Millennials are the agents of change.
Typically understood to be people born between the mid-90s and early 2000s, millennials are steadily changing the status quo of the generations before us. It’s evident through our constant dialogue surrounding feminism, LGBT equality and equity for people of color or different socio-economic status.
It’s the most evident by the older generation’s incessant critique of us being too “politically correct.” If you don’t believe me, you can read articles like, “Generation Wuss,” by Bret Easton Elis for Vanity Fair.
He writes that millennials are full of “…over-sensitivity, their insistence that they are right despite the overwhelming proof that suggests they are not, their lack of placing things within context, the overreacting, the passive-aggressive positivity…”
As criticized as I could be for renouncing this statement, let me clarify – it’s not about being right. It’s about seeing the bigger picture.
As with the growth of every generation, values, ideologies and beliefs do change.
Some evolve into change and some regress into “traditions” that we begin to hold as new status quos. It’s a cycle; We learn, we challenge, we correct or we accept.
We’ve seen an influx of the millennial thought process within this past election. We’ve seen protests around the country rejecting the reality that will set in by January – unless the protests somehow result in Trump and Pence’s removal from office.
Pulling back into focus, this wave of backlash from millennials has caused a media uproar. During the Fox Show, “Fox & Friends Show”, a segment titled, “Trauma Treatment” the hosts referred to our upset as a “temper tantrum,” and interviewed protesters who didn’t necessarily know what they were fighting for. This tactic to expose millennials as uneducated and uninformed is tired because this is not representative of our generation.
If white people have the privilege to say that they’re not all racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., then why can’t we prove that we’re not the lazy, entitled “crybabies” that we’re painted as?
I’ll be over here sipping the saltiest of teas.
In an article titled, “Why are the baby boomers desperate to make millennials hate ourselves?,” by Eleanor Robertson for The Guardian, the baby boomer-mindset is put into question.
Roberston writes: “The boomer mentality goes like this: get a good education. Get a well-paying full-time job. Find a stable partner…Failing any stage of this process is a reflection of your self-worth and indicates a lack of moral fibre.”
What I don’t think past generations understand is that we were handed an equal amount of positives and negatives. We have more technology and accessibility to that technology, but we also have it harder finding a job to even utilize it all. Turnover rates are high and we’re constantly in competition with X amount of people to secure a job that will barely pay rent.
Speaking of rent, my mom always tells me how 40 years ago, $1,000 could pay for rent, utilities, bills, groceries and a few nights out on the town, while $1,000 today can barely cover rent.
Minimum wage in 1976 was $2.30 per hour and it just now got to $10.00, 40 years later.
Sorry mom and dad, please don’t talk to me about how easy we have it nowadays.
Lest we forget the fact that as children, we are told that we can be whoever we want to be and do whatever we want to do, yet the very people who raised us with this notion are now the ones telling us that we’re “entitled.”
So, when did this shift in mindsets occur? When we realized that our hands were slapped for having an extra cookie when we were just told that we could have the cookie.
We represent a new counterculture. We’re in this mindset of post-modernism, where we take the ideals we’ve grown up with and critique them, then proceed to evolve them.
It’s not about us being too PC, it’s about acknowledging the fundamental differences we all have and finding ways to create equity between those differences. It’s not that we’re entitled, it’s that we know that we deserve more than what we have been given.
It’s not that we can’t accept change, but we’d rather be the agents of change because it’s our future that’s in the balance.