[…]following this tradition can have damaging, dangerous consequences. Here’s why this old, seemingly harmless saying can actually do some serious harm.

It Encourages Unconditional Compliance

My parents presented “Respect your elders” to me, as a child, as an instruction to do what others told me without question.[…]

Not All Adults Deserve Respect


As millennials, the opinion of many of our elders is that we are lazy, entitled brats who spend too much money on avocados. […] If we respected that opinion, we would have more respect for them than we do for ourselves, and that is unacceptable.

[…]there are plenty of people older than you with that agenda. “Respect your elders” is a weapon everyone uses to control those younger than them.


“Respect your elders” is an outdated sentiment.

It gives people with bad intentions the excuse and illusion of authority to have things their way at others’ expenses. The problems this sentiment is capable of causing too heavily outweighs its value. Instead, we should give more weight to a different phrase: respect those who deserve it.[…]

Why the phrase ‘Respect Your Elders’ Is Outdated, Dangerous, Misogynistic, Bigoted, etc. — Unwritten