“He won’t change. What do you expect? He’s a 71-year-old man.” Lately I’ve been hearing this comment, or some version of it, on various cable and mainstream news programs, always referring to a certain Leader of the Free World / Commander in Chief / Current Inhabitant of the Oval Office.
Ashton Applewhite, activist and author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, recently delivered an 11-minute barn-burning TED Talk called “Let’s End Ageism” that is the clearest and most concise, entertaining, and impactful introduction to the scourge of ageism I’ve ever heard.
Is there such a thing as “elder wisdom” or is this concept a mere stereotype and illusion?
Here’s part of a conversation I overheard at the gym between two women working out together –– Older Woman (in her 40s) and Younger Woman (in her 20s):
Like many other Americans, I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of power, about what it can do for us –– and to us.
We must consider the concept of direction as we decide the next steps to take in order to disrupt aging. How should we move forward, given a new political climate?
The insidious thing about otherization is that it is applied to all kinds of distinctions: race, ethnicity, gender, ability, and sexual orientation, to name a few. And, of course, to age.
Like questions about any other topic, the ones we ask about aging and the ways in which we choose to answer them reveal what we believe and care about.