People talk shit about “kids these days.” I’m nearing 50, and honestly I should be at the “you damn kids get off my lawn and get a haircut” stage. But more and more, I’m impressed, even awed, by this upcoming generation.
It started over a year ago, at the Women’s March in Sacramento. High school-age girls. Quite a few of them. Handmade signs about women in S.T.E.M.. About voting rights. About their right to say “no” and dress however the fuck they want to. Teenagers, particularly girls, have been out front and loud about the proposed Muslim ban, the proposed wall, about DACA. At this year’s march the number was doubled.
I see my friend E’s daughter, K, who’s only in junior high school, but has her shit together. Sure, she’s still a hormonal teenager, but she knows who she is, and it seems like she isn’t going to let anyone tell her different.
I watch my cousins’ daughters run, climb, bike and snowboard anything not nailed down. And be unapologetic about it (because why the fuck should they). Those are some girls that will not only stand up for themselves, but for anyone else, should they need to. (As sisters, I imagine they fight, but I can also see little red-head A ambushing and beating the crap out of the first boy to break big sis’ heart.)
I’ve witnessed my friend K’s daughter growing up, and managing to find a balance between her faith and being a pre-teen (I can’t imagine that’s easy). She’s learning what servant leadership is, and in fact, what it means to live your faith.
Those are great examples. I would have been happy with those. But this week brought even more.
I didn’t want them. I didn’t want high school students to have to stand up to the government and demand that they act to ensure the safety of other students. I didn’t want to bark with laughter at responses to the presidents’ lame-ass “we stand with you” speech. No you don’t you mother-fucker. You stand with the National Rifle Association who gave you 30 MILLION dollars. You rolled back the Obama era regulation that stopped the mentally ill from purchasing guns.
They’re calling out the government for failing them. They’re calling out the lies from their elected officials who took money from the NRA to curtail sensible gun laws so they could profit from selling one more damn AR-15. They’re calling out the hypocrisy of “pro-life” members of Congress who only care about life in a uterus, and not walking the halls of a high-school, thinking about a prom dress.
Let me make this perfectly clear: there is no silver lining here. This is not the “bright side” that I am so famous for.
Teenagers today. These kids aren’t putting up with any of your “thoughts and prayers” bullshit. They want to know why someone with mental problems, and who was fucking identified as a threat, was allowed to buy a fucking assault weapon. And they’re doing it on Twitter, confronting the President directly.
Damn, I’m impressed. This is the next generation. The ones that have been ridiculed as being snowflakes. To quote my husband, “This is the post ‘participation-trophy’ generation.”
They will be marching, they will speaking, and they will be voting.
You have been warned.