Jen Meinhardt, Contributor
What is a Millennial? According to pewresearch.org, a Millennial is a person born between 1981 and 1996. The oldest Millennial is 37 and the youngest is only 22. So it can be established that a Millennial is an adult and there are no teenage Millennials, which means that #Resist isn’t driven under the idea of youthful rebellion. No, instead, this movement is being driven by fully functional adults with jobs, lives and responsibilities.
So then, the question remains: What are Millennials resisting? The short answer is that they don’t really know. They simply know they must.
Growing up in the 80s and 90s has exposed Millennials to a variety of economic and social shifts, but there’s one thing that’s remained constant throughout: as a generation, Millennials have been promised that if they worked hard and long enough, proved their dedication, they too could attain the American dream. They were promised a heap of things such as jobs that paid a living wage, affordable homes and a future.
Yet in 2018, we are watching our democracy crumble around us along with roads and houses and available full-time work. Many Millennials came of age during or after the Great Recession of 2007, an economic downturn the country has yet to recover from. Many worked several jobs at once to pay for the same lousy two-bedroom apartment shared amongst five or six people that their parents could have rented alone. Many went without food or necessities. According to an anonymous source, “Instead of going straight to college, I needed to work, and in order to make rent I found myself selling my belongings every other month. Prices kept going up, and even with two jobs, I couldn’t keep up with it.” This was 2009. Another source said, “Sometimes I look at my parents and I feel lied to. Where’s the salary I was promised?”
So what are Millennials resisting? As a general rule it would be safe to assume they’re resisting the idea that the America they were promised no longer exists. They are resisting the idea that they don’t have a say on what the future brings. They want their salaried positions, their affordable food and rent. They want social and gender equality. They want to be taken seriously as the adults they are. What’s more is they want the better America their parents promised them, even if they have to make it themselves. Enough with the generational blame game, it’s time to move forward together with one #Resist tweet at a time. Following that, actual action.
This article was originally published in the Nov. 30, 2018 issue.