Scotty Masterson of Cedar Point, Ohio stole over fifty dollars worth of Hot Wheels and Star Wars toys from his local Wal-Mart. To make matters worse: when he was finally caught, after a months-long resource-draining investigation, he did not care about the consequences of his actions at all. He simply had no regard for how his mother, father or community would be affected. Jimmy is not the only child to have pushed me over the edge, however. I’ve been over the edge for a while, thank you very much.
Expressions of toxic juvenility have been festering in our culture for quite some time. Examples abound: ranging from Macaulay Culkin’s famous depiction of Kevin, an upper class, white, privileged juvenile exploiting and abusing his ethnic, working class foes for laughs in the movie Home Alone; through the children on Sesame Street consistently othering racialized Muppet subordinates, such as Grover; to Dora the Explorer’s frequent gaslighting of Boots the Monkey, it’s clear that we live in a culture that favors the misbehavior of children over the safety of grown-ups.
I must confess that I have a soft spot for the radical progressive takedown that names the problem for what it is, and I have been infuriated by the more mainstream version of progressivism that claims we don’t hate children! To my mind, these milquetoast would-be progressives are guilty of obfuscation and exacerbate the very problem they seek to address: children. Suggesting that children are not the problem, but are instead part of a bigger problem of the system is, simply put, hate speech.
Whether the source is transnational progressivism, or those fake, white, so-called second wave progressives, who have tried to co-opt our movement from true progressives like me, the notion that youth privilege is only a symptom of a larger inequities is a dangerous one indeed. It’s true that the locus of youth power is rooted in institutions, but the question is: who authors the rules of such institutions? The answer is clear: youth. Children have enjoyed the privilege of being granted a special set of requirements, a privilege that subjugates older citizens and relegates them to a life of servitude. Since the beginning of civilization, adults have been slaves to youth supremacy, catering to their children’s overwhelming and never-ending needs. It stands to reason, therefore, that all children, whether they are aware of it or not, are Nazis.
Thankfully, we are living in an increasingly enlightened age, and there are growing movements to challenge the institutions—such as education, entertainment and recreation—that unfairly promote youth supremacy. We need to find a way to engage children in progressivism from a very early age or there is no hope for us—these inequities will only get worse. I’m going to just come right out and say it: why not just hate children?
Let’s not forget some basic facts. The reality of youth privilege is pretty much everywhere in the world: when children commit crimes, they frequently get away with it. Think about this vile injustice: they even have their own set of laws. We’ve been gaslit by children for so long that we have actually been trained to praise them, even when their accomplishments are sub-par. Children have been living rent-free on the property of Older-Americans for centuries now. Children get special discount pricing at movies and theme parks, and even have their own menu at many of the world’s finest restaurants. Adults must engage in unpaid physical and emotional labor in order to raise children. Adults are severely underrepresented at lemonade stands throughout North America. This. Is. What. Youth. Privilege. Looks. Like.
So while it’s all well and good to express platitudes about how children can be part of the solution, this simply does not mesh with reality. Children cannot be the entire problem and part of the solution at the same time. That’s just basic maths.
Youth apologists and youth supremacists will bombard you with disingenuous hashtags like #notallchildren and #thekidsarealright, but I for one am not going to fall for it, and I implore my fellow maturists to join me. Children are toxic and they must be exposed for the vile monsters they are if we are to survive at all.
Whether it’s an seemingly innocuous news story meant to shame you into the traumatizing free labor of reading to a child, or the more immediately damaging actions of an entitled seventeen-year-old white child actor like Jimmy Bennett, taking advantage of and destroying the life of an unsuspecting thirty-seven-year old feminist hero like Asia Argento, what we must come to understand is that #ToxicJuvenility is real and childhood is the most dangerous force we face in our lifetime.
To any children who may be reading this: if you would like us to stop hating you because of the thousands upon thousands of years during which you have oppressed us, perhaps you could begin with this: make yourselves as fucking vulnerable as we are. Let us take over the playgrounds and boxcar derbies that you have been hoarding since the dawn of time. We got this. It’s time to let us in and let us have a nap and some juice in the middle of the day for once. Your disgusting juvenile fragility and your young tears won’t work anymore. It’s time for us true adult heroes of the progressive movement to win and it’s time for you to lose once and for all.
Please note: this piece is a parody of the Washington Post’s “Why Can’t We Hate Men?”