Jewelry Women Love To Wear
When I recall how I thought about middle-aged and much
older women when I was younger, I realize I bought into
American stereotypes and did so mindlessly. I credited
older women a lack of significance and an inability to
add meaningfully to a world and a dialogue that was no
longer "theirs," as though ownership of culture
rationally comes from any particular age group over
others. My ideas originated from where? Tv? Movies?
Journals? How foolish.
Must this training only be learned woman by woman, with the passing of time, and not due to the perspicacious use of ones visions and ears? Because women like me are writing and discussing. Trees in the forest are falling. I ask that young women hear. Selective deafness will not stop the train. It will keep rolling down the track, quietly and dispassionately. It regularly gets here.
For me, getting older as a woman in The U.S.A. is less about injustices done to me than it has to do with a subtle undermining of my place within this community and a not-so-subtle disrespect that pops up more with each passing year. Such as, if I condemn porn as systemically harmful to women, it is my age that prompts my labeling as a prude and a pearl-clutcher. It can not be that I base my judgement on studies and statistics and the awareness that womanism is a movement-- one that supports the liberty of all women, not to remain confused with individual women who decide to reduce their images to the sexual uses and abuses of their bodies, calling that empowerment. My age sets me up for a sort of ridicule only partly experienced by younger women with the exact same beliefs. The wisdom that comes with age has little value to anyone but those owning it, due to the fact that wisdom is another word for old, and old is what no person would like to be.
Let's unify. Let's make a vigilant effort to quit putting down older women to set oneself aside from them and from an inescapable form of unfairness that can not currently be avoided. Regardless of what you think about Madonna at 656, or Jamie Lee Curtis at 77, let's acknowledge that most of us will eventually be 78, if we aren't already, and we'll want to define for individually what that means.
Certainly it will entail relevance and influence, whether we are vocalists, entertainers, journalists, lobbyists, or any other identity we have chosen and loved. As feminists we are stronger collectively than apart-- women of all nationalities, of all gender expressions, of all sexual preferences, of all socioeconomic classes, of all religious beliefs, of all ethnic backgrounds, and yes, of all ages, too.
Women over 40 are changing themselves along with the world. Retirement is not even on their radar, and they are not going to stay at home, go to book club, play bridge and monitor the world pass as their mothers did at this age. That will come much later. Now, they are changing themselves for something a lot better and taking on life with a new spirit and persistence that is making them more noticeable, giving them new peace of mind and bringing excitement into what was once a plain life-stage for women their age.