I am really sick of the infantilization of adults and the treating of full-grown adults as nothing but adolescents. You see it when an 17, 18, or even a 19 year old is referred to as a child. This usually happens when they are a victims, either a real victim (a "child" was robbed and brutally beaten) or a victim in the minds of some (a "child" was arrested for a brutal robbery and beating.) The most recent major outbreak was the horrific shooting spree in Norway, where teens at a youth retreat were referred to as children. Here is a partial list of the ages of the victims (the English-language press stopped covering this before the final list was out): 14, 14, 15, 15, 15, 15, 16, 16, 16, 17, 17, 17, 17, 17, 17, 17, 17, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 19, 19, 19, 19, 19, 20, 21, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 30, 43, 45, 51. Reports also mention at least one 10 year old was on the island, and survived. Incredibly tragic and horrific, but the media's constant use of the word "children" and even "youths" in this context was a stretch--when talking about political youth groups, it often does mean older teens and young adults.
I have no doubt that the media treat teens and young adults this way to boost ratings, a story about a massacre of "children" is more riveting than one of teens and young adults.
So, what does this have to do with my link above? This was the straw that got me ranting:
On Tuesday, voters delivered another verdict, favoring Republicans in four of six state senate recall elections and keeping the GOP in the majority....Randy Hopper lost after he left his wife to take up with a barely-legal Republican aide.Randy, indeed, but since when is 25 "barely legal?" In the context of consensual sex in Wisconsin 18-year-olds are "legal". That means this young woman has been "barely legal" for 7 years, or more than a fourth of her life. Yes, the man is a cad, but he isn't a child molester, as the author slyly insinuates. It was a relationship between two fully consenting adults.
Much of what is wrong with our society today is the refusal to insist that young adults act as adults, not as spoiled teenagers. We should pull back and call young adults "adults". It's a real tragedy that the only part of our society that does, is the criminal justice system. Maybe that's not a coincidence.