The ones to blame

Whos to blame?

Who’s to blame?

As young men, Saints boys face a myriad of problems moving out of the school environment and into the ‘real’ world, namely society’s perceptions of young men. Society considers young men as rude, naïve, and even dangerous; in fact, any mistake that a teenager makes takes a lot more heat than the same mistake made by an adult. The inequality that harbors discrimination against young people is known age-ism. In some cases, young men even have trouble defending their own rights.

There are elders’ rights advocates and there definitely are women’s rights advocates, but last time I checked there were no young men’s rights advocates. Throughout the years, women’s rights advocates have instilled this moral into society: never hit a woman. What should a young man do if a woman assaults him then? To not hit them back, to not give in man’s most basic instinct, would be quite unbearable to take, but then again, to retaliate, one would be shunned by his peers and even perhaps have physical harm done to him.

Recently, I saw a video on Youtube about a fight that broke out at a US open match in New York state. The video started with a young man arguing with a middle-aged lady. Then, all of sudden, she slaps him. This was the first of the number of assaults that the middle-aged lady and the old man, that is supposedly her husband, committed. The young man laughs it off, and the argument continues. At one point, the young man had enough, so he decided to sit down. The old man, however, decided to go over and tried to wrestle him to the ground; that’s another charge of assault. When the young man got back up, the lady gave him a push, and at that point, the young man snapped. He shoved back, knocking her back a couple of feet. Apparently, that little act of retaliation triggered a crowd response, and the young man was subdued by a wave of people rushing down to ‘help’.

The puzzling part is that the crowd seemed to have felt no sympathy towards the young man at all. When the situation is analyzed, however, the young man is the most innocent of the three; the lady having committed two acts of assault and the old man one act of assault. All the young man did was self-defense. When the young man was attacked, the crowd subdued the victim instead of the assailant. In the process, the young man was also assaulted a couple of times by the crowd. Why then, weren’t the old man, the instigator who happens to have lost the fight, and the lady, another instigator, punished? It seems like the people that were there did not consider both sides equally, and that is to say – young men do not have an equal place in society.

George Zhang, a fellow SGSCreed staff remarks when shown the video, “I haven’t personally experienced any prejudice or mistreatment because of my age. However, this video is incredible, and I cannot believe that the young man was blamed and taken down even though he was attacked. The old man and the lady were the ones at fault.”

Other examples of inequality in society for young people include age restrictions for housing and higher car insurance prices. Some housing complexes have age restrictions for their tenants; usually prohibiting people under the age of 19 from residing. There are increasing numbers of apartments that introduce this into their policies. In a sense, the council that put this requirement in place is making a generalization that all young people are loud and disturbing. Car insurances are higher for teenagers than for adults. The insurance companies argue that teenagers are more likely to crash than adults. However, not all teenagers are bad, reckless drivers. In trying to make more money, the insurance companies are in effect putting a burden on the responsible teenage drivers.

Society should give us young people a clean slate; give us at least a fair shot at life. Not all young people are wrong, and not all older people are right.