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