Itz hard beeing a gurl. Anytime i haz ideez 2 share i haz to werk so hard. I meen OMG 1D is so HAWT and i just no if i say just the rite thing 1 of them will call me. And then there is my nailz. OMG they are awesom. And I keep sharing pics of them on instagram but no1 ever coments on them. They all coment on the posts about bullyz. Wat is the big deel about dat. I meen if u look like a skank or ur fat peeple r gonna say stuff about u. Git over it. Oh wait lemme take a selfie. Ok im back. My mom says i should pay more atenshun to my skool but my skool is fine cuz im popular. Ok i gotta go now cuz Brad just comented on my selfie.
Yeah. I couldn't go any further with that because I was losing too many brain cells. If you need to take a break before you read further, I don't blame you.
Seriously, this is what some people expect out of our youth, especially young girls. Some people think no teenage girl could possibly use coherent sentences to form paragraphs and couldn't possibly read information and form an opinion. Others expect girls to not speak up about any important topics. If we do, we're being "disrespectful" because "nice girls" don't challenge the opinions of adults, and if we do, we need an "attitude adjustment." I've even gotten a message that said, "Stay home and play with your dolls." These people may not realize what they're doing, but they are directly attacking the future of our country.
Every young citizen deserves to be told he or she is capable, valuable, and should be encouraged to pay attention, participate, and use his or her gifts and talents to make a difference. Every young person deserves to be able to define himself or herself. When we relegate young people to a certain set of choices based on what we think they "should" be doing, we're limiting the potential for a beautiful future. I take selfies. I like shopping. I enjoy doing my nails. I like boys. I don't like One Direction but there are bands I do like, such as Panic! At the Disco.
I also happen to enjoy writing. It's something I've always liked to do. The reason it hurt my brain to type the paragraph (can we even call it that?) above is that I care about words and how ideas are expressed. If people were to watch me do math, no one would ever say I was amazing. There are a lot of fantastic teen writers out there. Some of them you might see on blogs or other media, but some of them write things not many people will ever see. Just because a lot of people read my blog and I've had articles shared around the interwebs, that doesn't make me a better writer than any of them. There are also a lot of young people expressing themselves in words who might not have a good grasp of grammar or style yet. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of situation. If you're young and share something fairly well-written, people will accuse you of not writing it yourself. If you share something that has a lot of mistakes, people will pick you apart for your mistakes. Is it any wonder why many young writers are like I was for so many years? I didn't share anything because I was afraid.
Well, now I'm not afraid. The negative comments about me really don't bother me much personally. They bother me because of what they are saying about young people in general. If the only thing I accomplish in everything I'm doing is to get more young people to not be afraid to speak out, I will consider that a success. I don't care if they're Democrat, Republican, anti-choice, pro-choice, atheist, Christian, whatever. We need our young people paying attention and getting involved, and I will stand up for their opportunity to do that. We can disagree about ideas, but one thing we should all agree on is that we should be encouraging the next generation of leaders to share their ideas.