Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Where are the old women bloggers?

We know everything that has ever happened, and there is no end to derision.--Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra


After turning 50 in September, I became somewhat obsessed with the age of bloggers. I discovered I could find a lot of male bloggers in the 50-and-older category. But where are the women?

I know, there are a few. And I am not talking about Arianna Huffington, who is 57 and a billionaire (and therefore looks 25), but about us ordinary bloggers, such as Raven, Jackie, Risa, JJ, Marion, Maitri and Shadocat. I try to find them and link them on my blog... they are like precious jewels.

I have wondered if the hyperventilating over WOMEN'S AGE might be the cause of this phenomenon; we might call it The Botox Effect. We cover up the "lines" in our writing, as we try to cover the lines in our face. We minimize that which makes us seem old. If there is something new we don't understand, such as contemporary slang, we don't dare ask for clarification and thereby give ourselves away. Perhaps, then, there are more of us than I realize? Many women pointedly do not provide their ages on their blogs, while men usually do; a silly, sexist and archaic cultural habit.

At times when I write about nostalgia, as I enjoy doing, I get replies from isolated people (who will not comment publicly, it is worth noting) thanking me for publicly remembering something that they agree needs recounting. But they say it in hushed, secretive emails, as if I have said something dirty out loud. THE PAST IS OLD, and therefore, not a good thing. NEW is good, new is revolutionary, new is a product that has been improved, reformulated, with all kinds of good shit added to it to make it a rockem-sockem, highly-evolved and BETTER thing... better car, better house, better suburb, better dishwashing liquid.

Various cultures throughout the world once prized the old, as those who had knowledge and wisdom. As American imperialism runs roughshod all over the world and into every nook and cranny of the globe, we see all that is old is shunned and shunted aside. Hatred of what is old is now invading hearts and minds and cultures everywhere. Universally, the belief that old age equals wisdom is fast disintegrating. NEW NEW NEW shall reign. The old is hidden or eliminated, and that includes old people.

On certain progressive blogs, when I try to comment about what we expected or thought in the past, it's a sure way to get beat up and left for dead. Yes, I am told, that just proves how fucked up everything was back then. Nietzsche's Last Man of History knows everything that has ever happened, and there is no end to derision.

The very idea that we may know something is laughed at. And yet writing "teh" is not considered laughable, for some reason. I guess because it's a "young" thing to do.


Left: A photograph of the back of my head, taken at a political rally 30 years ago. I was lying down with my head propped on my elbows--that's my blond hair, which looks virtually the same now as it did then. (Hey, it could be worse, I could look like the girl with the Farrah Fawcett hair!) Kent State, 1977.

When you get old enough, you find photos of yourself (and your head, and your feet, and your husbands, and your kids) all over the net, which is a scary thing.


When old women aren't laughed at, we are completely ignored.

I have tried very hard not to be petty about this. I have concentrated HARD on my new tattoo, and asked my various saints whether I am being self-centered or petty when I am ignored and patronized. I look around, though, and I see a DEARTH of women bloggers my age. Of course we are ignored, we do not even exist. We are not a DEMOGRAPHIC BLOCK and they don't have to deal with us as a GROUP, or maybe they would notice how shitty they talk (or don't talk) to us.

I am pretty tired of this, and I have nearly given up blogging twice over it. Being ignored or talked down to, hurts. How much of this is also sexism and elitism/classism is hard to say... perhaps taken altogether: an older, working-class woman in South Carolina is simply unimportant. Possibly, if I were from New York, London or someplace cool, that would be sufficient to allow me to be taken seriously. But I keep coming back to age: Menopausal gals ain't hawt, and subsequently, we don't say very hawt things. And on the internets, hawtness is a crucial selling point.

My rant was brought on by a particular blogger, who of course is oblivious to my existence. Thus, it makes no sense to link him here, it won't matter to him one way or the other. He may find it peripherally amusing. But I am curious as to how many people might read this, and wonder if I am talking about them?


I think about right-wing conservatives, and their continuous political appeals to old people. I wonder if much of their success is their promise not to forget about us, to honor our lives and experience? By contrast, the left (where I have spent my life), sends us off to the glue factory.

One last thing: Unless you die, you will all age. If you'd like that to be a pleasant experience, rather than an unpleasant one, it may behoove you to change the culture NOW. Otherwise, I daresay, you'll someday understand exactly what I mean by this post.

Yall come back now, ya hear?

Listening to: Etta James - Don't Lose Your Good Thing
via FoxyTunes


Bryce said...

u need 2 tell us who dissed u, D, so's we can go & stomp their guts out.

--puts on steel toed boots--

Octogalore said...

Daisy -- kudos on this post. I think "where are the [visible] older female bloggers" is a great question. Maybe being not-so-young myself, I have found myself lately mourning things like reading books, writing sentences with good old dictionary words, having actual experience rather than trendy soundbites.

Of course, I must say that someone who just turned 50, with long thick blond and who could pass for mid to late 30s, isn't what I think about when I think "old people," missy.

But I know what you mean about the need for a cultural change -- blogged a bit about this a couple of days ago here and would appreciate any comments you might have.

Thanks for this post.

Renegade Evolution said...


Hell, I love that you're many things and experiences that I'll never get to see, and NO MATTER how many times try to recreate it, or modernize it, or do it bigger and better and with more sponsers (heh), it won't ever be like what you got to see and do. And yep, while I do believe in botox and all, well, young and hip isn't nearly as cool as it thinks it is, after all, didn't YOUR generation actually make "hip" hip in the first place???

Do you find it at all amusing I get annoyed when people read me and think I am a snot nosed college aged kid?

Damned if ya do, damned if you don't guess...

But either way, I love your blog and the way you write it, and hell, you dig the Who...and not in that punk kid johnny come lately way that I do ;)

Magniloquence said...

Hmmm. It's probably privilege (and as such, something I'm trying to work on), but I don't generally notice the age of bloggers period, unless it's a prominent part of their blogging persona. As with reality, I tend to norm everyone older (both older than I am, and older than they really are in many cases); it startled me to realize how many of us were in my age group (me, BA, Little Light, Sylvia, lovelesscynic, SaraSpeaking, Petit.. we're all within 1-2 years of each other).

That said... ageism is probably the -ism I find most incomprehensible. Maybe because I have less experience with it, or maybe because I've hung out with people much much older than I am for most of my life (one of those kids who graduated high school and realized all the friends she's still in contact with are teachers/administrators, and all that. My best friend from then is older than my parents.), but it just... I don't get it. Why would someone's age matter? What possible reason is there for discounting people just because they have (or haven't) been around for a certain amount of time?

I guess what makes it different for me is the fact that I can't reconcile it into a Fear of Other thing. Racism, sexism, religion-related bigotry, ableism... most of that (even when it doesn't make sense from any other perspective) boils down at some level to They Are Different And Scary. But old? Young? We've all been young, and we're all, deities and circumstances willing, going to be old sometime. There's no Other there.

I guess I'm just missing something.

Deoridhe said...

I remember talking to my mom and bitching about the Maiden/Mother/Crone trinity that became popular within New Age circles over the last thirty or so years, and having her share how she thinks so many women her age (50s-60s) are embracing the Crone is because of the derth of positive images of older women.

One thing I noticed after this conversation was how often those presented as old in stories say they are old but appear young. Ironically, this is even true for so called "crone" goddesses, like Persephone or Hecate, who are actually young women in appearance. There is an unreality to old women who look old, and sometimes I wonder if this is an artifact of the existence of women as objects, not subjects.

kactus said...

Well, I'm gonna be 48 my next birthday, so I can certainly relate. Add me to your list of old women bloggers, ok?

Us crones gotta stick together.

Drakyn said...

I'm just like Magniloquence in that I don't really think about folks' ages.
And I'm sorry i don't comment more; I tend to lurk in general and I just haven't had time these past few months with working and all (at Spencers Halloween and Christmas are both big holidays so I was working a lot of hours).
I've also noticed a lack of psitive older female images... ThoughI can think of a few off the top of my head, they are from books that aren't that mainstream. Mercedes Lackey has a few older female characters that are quite awesome (have you read her books? they are a bit beach-readish, but I've always enjoyed them). Need is a millenias-old soul who was an old magic sword-smith who forged herself into one of her swords so she could help a girl avenge their sisters (she was at some form of convent/school-type place). And also a lot of her female characters are shown to grow up and grow old.

Cassandra Says said...

Love to you for writing this, Daisy.

Honestly, I wish there were more older women bloggers around. I would love to hear about what it was like to live through the sixties and seventies. What was it like to be at Kent State? What was it like to actually see the culture shifting? What does it look like to you now?

Part of what's going on may be that a lot of bloggers are so young that they're still fighting an internal battle with their parents. They haven't hit the stage when you stop seeing your parents (and people like them) as distant authority figures and start seeing them as people yet.

I'd far rather have more bloggers like you and less of the clueless emotional children (hi Lindsey!) around.

Cassandra Says said...

Octo, did you see Chris Clarke's comment about dreading the day when Seal Press would print a book that was just reproduction of another book in its entirety with the comment "Dostoyevsky totally nailed it here" tagged on the end? That's kind of how I'm feeling. Lack of life experience is one thing, but I'm out of patience with dumbassery and lack of depth.

ms.cripchick said...

DAMN BLOGGER, i just wrote like a whole page thing about ageism grr

i really appreciate you pointing this out because ageism is something that is rarely talked about, like it's a fake -ism or something. i am always particularly infuriated when i see disabled people using the same rhetoric to describe older folk that is used to describe us although i know that is a common thing that all communities need to work on (i.e. queer communities not getting racism, etc)

now this may sound privileged (please please please call me out on it if it is) but what i think is most interesting about ageism is that it's a double sided -ism. there is no real such thing as being "too straight" or "too nondisabled/able-bodied" but with ageism, you can be ignored, dismissed, and cut off because you're "too young" or "too old".
of course i don't think young people are systemically screwed in the same way older people are but what i don't understand is how both groups, older people and younger people, don't see how they perpetuate this on each other, particularly in movements.

i'm glad you blog though, particularly because i doubt that if we saw each other at a coffee shop or something that we'd just strike up a conversation as i'd probably be thinking "that person thinks i'm too young" and you'd be thinking "that person thinks i'm too old". i think the internet shows you that our concepts of age are made up by society because people are able to become friends with each other without age playing as big a role as it does in real life.

great post.

Octogalore said...

"We've all been young, and we're all, deities and circumstances willing, going to be old sometime. There's no Other there."

I think that's exactly where the fear lies. Some fear Other, some fear what we ourselves are or will be, some fear both. I think many like to live in denial of the fact that age is (hopefully) inevitable.

Like -- I went to a comedy club last weekend, the kind where comics' pictures line the walls. They had some well known faces, people I knew of way back when who didn't used to look old, like Letterman or Richard Lewis. (They had chick pics too, like Ellen and Margaret Cho, but those were more recent). I found myself kind of depressed that in my adult lifetime, other adults had gone from looking young to old. What did that make me?

And then the show started and everyone was 20-something and I forgot about wondering if I was old.

So -- although I don't think I'm ageist as much as scared of aging, I can understand where the fear of age comes. I think it's exactly because there's no way to Other it.

matttbastard said...

Amazing post, Daisy. And w00t for big-uppin' my homegrrl, JJ.


shadocat said...

Daisy, thanks for mentioning me!

At 52, I have just begun to feel the impact of being perceived as "old". Right now, I'm in search of a job with benefits, and I'm telling you, the employers are always excited over the phone when they get my resume (which does not give my age) but when I come to the interview, you should see the faces fall.

And where are all the "middle-aged" women actors, and performers? It's as if when a woman reaches 45 or so, she drops off the face of the earth, only to re-emerge at 70, when she's deemed a "cute" little old lady. Think back to the 1980's and early 90's...many of the male actors of that period are still working and successful. But when's the last time you saw Debra Winger in anything?

Daisy said...

In fairness, I think our a lot of our invisibility is due to overall math/science anxiety, which hit our generation especially hard. Translation = fear of computers. For some incomprehensible reason, women not afraid of heavy machinery (I am) or who can instantly convert portions of complicated recipes into advanced fractions (I can't), seem to think computers are frightening. Where did that come from? The cut-off point seems to be our age-group, though. I've asked middle-class, educated women my age and older if they have private, non-work-related email, and they often act like I've asked if they have an extra Mercedes in the garage. By contrast, ALL young women (sometimes even virtually homeless) still have email accounts that they know to access through libraries and friend's homes.

Shadocat, I was thinking today that the only time middle-aged women are allowed on TV, is on CIALIS (and similar erectile-dysfunction drug) commercials. It's kinda weird, since you'd think if its about men's sexuality, they'd have young attractive women cavorting about... but they don't. Those ads are totally about real life, so the women look the same ages as the men. However, if you check out the sitcoms, the women are around 10-15 younger, on average.

Octo, Ren, Casssandra, Kactus, Deoridhe, Mag, Drakyn (and where have you been!?!), mattbastard (I always feel like I am insulting you when I call you by your name!), thank you for your comments.

Ms. CC, check email. I wrote it, stared at it, then chickened out. :P

Bryce, be nice.

Octogalore said...

Cassandra -- nope, do you have a link? Sounds worth checking out. I hear you re dumbassery.

Anonymous said...

I think both are in their seventies.

Cassandra Says said...

Octo - I didn't save the link, but someone posted it on the super-seekrit e-mail list. It wasn't at Chris's place - it was one of the FFF threads.

Daisy said...

Cassandra, that's properly spelled sooper-seekrit email list. ;)

Cassandra Says said...

Daisy - See, I don't know the proper internet lingo. Clearly I'm too old and should shut up now.

Yeah, that's going to happen.

Lisa Harney said...

Great post. I do think you're talking about something real, although I haven't experienced it directly online, I have experienced some of it IRL, just for being 38. Like, I'm totally not even supposed to have my hobbies.

CalliopeJane said...

Octogalore: "I have found myself lately mourning things like reading books, writing sentences with good old dictionary words, having actual experience rather than trendy soundbites."

A little while back there was a reality-competition show on MTV called "The 70s House". The contestants were about 19 or 20 years old, and they essentially had to "live in the 70s" for the duration of the show. They turned in all their electronic gizmos before walking into the fully-retro house with flocked wallpaper, harvest gold shag carpeting, burnt orange appliances, and an 8-track player. They had no microwave (so spent actual time cooking), there was one corded phone in the kitchen, the TV got 4 channels and you had to turn a knob (so they played board games and read and talked to each other).

The kids felt SO deprived. I really wanted to live there (then?).

Renegade Evolution said...

my favorite not young woman on TV:

S. Epatha Merkson, Lt. Van Buren on Law & Order.

Drakyn said...

I've been working retail (forget the 40 hour weeks before xmas, it exhausts me as I can barely deal with lots of people like that), my laptop's hinge still needs fixing (I have had no time to get it fixed), and when I've gotten online I've either lurked or just read fanfiction because I'm getting depressed again (and that means I isolate myself more-- but don't worry, I'm forcing myself to hang out with friends offline).

thene said...

Many women pointedly do not provide their ages on their blogs, while men usually do; a silly, sexist and archaic cultural habit.

-funny thing is, in news stories and the like women's ages are given with more frequency than men's. Are women bloggers reacting against that kind of thing, maybe? Knowing that their ages will be used to judge them, so are withholding the information? I know on some level I've been doing that - I've never mentioned my age on the blogthing because it's 'too young'. (22. Funny, I never felt 'too young' when I was 19 or 20).

Your writing, your speaking, makes the world a better place because it extends the context of all the questions that we-collectively are asking and answering. In all the IRL feminist groups I've been to the older ladies are mighty because they know how far we've travelled, where we're going, where the dead ends are, and where we might go back to if we fail.

-and that is just a sliver of the whole; I read you because you are you and this is a wonderful collection of things you have here.

One last thing: Unless you die, you will all age. If you'd like that to be a pleasant experience, rather than an unpleasant one, it may behoove you to change the culture NOW. Otherwise, I daresay, you'll someday understand exactly what I mean by this post.

-this one is just starting to sink in here, just over this last year; not because, as Cassandra just put it, of 'fighting an internal battle with parents' but because it's so tangibly time to play the cards I've got; I open the newspaper and read about exciting young lookers and achievers, movers and shakers, and they're younger than me, and silly though that is, it gets it through to me that I am going to get old. That, and a friend in her 60s who's taught me a lot just by being - and yes, she told me who was hip and who was square.

and um, forgive me for asking this, but isn't Heart about your age? ;)

The All Seeing Eye said...

Nice post with good questions to ponder. I consider my political leanings to the conservative side of things... And yet I am not an older guy. And one of my college professors could understand my political leanings due to the fact that I was the son of a legal immigrant and a father who never voted. If I was alive and in the voting age in 1960, then I beileve I may have voted for JFK. However, it seems to me that the Democrat party has left those ideas that JFK stood for... I just wish more people would ask politicians serious questions and think things through logically.

bint alshamsa said...

I haven't read what others commented because I wanted to give you my feelings about what you wrote first.

"One last thing: Unless you die, you will all age."

This sort of ties in to what I was thinking as I read your post. When female bloggers who are older than me talk about their life experiences, I sometimes feel a little jealous. That's a hard thing for me to admit because I do my best not to spend my time wishing that my life was different from what it is. Usually it's not a problem because I like being me. However, when I think about the likelihood that I will reach the age where I can talk about my adult children or grandchild, it can be a bit depressing. I often wish I could fast forward a decade or two just so that I could have the opportunity to see what it would be like.

Fifty just doesn't seem old to me anymore. When I was a little kid, anything over twenty five years old seemed ancient. Now, I'm more than halfway to fifty and I've come to see that there's so much that you don't ever get to experience unless you live much longer than I may.

I really love reading the blogs of women who are older than me because I try to think about what it would be like to experience some things. Seeing my daughter graduate from high school or college, have a baby, or buy her first house...Man, that would just be so wonderful.

I started getting a lot more grey hair this past year and people have been asking me when I'm going to dye it. I bought some hair color about six months ago but I've never used it because I've been enjoying watching the grey hairs becoming more numerous, a little bit at a time. I guess I'm trying to imagine what it would be like to be me thirty or forty years in the future.

I think that we are in dire need of bloggers who are what I'd consider "older women" (i.e. 75+ years old) but they are virtually non-existent--although I'd love it if someone could show me otherwise. After all, I didn't even realize that some of those bloggers you mentioned were over fifty.

Please don't quit blogging. It took me a long time before I really believed what I was told about how the majority of people who read blogs don't leave comments. There are some blogs that I don't comment on because my arthritis limits the amount of typing that I can do, so I tend to read more than I respond. I'm sure there are others who have their own reasons why they don't respond even when something they read really resonates with them.

The amount of comments that you do receive reflects the fact that what you have to say IS important to a significant number of people. I know that doesn't resolve the question you asked but I just wanted to let you know why I think you should keep on blogging so that one day we will have some bona fide "old women bloggers".

A. J. Luxton said...

Magniloquence's comments are interesting and refreshing and I identify with many of them. I'll add that I think ageism happens because we're all going to hit every age eventually, Gods willing and the creek don't rise: it's an internalized form of hatred. And that's always the worst kind.

The Jungian concepts of anima and animus map very well onto the way I see age. We all have in us a person of every age. Not just an inner child, but an inner teenager, inner young adult, inner twentysomething, fortysomething, eightysomething... A lot of us have issues stuck to one stage or another, and most people have issues stuck to old age.

When I was younger I sometimes dealt with creepiness in the form of people trying to be a 'maturity figure' when I just wanted to speak with them as equals: "When I was your age I was like this, so YOU must be like this, and I can solve your life for you if you accept that your ideas are meaningless and apply mine!" They wanted either to relive or erase their internal sense of youth through me.

And nobody wants to get old. I have less negative expectations of it than most, because I didn't enjoy being overly young and my self-concept is older than I am. In general, I think younger people avoid older people because doing otherwise would cause them to remember that they will eventually be older people.

I don't think it's any coincidence that I, too, have a lot of older friends and acquaintances.

Daisy said...

Thank you for your comments, everyone! AJL--so glad to see you here and welcome! Bint, you always add a new and interesting perspective!

Thene, Heart who? :P Actually, my piece about her presidential campaign gets hits nearly every day, so she's well-covered. (Under her official name, Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff.)

Daisy said...

And Lisa, that's true, too. Computers as recreation are also regarded as "kid stuff"... again, I wonder, how did that happen?

When I tell middle-aged friends or co-workers about my blog, they chuckle and look at each other... they think I am doing teenybopper MySpace stuff, or texting Bryce about jam bands, or something...

Steve Hayes said...

Here's a blog you could look at: Anja Merret -- chatting to my generation

Deoridhe said...

For some incomprehensible reason, women not afraid of heavy machinery (I am) or who can instantly convert portions of complicated recipes into advanced fractions (I can't), seem to think computers are frightening.

My mom, who taught me circuit theory (you know, basic electornics) can't make a closed circuit including the tv and the vcr. When the DVD player got added, she completely lost it. It baffles me, since she taught me the skills I use to hook up electronics.

I think some of the difficulty and fear is in doing something knew (It seems like the message the few generations before mine got was you would learn through college then stop; the message I got was that I will learn forever), some of the difficulty is not enjoying it (I took up programming as a hobby, briefly, and many of my hobbies are computer or game system based), and some of the difficulty seems to be in though processes.

To expand on the last, when I deal with computers there is a lot of trial and error; if I do something I see if it works, if it does, great, if it doesn't I try something else. I'm also used to reading error messages, screens, etc... and following the directions on them. In the first area, even people my own age or younger often didn't have the same approach and needed overt leaching instead of self-teaching. In the latter, I've exclusively found it among older people, frequently those in positions of authority who aren't used to doing things for themselves (to frame it unkindly).

And I've run into at least one person who put an end cap on the technology she was willing to master; I think that sort of attitude - that there is an end and you've reached it - also contributes.

bint alshamsa said...

A. J. Luxton,

And nobody wants to get old.

I dunno if that's really true. I think it might be basically true in Western cultures but not necessarily everywhere else or even within all of the Western sub-cultures. Here we seem to have the notion that all the really good things in life are experienced by young people: lots of sex, partying, being footloose and fancy-free. We tend to do all of the daring stuff while we're young before we "settle down".

In other places, it's just the opposite. The younger people are expected to study and/or work slavishly, concentrate on improving the lives of their children and parents, and conform to very conservative standards. You're not really supposed to expect that you'll enjoy this period a whole lot. The real fun shouldn't even start until after your kids are raised and your parents are dead. That's when you can let your hair down and do all of the stuff we in this culture associate with youth. It seems like this is (or has been, depending on how much American influence has crept in) the case in some Asian and Islamic cultures.

Perhaps some of the feelings that people in this culture have about not wanting to get older has to do with the perception that this would mean leaving all of life's enjoyments behind. Of course, I think it also has a lot to do with Western culture's tendency towards thanatophobia.

belledame222 said...

One last thing: Unless you die, you will all age. If you'd like that to be a pleasant experience, rather than an unpleasant one, it may behoove you to change the culture NOW.

One of the many sort of glaringly obvious truths that so many of us seem oblivious to, god knows why. Well, no, we know why: no one in this culture wants to believe they'll die, either. it's just maddening.

and yeah, I'd love to see more older women bloggers, too.

belledame222 said...

and yeah, not just 50+ but women in their 70's, 80's...of all people Blanche had a couple of links to some really interesting ones, albeit v. conservative.

Zan said...

Do you know about Maya's Granny? She's got a great list of older bloggers and well, she's awesome.

And I don't know if it's true nobody wants to get old. I kinda do. But that's because I've had the benefit of growing up with really amazing older women in my life, so to me, getting older is actually sort of like being free. My grandmothers lives have really taken off since their husbands have either died or been kicked out. I see being an old woman as being a woman who doesn't have to worry about other people's opinions, who can do what she wants, because whose going to say anything?

belledame222 said...

Drive fast, don't crash, make your money, make it last
Hang tight, kick back, prepare yourself for the attack-
Buy low, sell high, take your pills, tell your lies
Fake your tan, wear a tie ?
Go to the gym you'll never die!

And that's the way to go!
And that's the way to go, to go!...

belledame222 said...

I think about right-wing conservatives, and their continuous political appeals to old people. I wonder if much of their success is their promise not to forget about us, to honor our lives and experience? By contrast, the left (where I have spent my life), sends us off to the glue factory.

*nod nod*

and you'd think, you know, it might occur to more of the boomers that um, hi there: you are now talking to YOUR demographic, which is a rather large one. but often: no.

antiprincess said...

The real fun shouldn't even start until after your kids are raised and your parents are dead.


can't wait until my hair is all long and silver like Georgia O'Keefe, and my face looks like I finally have something to say, and my hands look all wise and capable.

It will be nice not to care so much what "people will say" anymore.

Anonymous said...

My mother is one of the older women you speak of who are afraid of computers. She can fix old ceiling fans, change oil in cars and solve nearly any problem. I don't understand where the fear of computers comes from. They aren't going to explode or anything. ?? Perhaps just not growing up with them.

Maya's Granny said...

There is a section of my blog roll devoted to elderbloggers. Most of them are women. And I don't really know about anywhere near all of the elderbloggers out there.

Daisy said...

MG, I just added you! :) And I confess, I AM looking for liberal/radical grannies like ourselves!

Revista said...

I suppose I'm in the group of female bloggers who'd be considered young, but to be honest I don't really get the point of "teh" and I refuse to use it in my blogging...

on a more important note, I wanted to comment that I am currently working on an art project about age and pop culture that keeps expanding as I delve into the subject. Part of the project will include an artist's book with some research, of which a lot will be blog-based. Basically, I am just wondering if I can have permission to quote this post?

Daisy said...

OF COURSE! I'd be honored!

I actually got 3 emails over "teh"--my point was not that it offends me (it doesn't) but that I just never understood what it was supposed to mean, and finally I just had to look it up on Wikipedia. Really!

Likewise, I still say "Far out!" (in person, although I do try to curb it in my writing!) which has always embarrassed Delusional Precious (my daughter). But it's honestly the best compliment I can give! :)

yliza said...

There's a few of us venturing out there, if slowly and carefully :-) It's nice to find another!

When old women aren't laughed at, we are completely ignored.

Ain't that the truth. It's as if, once past childbearing years, we are useless.

Forget that being 50 means I'm old enough to have seen firsthand the effects of the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK on my community. Forget that they still taught civics back then, and you could get a decent public education for free. What matters is whether or not I am still sexually attractive to men.


It's scary enough putting yourself out there. Kudos for taking the risk.

Lisa Simeone said...

I'm 50 and proud of it!

Redhead said...

I just turned 60 last September. I've often thought I'd like to blog, but fear I lack the staying power. I don't lack the skills, computers are my "thing." I read a fair number of blogs, (heard about you from "superbabymama". So let me weigh in as an avid observer. . . and don't quit!

--Bamboo Blitz-- said...

Daisy, the whole young-is-best mentality is definitely a cultural phenomenon and I do really appreciate your ageism post because it brings this all to light. In our celebrity-centred culture dictated by Paris Hilton and Hilary Duff, anyone who isn't YOUNG, blonde, skinny, and rich, just isn't regarded with the same amount of interest or respect (PS. Miss Hilton is going to have a tough pill to swallow in the next 25-30 years). And even though my Philippine culture can be extremely patriarchial, older women are often deeply respected as family matriarchs that command quite a bit of power within the family structure.

Rhea said...

I have a blog for baby boomers and if you come over and look at my blogroll, you will find lots of 50+ women. I am 49, but this year.... By the way, I'm gonna add your blog, too. Let's trade links.

Rhea said...

Also, check out the blogroll at Time Goes By and The Ageless Project for lots of 40 and 50+ bloggers.

Plain(s)feminist said...

Daisy - awesome post. You've made me feel a whole lot better about the upcoming 4-0.

MG - I'm excited to see your list of elderbloggers!

ZenDenizen said...

I haven't had a chance to read all the comments but I've never understood age jokes. We'll all get there someday (if we're lucky that is). I celebrate every birthday with no shame and I cringe when anyone over 25 refers to themselves as old!

Chris said...

This is a really well written, important post, Daisy. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

I share some of the frustration you express, the sense that things like the 1973 coup in Chile and such are ancient irrelevant history, though I do understand how people can come up through the schools these days without learning about the world.

In any event, a lot of food for thought here. I'll definitely be applying your thoughts toward future linking and citing practice at my place.

Theriomorph said...

Thanks for this post, Daisy - just came over from the 101 thread.

At 35, I'm still in a pretty privileged bracket with this stuff. But it's something I see clearly and grieve and rage over too, and am so glad you put it out - especially since, for all the talk of recognizing ‘ageism,’ in my experience what that word (in actual usage) usually means is: don't diss the 18-25 year olds.

In other words, youth oppression has a lot more tread than analysis of the progressive invisibilizing of women as they age. As you say, I think it’s at least in part because youth is sexay in this culture. It’s like we have politicized the value of youth voices *at the expense of* older women’s voices – which shifts *legitimate* ‘youth empowerment’ to some warped version of having just bought and swallowed the youth-centric culture values which hurt and silence all of us.

And it's disgusting, and also has real consequences culturally as well as to individual women: it destroys respect for mentoring, for not only honoring but *seeking* the experience and wisdom of the women who have gone before us - and I think it speaks pretty directly to the 'divides' in feminism, too, in the sense that this 'wave' shit is often (not always, but really, really often) about dismissing the ones who went before rather than respecting, admiring, honoring, engaging, and learning from them even as the work continues and grows.

Anyway, I’m going on and on here. Appreciate your post. I’m sure you know at least some of these, but here are a few older women bloggers (50-60ish, I think?) I admire & enjoy hugely:





Anonymous said...

The first time I was passed in a line at the deli was excruciating. The person at the counter just looked past me to the next (young) person in line and asked what she wanted...So I made my voice loud and became an annoying old person and got my bagel. Then I was offered the senior citizen's discount (at 49). I don't yet color my hair and it's as gray as the sea on a very bad day. But sex is better than ever and I know just what I like...And I remeber Lee Harvey Oswald being shot on television when I was 5. And marching for civil rights and peace and the end to stupid government... it's the same. But I tell my students, if you don't read, you're trapped in the present and if you don't write, you can't exist in the future. My best friend since childhood lives in California and she spends all her time working to look younger. I am annoyed at her superficiality and she is annoyed at my age...We don't talk about it.

Penny L. Richards said...

I don't think these have been mentioned yet, but they're elder women bloggers too:

Redondowriter's Sacred Ordinary:


Donna said...

Daisy, I hope you still check comments on this post because I think I found a new blogger for you to add to your blogroll. Ronni Bennett at Time Goes By. In that post I wrote about the white middle class feminists last night I linked to this post: Hlllary Clinton Feminists, I think you'll like it. I was thinking of you when I wrote it, don't worry, in a good way. I kept thinking, Daisy is nothing like these asses at NOW. They tell women who do not choose Hillary Clinton that we are silly unthinking fangirls or just voting for race, but they want us to be silly unthinking fangirls for Clinton and just voting for gender. That projection is what conservatives do, and says alot to me about who these women are and who Clinton is. Nixonian is right!

stuartbroad1 said...

Contrary to popular belief a whopping majority of the people who are past their hey days maintain their sexual urges, wants, and fantasies. Unfortunately, most of them are let down by their anatomy. Men and women as old as 70 experience the need of sex but almost all of them experience sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction being the commonest in the men. For the latter today there are medicines in the likes of cailis.Though their costs make it impossible for many to buy the drug.

madeline said...

I had spent three hours looking for blogs by "women of a certain age" before I found yours. At last, someone I can relate to. Surely, I was thinking, the experiences and challenges faced by women after they are done raising their kids are as interesting as those we had as moms. The web is full of blogs about motherhood, and good for them, but don't we need the same opportunities for expression and support? It's kind of the same, really. As a young mom, it is easy to feel devalued and isolated, and the same is true for older women. I am 58 and thought blogging would be a way to connect again. I did consciousness raising groups in the early seventies, play groups in the eighties, was too busy to do anything but hang in there in the nineties, and now I'm looking around for a new way to connect with women. Let me know how the last eight months has gone.

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