We have what are called “racial slurs” which are words or phrases used to demean or lessen the value of people of varying skin tones (which is crazy stupid by the way). It makes me chuckle a bit to see that members of the Baby Boomer generation consider a term that literally says “OK” paired with their generational name is a “slur.”
“If you’re comparing the ‘badness’ of two words and you won’t even say one of them, that’s the worst word.” – Comedian John Mulaney
Some will say “Millennials are always on their phones and they want everything handed to them” or “These Gen Z-ers are so disrespectful.” However, every single time I’ve heard the phrase “OK Boomer” used, it has been used to shut down insults like these from specific Gen X-ers and Boomers who are being insulting and rude. It has never been applied freely to the entire generation, but only to a few.
Saying “Boomers will never understand…” is NOT an insult or a stereotype. I can’t understand what it’s like to be a Boomer or a Gen X-er either. I have some people who fit that description in my life, but I can’t experience what it was like for them.
Here is a prime example. I saw someone from an old church we went to who shared this on their Facebook timeline. It took everything in me not to say “this is part of the reason we left your church.” I hesitated in including it because I don’t want to fuel the views for this. However, if you read the YouTube description, it says that the video is a parody that was meant to show church leaders that they should look past Millennial stereotypes and look toward the unique potential Millennials have. I didn't know this at the time because I saw it on Facebook and followed the link onto YouTube after watching and commenting.
Regardless of the intent, I think the video is in poor taste. This church had to know that people would take this stereotype and run with it. This was my comment on the video:
“I don't know if I'm more shocked that this even exists or if I'm shocked that a CHURCH created it. The sad thing is that the church shouldn't stereotype anyone, and all of the Millennials I know are not like this whatsoever. Please keep in mind that your generation raised Millennials, gave Millennials false hope about getting good jobs (which is now resulting in fewer enrollments at colleges and universities), and that the economy is NOTHING like what it was for you. Also, as you said, Millennials are going to be future leaders. Instead of making these rude videos, maybe you should be kind and see how you can help them.”
I then mentioned that everyone who had commented or laughed at my comment was in the Boomer or Gen X populations, which was evident by their profiles. Another man who was obviously much older and in the Boomer population said “grow up it’s funny but so true.”
To that, I said “OK Boomer,” because I really didn’t want to hear it. I felt my initial comment was fair and kind. Another man said “Spoken like a true Millennial.” My response?
“Why thank you! It's funny how someone can tell me to ‘grow up’ and insult me because of my age, but when it happens to them, they lose their minds! Love that for you. Best of luck in your future."
These specific people were committed to misunderstanding millennials and didn’t even want to try to help. They just wanted to continue to push these ridiculous stereotypes.
Calling this phrase, a slur seriously diminishes the magnitude of other slurs that are still being used, almost exclusively by members of the Gen X or Baby Boomer generations.
I’ve always said: “Stereotypes are just commitments made to intentionally misunderstand people.” Quote me on that.
Next time you see yourself stereotyping a Millennial or Gen Z-er (or if you’re in one of those generations and you start to stereotype all Boomers or Gen X-ers) watch your words. We should all be open to honest conversations about our work and its state. No one should be dismissed for being “too young.” That’s not how this works. We are all citizens of the world, and we should all have a say in how it runs.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.