Articles

A Problem in Iowa City

In Youth Rights on July 31, 2012 by edwinforyouthrights

Typed by Edwin Bonilla

Although this problem has not been talked about on Choose Responsibility’s blog in many months, I think this problem should be powerfully exposed. In Iowa City, young women and young men who are under 21 can’t enter a building where alcohol is served. If a college student wanted to see a show from her or his favorite band, she or he wouldn’t be allowed to attend. Ageism has turned more oppressive. It’s no longer enough for people who are 18-20 to not attend certain shows because they are under the age of 21. In Iowa City, it’s all shows. Iowa City is an oppressive city that deserves considerable attention from the youth rights movement to repeal the law which is nothing but ageism. Iowa City’s council passed the law in 2009 and the reason why there was support for it was that young women and young men who were 18-20 drank alcohol in clubs. That type of reasoning is clearly age discrimination. For people who support the ageist drinking age, turning those students in to police officers should have been enough.

I support a drinking age of 18 in every state and territory of the United States. 18 is the real of age majority and people who are 18 are able to learn how to drink responsibly. In addition, they can read and sign contracts and get married. I also support the youth rights movement. Unless ageism is challenged, it will continue to increase. Iowa City shows a level of ageism that shouldn’t be ignored.

In Iowa City, there’s an opportunity for members of the youth rights movement and the University of Iowa to protest that city’s horrible law against young people. In 2010, there was an effort by students to collect signatures for a referendum on the law. However, there was no referendum. Letters against the law by University of Iowa students should be sent. I wouldn’t support a referendum on the bad law because ageists would use stereotypes to show young women and young men as always being irresponsible. To advance youth rights, we need to show the better truth and remind other people of this. In the strategy to repeal the law, civil disobedience is acceptable. This would be acceptable because there’s a comparison with the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Sit-ins were a good response to the hard racism encountered in restaurants.

There should a spotlight on Iowa City against its ageist law because people who are 18-20 should not be prohibited from places where alcohol is served. They should be allowed to see bands and be allowed to go to restaurants where alcohol is served. Young women and young men should be treated like other people who enter places where alcohol is served. This reactionary response to “underage” drinking is an example of what is happening in states like Tennessee, where people who are 18-20 can’t enter alcohol stores. Except in Iowa City, they are not alcohol stores but places where people socialize. Oppression is not answer here!

 

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