culture

A Call for Radical Aging

 

Alice Fisher, M.S., M.S.W. is a Boomer who works in the office of NYS Senator Liz Krueger, where she developed and oversees “Senator Liz Krueger’s Roundtable for Boomers & Seniors” and counsels the senator’s senior constituents on issues of housing, healthcare, quality of life, and end of life.  A long time social justice advocate, Alice is developing anti-ageism programs and working with a diverse grass roots groups in New York City to create awareness of the ageism that permeates our culture.

 

Silicon Valley’s white, male elite is encountering discrimination for the first time. Guess what kind?

Ageism in Silicon Valley has been all over the news lately. The New York Times Magazine ran a cover story titled “Silicon Valley's Youth Problem.” Male engineers in their twenties are getting botox and hair transplants before key interviews. “The Brutal Ageism of Tech,” a feature story in the New Republic, described a swelling cohort of “highly trained, objectively talented, surpassingly ambitious workers” sidelined “for reasons no one can rationally explain.”

Guest Post: Why Are Americans Silent About Ageism?

This is a guest post from Linda Bright, a staff writer and a public relations coordinator for MyNursingDegree.com. As a former hospital administrator, she writes primarily about healthcare reform, patient rights and other issues related to the healthcare industry.


 Ageism is alive and well in our society—of that, there can be no question. 

Do I give death its due?

A good friend passed on a DVD of my This Chair Rocks talk to a filmmaker acquaintance, who had a serious critique. She found the talk compelling and called me “a smart and wise cheerleader for this next passage,” but continued, “What I felt missing in her talk was death. She moved quickly over it, saying that her big surprise was how little older folks feared death. I think she is wrong, but she has been immersed in this research far longer than I have.  I think we [all] fear death; it is the great unanswered question.

"We need an anti-ageist movement. Ashton is already in it."

 There's no one I'd be happier to hear that from than cultural critic and feminist Margaret Morgenroth Gullette. Resident Scholar at Brandeis University, Gullette is the author of Agewise: Fighting the New Ageism in America and has influenced my thinking enormously. She was kind enough to forward the invite to my upcoming talk at Cooper Union to frends with this introduction:  "Ashton Applewhite is the very clever inventor of the blog Yo Is This Ageist?, where she offers snappy retorts to  ageist hits and usefully decided opinions about age protocol.  We need an anti-ageist movement, for sure.  Ashton is already in it." I'm hoping for lots more company.

 

aiming at ambivalence

I attended my first Age Boom Academy for journalists in 2008 and have returned several times since. This year was particularly rewarding, because now I’m able to put the speeches in context and because I’m honing in on a specific question: why are Americans, individually and collectively, so deaf to all but the negative messages about old age? After all, no one wants to die young, and no one disputes that the elimination of premature death is a remarkable achievement.

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