from Karen: Why Grannies Make the Best Fashion Models
"Grannies" is ageist and sexist—if the models were male, would the book be called The Grandaddy Alphabet?—and the dentures shot is gratuitous, but otherwise a big thumbs up to Tim Walker’s project and purpose: “There is beauty and elegance in age that isn’t celebrated enough.”
There are so many things to dislike about this New York City bus sign.
- the term “the elderly” is offensive, because it implies older people belong to a homogenous group. Plus it’s yucky.
- the term “the disabled” is offensive because it implies the same about people with disabilities.
- a little heart, really? The sign condescends to the general reader as well.
- and where’s the question mark? (OK, I’m quibbling.)
The sign should say, “Please offer this seat to anyone who looks like they could use it.”
Ellen asks: Restaurant Etiquette: when i go to a nice restaurant with my boyfriend, it seems that all other tables of people older than me are treated better and have more frequent attention given. ageist?
Yes indeed. Bring the disparity to your server’s attention as tactfully as possible, and see what happens.
Yo, is this ageist? Or, how ageist is it? Should I feel guilty for laughing so hard I cried?
The little critter whomping the big critter is a staple of physical comedy (think Tweety & Sylvester), so no, I don’t think it’s ageist.
Opinion Piece from the New York Times: ”Every once in a while a male friend in his 60s tells me that try as he might, he just cannot get turned on by women his own age and naturally I channel Cher in “Moonstruck” and let him have it: Snap out of it, I say! Look in the mirror! We all age! What’s more important to you, a woman 30 years younger whom you can show off on the beach or someone who doesn’t draw a blank when you talk about Bullwinkle and Boris Badenov? Not that I have that many conversations in which I need to reference Bullwinkle and Boris Badenov, but when I do I don’t want to have to get bogged down in the whole back story. This is why I know this whole cougar thing is a myth. I do not know any women in their 60s who want a 30-year-old boyfriend because what would they talk about?”
I don’t know about you, but I find the idea that a 30-year-old and a 60-year-old wouldn’t “have anything to talk about” both ageist and insulting to 30-year-olds, who are adults. What do you think?
I agree with you. It’s ageist to assume that 30-year age difference is an insurmountable obstacle to friendship or more—though less maddeningly sexist and ageist than men rejecting women their own age.
Anonymous asked: On a story on NPR about the latest unemployment figures, referring to "aging boomers" leaving the workforce?
Ageist, yes, because in this culture it’s derogatory, and meaningless because everyone is aging.
Buzzfeed may be home to “the hottest, most social content on the web” (their words), but once the kids are out of the house and you can spend a little more and you know more people, parties get better. Also, all generational stereotypes are ageist and inherently inaccurate.
artsalonlive asked: I am the host of a radio show and request guests to use technology to participate on my show, for ex: using Skype or participating on a Hangout. I feel people my age, 50+ should keep up with technology. Instead I find they respond “that they have no need for it.” Yikes! What do you think?
Because it applies to all guests, your policy isn’t ageist. It’s your prerogative, and probably a technical necessity. Plenty of people over 50 are new-media savvy, though, and it’s ageist to stereotype them as technophobes or stuck in their ways.
On the broader question, keeping up with new technology helps people connect across geography and generations, always a good thing. Acquiring new skills also builds what neuroscientists call “cognitive reserve,” which may protect against dementia. When people in my baby boom cohort don’t text, it irritates me. But I sympathize with an octogenarian friend who doesn’t want to text her grandchildren, saying, “I want to hear their voices.” I hope they call her every so often, and also that if one of them offers to teach her to text, she won’t say “I have no need for it.”