3.12.2017

#MillennialShaming: Do You Even Know What a Millennial Is?

So, Millennial-shaming is REALLY in right now, and being a Millennial myself, I often read these articles (notably written by non-Millennials) which insist that me and mine are a spoiled, selfish, self-centered, emotionally fragile, and overly entitled generation.  And I have wonder...who the fuck are these people writing about?

And then what's even more annoying on top of that, is that I'll be watching a TV or film in which tiny humans and teenagers are being referred to as Millennials.

You know how I keep bringing up the need for people to learn what words actually mean?  This is one of those times.  First of all, Millennials are not children, so stop talking down to us like we are.  The oldest Millennials are currently in their mid to late thirties.  Like, we're a hop and a skip away from being forty.  The youngest Millennials are currently in their early twenties.  Those teens and pre-teens and tiny humans people keep referring to are Postmillennials - Generation Z.  A basic internet search would clarify that.

Side note: if you thought Millennials have no fucks left to give...*chuckles*...then y'all are really not ready to deal with what's coming up behind us.

Secondly, Millennials are the kids who fought (and died) in wars we didn't start, and have borne the brunt of a Great Recession we didn't cause.  We are the most educated yet underpaid and unappreciated members of the labor force.  Many of us haven't bought houses or had any children because we can't afford them.  We are buckling under millions of dollars in student loan debt that we took our because we were told our education was an investment, and that once we graduated, it would all be worth it.

So naturally, America is handling the tragic fates of Millennials the same it handles everything else - denial and victim-blaming.  Have you noticed that every time another industry or franchise (which predates us) collapses...it's always somehow our fault?

Whenever I read an article about how awful and useless we are, not a single, solitary socioeconomic fact is listed.  It's all anecdotal, subjective opinionated bullshit with no actual basis in reality.  My parents and teachers didn't tell me I was special my whole life.  None of my age-mates had that experience; quite frankly, the majority of us had the opposite (we were being raised by a resentful, regretful generation).  I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth and I was not handed everything - why do people keep saying Millennials have been handed everything?  We weren't handed shit.  Because the economy was already in slow decline once we hit our late teens, many of our parents struggled just to cover the basics.

In fact, from elementary school all the way up until after I finished graduate school and got a 9 to 5 (after extensive searching, interviewing, and eventually, settling for a low-paying job), the only people I knew who were "handed" shit came from already rich (never actually wealthy though) families, and I could count all of them on one hand).  Everywhere, I saw struggle.  I saw people wearing the same clothes to work every week and talking about bills, checking accounts being in the negative, payday taking too long to get here, and relying a credit card just to get by.  As a social worker, I saw clients who were 2-3 financial steps behind me.  FYI, I finished graduate school nine years ago.  Not a damn thing has changed...except for the cost of living steadily going up.

Poverty is the language of Millennials; not a single day goes by when we don't think, speak, or meme about the never-ending financial struggle. But it's nice to know all of this is our fault and if we stopped being so spoiled and entitled, it would magically fix everything.

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