Also. Yet another op-ed article sort of thing should be forthcoming, inspired by a conversation with a few of my crit group members. But in the mean time: a rant. Sort of. I don't like ranting. I prefer rambling. Hopefully it'll be more of the second instead of the first.
So. Teenagers. I was one, once. Two months ago. And sometimes I still find myself thinking of myself as a teenager and not an adult. Even though I'm doing adult things like working and saving up money and thinking about graduate school and trying to be dignified where I can. But it's only been two months and I'm not even legal yet. So. Teenagers. I kind of still am one.
I have been reading, according to my parents, since the time I was strong enough to pull my dad's chemistry books off the shelf and stare at the letters. In my twenty years of living (because that is a lot of living guys. really.) I've read widely. Science fiction. Epic fantasy. Contemporary. Romance. Chick lit. Mystery. Classics. Words are words and when they're strung together nicely and coherently I can usually enjoy them and enjoy them well.
So. Excuse me if and when I take offense to the idea that a teenager doesn't have the emotional and/or mental depth to deal with complex and layered ideas. And that, following that, the writing of the young adult genre should be written down to them.
I really don't understand this idea. I really, really don't.
Being a teenager doesn't equal being stupid. Being stupid equals being stupid. Being a teenager means that maybe you lack life experience, your mind is probably still developing, and you are dealing with issues that may or may not differ from that of adults.
A teenager can understand and comprehend racism and can react to it the same way an adult can. With bigotry or compassion. A teenager can understand and react to love the same way an adult can. They can make stupid decisions regarding their partner (lord knows adults do this all the fraking time) or with wisdom and understanding. Teenagers understand and comprehend world problems (whether they care is a different matter. And if you think all teenagers don't, then you're not talking to the right ones). They understand right and wrong. They have the capability to make tough decisions in tough times.
A lack of years doesn't mean that there is a lack of the ability to rationalize and think and act. It doesn't mean that there is a lack of comprehension.
Teenagers see the world differently, sometimes, yes. A break up with a boyfriend or a split between best friends sometimes seems like the end of the world to
No. Hell no. Absolutely not.
And if you think so you're not looking hard enough or seeing deep enough.