A wonderful thread has started in the NYRA forums that I think deserves some more exposure. It asks the question of what us youth rights supporters felt about ageism and youth rights before our eyes were opened, and while the opening post didn’t ask it, I think the natural question follows of how our eyes were opened.

Our true purpose here as youth rights supporters is to open eyes. It is central to our existence and vital for our success. The process can be rather difficult and stories like the ones below give us a great look into the mind of an ageist, i.e. a regular person, and also how that switch was made in their world view that led them to embrace youth rights.

MiNi :

Any of you ever used to have ageism-related mindsets before reading about youth rights? I did, but I saw it with skepticism at first rather than brushing it off. I took a look at various youth rights websites when I was about 13-14 disagreeing with many of the things I read. I eventually started to believe in YR when I read a lot more into it and gave it a chance.

What about you? Don’t be afraid to admit it.

Monarch91:

I didn’t know ageism existed, so I didn’t really have an opinion until I was fusoiehed off by homework and teachers punishing students just for talking back. Then I thought the audio-player ban at my school had no real purpose. After all, several students brought guitars to school, without problems, but they can’t have their 3PM (study hall) MP3’s?

why18:

Never. I can’t even remember not supporting YR.

kmgcatcousin:

I also didn’t know ageism existed… but teachers get evil, so idecided to google my rights. I found this site through that search. I’ve been an active member since

FightforRight:

I always felt something was wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it, so I just went along with it until I found this website while doing research on mall curfews. Best Google search of my life.

Believe!:

I used to subscribe to that schoolchild I’m-older-so-I’m-better stuff. Still do, but to a far lesser extent, and I do at least try to stop myself.

I found NYRA through a search on the voting age. That was about a year and a half after my first interest in that. Six months later, I subscribed to the mailing list, I joined to forums, and I made my first donation a week or so after that.

This is fun.

$tamp3r:

I found the NYRA site while researching different positions on the drinking age for a final project paper in AP English last year. That issue opened my eyes to youth rights and led me to NYRA (which was a great resource, by the way).

I didn’t really check out the forums until about six months later and have only had enough time to get on them in the last few months.

I always felt that youth get walked on way more than any other group, but it was NYRA that got me motivated enough to start a chapter() and actually DO something() about the shit we take.

clockworkgirl21:

I was ageist once I guess, but I was very little, and didn’t really understand. Once I saw my mom’s 14 year old cousin smoking, and I think I was about 7. “Hey, you can’t smoke that!” “Why not?” “You aren’t 18!” She just laughed, but I would have deserved it if she had hit me in my face.

I’ll post more in the days to come. I really think this is absolutely vital to examine for all of us. If you have thoughts and experiences to share, please post a comment (or post a full entry if you have plenty to say).