When I was 18 yrs old, I founded the first youth rights group on the Internet. For kids/teens. I ran it ’til I was 23. A number of movements came off of it, including the NYCA http://youthrights.org/, TCS movement (Taking Children Seriously, a parenting movement giving autonomy) and others. They met up in my group (Y-RIGHTS), I taught them how to split off into their focused groups when they were overloading the group with their focus, and they did.
Now, I’m 44 yrs old. I still fight for the rights of kids/teens yet it’s also evolved into human rights.
One of my fights is ageism. Usually ageism is “young people against old people” but for me, my main concern was the other way around.
I don’t like how young people are treated and misrepresented in the media, in the schools, laws that are ageist, people’s perceptions, etc.
So, believe me, I know very well. I know ageism when I see it from any direction. I know when I’m perpetrating it in any direction.
I see people as people. Humans. So, if you WANT to put me in an “old guy who doesn’t understand your problems” category, you can do that if you like, but you’d be mistaken.
I only recently came back. I was never a part of NYRA itself – I’m still not as they’re more political than me, but I support and promote them whenever I feel like it. Right now, their big thing is lowering the voting age to 16, which is already happening in a few towns. It’s not for federal elections, but for local elections like mayor and stuff.
They’re also working on lowering the drinking age and other issues like that.
It’s political stuff: not really my thing generally, but I don’t mind broadcasting their stuff. My interest was always the shitty way that schools can wreck creativity in people and how kids are socially left to their own devices without any coping skills for dealing with the huge population found in schools. I read “Unschooling” when I was 14 yrs old and saw I wasn’t the only one who thought school was systemically messed up.
I vowed I’d never forget what it was like, and so, I never did.