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The Validity of Your Opinions End
Where My Rights Begin
By: Jessica  |  June 11, 2007


I have borrowed the format of a oft-quoted phrase ("Your rights end where my fist begins") because I feel it most adequately makes my point. I recently got into a heated debate with a peer of mine about the concept of curfew. Honestly, I know that it's hardly the most important issue. I'm fucking sick of talking about it, to be truthful. In fact, I think they bring it up instead of more important issues, like voting, because it's easier to argue against. They think that it's "the government's job to protect me," (I am getting so fucking frustrated with that phrase), but more to the point of this rant, they thought that since they thought there isn't any reason that 'kids' should be out at night, that the government should be able to make that opinion a law. Never mind the fact that I gave them multiple reasons why someone should be able to be allowed outside, their opinion, shared by so many in our society, is that they can dictate what others can and can't do just because they see no purpose for the actions of others.

Go ahead, feel that way, it's your right, but the moment you support a law to enforce your opinion is the moment you have violated my freedom, my rights, and I won't fucking stand for that. The point of laws in this country is to protect people from damage to themselves or damage to their property. Until I have committed an act that does such damage, what I do with my life is none of anyone's fucking business. Anyone who tells me otherwise is damaging me by damaging my freedom do do with my life as I choose.

So you think that there's no reason for kids to be out at night? Never mind the fact that believing that shows you're either an ageist who ignores the myriads of reasons anyone with a brain can come up with, or an idiot who can't think of anything that society didn't tell him to think. For the sake of the argument, let's say that there's not one purposeful reason whatsoever that I could want to be outside at 3 in the morning. Why is it any of your fucking business if I go outside at three in the morning or not? If I want to walk around the block and stare at the blank sky for hours on end, why should you or the government, or anyone else for that matter, be allowed to tell me that I can't?

The reason people support such shoddy logic is because people don't like it when things and other people don't fit into their little box and hierarchy that they're used to seeing. Someone walking around at three seems 'weird' to them, so rather than thinking "to each their own," they want to tell that person that what they're doing is 'wrong'. They conveniently neglect the fact that no one has been hurt, that doesn't matter in their world view. They want to believe that everyone accepts the system that we have in place, that everyone submits to every whim of authority, and when they see for themselves that some people refuse to live their life in that monotony, it shatters that view, and they try to protect it with any means necessary, to hell with everyone's rights.

This can be applied to the rest of the Youth Rights Movement's goals. People know that the oppressed minority that is the base, therefore the foundation, of their twisted hierarchical pyramid is youth. They also realize that if youth grasp at their freedom, there will come a day when they no longer have that minority to scapegoat and for adults on the lower levels of the system to lord their power over. They know they're running out of minorities. They don't know who they would replace us with like they replaced blacks with women, women with gays, gays with youth. The idea of a free world scares them because they worry that they couldn't gain power and respect on their own merit. (Have you ever noticed that the least competent adults are the strictest and meanest to youth?) So instead of letting society evolve over time, they try to use legislation to stop the flow of progress.

Luckily, we all know how this story ends. We have history (which has repeated itself at least a few times) to draw upon. The blacks fought the discriminatory laws and eventually won. Women went into the poll booths and voted, taking matters into their own hands. Sympathetic judges have married gay couples in defiance to the unfair laws. We will win sooner or later, even if it is an even steeper hill to climb than the movements before us had to scale. Maybe some of us will even have to die for the cause. Personally, I would be proud to go that way, but I certainly hope we can avoid that. The basic fact everyone needs to realize is that freedom is the freedom for others to do things no matter how nonsensical or anathema to your beliefs they are. You have your right to your opinions, but I have, and will die for, the right to my freedoms.


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