Why do we defend the rights of youth? Among the numerous reasons, we’ve had enough of the testimonials.
So many young people come to us with their accounts of their lives at home and school. To what many people would dismiss as dramatic teenage whining, we listen. Unlike everyone else in their lives, we take them seriously. Why would they be the liars, but their parents and teachers are necessarily telling the truth? Their ages? Obviously a poor factor there. What else? Oh, you mean age was the only reason? Well, in that case, your theory is faulty, so let’s go with that the young victims are truthful.
Each year, over 2,000 children and teens die at the hands of their parents, and 350,000 more are severely abused. Why don’t we hear about this? Because, God forbid, the media or politicians make any statements pointing out fault with the traditional family. Instead, they’d rather pretend the greatest dangers to a kid are that he watches Dragonball Z and plays Mortal Kombat, and conveniently ignore that his father beats him every night. And, of course, only the former will be called into blame when he shoots up his school someday.
Young guys get hauled off to spend the night in jail because they shoved their mothers, as the police have no interest in the abuse the mother was causing beforehand, and simply tell the young victim that she had every right to do it.
Girl is forced into a psychiatric ward because her parents insist she is crazy, and the ward takes their word for it rather than testing her. The reason she is having these issues, most likely the psychological torture her parents put her through for years, is unimportant to these people.
Corporal punishment remains a legal parenting tool, even for teens. People don’t want to believe parents would hit their kids for reasons other than discipline. They’ll pretend the girl getting brutal swats from a belt on a regular basis because she disagrees with her father’s political views doesn’t exist.
And the abuse only breeds more abuse. The abused grew up with this distorted idea of love, so this is what they give, as they become abusive spouses and parents themselves. They believe their children are theirs to do as they wish with, just as their own parents believed of them. And the casualties are numerous and societally overlooked.
Don’t forget the infamous behavior modification facilities. Parents can just ship their kids off to these places if they don’t like their behavior. The facilities institute “tough love” measures to “cure” teens of undesirable behavior, but most of these places are unregulated and utilize potentially deadly restraint practices, and brutal disciplinary measures. Dozens have died, and hundreds more come out psychologically damaged. Why must they endure this? They have no trial. Their parents merely signed a form, and off they went. But does the media care? No. They’re more interested in Barack Obama’s priest’s anti-American remarks than the suffering of innocent American teens.
So it’s up to us to make the change. Once we get the voting age lowered and empower youth to realize they are entitled to the same human rights as adults, that they do not have to live as oppressed children but as capable young citizens, then we can see some real change. Kids are abused because their abusers believe them to be inferior and subhuman, and no one cares enough to tell them otherwise. Kids are property, and they believe the extremely dangerous and lethal excuse that this is for their own good.
So next time you think youth don’t need rights or that their suffering is petty, you seriously need to take a closer look. Prepare to be appalled. Prepare to be unable to sleep at night knowing the prevalence, wondering what’s going on with the young voiceless residents in your neighbor’s house. This can’t continue.
Yep. Poor Ian. You’re right; this is exactly why.
It does make me pretty sad sometimes when the word of a adult is taken to be more important than a teenager’s words even when they aren’t telling the truth.
In a lot of non-Western societies, especially in the Middle East, women’s testimony is worth less in court than that of men. I see a similar dynamic when it comes to how our society judges the credibility of young people.