Restoring Respect and Truth & Creating Community with Civility, Empathy, and Understanding
Tearing Down Walls
HERE'S WHAT NEEDS TO GO - BE ACTIVE, BUILD BRIDGES, CLOSE GAPS
Friday, July 7, 2017
How Do We Help Stamp Out the Stigma of Grey Hair and Wrinkles?
A totally adorable child asked me how old I am. His mother was quick to admonish him not to ask women their age. Why not? What makes a mere statistic like age so shame-worthy that it can’t be mentioned?
In 1963, Betty Friedan introduced us to “the problem that had no name”: sexism. Since then we have come to realize how entwined elements such as language and customs make sexism far more insidious than a focus on discriminatory laws alone would reveal. Fifty-four years later, our awareness of ageism is in need of a similar epiphany.
All prejudice involves binaries that divide the world of people into “us” and “other.” Other devolves into deviant or lesser than. Ageism fits this most basic, universal criterion. Although age is a continuum with the exception of specific legalities — such as the eligibility to consume alcohol — we act as though there are two categories: young and old.