The Rise of Home-Aphobia
by Thomas Hoffman
Renato Brunetta, an Italian politician, has engineered a movement of “Home-Aphobia.” Brunetta slammed adult “children” still living at home. He tried and failed to pass a law that would ban people from living at home past the age of eighteen. Sure, the legislation failed to pass but the movement was there. Here in the U.S., there has also been a rise of “Home-Aphobia.”
Ever since the recession, the country has seen an increase in adults still living at home. Furthermore,the media has cast this in a negative light. The New York Times ran an article titled “What is it about Twenty-Something’s?” Chris Matthews criticized the idea of adults still living at home by saying “Failure to launch is not just a movie, it is real life.” Dennis Miller also mocked adults still living at home while criticizing Obamacare. Former Vice President Candidate Paul Ryan said “College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms.” I believe it may be a matter of time before an American politician follows in Renato Brunetta’s footsteps.
Over the past few years, we have seen a number of attempts made by the government trying to interfere with the public’s privacy. The public has the right to life and liberty. That includes the liberty to pursue what some may deem unhealthy lifestyles. However, there have been an increasing number of attempts by the government to control that liberty. In the 2000’s, President Bush (and a number of religious fundamentalists) tried to have the government interfere with an issue the government had no business in, who can be in relationships with whom. President Bush helpedengineer a movement to ban gay marriage nationwide. In Texas, there was a law that outlawed sodomy. The Supreme Court defeated it, but the law was created nonetheless.
In 2010, Michelle Obama launched her “Let’s Move” campaign. Advocates of the “Let’s Move” campaign claim it simply encourages healthy lifestyles. However, “Let’s Move” also promotes the delusion that obesity is a self-induced state, and feeds into discrimination against overweight people. “Let’s Move” also feeds into further laws that overstep government boundaries. The Child Nutrition Act enforces restrictions on bake sales. In New York, there was a law passed by the Bloomberg administration that also enforces tough restrictions on bake sales. Mayor Bloomberg also attempted to pass a law that banned large sodas.
With some politicians trying to influence who can sleep with whom, others trying to influence whatpeople eat or drink, one may wonder what is next.
Could Renato Brunetta’s idea spread? This may sound like a far-fetched speculation. However, ten years ago if someone told me politicians would be trying to control what the public ate or drank, I would think that was a far-fetched idea. Furthermore, the truth remains one politician already did in fact attempt this. Who is to say there will not be more? Besides, there are politicians trying to influence who can sleep with whom. There are politicians who are trying to influence what the public can eat or drink. There are politicians trying to control what children study. Is trying to influence where people live that different?
Before Michelle Obama declared war on bake sales, long before Bloomberg declared war on large sodas, it was common for overweight people to be bullied. “Home-Aphobia” has existed for years. I once attended an alumni event. This was before the recession, when an adult living at home with their parents was the norm. If it was discovered you still lived with your parents (and many people did ask this), you were basically invisible for the evening. The point is society has been looking down on it, so it is only a matter of time before a politician capitalizes.
One twenty-something I interviewed was among the many college graduates who moved back home after college. When asked about the negative comments in the media regarding adults living at home,she replied “you don’t have much of a choice if you can’t get a job. And it’s not like people are doing it forever.” When I told her about the politician in Italy, she laughed. When asked if she thought that could happen in the U.S. she answered “oh people will try. It’s political suicide, but that doesn’t mean they would’t try.