Category Archives: global youth attitudes

Empowering children and environmentalism in Bogata, Colombia

Anny Bertoli, Italian, studying in New Zealand, is the translator Darling Lorena Molina Ramirez, Bogota, Colombia is a mentor to children, including involving them in soccer clubs, and is an environmental activist. She also discusses feminist issues.

non-binary gender thought questions

Non-binary gender thought questions


From an autistic observer (

The stubborn rationality of Autistic people also helps explain, I think, why so many of us are transgender, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming. Gender roles. and gender assignment, are nonsensical. Every society in existence pairs a ton of rigid, arbitrary expectations on people because of their genitals — from the kinds of clothing they can wear, to the ways they’re allowed to sit, to the jobs they’re expected to be good at, to how their voices ought to lilt when they speak. Autistic people can see how bullshitty those rules are, and are more apt to refuse to follow them. I don’t think a greater percentage of Autistic people are trans, necessarily — I think, though, that we’re far more likely to be out.

  1. Progressive groups often start meetings asking participants their preferred gender pronoun. When did that start, why, what are your pronouns?
  2. A little about your bio in terms of being raised in gender-binary heterosexual-dominant culture.
  3. Gender is socialized. Radical feminists envisioned a society where anatomy doesn’t determine anything, as in The Dialects of Sex (1970) by Shulamith Firestone. Marge Peircy’s Woman on the Edge of Time (1976) used “per” instead of he or she (Swedes use “hen.” Birth was done in machines, with three parents.


Non-binary gender is legal in Canada, Germany, Austria, India, Oregon and California.



Gender nonconforming

Gender queer



Androgyny: Sandra Bem’s Sex Role Inventory androgynous people are the most flexible.

Third gender (indigenous bardesh and two spirit, and Indian


Gender bending as in androgynous-looking bands in Japan, North Korea, and China

Gender neutrality as in Yoruba people in Nigeria who have a gender free language—age is the category.



  1. What about the physiology of gender? How much of our sexual orientation is determined, how much socialized? See the article “Your Default Brain is Female,” Taylor Mitchell Brown, June 26, 2018.

Xx, xy  men have larger hippocamus involved in spatial reasoning

Women have larger locus coeruleus more cautious

  1. Do you think same-sex relationships are more likely to be egalitarian?

There’s usually a fight in the feminist movement about groups that feel excluded, like the lavender menace. Lately it’s trans women feeling left out—should distinguish between sex and gender. Also, conservative states have tried to use bathroom use as a wedge issue. Transgender studies is developing, following Queer Theory and studies.



Gen Z values

What It Means to Be a Gen Z Beauty Brand Today

By Rachel Strugatz


So what does it mean to be a beauty brand for Gen Z today?

A company can’t just sell skin care, cosmetics, hair care or perfume. Good product matters, but what matters more is standing for something, whether it’s being cruelty free (E.L.F. Cosmetics) or simply being the best version of yourself (Glossier). It can’t politely sit out seismic cultural moments. There’s an expectation of comment on sustainability, social justice, police reform and, soon, a presidential election.

Customers demand it, especially those under 25 that make up Gen Z, also known as the activist generation.

““This is going to be the group that’s driving spending and decisions for many years to come,” said Mary Dillon, the chief executive of Ulta.

“They’re super-influential. All you have to do is look at the racial injustice discussion and dialogue we’ve had in the last few months. Gen Z is leading the way.”


Gen Z-ers possess a distinct set of beauty and grooming habits, attitudes and buying patterns. Many gravitate toward an unvarnished aesthetic from brands that are progressive in the imagery they use. Teenagers don’t want a “full beat,” or the overdone Instagram face that defined a generation of millennial influencers who were one cosmetic procedure away from looking like a Kardashian.

“Their intellectual take on beauty is divorced from the millennial idea, which is Instagram filter, having the perfect lip and looking like an idealized beauty,” said Lucie Greene, the founder of Light Years, a consultancy.

She pointed to the singer Billie Eilish, crediting the 18-year-old with inspiring a “competitive creativity” — the antithesis of airbrushing or perfection.

“It’s not about the male gaze,” Ms. Greene said. “It’s her expression of herself.”

This is why the very millennial-pink brand Glossier is such a hit with this crowd.

When building her company, Emily Weiss, the Glossier founder and chief executive, steered clear of projecting a singular beauty ideal. Instead of coaxing customers to look like a model or celebrity, Ms. Weiss encouraged them to be “more like you” (but maybe a slightly dewier version).

“One of the appeals of Glossier is that it’s all supposed to enhance your natural beauty,” said Abby Kwok, 16.

Ms. Zhong, the Gen Z investor, said: “Gen Z is like, ‘How can I be the realest I can be?’ In fact, the messier it looks, the more real they are, the more real they seem.” n its heyday MAC was the embodiment of Gen Z values today. Except to this generation, there is nothing radical about self-expression or fluid sexuality, identity or gender. Millennials talk about being gender fluid and accepting, but Gen Z is the first generation to live the promise of those values, said Shireen Jiwan, the founder and chief executive of Sleuth Brand Consulting,

“Genuinely, off the tip of their tongues, roll the pronouns anybody asks them to use, and there’s no agita about it,” she said. “They were raised in a world where everybody is already a mix of 10 different races. Nobody asks, ‘What are you?’”



Afghan Girl Fights Taliban

A Girl’s Heroic Battle Against the Taliban Was Also a Family Feud

A teenage Afghan girl was celebrated for killing Taliban who attacked her home. But the story of her heroism is steeped in pain, and reveals the complicated crosscurrents of the Afghan War.

By Asadullah Timory, Najim Rahim and Mujib Mashal

  • July 22, 2020


The teenage girl was the hero of a night of carnage that left her family’s hillside home in western Afghanistan strewn with bodies. Qamar Gul, 15, fought to her last bullet, gunning down Taliban attackers who raided the house and killed her father and mother.

In the days after the attack last week, Afghan social media was full of slick posters celebrating her as “My Hero.” Some users compared her to the Kurdish women of Kobani, Syria, who fought the Islamic State. Local officials put out pictures of Qamar Gul posing with her rifle. Afghanistan’s vice president praised her for defending against “the enemies of the nation.”

But the story of her heroism is steeped in pain, in a culture that often treats women as property, and in the confusion of an Afghan war that has twisted families into knots of complex loyalties and feuds.

One of the attackers she killed was her own husband, who was fighting on the Taliban’s side and apparently seeking her forcible return after a falling out with Ms. Gul’s family, according to relatives and local officials.

A Kenyan describes tribalism and dowry and bride price still practiced

Written by Jeffer Koome, a male recent university graduate in Kenya:

Tribes used to provide social support and educate the youth. Nowadays, the elders to these tribes who were tasked with passing on the mantle of educating, and morally guiding the youths are compromised by corruption. The youths are being influenced by the western culture which is diluting their heritage and cultural practices. Urbanization is also to blame as most youths don’t want to stay behind and take over their parents’ farms and continue the family cultures. It’s sad.

I believe the use of the word community shows inclusivity especially among young people. We may be different in our origins but we see each other as part of one community regardless. A good example in Kenya we have tribes like Kikuyu or Kalenjin with more than 5 sub-tribes in it. Young people among a subtribe find it hard to describe another young person from a different sub-tribe of the same tribe as different from them and I believe that’s why the word community is common among the young generation to show we are one and I don’t care which subtribe or tribe you come from.

Also, the word community shows sophistication, being fancy and more outgoing than the word tribe. In my country, for example, tribalism is a monster and an evil that many young people want to distance themselves from, as it has negative connotations attached to it.
The superiority of one tribe over another nowadays is expressed when it comes to voting especially because, in most African nations, there is a lot of nepotism among the older generation.

Dowry and bride price is still in practice to date. but the golden rule in all cultures is that no matter how wealthy you are, you can never finish paying the Dowry or bride price. Doing so is termed disrespectful as that is to say you don’t want to visit your inlaws again because you don’t owe them anything

Let me break it in parts since every community as a different way of calculating the dowry.

Some of the common practices that seem to cut across are:

  1. The modern families and some of the educated families and people living in major towns, they still practice the traditions based on where they come from but dowry is paid in cash. For example, if the tradition says you bring 3cows and 2goats, as the man you should have prior knowledge and get the equivalent cash.
  2. For the more traditional families in the rural areas and some very hardcore traditionalist communists like the Maasai, you have to come physically with the animal to the lady’s house. This is because to them a live animal is way more valuable than any currency equivalent.
  3. There is an emerging trend where inlaws that the parents and uncles to the bride will equate the bride price to the amount of money they have spent on her and if she as graduated from university, the price goes higher. Very discouraging to the lads but its what it is. In some instances, men have walked out of a dowry negotiation as the targets were too high and termed it exploitation.
  4. Other families especially in the educated group will tell the man to bless them with what they have since they know they have found a good wife in their daughter and that dowry price is determined by the groom.


The older generation, most of them they are having none of that, Some with daughters only see it as a retirement option. its crazy.

however, Among the young people, they feel like going through with the bride price is like putting yourself in serious debt as most can’t afford the amount even involved in the organizations as its a ceremony on its own with hundreds if not more people in some cases attending.

Many young women are opting to stay with their boyfriends and they are starting families secretly. Some live in fear of being cast out if they are found to be living with someone and they are not blessed by parents or guardians.

But the trendy option among the young couples of going to the Attorney generals office and getting certified as married, Its really gaining traction in recent time

Generatuions Y and Z are winning for the first time

  • “The ground is moving for the first time for progressive Generations Y and Z in opposition to Baby Boomers in power, observes Harvard pollster John Della Volpe. He points out that globally the Millennials (Gen Y) are the largest one in history. He calls them the Values Generation, evidenced by the large numbers of white protesters against police violence.  Just as they were fired up by the Parkland movement for gun control to vote in 2018, he predicts the same for the 2020 election (although they didn’t turn out for Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign). Your observations about generation differences?
  • Max Haskell, Oct 11, 2019. Daily Trojan
  • Pollster discusses millennial, Gen Z voter trends ahead of 2020 elections

Gen Z chateristics needs global input: please add your observations

Understanding Generation Z

The following is US-centric. Please add observations from other countries.

Generation Z was born 1994 or 1995 to 2010 or 2012. The oldest in the US were in kindergarten during the 9/11 2001 World Trade Towers bombing, followed by the Recession of 2008, the election of divisive Donald Trump in 2016, school shootings as in Parkland, Florida in 2018, and the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crash of 2020. Gen Z is also called Founders (of a new society), the Plurals, iGen, and Homelanders. They’re Digital Natives who use the internet more than books, GPS rather than maps, Spotify rather than CDs, Netflix rather than videos, and girls rent fancy dresses rather than buy them. Many students were forced to do virtual learning due to the pandemic of 2020. Because they’ve been surrounded by unemployment and college students graduating with an average debt of over $35,000 in 2019, many are reluctant to take loans, they work long hours, and work for themselves in the “freelance economy.”

As a diverse generation (almost half are people of color), like Gen Y, they are comfortable with diversity (i.e., ethnicity, gender fluidity, LGBTI) and use the word “intersectional” in their organizing. They tend to be progressive and liberal in their political views, but older Americans are still more likely to turn out to vote even though youth are very worried about climate change and the environment. Some of them think politics is so corrupt that it’s not worth taking the time to vote. They volunteer at about the same rate as Gen Y but with longer hours, according to Corey Seemiller.

In an online international survey of young people in 2019, the “Future of Humanity Survey” reported the top global issue was climate change (41%), followed by the closely related pollution (36%) and terrorism (31%).[i] The survey included more than 10,000 youth aged 18 to 25 in 22 countries. The report concluded youth realize they live in a failed system, ““This generation lives in a world of widening inequality, economic instability and austerity where vast numbers of people have been left behind…. The climate crisis, pollution, corruption and poor living standards are all windows on an alarming truth about how the powerful have exploited their power for selfish and often short-term gain.”

Seemiller surveys and writes about Gen Z—mainly college students, who she characterizes as loyal, thoughtful, passionate, open-minded, and determined.[ii] They are spiritual rather than affiliated with a religion. She reports that their parents have shifted from being protective helicopter parents and more than other generation, they look to their parents as role-models. The way they learn is they want a experiential, active demonstration of a skill and then to practice it with feedback. Unlike Gen Y, they don’t prefer to work in groups, but they like “social learning,” such as studying next to each other in libraries or coffee shops. They like honest feedback from their parents, employers, coaches, etc. in contrast to Gen Y who mainly wants positive feedback.           They’re more interested in being happy and making a difference in their work than making a lot of money. Relationships are important to them and nearly half intend to start their own business. They seek passion and meaning in their work so that 40% would like to invent something to help change the world. In my interviews with global Gen Z girl climate activists, many of them described themselves as passionate.

Many in Gen Z are addicted to their smart phones and some suffer anxiety if their phone isn’t nearby. (They became common in 2007.) The average teen spends more than seven hours a day on screens for entertainment.[iii] The average Gen Z in Seemiller’s surveys has 8.7 social media accounts. They get a lot of their news from Twitter and YouTube. They can suffer from information overload and sometimes misinformation. This may be part of the reason Seemiller found 83% prefer face-to-face communication, followed by texting (60%), even though they tend not to be good communicators. She found they may not even know how to flirt or banter, but she says the biggest legacy of Gen Z is belief in unconditional love. The University of Michigan Monitoring the Future researchers discovered that girls are spending less time with friends, exercising, and in nature because of time spent on social media, which contributes to loneliness and increasing rates of feeling bored.[iv]

Anxiety and depression rates are high due to high stress and loneliness, as well as they’re more likely to report mental health problems than earlier generations. A 2019 Pew Research Center found that 36% of girls reported being extremely anxious daily. Michael Gurian, the father of daughters, observes that girls have “an intimacy imperative,” that values relationships and social media is all about relationships and that it rewires youths’ brains.[v]  He adds that in 2011 31% of first year college women had an overwhelming anxiety attack in their first year, but this increased to 62% in 2016. An icon of depression is award-winning teen singer Billie Eilish who said she wants to be “the voice of the people” and says she loves freaking people out.[vi] She too is uncomfortable with her body, wearing large baggy clothes. In one of her music videos, she’s tormented with cigarette butts and in another she’s poked with syringes; this helps her deal with her depression she says.

Professor Jean Twenge blames smartphones as one explanation for the increase in major depression among teens since 2010—especially for girls.[vii] Their rates of major depression increased from 12% in 2011 to 20% in 2017 and their suicide rate doubled since 2007. Based on three surveys of more than 200,000 teens in the US and UK she found that girls spend more time on social media and boys spend more time on games. For both girls and boys, teens who spend more time on digital media are more likely to be depressed and unhappy, especially for girls—and social media is designed to be addictive. Social media creates a hierarchy, Twenge says, based on numbers of likes and followers. This leads to comparing yourself to others, which can be depressing, and worry about appearance. Many of the girls I interviewed for the climate activism book told me they have body image worries because of social media.

A study of Gen Z reported that some of them are turning away from social media.[viii] The survey of over 1,000 young people ages 18 to 24 in 2017 reported that 91% use social media and 51% say they use social media almost constantly. The most popular are Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. The problem is that 68% report that social media has sometimes(48%) or often (20%) made them feel anxious, sad, or depressed and 29% said it has hurt their self-esteem or made them feel insecure. At the same time, 61% said it had a positive impact on their self-confidence. Over half (58%) wanted to take a temporary break from social media temporarily because: It wastes too much time (41%) , too much negativity (35%), too much pressure to get attention (18%), or it made them feel bad about themselves. (17%).

However, my conversations with teens indicate they’re anxious about a lot more than social media likes or photos. High school students are working as well as trying to get good grades to get into a good college, do sports and other school activities, maintain friendships and family responsibilities. Homework keeps them up late, which contributes to depression. College students worry about how to finance their education and pay off student loans. A YouTube influencer is followed by a 15-year-old girl because, she talks about “how it’s harder being a girl than a guy, how we feel more pain.”[ix] The Gen Z girls I’ve interviewed are very well-informed, articulate, and devoted to making a difference. They are unapologetic feminists

[i] “Generation Z Ranks Climate Change Highest as Vital Issue of Our Time,” Amnesty International, December 9, 2019.

[ii]  Corey Seemiller and Meghan Grace: Generation Z Goes to College, 2016.  Generation Z Leads, 2017. Generation Z: A Century in the Making, 2019. Generation Z Learns, 2019.

[iii] Julia Jacobo, “Teens Spend More than 7 Hours on Screens for Entertainment a Day,” ABC News, October 29, 2019.

[iv] “Boredom is on the Rise for Adolescents, Especially Girls,” Science Daily, November 19, 2019.

[v] micahel

[vi] Jonah Weiner, “How Billie Ellish Rode Teenage Weirdness to Stardom,” New York Times Magazine, March 11, 2020.

[vii] Jean Twenge, “Why Teen Depression Rates are Rising Faster for Girls than Boys,” The Conversation, January 16, 2020.

[viii] “Meet Gen Z: the Social Generation,”

Click to access Gen%20Z%20-%20The%20Social%20Generation%20%7C%20Hill%20Holliday-5.pdf

[ix] Claire Balleys, et al., “Searching for Oneself on YouTube: Teenage Peer Socialization and Social Recognition Processes,” Social Media and Society, April 2020.