The ‘OKBoomer’ catchphrase which went viral in 2019 has reached the US Supreme Court now. It was heard as beinga part of a case against age discrimination. Chief Justice John Roberts asked the hypothetical question - if the phrasewas used in a hiring process would it indicate discrimination.
The catchphrase was used fervidly to show the concerns and anxieties of millennials (birth years between 1981-1996) and generation Z (birth years between 1996-2015) with regards to the baby boomers (birth years between 1946-1965). It suggests that the conversation around the worries of the younger generations has become so exhausting and unproductive that the younger generations are collectively over it. The older generation failed to understand the reasoning and politics of the millennials all through the years and therefore this catchphrase sums up their anger and frustration. The baby boomers misunderstood the memes to be one related to ageism thus proving the point of the millennials, ‘OKBoomer’. The choices and decisions made by the baby boomers affect the millennials and generation Z drastically and therefore is not a mere hair splitting argument.
The phrase was first used on TikTok where it was picked up by Twitter and has been tweeted hundreds and millions of times. Politician Chlöe Swarbrick used the term during her speech on climate change in the New Zealand Parliament.
The Supreme Court case is about whether an older employee of a government department has been discriminated against because of her age. Her lawyer compared the case to "using ethnic slurs" or "saying unflattering things" about a person, arguing that in a hiring process, it could indeed indicate discrimination.
Author: Nandini Gandhi