Because you can NEVER have enough!
I am finally getting it about age discrimination. (I have a lot of people to thank for this, and they know who they are.)
One of the problems is, it is not something one is accustomed to, like classism, sexism or other brands of discrimination and stereotyping that one grows up with. It is something that settles in later, and you might mistake it for one of the others at first. The whole point about intersectionality is important here; old men have more gravitas and are considered far more interesting and intelligent than old women are. As I scan the blogrolls, I see old men there, not old women.
Old women link old women, young women don't. However, they will sometimes link old men, since the men write for SALON and suchlike. Just like real life, old men still hold on to inherited power that women don't have and are respected and feted for that.
What is truly fascinating is how young people deny the ageism. Even radicals who should "know better" will INSIST that their dismissal and decision to ignore old women has nothing to do with ageism. Ask them where the old women are in their blogrolls, and well, it just happened that way, that's all. I don't think I have to point out that this excuse would never fly if the subject were any other group of deliberately-excluded persons, with the possible exceptions of disabled and fat people... an interesting parallel in and of itself. (This begs the question: Are old, fat, disabled women the lowest form of life in the USA?)
If you should ask why they have excluded old people in their various projects, you are picking a fight. And you will be treated that way.
Of course, I have been writing about this phenomenon for awhile now, and I guess it is my continuing task to do so. I won't let feminist and (supposedly) radical bloggers off the hook over their continuing exclusion, which I have come to see as deliberate, particularly when they are repeatedly informed of their exclusion and simply refuse to acknowledge their culpability and refuse to change. (As we used to say: If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.) I have even toyed with the idea of a list of bloggers who exclude old people in their blogrolls, subject matter, linkage, topics, etc...but it can be exhausting and tiring to go through every single blog they have listed. However, as I hang around long enough, I KNOW who lots of people are already, and I have discovered that for a few bloggers, all I have to do is click on the 3-4 names I don't know, and voila! I have proof of their exclusion.
Every single blogger is under 50.
Or under 40.
Or under 30.
Or even... under 25.
If this is you: you are an ageist and there are no excuses. Just as no radical can get by with all-white, all-male, all-heterosexual assocations, topics and linkage, please be advised that you can't either, and I am making a list and checking it twice.
And if you think old women have nothing interesting to say, be advised you have made your own bed, and when you are old, nobody will listen to you either. And you'll be just fine with that, right?
A deeper question is why we are consistently ignored.
Are we less fascinating or less intelligent? Are younger people's issues simply automatically more interesting? Why is that?
I was recently written off in the comments of a blog as just an old drugged-out hippie (so of course, not worth listening to, I am nobody)... and okay, there might be some truth in that... so, is that the reason we are ignored? Too much honesty about the past? Would we be more respected if we had lived as respectable, middle-class mommies who minded our manners? I don't think so, since "mommy-blogs" are considered very low-echelon in Blogdonia, and political women and feminists routinely apologize for talking about mothering-issues: "This is not a mom-blog!" (And so what if it IS?) As stated above, I don't think it is true that all old folks are not respected, since older MEN are carefully listened to (even deferred to), as if they are knowledgeable sages worth hearing out and considering. (Yes, even the drugged-out old hippies, who were seen as being on the front-lines and all like that.)
Certainly, in some cultures, old women are also given this status, but not in the modern-day USA, in which people prefer Botox to Wheaties for breakfast. And Blogdonia appears created in the USA's own image, as Adam was created in God's image. (And if yall have a problem with that formulation, maybe you should change it?)
I think some young women think we are their mothers, since we are usually somebody's mother who is around their own age. Mothers are shit on in this culture while fathers are prized (much attendant sociological hand-wringing about where are the fathers?! More frenetic burble about the importance of OLDER MALE ROLE MODELS!!!!) and it therefore seems quite logical that Blogdonia would continue this righteous tradition.
For instance, whilst contentedly bebopping around the internetz this week, I was admiring THIS post, The Femme Shark Manifesto, which is one of the best things I have ever read. And then...suddenly.... what?! I was bitch-slapped.
A list of cool traits is offered, old women even get mentioned several times (!) and yet smack in the middle:
FEMME IS NOT THE SAME THING AS BEING OUR MOMSOMG! BEING OUR MOMS! BEING YOUR MOM! Worst thing you could possibly say about someone, I take it. Why?! Well, I guess it's supposed to be obvious, but it's not obvious to ME. But I read this same drive-by statement about "not being your mother" with clockwork regularity. It's injected often, just like in that post, seemingly out of nowhere, almost as an afterthought.
It happens often enough to make me think some of these women have major issues with their mothers. What would Freud say?
Here it is: Do not act out your mother-issues on me or other old women. I am not your mother, is a correct statement--so stop ACTING OUT on me, please. Have the courage to take up your issues with your own mother. Do not displace your mommy-grudge onto women who have nothing to do with your mother, may not have a damn thing in common with your mother, and in fact, who may not even be mothers themselves.
This post was inspired by various bloggers dissing and ignoring old women in the last couple of months; about 25 incidents total. Some of these incidents were directly addressed by me, and some were not, knowing it would not do any good or just cause more acrimony. I tend to hold radicals more accountable than others, assuming (ha!) that they get things quicker when it comes to stereotyping and discrimination. I was wrong. People see exactly what they want to see, and aging is something that happens to other people who are (of course) older, not to them. (Won't they be in for a surprise?)
Someday, calling yourself a GIRL will seem comical, so if that word is a hyphenated part of your political identity, you might want to reconsider.
And as for the Allied Media Conference, as it was with the Women, Action and Media conference, I will be watching the YouTube videos and counting gray heads. If I see, like, three or four (or none), I will notice and comment on your deliberate exclusion.
At the 1979 National Women’s Studies conference, Barbara Smith (of the Combahee River Collective) memorably stated: "Feminism is the political theory and practice to free all women: women of color, working-class women, poor women. Anything less than this is not feminism, but merely female self-aggrandizement."
Well, she left a few people out of that statement (see above), but I get the point. I got it then, too. Some people need to get it NOW, like really get it.
I assume I will revisit this topic hundreds of times, as it seems I already have. So stay tuned, sports fans.