“Act your age…not your I.Q.!” Remember that old-school gem? In our current easily offended, everyone gets an award, politically correct society, this phrase would probably not bode well. If used today it could be labeled as psychological shamming or psy-sham as they like to call it. Actually no one calls it that — (I just made it up) but feel free to use it in the next high-level court case when someone’s feelings get hurt illegally.
Despite its present, protagonist potential this phrase proved to be pretty prevalent in the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s. Used by parents, teachers, classmates, adults and kids alike this saying was a go-to response to someone’s immaturity. To put it bluntly (as you knew we would) it was a witty, clever and seemingly superiorly intellectual way to call someone else stupid. But was it really?
You see there have always been problems when you take “clever comments” like this and truly analyze, break down and put them in a literal sense. Oh, but you’re not supposed to do that! You’re supposed to take them as they are meant to be taken by your self-appointed insulter person. Because you should listen to and take to heart everything negative dished out by someone who’s obviously smarter than you, because they think they are, based on their cruel commentary. Just take it as an insult against your actions and accept the ignorance that has been bestowed and proclaimed upon you… don’t make it complicated. BUT, with that insult you’re questioning one’s intelligence. So wouldn’t it be logical to use said intelligence to take your little psy-shamming (see, works great) quip and turn it around?
First, let us look at what is attempting to be suggested by said insult. It’s a verbalized request that we should act in a mature fashion that our present age suggests. Not the age that would be represented by the literal numerical equivalent of our current I.Q. score. Right there, that alone starts making absolutely no sense.
The fact is the majority of people have I.Q.s between 70 and 130, with an I.Q. of 100 considered average. Meaning that at best, they’re telling us to stop acting like a 70 year old? Wouldn’t that mean we were actually more mature than our age? Yeah, act your age and stop acting… elderly (being anywhere between the age of 65 and death)??? Are older people really that much of a problem where acting out is concerned? Did this insult just step into the ageism category? Are we being stereotyped and discriminated against on the basis of the age that our verbal attacker suggests we are acting?
Oh wait, maybe they are saying our present I.Q. is less than our current age? But then even if our age did currently exceed into our era of ageism that would suggest that our I.Q. was well below the average majority. Anything below an I.Q. of 65 is considered mentally handicapped; which means they’re knowingly making fun of disabled people. So to use the phrase on someone who is in their teens or early twenties (which is usually where it was directed) means they’re making fun of someone they accuse of having the brain capacity of a turnip? Turnips have rights too!
What we’re seeing here is a horrific pattern of bullying and abuse against members of society who cannot defend themselves. Needlessly picking on the elderly and mentally infirm. FOR SHAME… or sham… yes, FOR SHAM on you! Wait… what do you mean we’re not old mental patients? You just claimed we were by telling us to act age, not intelligence, appropriate! We just went over all of this!
Hold on, I get it now. They’re actually complimenting our intelligence. They need us to act our age, so we can dumb down our I.Q.s, to communicate with them on their level. Makes sense, we’re obviously of a higher mind set in that we don’t have to lower ourselves to degrading comments against others… buncha dumb doo-doo brains.
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Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya.