Ageism is f*cked up.
But here's an awesome woman calling us out on it.
I’ve adopted a new term for seniors, “olders” after picking up Ashton Applewhite’s smart book “This Chair Rocks: a Manifesto Against Ageism”. In it, Applewhite proposes using olders:
“…as a noun. It’s clear and value-neutral, and it emphasizes that age is a continuum. There is no old/young divide. We’re always older than some people, younger than others. Since no one on the planet is getting any younger, let’s stop using “aging” as a perjorative…” Similarly, she says, “’Aging in place’ – living where we want to for as long as we can – is many people’s top priority; since aging means living, let’s call it ‘living in place’”.
While I’ve only just begun the book, I can already tell its going to be a great read – it begins with a personal (without being presumptuous*) approach to aging and ageism but as she expands, her language, reflections, and research fall solidly in the realm of any standard social justice manifesto. Thank goodness! I think the time is ripe; our sociocultural narrative is desperately in need of being challenged intelligently about how invasive and even accepted ageism is.
For example: Have you (or anyone around you) made light reference of having early Alzheimer’s because you forgot something trivial? How many women you know won’t say their age, that’s “not polite to ask a woman her age”? Or, do you know how hard it is for a 50+ unemployed person to find a job? Of course ageism runs the other way (“those useless millennial’s, I remember when I was a kid…) but the (health, economic, housing, social) repercussions and impact of ageism are considerably more harmful for seniors than young adults.
And not only does Applewhite have a book, but apparently she’s been running a blog for years! Check her blog out HERE. My favorite part is her discussion with readers about “Yo, is this ageist?” Dig in for some food for thought and do yourself a favor, go pick up this book.
Also, this rad cover photo? I found it on THIS fun tumblr site.
*as opposed to other popular books that look at the cultural aspect of aging – often white males (of a similar age) that are pompous, self-serving, and often delve into belly button gazing diatribes. Or maybe that was just one really awful one that I’m still trying to scratch out of my brain…