Monday, June 27, 2011

What Teens Really Think

You know, there's only one thing more embarrassing than blogs (or other sources) claiming to explain What Women Really Think.

It's non-teens trying to talk about teenagers.

I work for a municipal government. One of our departments is a public library. And every time the librarians start trying to set up 'teen interests' or 'teen scene' or 'teen activities' on our website - as if teens were this strange, foreign species that requires skilled translators to understand - I cringe. I'm not embarrassed for the teenagers; I'm embarrassed for the librarians. The teens, I assume, are all just muddling through their lives - rather like the rest of us.

There isn't a teen experience; there are teens, and they have experiences. There aren't teen interests; there are teens, and they have interests. There aren't teen concerns; there are teens, and they have concerns. You start making them into something other, and not only are you missing the point, you're compounding the problems and injustices that are already enshrined legally and socially.

Seriously. Stop it. Just, stop it.

You want to address teen problems? Okay. Stop treating them like teens. Start treating them like people.


  1. I've been saying that since I was a teen. Now that I'm 30-something I'm still saying it. So I guess I'm doing better than other non-teens.

  2. Yeah, it's been a soapbox issue of mine since I was a teen, too.


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