Today I heard a BBC radio broadcast about women and age.Two women were featured one a 22 year old and the other a 74 year old. Both lived in the USA. I was interested to hear how they responded the to the questions they were asked. The older woman was a teacher at well known university. The young woman was starting out on her life voyage.
One of the questions was about how women are considered to be “dust ” once they hit 60. The 74 year old said she had never accepted this idea and never considered herself to be dust and what did that idea mean since she had only retired at the age of 72. Was she dust for 12 years? She thought not.
The younger woman said she didn’t accept the “dust” idea either. It became clear to me that neither of these women were weak personalities. Both were strong women who were not going to be sidelined.
The show wrapped up with the older woman being asked what she would say to young women today. She said that they should never let anyone push them aside or take away their right to make their own decisions. Well ,in my opinion, that is the best possible advice to give.
I have also heard that when women age they become “invisible”. I always thought that was just in the minds’ eye of the opposite sex. So that was not something that I was going to loose any sleep over.
Now that I am in my 74th year of life I do look in the mirror and see grey hair and wrinkly skin. I think I have earned every wrinkle. I have had two children and some of those wrinkles belong to them. As for the grey hair…..I went through a brief period when my hairdresser talked me into getting my hair colored. During that phase I would look in the mirror and wonder who that person was. So I buzz cut my hair and let it grow out. I have also never been tempted to have any wrinkle reducing plastic surgery. I’ve had enough surgery without that. I have nothing against people who do choose that route . I think it’s fine. It is just not for me.
So those are my thoughts on Women and Age. Today President Biden has declared he will run again for a second term. The main topic seems to be how old he is. I have to wonder if he was a woman would he have been elected at all. There are other countries who have had women as Presidents and Prime Ministers and they have not been the youngest of women,
Golda Meir Prime Minister of Israel 1969-1974
Indira Ghandi Prime Minister of India 1966-1977 and 1980 till her assassination in 1984.
Margaret Thatcher Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1979- 1990
None of these women were “dust” nor were they invisible .
I don’t think you have to be a political leader of a nation to get along in the world as an older women. I think you can still command respect and inspire others if you are true to yourself.
This post is a departure from my usual posts but the BBC program got me thinking about Women and Age and Ageism. I shall return to my normal posts next post.
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