Age Discrimination: Nobody Likes It to Happen to Them | Teen Ink

Age Discrimination: Nobody Likes It to Happen to Them

February 8, 2010
By BrainsANDBeauty PLATINUM, Donnellson, Iowa
BrainsANDBeauty PLATINUM, Donnellson, Iowa
29 articles 3 photos 52 comments

Favorite Quote:
I knew that guy when he was a caterpillar, you know, before he 'came out'

Age discrimination is a large issue in the United States today. All ages can be discriminated against, teenagers are considered shifty and untrustworthy, elderly considered incapable, youth considered boisterous. It affects not only the people who are discriminated against, but also those who lose valuable relationships by judging them based on age.

Picture this: a teenage boy, with a group of friends, walks laughing into a store. They scan the magazine section, walk by the candy, and then walk out without making any purchases. What is the first perception of this? It might be, and in many cases it is, that they stole something. Maybe the employee working behind the register will even go as far as to call the police on these boys, who didn’t steal anything, but were discriminated against simply because they were “unruly teenage boys”.

This happens every day, all over America. We don’t tell the youth very much, because they “won’t understand”, they’re “too young”. We gawk when elderly people run marathons, or even participate in simple recreational activities such as volleyball or swimming, because they are “old”, and “incapable”.

People who are discriminated against, no matter the reason, can be hurt by it. Age discrimination is the same as racial discrimination, or religious discrimination. They can be offended, because it isn’t something they can help. Like my example of the teenage boy above, he was simply having fun as he walked into the store. He had no intention of stealing anything or causing any trouble, he could even be an honor roll student and an athlete, and he was still discriminated against for being a teenager.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should explain to your three year old sister about your sexual education class, or sign your great uncle up for a marathon, but give them a little credit. They are capable of doing things we are, and sometimes more. So next time you tell your little brother/sister/cousin that they’re “too young to understand” or assume that your grandmother is “too old” to participate in athletic activities, listen to yourself. I know you are offended by being judged as a teenager, so how do you think they feel? Remember, it all hurts. Everyone deserves equal opportunities, regardless of age, race, or religion.

The author's comments:
This was inspired by when I was holding my newborn baby cousin at a public gathering, people kept glaring at me and whispering about me. I thought it was rude of them to judge me based on my age, and the child which was not mine but I still felt protective over. I heard other accounts of people being judged based on their age, one of them being my own grandmother who snow skis with the rest of us every winter, and keeps me speeding up to follow her. I hope people will understand the error of age discrimination, and if not, at least see my point of view.

Similar Articles


This article has 24 comments.

on Jun. 23 2010 at 7:39 pm
BrainsANDBeauty PLATINUM, Donnellson, Iowa
29 articles 3 photos 52 comments

Favorite Quote:
I knew that guy when he was a caterpillar, you know, before he 'came out'

Yea, it's ridiculous.  It's like saying that (hypothetically) it's more likely for a kid with a red shirt to get in trouble to keep all kids wearing red shirts in lockdown.

on Jun. 23 2010 at 6:51 pm
Liz891 PLATINUM, Endwell, New York
25 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
I don't know what to write here. :D
P.S. I'm really hyper!!!!!!!!!!

That is soo true. I was just at the mall a couple days ago with some friends. And we walked out of this store laughing our heads off because of something funny my friend did and this mall cop guy walked over to us and asked us "So, what'd you guys steal?" We started freaking out because all three of us are pretty good kids most of the time and we kept on saying "Nothing.", But the cop dude just wouldn't listen to us and it really annoyed me.

erikal1997 said...
on Mar. 4 2010 at 6:29 pm
I believe that the teens are discrminated the most, because when we walk into a store and don't buy anything and we're just laughing at something like a joke, people will just think we stole something and call the police. The middle aged people that all us teens do is spend all out time at the mall, and handing out anywhere. Maybe some teens do that, but not all... I mean we do have lives after school, like sports or dance class. It isn't fair for the older people to dicsriminate us teen! ♫

erikal1997 said...
on Mar. 4 2010 at 6:23 pm
I think that age discrimination is very cruel. I think that's it really mean to the elderly, because everyone thinks that they can't do hardly anything, which isn't true. The elderly also get picked on just becausse they are old. It doesn't seem fair, because the people who make fun of, and pick on elderly, are going to become old too!