pushing back against ageism—which affects everyone


Yo, Is This Ageist?

From Clayton: Club Clothes for When You’re No Longer a Club Kid

Hysterical: the question, the venue, and the advice. Let’s propose alternative advice… 

For her, Combat boots, black leotard, and a glitter face paint to stomp your feelings of boredom and debasement away; or

the lingerie that your husband never acknowledged, with sparkle sneakers to sprint into an alternative universe at least until Monday.

For him, just wear your fucking sports coat, you’ve never had any creativity, which is why you’re dumb enough to ask the Wall Street Journal how to dress to have fun.

uh huh.

uh huh.

Anonymous asked: Today's 50-is-the-new-70 humiliation: Got invited on a Jewish global-trot Nicaraguan trip to do cultural exchange/volunteer work. Then a rushed follow up email un-inviting me saying it was for "young professionals" NOT young-at-heart professionals... Now I have to cancel my "Never Too Late to Learn" Spanish classes at the Senior Center (right after I file my class action ageism lawsuit).

This is indeed grounds for a lawsuit. Point that out to the organization. 

Outrageous Political Ad

This attack ad against Ralph Hall (R-TX) is one of the most blatant examples of ageism I’ve ever encountered. Paid for by Now or Never PAC, it is also a perfect example of someone using an ad hominem attack when there is no ideologies or policies to attack.

I couldn’t have said it better.

Anonymous asked: My boss told me that another department gave the job I had been designing to an outside freelance designer "because they wanted someone younger to design it."

If you and the outside designer are equally competent, your boss is guilty of age discrimination. Point this out to her. Make a note of this and any further age-related comments, writing down the date, time and any witnesses. This will be valuable evidence if you ever need to prove the point in court. 

Anonymous asked: Oh please - Beatrice is a riot and c'mon I'm not quite her age but I've hit the wall as to my technological abilities and I'm only too happy to stay that way. Beatrice is adorable - and made me laugh. Currently my favorite ad. Sure there is ageism but THIS isn't enabling that. My experience with older-than-I-am family and friends is that this ad Is pretty much the way it is!

The Beatrice Esurance ads use and promote the ageist (and sexist) stereotype that older people, women in particular, can’t master technology. Mathematician Rachel Levy go so tired of  hearing people say stuff like “That’s so easy my grandma could get it” that she set up a blog called Grandma Got Stem (STEM = Science Technology Engineering & Math). It’s packed with moving stories of women at work across the 20th century in fields ranging from aeronautics to paleontology. They’re outnumbered by “Beatrices” because this society markets devices designed for nimble fingers and sharp eyes and thinks it’s acceptable to leave older people out of the future. The fact that we find the ad funny shows how deeply we’ve internalized those reprehensible values. 

From Bob: Was the New York Times ageist to accompany an article about Gloria Steinem at 80, beautiful inside and out, with a giant drawing of her much-younger self?
Yes indeed, especially since the article was titled, with no apparent irony, “This Is What 80 Looks Like.”

From Bob: Was the New York Times ageist to accompany an article about Gloria Steinem at 80, beautiful inside and out, with a giant drawing of her much-younger self?

Yes indeed, especially since the article was titled, with no apparent irony, “This Is What 80 Looks Like.”

From Barbara: Age UK’s new ad,  Time Flies?

This is dreadful on many counts: the gloom-laden opener, “There is no cure for aging” (cheer up, hashtag #lovelaterlife awaits); the insider tip that the secret is to “think yourself younger than you really age” (age denial, pure and simple); the chirpy exhortation to “design an app!” (Rhymes with “nap.” Yes, it’s a poem.) If the takeaway is supposed to be that older people have value, some examples would deliver a far better message.

Anonymous asked: Host of the Oscars, Ellen Degeneres, commented in her opening monologue that June Squibb, a nominated actress, is the oldest nominee at 84. Ellen then leaned down towards June and loudly repeated what she said as if June is hard of hearing. What do you think? Ageist? I say yes.

This was the roast section of Ellen DeGeneres’ act. She made fun of Amy Adams for being uneducated, Jennifer Lawrence for being clumsy, Liza Minelli for being  Liza Minelli, and June Squibb for being deaf—which she clearly is not. Ageist, yes, but I howled with laughter.

Curious asked: Isn’t there anything good about ageism as well? Otherwise, why would it have been around for such a long time? What about a right to be lazy because you’ve spent your life working? Also, is ageism steady or has it been shifting in the sense that for some centuries elder people were privileged, and only recently there is a focus on young ones? 

There is nothing good about any kind of discrimination. As with racism and sexism, it suits the interest of some groups to have power over others. 

Old age doesn’t make people lazy. 

Ageism is subject to historical forces. In Colonial America older people had more power than younger ones, partly because old age was relatively rare, but this shifted during the 19th century. Interest in aging peaks during recessions when public budgets are most stretched. One group is demonized for being dependent (old people) but not another (say, bankers).