The Values Of The Older Generation Versus New One

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In this essay i will be discussing if the older generation can learn from the modern youth. I believe the answer is yes, they can, and i will be presenting several arguments in order to prove and validate my point. It is common knowledge that young people tend to be more accepting and open minded, especially with the LGBTQ+ and feminist movements which make up much of the cultural and political landscape of our modern world. Both of these issues are commonly at the forefront of pop culture, such as shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race and Queer Eye. Both of these series have helped raise awareness about the importance of inclusivity and pride and these values have been adopted wholeheartedly by our young generation in the quest for a freer and more accepting society. Drag queen Rupaul described drag as “I think this life is hard without the assistance of others”. This quote shows that drag was not as accepted in the past, and became a more normal thing due to the young generation of today.

Furthermore, it is extremely encouraging to see that influential institutions such as the Hollywood film industry are leading the way for a new, empowered generation of women, both as the subjects of their films and the actors playing these roles. Up until the last 20 years, almost all main superhero characters have tended to be male, whereas now female superheroes are managing to get their own movies, for example, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel and X Men: Dark Phoenix. Compare this to the 1960s, 70s and 80s, where women tended to be simply sidekicks or love interests, to nowadays, where it is considered more than normal to have a main female character. Younger people are taking over the film industry, allowing it to be more inclusive as compared to old Hollywood where everything was generally made up of straight, white, misogynistic men. With the popular shows mentioned before, the viewers are commonly younger rather than older. The general viewing age of RuPaul’s Drag Race is 19-24, and 43% of viewers are in high school and college/ university. Older people tend to be more closed-minded as a result of growing up in an era where feelings – and a true sense of self – was stifled, repressed and looked upon with judgement and derision. In this way, perhaps our generation have had is easier: we have been born in a time which – although full of political uncertainty – is taking massive strides in identity and gender issues, as well as the fight for equality for people of all backgrounds and orientations. Can it really be said that this was the case for generations past? Were the baby boomers, for example, running out to defend the disenfranchised? In conclusion, i believe this is more reason why the older generation can learn from modern youth to be more open minded and aware of things surrounding them, such as racism and homophobia.

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Moreover, voting patterns further suggest that younger people are more open-minded and liberal in their views than their older counterparts. Statistics show that older people with less qualifications were most likely to have voted leave in the 2015 European elections. 64% of people over 65 years old voted to leave, whereas only 29% of 18-24-year olds voted to leave. What does this tell us about the difference in the generations and their political views? Another example of this is the 2016 US Presidential elections: 53% of Americans aged 18-44 voted for Clinton meanwhile 52% of 45 and over voted for Trump. This proves that older people are comparatively close-minded, as Trump’s policies promote racism, sexism and even white supremacy. He insisted on building a wall to keep the Mexicans out and implying that they should pay for it. However, 3 years later this wall has not yet been built yet like promised and the “Mexican rapists who are bringing drugs and crime” are still in America. So, as I said before, his polices are made up of lies and racism and 52% of 45+ continued to vote for him, unlike the younger opposers who 53% of voted for Clinton. This shows older groups are more vulnerable to propaganda and are more set in their archaic ways. Younger people, it would seem, can see through his lies and know his “policies” for what they really are: a self-serving ploy to raise his own profile on the world stage through neo-Fascist means. Many people of this era are easily convinced, or naïve, as they are more trusting potentially due to age, growing up in a time where people where nowhere near as individual as they are today. Because youngsters ideas can almost be seen as ridiculous or silly as compared to their own ideas, they can be disregarded, however youngsters ideas are more likely to be in touch with the times. Due to this, i think the modern youth can teach the older generation to think about what they are voting for. Politics is only getting more complicated due to the internet, and learning from someone who understands things such as social media can benefit a member of the older generation.

Another observation about this argument is that it is easier for younger people to access both sides of the story. The majority of people 40+ do not have social media, as opposed to the younger demographic, especially teens and young adults. People who use social media on a daily basis are most likely to read online tabloids and get their news stories online whereas an older person who does not use social media regularly may be loyal to the same biased newspaper. Due to the fact there are so many online newspapers and articles, younger people will probably see both sides of the argument. Because of this, although we are not allowed to vote until 16 years old, younger generations tend to be more educated on politics and understand the consequences and so forth. Around 20% of young americans said they would vote for trump, which is an all time low for the Republicans, an American political party.

On the other hand, older people are much more experienced and have lived through major conflicts such as The Great Wars, The Vietnam War, Stonewall, The Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Having lived through events so brutal and tragic can change someone’s mind for the better and lead them to help prevent things like that happening again, whereas millennials, who are born with the knowledge that what happened was wrong and never to happen again – re-word this section. As terrible as it is to hear about such events, I’d imagine it’s not the same as actually being there and witnessing it, like many older people may have. This is why it’s important to take into consideration these people do actually know better and are wiser.

In conclusion, I think the older generation can learn from modern youth, because whether we like it or not the world is moving on, past all the previous problems, and eventually my generation will be the ones that will learn from another younger, smarter, more advanced group of people, in a time where technology I may not be able to use will take over, like what happened just over 40 years ago. Hopefully within the next 40 years, people will no longer support racist politicians and women will be just as prominent as men, and equal rights will be as normal as having a phone in your pocket or having a television in your living room.

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