as young as eight. Last time I was in day care, I was the oldest kid there… at age seven.

In fact, when I was thirteen, I was the one looking after a four-year-old neighbor every week or so while his parents were out. I was the one doing the sitting at an age that kids now are the ones being sat.

Nothing biological has changed. Just fears of lawsuits and -gasp!- unattended children! Children who aren’t busy with some activity, who, if without an activity, will get into -gasp!- trouble!

December 20, 2015

21 to Drink… Anything

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:04 pm

So I was at Target earlier and there were some sets of novelty drinking glasses on one shelf. One set’s theme was of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, with glasses showing the squirrel and Clark entangled in lights and other stuff. Oh, and this set identified these as “pint glasses” and had “Age 21+” printed on the corner of the box.

Yeah… Okay. A lot of things about this.

1. These are drinking glasses and contain no alcohol. Drinking glasses are not age restricted. They can be used for any drink.
2. There were identical drinking glass sets on the shelf of Wonder Woman, Minions, Peanuts, and Avengers and such, none of which said “Age 21+” nor identified them as “pint glasses”.
3. Pint is a unit of volume, equal to two cups or half a quart or 16 fluid ounces. This measurement refers to this volume of any substance, not just beer.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is not an “adult” movie. In fact, it’s been on constantly all month on ABC Family.

December 16, 2015

Your Choice, Huh?

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:21 pm

Some time ago, I saw a picture of a protest in California about some new vaccination requirements. Yeah, the protesters were anti-vax idiots (redundant, I know) who were none too pleased about this. One woman’s sign even clearly said “My Child, My Choice”.

There’s yet another sign of the mind-blogging extent of parental entitlement. When forbidding you from letting your child catch serious illness and die is suddenly some egregious violation of parental rights.

What’s next?

“How dare you force me to actually FEED my child? Food contains sugar and pesticides and scary sounding ingredients I can’t pronounce and know nothing about but am sure they cause cancer. I have a right not to give that to my child!”

“How dare you force me to actually give my child WATER? It’s also called dihydrogen monoxide and it’s the main component of urine! It’s also full of fluoride which will make my child stupid! Also chem trails.”

Sigh.

December 14, 2015

Unchecked Power

Ever notice how our world seems to give unchecked power so much benefit of the doubt? Or, well, I suppose that’s true by definition as, if it weren’t given benefit of the doubt, then it wouldn’t be unchecked.

Look at some of the reactions in cases of police brutality. “Oh, well, he must have done something wrong for the police to have gone after him in the first place. They wouldn’t beat him up or shoot him for no reason.” You know, because apparently if a police officer so much as looks at you, it just makes sense to these people that you might as well kiss your ass goodbye, rather than, you know, saying “hey, this is wrong!” like any decent person would.

There’s also child abuse. Parents have near limitless power over their children, which very much allows for abuse, and abuse is very much rampant, but when it happens, you get reactions like “oh, well, the kids are probably exaggerating or outright lying, just ungrateful brats who probably deserved it, all parents love their children!” Ignoring that, for one, no they fucking don’t, and that they have no actual reason to believe the kids are lying, or to know for sure either way for that matter. But what is known is that parents who want to commit unspeakable crimes against their children could do so very easily, and pretending they just don’t or wouldn’t is very dangerous.

Then there’s war crimes. A hospital or school or the like gets bombed, killing a bunch of innocent civilians. And what’s the response? “Oh, well, that’s war for you. Sometimes civilians get killed. In fact, they probably weren’t so innocent and were likely hiding the bad guys so they probably deserved it.” Based on absolutely nothing. Just more of avoiding the necessary task of calling out what’s horribly wrong and instead trying to justify it.

Know what else? God! If an omnipotent God allows all of the above and more and worse to happen, who’s telling him to knock that shit off? It’s always “God works in mysterious ways! Everything happens for a reason! God loves us!” Yeah, meanwhile, somewhere in the world, a four-year-old girl just died of an infection caused by a ritual genital mutilation, but sure, yeah, loving omnipotent God we should continue worshiping.

True, a lot of this comes from feeling helpless, seeing many of these forces not as always right but as all-powerful and therefore there’s no choice but to assume rightness. And just plain not knowing how to change anything and finding it easier to tell the victims that they were the ones who were wrong, to give the illusion that we have more control over our fates than we actually do. But we can understand that tendency and still acknowledge it’s wrong. I mean, you don’t need to know exactly how to make a certain change in order to speak up about what’s wrong. Shit, if you had to, about 90% of those protesting or raising awareness about just about anything would be out of work! But there’s bad things happening. Acknowledge that they are bad and quit making excuses for them.

December 8, 2015

Trans, Homeless, Preteen

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Estrogen,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:38 pm

According to a trans* activist friend of mine, apparently, in New York City, the average age at which homeless trans youth become homeless is 13.5 years.

Average!

I mean, I’ve written before about how parental love isn’t exactly as unconditional as conventional belief would have you think. But even knowing that, it’s so pathetic that parents would kick out kids who are in middle school or younger for any reason really, but still so much more mindblowing that it’s about something so ridiculous as the kids not acting the part of the gender their genitals tell them to be. How fucking petty and heartless can you goddamn get?!

I’ll bet these parents think they love these kids, too. I’ll bet lots of people think that. I guess the mere idea that they might not despite some clear evidence to the contrary here is just too much. 🙄

December 6, 2015

Coloring Age

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:35 pm

So there’s a hot new trend these days of coloring books “for adults”. These things are everywhere!

Except coloring books for adults have already existed. They’re just called “coloring books”.

That’s adult society’s insecurities for you. There’s nothing explicitly “for children” about the coloring books that have already existed. Unless what you’re coloring being animated characters of some sort has some hard and fast upper age limit. Which it doesn’t. It’s just adults balking at the idea of doing anything associated with children. So label some coloring books as being “for adults” and they’ll clamor for them and you’ll make a mint!

Not only that. It’s not like adults are supposed to be having fun with these “adult” coloring books. No, they’re therapeutic somehow. Stress relief! You know, the only thing adults’ leisure time is supposed to be about. Fun and imagination is just for children, after all. 🙄

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with these more various types of coloring books being out there, not at all. But by branding it as “adult coloring books”, therefore something typically associated with children being presented with the children somehow removed from the equation, it’s adults invading children’s space for their own benefit and shoving the real children out. Makes me start to understand what the hell people mean when they talk about “cultural appropriation”. *shrug*

December 5, 2015

Immunity Intact

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Science,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:53 pm

I hate it when anti-vaxxers and intactivists are talked about together as if they’re basically the same thing. Unfortunately, there is plenty of overlap, from those who see both issues as part of some “natural parenting” movement (more on that another day).

Anti-vaxxers are against vaccinations. Intactivists are against infant circumcision.

Those against both see it as some issue of infant body integrity, a thing I can get behind. But there’s one gigantic difference.

Vaccinations are actually extremely necessary, to save the baby and anyone around said baby from preventable diseases. This much is fact. When anti-vaxxers deny these life-saving vaccinations to their children, they are not protecting their children’s rights to their body. They are condemning their children to serious illness, a very severe violation of their rights and an abandonment of parental responsibility. And why? Because vaccines contain ingredients they can’t pronounce and that’s scary to them?

Circumcision, on the other hand, is not at all medically necessary. There is no prevention of life-threatening illness involved in it, unless you count the ridiculous grasping of straws like “uh, we think circumcision might possibly maybe prevent HIV (even though condoms would still be necessary so it doesn’t matter)”. And even so, most of the time it’s done for cosmetic or religious reasons, and people are really goddamn attached to these cosmetic or religious reasons, so this unnecessary barbaric practice continues. This is a painful violation of a child’s body that serves no real purpose and must be stopped.

Vaccinations save lives. Circumcisions are just “durr, foreskins are gross”.

Really no comparison.

December 30, 2014

Leelah Alcorn

What happened to Leelah Alcorn is tragic and infuriating.

She was transgender but stuck with super fundamentalist religious parents who told her that she’s really a boy and that she’s going through a phase. When she wouldn’t relent in wanting to transition, her parents pulled her out of school and removed her from social media and friends, completely isolating her for months. Finally, after leaving her suicide note on Tumblr, she committed suicide.

Why didn’t her parents accept her? Because she brought shame to them. Because they wanted to maintain for themselves an image of Good Christians. In their minds, she stood in the way of that. In their minds, she had to be removed.

So they did. They removed her from school and from public pretty much. They tortured her with religious pseudo-therapy. Did they think they would “cure” her? Or keep her out of “sin” long enough for her to outgrow this supposed phase?

Any way you look at it, they wanted Leelah gone. They might have preferred that she simply stopped being LGBT or maybe not. They wanted everything that Leelah was to be gone, out of their life, out of sight, so that she would no longer sully their image, their honor.

So now that she’s dead… problem solved! It may be more extreme than her parents intended, or maybe not. They saw her as a problem that needed to be removed, so she removed herself for them. In fact, given the treatment of her leading up to it, clearly this is exactly what they were hoping would happen.

They couldn’t kill her themselves without going to prison or – gasp! – tarnishing their image as Good Christians, so they drove her to do it herself, not only to keep their hands clean but to ensure, in their minds, that she goes to hell where she belongs. They wanted an honor killing, and they got one.

And, as a youth rights supporter, I must ask the very important question here. Why in the hell were her parents even able to put her through all this shit in the first place? She should have been able to transition whether they wanted her to or not. She should have been able to stay in school and stay in contact with everyone regardless of how her stupid parents feel about her. She should still be fucking ALIVE and happy!

But they had power over all of this. Because just like they cared more for their image than her life, our society cares more about their “parental right” to control her (even to death) than for her life. And that right there speaks volumes.

December 4, 2014

Good Kids, Bad Kids, Rewarded Kids, Murdered Kids

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:44 pm

I’m so tired of the “naughty or nice” theme around Christmas giving. I’ve said before that Santa Claus doesn’t work that way and that those who say he does are assholes. Santa Claus is awesome and his story doesn’t need to continue being polluted with this manipulative nonsense.

There’s so much more to Christmas than this. There are legends and folklore from all over the place associated with the season. Let’s have a look!

First, here’s Befana:

In popular folklore Befana visits all the children of Italy on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany to fill their socks with candy and presents if they are good or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad. In many poorer parts of Italy and in particular rural Sicily, a stick in a stocking was placed instead of coal.

D’oh! That’s no better. Still the good-bad nonsense.

Oh, well. Let’s try the Belsnickel:

The Belsnickel shows up at houses 1–2 weeks before Christmas and often created fright because he always knew exactly which of the children misbehaved. He is typically very ragged and mean looking. He wears torn, tattered, and dirty clothes, and he carries a switch in his hand with which to beat bad children.

What the holy fuck?!
(more…)

December 2, 2014

No Salvation for Male Teens

So apparently a homeless family of five sought shelter from the cold weather with the Salvation Army. Four of them were welcome, namely both parents, their 16-year-old daughter, and their 5-year-old son. The fifth, their 15-year-old son, was not welcome.

According to the guy’s father:

“They said he’s too old to stay on the women’s side, because of the women running around in their pajamas and they said he’s too young to stay on the men’s side in case some pervert wants to do whatever,” Lejeune said.

So he’s too dangerous to be with the women, while the men are too dangerous to him for him to be with them. Oh, God, it’s like wolf-sheep-watermelon riddle!

But seriously… what?! The Reason article calls it pedophile panic, but it’s quite a bit more than that. It’s yet another manifestation of the idea that teens equal trouble, both for themselves and for others. They are a danger to everyone, and everything is a danger to them. The curious ageist paradox that always seems to yield fewer rights for teens, who are never allowed a word in edgewise.

And it’s more ephebiphobic paranoia. “Help! It’s a teen! Is it a child? Is it an adult? Oh, Lord, I just don’t know. Let’s just shove it out of sight and not have to worry our heads with this freaky age-hybrid.”

The result? A young guy, whose only crime was existing and happening to be part of a family that fell on hard times, is forced to stay out in the cold, as is his family.
(more…)

April 29, 2014

Paglia on the Drinking Age

Filed under: Check It Out,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:53 pm

While it’s always nice to see articles in favor of lowering the drinking age, I’ve learned not to get too excited right away. The other day, a TIME article by Camille Paglia came out in favor of lowering the drinking age. Let’s have a look…

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act, passed by Congress 30 years ago this July, is a gross violation of civil liberties and must be repealed. It is absurd and unjust that young Americans can vote, marry, enter contracts and serve in the military at 18 but cannot buy an alcoholic drink in a bar or restaurant. The age-21 rule sets the U.S. apart from all advanced Western nations and lumps it with small or repressive countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

While I don’t care for the “it makes us similar to these piece of shit countries” argument, since its entire basis is “ewww… THOSE countries… THOSE people…”, the rest is right on. The drinking age is a violation of young people’s civil liberties and carries with it some nasty repercussions.

She goes on to briefly compare MADD with 19th century temperance activists (which seems a little unfair to the temperance activists :P). Then she mentions the marijuana legalization and uses that as a jumping point for lowering the drinking age, citing also that “The decrease in drunk-driving deaths in recent decades is at least partly attributable to more uniform seat-belt use and a strengthening of DWI penalties.” Which is the general argument against the pro-21 side’s “Raising the drinking age saved ALL OF THE LIVES!!!!”
(more…)

March 28, 2014

You Just Don’t Get It

Filed under: What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:48 pm

I find myself thinking this in exasperation in youth rights spaces sometimes, whether on NYRA’s Facebook page or elsewhere. Someone seems to agree with most that is posted or discussed. And sooner or later there’s a post that makes them flip their lid.

It goes something like this: “Ah, lowering the voting age to 17? Cool, neat… Ugh! What that school did to that girl was awful! They should be stopped!… … Wait, what? Lower the drinking age? Are you crazy? Teen brains are still developing!!!!111!!1!!”

You know, there can certainly be some leeway when it comes to people relatively new to the cause. I know when I was first getting involved some issues made me wary until I had the chance to think about and discuss them some more. But some people are determined to be intransigent on some irrational blind spots in their youth rights view. There’s a guy who has been with the movement for years and supports abolishing the voting age but for some reason supports corporal punishment.

I’m all for a “big tent” in the youth rights movement, since it’s a huge subject matter and so a big tent is just good sense. But someone whose support for lowering the voting age is based on believing it will get more Democrats elected is not a youth rights supporter. Someone whose support for homeschooling or unschooling is based on protecting parents’ rights is not a youth rights supporter. Someone who supports lowering the drinking age only in order to “stop unsafe drinking” is not a youth rights supporter.

Such people are certainly useful allies in specific campaigns, of course. And they could easily become youth rights supporters if we play our cards right and if it turns out they are so inclined after all. But they aren’t there yet.
(more…)

December 29, 2013

Translation

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:21 pm

What do people mean when they open their yaps and say words? Here’s a guide to some of the things. Even if some of intention isn’t always there, such a message is conveyed.

“Learn more about dealing with drug abuse among teens and young adults.”

Translation: “Teenagers are bad and you should hate them.”

“Good luck when your kids are teenagers!”

Translation: “Teenagers are bad and you should hate them.”

“We’ve had shoplifters, so no unaccompanied under-16s allowed in store.”

Translation: “Teenagers are bad and you should hate them.”

“Brains aren’t fully developed until 25, so young people can’t make decisions well and are impulsive.”

Translation: “Teenagers are bad and you should hate them.”

You get the idea.

December 18, 2013

Unwise Purchases

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Think About It!,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:28 pm

People with Celiac Disease can’t eat gluten. It screws up their small intestine and makes them all kinds of sick. And yet, they are still perfectly free to waltz into any store and buy a loaf of bread.

People with peanut allergies must stay away from peanuts, obviously. In some cases, eating peanuts could kill them. Merely being around peanuts can mess them up. And yet, they are still perfectly free to waltz into any store and buy a can of peanuts.

Stores don’t require you to prove you can safely consume the foods you intend to buy before they sell them to you. They trust you can look after your own self and know what you should or shouldn’t be eating or drinking. Not that that’s really their place anyway.

But then there’s the drinking age. For this, stores are required to make their customers prove they are of legal drinking age before allowing the purchase. Because alcohol is supposedly uniquely harmful to those below that age.

Yet even if this were true, even if the tiniest sip of alcohol could cause someone 20 or under severe immediate damage, why are the sellers made responsible to ensure that the buyers of this product are those who can consume it safely, while they do no such thing for deadly allergens, which do a lot more damage to those with such allergies?

Maybe just throw this on the already gargantuan heaping pile of Reasons the Drinking Age Makes No Sense.

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