Ageism has a negative effect

Society will have you believing our elders are feeble, cantankerous, occasionally racist people who have lost all ability to function correctly. On the other end, young folks are being painted as lazy, immature and impulsive. These toxic assumptions have leaked into numerous aspects of our daily lives affecting both workers on both ends of the age spectrum, promoting a continuing culture of ageism.

The issue you’ll most likely hear regarding age discrimination is that older workers are often traded in for younger workers, particularly, industrial jobs. This has been a problem before because people who have been on a certain job longer might not have gotten used to new technological advances. However, this isn’t the case all the time.

A 2012 study by the Guardian came to the conclusion that workers over 70 are seen in a more positive light than workers in their 20s unless that older person is a manager, supervisor or advisor.

According to statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of people 65 and older increased by 101 percent between 1977 and 2007. Since then, men over 65 went up 75 percent and the amount of women over 65 working has increased by almost twice as much.

Ageism doesn’t just affect workplace interactions; it can affect people psychologically according to a study done by The American Psychological Association.

Because these stereotypes are internalized at a young age due to the way media represents certain age groups, there is an emphasis on staying young, which would explain the sad, but nevertheless increasing rate of cosmetic surgeries.

We have witnessed the transformation of numerous celebrities who have convinced themselves that getting plastic surgery will lengthen their careers. We have also seen this line of thinking backfire and we wouldn’t have such a problem if there weren’t such a huge focus on age.

However, age discrimination isn’t just a problem for middle-aged people. This generation is often referred to as entitled, self-obsessed and lazy. If you are under the age of 18, your rights are less than that of someone who’s over 18 and you will not be taken seriously.

Young people are often marginalized, especially when they are fighting for a cause. Conservative politicians will often play up stereotypes to invalidate the opinions of people 30 years old and younger. If you raise a good point, politically or otherwise, chances are you will be met with eye-rolling and condescending comments.

We should be able to take into account one’s abilities based on performance rather than age. I don’t know where this whole “old people have wisdom” came from, but it isn’t true judging by the thoughts and ideals of all those sexist and racist stiffs in Congress.

I don’t know where this idea that young folks are idiotic came from, but last time I checked, it was young people who were at the frontlines of the Ferguson protests.

It’s strange that most of us want to move away from sexism and racism but not ageism. I suppose it’s something people don’t think about too often even though, most likely, we’ve all experienced it.

Too many people become apathetic with the way things work, refusing to challenge the idea that you have to be a part of a certain age group to accomplish certain things.

We need to get out of this mindset that certain behaviors, opinions and abilities are privy to a certain age group.

Anyone can be afflicted with aches and pains and illnesses. Suffering isn’t just for the elderly, neither is wisdom. Promiscuity isn’t especially reserved for 20-somethings either. We are never too young to die we are never too old to party.