Your Mind

An Open Letter To Open Letters

By December 3, 2015 0

Dear Young People,

The internet hosts a lot of trends. It’s a trendy place. Some trends I can get down with: #ThanksgivingClapBack, Demi Lovato’s twin sister Poot, The Dress (black and blue!!!!). Some trends, however, are actually going to drive me into my grave.

The open letter. I appreciated some of the first few: “An open letter to my mom on Mother’s Day…”

That’s so nice. I love moms.

“An open letter to my daughter’s step-mom”

Again, lovely.

“An open letter to my future husband”


“An open letter to my ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend”


The open letter to Glamour Magazine

Nope, no.

You probably read about it. James Smith returned Glamour’s Woman of the Year award that his wife, NYPD officer Moira Smith, received in 2001 after she was killed during her rescue efforts in the attacks on 9/11.

I dispute this not for the reasons you think. I’m not going to reject this man’s opinion – he has a right to it and who am I to stand in front of his effort to defend his late wife? While I don’t refute his intention, I never should have read this.

The open letters were already getting weird. Now they’re getting nasty. What was once a platform to show appreciation for Mother’s Day quite swiftly moved into territory for finger pointing, bashing, and the especially dreaded airing of political views. Noooooooo :(

If James Smith wants to rescind his wife’s name from the award because he feels its value has been diluted, that’s his decision. He’s not taking away our awards. If he feels it’s best, he should do it. But do it privately, genuinely, and with dignity.

Now you’re probably like omg she agrees with him she hates Caitlyn Jenner she hates transgender people. This is where my other issue lies, and this one isn’t limited to the internet.

The open letters may very well kill me. But if they don’t, the attitude of what appears to be much of this young generation will.

Millennials do not tolerate many things. We do not tolerate racism in universities. Fuck yeah we don’t.

We do not tolerate portions of the community not being able to legally marry. Yes amazing, choose love.

These are things I’m happy to stand for, and I’m happy that many of us stand for. But we also do not tolerate opposition.

We have a knack for chasing toward political, social issues with open arms. Accepting nearly everything that comes onto our plate. And that’s cool. Rock on, I’m down to love everyone too. But it also strays dangerously close to being mindless. To accepting without consideration, which not only diminishes the value of this acceptance, but also creates rifts and tension between groups of people and forms sides to argument that may not even be able to withstand being argued.

And here’s why: the people arguing have prematurely supported a cause they’re not very informed about. Note: being informed on a topic does not mean filling your heart with all the things you want to hear and agree with regarding an issue. It’s about hearing all sides of the story and then deciding.

The other reason these arguments are perpetually flimsy is because we are scared to treat them as arguments, as in facing something in opposition. Our generation is seldom prepared to pin our thoughts and beliefs against someone else’s contrasting thoughts and beliefs. We are afraid to debate. Instead, we call the other side names.

Transphobic. Racist. Bigot.

How can we treat ourselves as such modern, new-thinking people if we haven’t understood the first principle in forming a social opinion, which is that it needs to be fought for?

FIGHT FOR IT. If you believe in something, read up on it. See what other people are thinking. We pride ourselves on having open minds. Have one. See the logic in your opposition, and make your argument stronger.

The tackiest thing we can do is point fingers, call names, and not have any room for disagreement. It makes our opinions weak.

And stop writing open letters.