Monday, April 28, 2014

Talking Points #8 on Teens Talk Back: Reflection/Free Post

I'd like to reflect on how I, as a teen, have talked back. Last semester, in my GEND 200 class, I conducted a survey online and throughout RIC, and did a lot of other research to look into slut-shaming and the virginity myth. I didn't put as much planning and time into this project as I wish I had, and I know it was not very well written, but I see now that I'm looking back on it that I naturally focused mainly on teenagers. I interviewed and surveyed people of different ages, but I think my primary goal was to look at these results in relation to teenagers- probably because I am still one myself. If anyone would like to take a look at it (warning: it's 18 pages), here it is. I think I'd like to revisit it one day and expand on it more.
I saw a lot of results about body image when I looked into this weeks topic, but I tried to steer clear of this subject, and see what other issues teens were talking back on. 

While doing research on how teens talk back online, I searched "teens talk back" which brought up a lot of results on how parents can stop their kids from talking back, and when I searched "teens stand up for themselves", I found a lot of results about how parents can teach their children to stand up for themselves. Just these two very contradictory results were shocking. Everything I found was about adults teaching their teens to ultimately alter them- which definitely shows teenagers as their own type of focus/research group meant for studying and testing on, rather than loving and accepting. This, I think, can absolutely contribute to the alienation of teenagers.

When I altered my search words a little bit, and searched "teens take a stance", I found these results:
1. Teens take a stand against violence
2. Teens take a stand against bullying 
3. Teens take a stance against dating violence

Although each of these projects and articles had wonderful awareness opportunities and messages, I was disappointed to see that not only were all of these projects adult facilitated, but all of the information provided about it was written by adults. I would like to see a teens talking back situation where the idea is thought of by teens, run by teens, organized by teens, displayed by teens, and written about/advertised by teens!

The fourth result after searching "teens take a stance", however, was surprising. It's a Twitter account about teens and the description reads "Adults are taking teens for granted. We want a solution for the failing education in this nation." Based off of that description, I'd like to think this Twitter account was made by and is being controlled by a teen, but I can't know for sure. Some of the tweets were very powerful statements that demanded attention and insisted that teens are not aliens after all, but people. I think one of the most powerful tweets I saw was a simple "Listen to us". Take a look, and tell me what you think.

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