Friday, May 15, 2015


If one believes that those with more money and social status are superior to those with less, we call it classism.

If one believes that men are superior to women, we call it sexism.

If one believes that those without disabilities are superior to those with them, we call that ableism.

If one believes that whites are superior to blacks, that's called racism.

If one believes that adults are superior to children? . . . We don't have a word for it. I suppose we could call it "ageism," but that term is already in use to connote prejudice against the elderly.

The other day, my daughter and I were discussing the demographic reality that young people, whatever their political or religious orientation, are overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex marriage, and that the most staunch opposition comes from the generations closest to the end of their lives. This lead us to wonder what prejudices we currently hold that will appall our children. We wondered if it wouldn't be about what we now so casually call "mental illness." After all, many indigenous cultures have considered those we label psychologically sick to be gifts from the gods, bringing them to the center of their lives rather than pushing them to the fringe as we do today.

But, in seems, "childism" could also be the next revelation in this ever-unfolding journey of enlightenment.

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Jens Peter said...

Hi Teacher Tom!

For a definition of Childism check this text out that I wrote.

Childism could be meant as prejudice against the your or as a positive notion that counters the prejudice, sort of like what feminism is to sexism.

Ziege Stein said...

Dear Teacher Tom,
in German there is
kindisch = foolish, stupid, behaving like a defiant (young) child
kindlich = in contrast to "adult" - and to differentiate "child" from "defiant child"
so we have already words for those 2 aspects....

John S Green said...

Childism is a term for giving the baby/infant/toddler/child total respect as an individual.

Jens Peter said...

John, in that case we share the same definition of Childism as something positive. As opposed to Adultism which is a negative force on children.

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