ageist editors | june 7, 2018


boomer is a forbidden word

We keep a list of words never to be used — golden, silver, sunset years — but also boomer and millennial. Typing people based on when they were born is not only lazy, it’s insulting and dangerous. It’s a generational version of identity politics: focusing on what our differences are. In a world where there is so much fear of the other, we push back and say no. We will not participate in this. The purpose of AGEIST is to unite.

In our extensive research, we find a fear of young people from people our age.  This fear says that we are losing our agency in the world to younger people who don’t understand how valuable we are. The younger people fear us because they see us as having all the power, and that we are the ones who messed up the world they live in. So simple and so depressing, can’t we do better?

As with identity politics, there are elements of truth that when magnified serve to separate us from our commonalities. Yes, of course there are elements unique to any age. This is all the more reason for us to learn from each other and expand our range.

I personally bristle when someone calls me a boomer — not only does it sound like a bad name for a dog, it is placing me in a loathsome box. No one likes that. To people who use these terms, I ask them to think about comparable ethnic terms when they are used to systemize entire groups of people. Not so great, right? Let’s agree to stop it with the generational labels.

In this spirit, Cirkel is happening in NYC Monday June 11. Be part of the solution: be a mentor, get a mentor, expand the possibilities.