I Don't Want My Kids To Go To Occupy Wall Street


I am a hypocrite.

I am a hypocrite because I absolutely believe in what Occupy Wall Street is doing- I believe in our financial institutions being accountable and I am devastated by the housing crisis that is sweeping much of our country.  I definitely see the injustice of the 1% vs. the 99% (guess which group I’m with?). I applaud the men and women who take the time and expend the energy to stand up for those beliefs.  And yet when my 13-year-old daughter told me on May 1 that she was heading to Union Square to see the Occupy Wall Street demonstration, I was not happy.

I was not happy because although Occupy Wall Street has been a generally peaceful movement, that many people in any one place is terrifying to me. Anything can happen, even unintentionally.  I did not want my daughter there. (In related news, I also avoid Times Square on New Year’s Eve.  And on most other occasions.)

She did not understand why.

She knew I believed in the movement, but she hadn’t realized that I believed in it from afar, while sitting on my couch.

“You need to turn around and come home,” I told her when she said where she was heading (we are walking distance to Union Square.)

“Why?” she demanded, and I tried to express all my fears and concerns and over-protectiveness into a sound byte that would make her understand.

It didn’t go well, but she did as I asked and came home.

But it made me sad that  my daughter wanted to see the movement and that I didn’t let her because I was afraid for her and nervous, and I am her mother.

Would you have let your teen go?


Image source, courtesy of Lisa Duggan



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