Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ageism in Blogdonia, part 230856

More azaleas!

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:

OMG! 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.


Mama Moretti said...

Great post!!!!!! ;)

Rootietoot said...

The older I get, the more invisible I become. Actually, I'm ok with that, because it's far easier to be subversive when you are invisible.

misskate said...

I just added your blog to my reader last week. I'm not quite sure how I found my way to you, but I really liked your blog. Your post today echoes a post on a list-serv I am on. A woman in her 60s, I think, posted about how invisible she feels. I don't have anything to add other than it's not an uncommon topic at the moment and I do hope you'll keep it in the front of our brains.

Sungold said...

I think I have a relatively geriatric blogroll. :-) I'm 45, and many of the blogs on my roll are written by people older than me, as far as I know, or are at least 40-ish and up. I'm betting that there's no one over age 60, however! Also, the male-female mix is about even, I'm guessing. But then again, my readers tend to be mostly people in their 30s and up, as far as I can tell, with the exception of a few students.

Sungold said...

Okay, here's a crazy idea. (I'm not thinking very linearly today, sorry to post twice.)

What if we started a meme where we highlight several blogs we read and love that are written by older women? "Older" here could probably be 40-ish and up. I'm thinking a little bit of Jon Swift and Skippy's Blogroll Amnesty Day, which is an opportunity to call attention to small blogs.

Joan said...

Funny. I read this entry just before I am to participate in a photoshoot of women who look good with white hair. Someone put the word out on twitter and I got turned in.

At least I'm not invisible yet!

timberwraith said...

My mom passed away six years ago (I was 34). When I catch myself behaving in a way that my mother would, it makes me smile, for it helps me remember her and the bond I share with her. I'm not bothered by the notion of "being my mom." I'm glad I share some of her qualities. A part of her lives on within me.

La Lubu said...

Daisy, I must have missed all that ageism somehow (don't tell me...I don't wanna know). I plan (so far) on going to the AMC but haven't made concrete plans because...well, my mother is not doing well with her cancer, and if the new chemo she started doesn't do anything, she may be getting surgery 'round about that time.

But, if she does ok, I'll be at the AMC---won't have gray hair, though. Have a few strands, but it's still black. I'm still 42, though. ;-) I have a grandmother who's 90, and she still has mostly dark hair---the salt is liberally sprinkled throughout the pepper. Just sayin'. I don't want to be invisible as a bonafide "older woman" just because I don't fit a certain authentic appearance. (I know you didn't mean it that way, but again---it bears mention, because of the way we remain invisible. Age isn't always apparent, and not just by physical markers but by post-subject matter....unless someone declares their age, you don't always know.)

I've said this before in a number of threads throughout the blogosphere---"this isn't my mother's feminist movement...which is a damn shame, because my mother's feminist movement brought us...(list of laws, judicial decisions, etc.).

Rather than a list of people who don't link....old broads like me...I'd rather see a list of older women bloggers. I'm just re-starting a blog (moved to wordpress---lubiddu.wordpress.com) and I don't know that I'll attract many younger readers. Mostly because I can't get there every day. My goal is to do ten posts per month. Anything after that'll be gravy. That's very infrequent from a young person's perspective. They grew up on fast media; we didn't.

I sure the hell would like to know where to read other older women, though. If you work up an "old school" list, maybe we could have a neat graphic link for it to put in our sidebars, y'know, the way BlogHer has.

Pace e patienza,


Meowser said...

Thanks for reminding me again not to be a lazy shit and finally update my site's blogroll (which was created by someone else) like I've been threatening to do forever.

And speaking of being a lazy shit, I haven't put up a new post in about two weeks now. It occurs to me that a lot of the problem is that it's mostly younger people who have the time and energy (mental/emotional/physical) for daily blogging (including playing trollwhacker) on top of a fulltime job and all the other ADLs, as rehab doctors call them. I'm whammied further still by not being neurotypical; there's no way on earth I could work full time AND blog every day. I've tried and I just can't do it, and I don't even have kids or infirm relatives to take care of at the moment.

You are right, though, that young people distance themselves from women who are old enough to be their mothers. I think the whole "never trust anyone (much) over 30" thing is coming back to bite us in the asses, and yeah, the whole "old men are distinguished and old women are haggard" thing still refuses to die, so women are hit with it much harder.

~Macarena~ said...

Daisy, as a "mom" figure, you're not going to smile to yourself when the blogger-as-teenager crows about having discovered something. You're going to call said blogger out on his/her bullshit. With your knowledge and/of history, you are poised, ever ready to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

(Old) women (of color) are a threat to young, white authority. If, say, a young, white feminist admits she doesn't have the best voice to discuss the lives of women of color, or what to say between first the Earth cooled, then the dinosaurs came and the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America, she might have to yield the floor. Someone who can't admit (s)he doesn't know (enough) has an audience that will lose interest and move on to someone willing to claim to know.

CyberCelt said...

For some reason, everyone thinks I am a man. It is "Dude ..." or "Great work, guy..."

We should all put our red hats on our blogs. Women are the decision makers and the financiers in most families. We wield the POWER.

We could stamp "old money from an old woman" on our dollar bills. I think the gay folk did that and it was effective.

I came by to tell you my WW post was up, but who gives a ...? when we are being discriminated against!


John Powers said...

I wonder if the word "ageism" is easily understood by all? Discrimination based on age is probably a good stab at a definition. The trouble is discrimination based on age is so pervasive, I'm not sure most people think it's wrong.

One of the things that the social Web allows is homophily--"birds of a feather stick together." That's something we all enjoy about the Internet.

Ethan Zuckerman argues that homophily makes us stupd, and looks for ways to foster xenophilia.

When I talk to people my age about the social Web, there's often a strong strain of prejudice against it. Recently I was informed that Facebook makes kids narcissistic. I tried to make the case that being aware of "friends of friends" seems to me to make users of social software nicer and more responsible. The ripples of our stones cast upon the water are made visible in social networks. But there's no buying it: "These kids today!"

Prejudice works every which way. "link to me because I'm old!" doesn't seem a good enough reason. But I do agree that the links we forge across differences make us fuller people.

Ageism is a useful construct, but I doubt it's generally useful as a short hand reason for inclusion in online social networks.

DaisyDeadhead said...

John, interesting comment, not sure I agree with you. I don't necessarily mean to suggest everyone oughtta be linking ME... but I think any form of exclusion is a problem. Until very recently in human history, people of all ages lived in close proximity and in the same houses. In some areas of the world, they still do... but not in the USA. The capitalist west (and the attendant necessity/expectation of moving around for employment) has fragmented communities, neighborhoods, even families. As a result, kids don't think it's particularly odd to have NO social connections with old people... WE were not raised that way at all, at least I was not. (Perhaps the wealthy were?) I think it's a form of poverty, as growing up in all-white communities is also. Of course, it seems you are arguing that it is acceptable... I simply have to disagree. Communities (including online) where everyone is the same, makes people dumb and necessitates re-inventing the wheel constantly. Zuckerman is right... but you seem to be disagreeing with him (?) and/or excusing the kids who continue the homophily. I think it needs to be BLASTED out of the water...shaken loose, very hard. (Rudely, like punk rock.) Otherwise it will get worse and worse, and appears to be getting that way already, in my view.

Rootietoot, you have an excellent point. Sungold, I posted a huge list of older women's blogs to Feministe when I guest-blogged there in September. (I don't think it did much good, but I am always up for more!) La Lubu is 100% right in that older women do not update as often or as regularly as the kids do. I am fairly obsessive about anything I start doing (see Mel Gibson post on Saturday!) so I am an exception. But most don't.

La Lubu, I am looking forward to your new blog. Some advice: shorten your posts, and you won't get so worn out. Also, unless you are a sharp academic like Sungold, or a witty southerner like Rootie, it is hard to think of pertinent subjects--so just blog whatever happens. There was an expression awhile back: "Be the Blog"--and that's what I do. If I go to the movies, if I watch crap on TV, if my friend dies, if I go to see a band or photo exposition of doggies... whatever it is, it ends up here. You can't be "serious" all the time, it's just too much, and its boring too. So, be yourself, and cover *everything* you do. And the blog will be truly yours.

I hope you go to the AMC and blog about it. I'd love to read your commentary!

CyberCelt, on my way to see your photos! :)

Anonymous said...

"This begs the question: Are old, fat, disabled women the lowest form of life in the USA?"

which isn't a question that should be asked at all if you're taking the principles of intersectionality seriously at all. it is a suggested assertion that there is a group that is most oppressed (skirted by convenient language.)

no. that's not it. the issue is that the oppressions manifestly themselves *differently* theys hare similarities but it's important to tease out the differences.

also, saying things like "this wouldn't be tolerated if it were said about X oppressed group" is one of the statements that will set people on edge, it sets me on edge, especially if they are from one of the groups that are supposedly treated, somehow, better. again, it comes off as a game of competition.

the thing to remember is that it's not a competition, that the differences in treatment are *an aspect of* -- part of, entangled up in -- that particular instance of oppression. it's part of how it works -- whereas the others, that is how oppression works in those particular instances.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Anon, it may be crude, but making those comparisons often helps some of us have political breakthroughs. Some of us didn't have college professors pointing out these things and we had to figure them out for ourselves. These comparisons are helpful, crude or not.

I went through the usual phase of believing I should NEVER say "they wouldn't do/say this if the person were ____" because it was uncool/politically incorrect, until someone close to me had a breakthrough when applying this standard to disability. (i.e. realized a TV show with a nasty gimp character would not allow any other stereotypical characters, and in fact, was considered a bastion of liberalism and progressive values.) Sometimes, these comparisons are all we have to go on.

And FTR, interesting comment, but the fact that you are Anonymous always calls your motives into question and makes me wonder why you can't fess up and name yourself. Points off.

(Or as you would say, it "sets me on edge.")

yellowdog granny said...

I don't know how I got to be so lucky..I have a Heinz 57 bunch of readers, young, old, single, married, grandparents, straight, gay, Hispanic, African-American, Indian, etc. as long as we make each other laugh and think I think that's what is important..
great post..

John Powers said...

Thank you as always for your thoughtful responses to your blog posts.

I don't think that homophily is a bad thing. I misquoted Ethan Zuckerman, I think he said "Too much homophily makes us stupid."

The Internet is great: feminists can find other feminists, gay youth can find gay youth, Marxists can find fellow travelers, etc. I don't think that's a bad thing.

My point is about the utility of the construct of ageism in the context you're talking about.

Modern communication technologies do change things, but we're only figuring out how.

You wrote: "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."

The ways people of different age groups approach the social Web is relevant. Many people my age think that social networks represent and encourage pathological narcissism among young people. You don't take that position, but it is a common one. So your criticism of young people who don't link to old people I think gets jumbled in the stereotypical comments young people often hear from our age group.

Important to your understanding and discussion of issues is class consciousness. For people of our generation much of our social analysis is rooted in economic discussions painted with a broad brush capitalism vs. communism. The analysis of younger people is different. So in some ways older and younger people talk different languages.

Netocracy may be a useful construct for talking about the problem of links in social networks. Phil Jones writes: "In Bard and Soderqvist's model, the post-capitalist situation is an economic mode where the most valuable form of economic wealth is a network of good connections, through which flow information and influence."

Hardly anyone talks about netocracy, it's kind of arcane. But it seems to me it's useful for what you're talking about with linking. The point is to make sure that older women are not excluded from the wealth of good connections.

"Safe places" are tricky. On one hand it's sometimes reasonable for online spaces to be only for women, or only for women of color, etc. Feminism 101 is an online resource that feminist can direct people who are not up to speed and so be better at negotiating open feminist Web sites. A sort of bridging device to make public spaces safe for the primary constituency of the site.

I don't think people care enough about the problem of online ageism your raise. I'm very glad you are raising the issue. But I also think that something like the blog Feminism 101 for older people to get up to speed with the ways young people see issues, especially regarding online social networks, would be helpful. Older people need to understand ways in which we can be a pain in the ass in discussions.

Older women not being able to access the wealth of networks is a problem. But the problem doesn't seem to me to be merely that young people won't link to old people. At least part of the problem is that older people often don't *get* social networks in the first place.

La Lubu said...

Daisy, thank you for your kind words, and yes...I'm trying to make it a habit of just posting anything, but summertime is busy-time for me---lots of work to do outside (like paint my house), plus union meetings, and the whole single-mother drill.

sheila said...

Wow, I haven't really given it a thought. Not for blogging anyhow. Not for anything really. I have friends and welcome people of all ages. I find everyone interesting. How weird. Now I'm gonna have to look for this. lol. Seriously, I'm 44 and never REALLY thought about this. Maybe there's something wrong with me. Then again...maybe not? Hmmm. Very interesting post.

DaisyDeadhead said...

John: Older people need to understand ways in which we can be a pain in the ass in discussions.

And young people are never pains in the ass? I don't think we are any worse than they are. Why do you assume we are?

I just had a conversation today with some kid who thinks he is an actor, and never heard of Sidney Poitier. (speaking of pains in the ass!)

John: At least part of the problem is that older people often don't *get* social networks in the first place.

Women with blogs are not the primary people with this problem, but the people not yet online, or who find online communication intimidating. People who don't "get" social networks are usually too poor to access them efficiently and often, and that's why they don't "get" it. This will probably be old women and minorities, first, as well as people in certain areas of the world. I have a satellite-map at the bottom of my blog, and I am amazed every day at how large blocks of the globe have no red dots on them, and as far as I know, never have. That profound lack of mass internet-access totally transcends age. So, when you announce old people don't "get" social networks, I think you oughtta look at that globe and see how deep the problem is. This is why I do stuff like "wordless wednesday" --which transcends languages, is visual and can include lots of people. I think I "get" social networks just fine. Kids who only want to associate with people exactly like themselves are the ones who don't "get" it and are losing a great opportunity; as I said, I consider it a form of poverty to endlessly replicate oneself in online friendships, when the whole world awaits.

We'll have to agree to disagree. :)

John Powers said...

I think online communications prove that we're all--to greater or lesser extents--pains in the ass sometimes. I'm sorry to be one now.

It's fine to agree to disagree. Something I don't think we disagree about is there is wealth in networks and it's bad when classes of people are excluded from contributing and sharing in the bounty.

I know you'll revisit the subject of ageism. Perhaps next time I'll be able to make more constructive comments.

La Lubu said...

It's not that I don't "get" social networks online---it's that I don't have the time for all that. Social networks offline, especially traditional ways women socialized, didn't require dropping every other damn thing and focusing solely on that. It occurred in the midst of work, of childcare, of chores, of life.

Sitting in front of a computer typing takes you away from all that. Now don't get me wrong---I find a sustenance here that I'm not getting in my locale at the moment. But it isn't an effective substitute for in-person communication that is more integrative with the stuff of life.

harrietsdaughter said...

Thanks for posting this. I kept it new in my reader for several days. I have noticed that I tend to comment less and less on younger bloggers places... I think it has much to do with what you've said here - the invisibility factor.

Yesterday my daughter (17) had some friends over and I made a comment about yanking some pics from her facebook page. One of her friends (19) looked at me in horror - you have a facebook!!! This is another part of the issue I think - if you are over - what 25? 30? 40? god forbid 50 - the workings of a computer are supposed to be foreign and frightening to us - why we could never figure out facebook, much less have anything to say on a blog. (I turned 50 last week)

debonairdebacles said...

It's a real shame that you continue to encounter this. I haven't noticed others' blogrolls so much but I do go out of my way to court readers from all ages and walks of life. To me an interesting blog is an interesting blog. If anything, I like blogs that skew older (I'm 35) because I could learn something whereas with the 20somethings I just think tsk tsk tsk.

Slight OT but at 35, I feel positively ancient in the job market. When I was 22, I was too young and cute to be taken seriously and now I feel like grandma being interviewed by 27 year olds with fancy titles. I know men retain their greys for distinction but I run to the salon every month to touch them up just so I can compete. I don't think I was ever at an optimum age for career advancement :(

Bryce said...

the gay male community is agist and looksist as hell tho. *all* men dont benefit from the 'distinguished looking' thing.

above all:money talks and bullshit walks.

Octogalore said...

Daisy -- thanks for fighting the good fight.

RE "I tend to hold radicals more accountable than others, assuming (ha!) that they get things quicker when it comes to stereotyping and discrimination."

Really? [insert meaningful pause here]

Radicals are quick to get certain kinds of stereotyping, yes. They're also much more likely to believe their ideas haven't been developed or tried before, and to have a distrust or scorn for the past. Third wave feminism, anyone?

Jemima Aslana said...

A very good post. It had me thinking (as did many of the comments here). I also realised that I have never so much as given a thought to the respective ages of the bloggers on my blogroll. I really have no idea.

I know the approximate age of a few of them, but that's it. I feel so uninformed now... :-(

The Magnetic Crow said...

Good post indeed.
I will leave you a link to one of the most humorous, most ass-kicking blogs I know.


Which really only happens to be written by two older women with minds like daggers.

chaos (aka ferret) said...

I'm always thinking of what your perspective is of whatever I am going through. It probably has something to do with our backgrounds. I don't have any kind of big readership. I find that most of the mainstream feminist blogs don't write very much about motherhood, but that is where I am at currently.

Restructure! said...

Disclaimer: I am under 30.

Perhaps we relatively younger people are still coming fresh from being discriminated against because of our youth. People under 18 are not fully considered persons with respect to the law, and those who have restricted our freedoms were people of our parents' generation. When I was under 18, people thought that I was lying because I was a "child", that I do not know what I am talking about when it comes to my own life experiences, and that they know better, even if I was talking about a topic I was educated about.

I am in my late 20s now, and I feel that I am gaining privilege that I did not have even in my early 20s. I am at the right age to be taken seriously. At the same time, when I hit 30, this respect I am getting will decline.

What I'm trying to say is that people under 25 may be coming fresh from ageism against youth, and to them, people of their parents' generation are the oppressors.

Restructure! said...

I just had a conversation today with some kid who thinks he is an actor, and never heard of Sidney Poitier. (speaking of pains in the ass!)

Why is it our fault that we were born in the wrong time period? Obviously, year of birth is the main cause of this systemic effect, not individual character flaws.

And hey, it's still condescending to refer to adults younger than you as "kids". (I'm assuming that the individual you are talking about is not actually a child.)

DaisyDeadhead said...

Restructure, I agree that there is ageism against people under 20; at the same time, this is the demographic that modern western capitalism caters to--advertising, music, fashion, movies, TV, etc. (I don't think one fully realizes that until you are not in the demographic that is catered to.) The whole "disposable income" concept is centered around teenagers and young adults, and it tends to exacerbate narcissism. (note: I think this would be true of any demographic that is catered to, for instance, the west is far more narcissistic than other areas of the world--I highly recommend the book, The Culture of Narcissism by Christopher Lasch, with a warning that there are several sexist passages.)

At the same time, when I hit 30, this respect I am getting will decline.

Actually, I think the "power ages" are between 30-40 in business, but somewhat older for politicians and writers. (not for women, though)

Why is it our fault that we were born in the wrong time period?

Who is faulting someone for being born in the wrong time period? For example, I am familiar with Charlie Chaplin, and I was not born during the silent film era.
However, I do expect people to know that there is something called HISTORY, and it didn't start last weekend. Particularly if they are studying a certain field. (FTR, this person was majoring in acting, so I'd guess him to be around 19-20.)

And hey, it's still condescending to refer to adults younger than you as "kids".

Point taken. I tend to use the word as in "The Kids are Alright"--not (necessarily) primarily about youth.

And you know, when I am no longer patronized, I'll stop doing it too. Over the weekend, I once again dealt with the phenomenon of everyone in a thread addressed personally, their comments/questions specifically answered, and I was pointedly ignored.

That kind of erasure, which is constant for me, makes me want to reduce such individuals to "kids" so being ignored doesn't bother me quite as much.

Restructure! said...

(I don't think one fully realizes that until you are not in the demographic that is catered to.)

Sure, and when it comes to beauty products, older women are being catered to.

Who is faulting someone for being born in the wrong time period? For example, I am familiar with Charlie Chaplin, and I was not born during the silent film era.
However, I do expect people to know that there is something called HISTORY, and it didn't start last weekend. Particularly if they are studying a certain field. (FTR, this person was majoring in acting, so I'd guess him to be around 19-20.)

I am also familiar with Charlie Chaplin, and I bet the actor was too. This is because Charlie Chaplin is much more famous and his name is preserved via pop culture.

If he was majoring in acting, and you expected him to know, then the problem is the education system, not individual character flaws. If he didn't learn it, probably the other students didn't learn it either. Who's fault is it? The students who are currently going through the education system are not the ones who created the education system.

It seems that you are blaming individuals for systemic problems, and those who created the education system are of the previous generation.

And you know, when I am no longer patronized, I'll stop doing it too.

This is probably the thinking of people in their early 20s too. The whole "kids these days..." schtick is patronizing.

I acknowledge that there is ageism against older people, but I don't think younger adults are being pains in the asses for not knowing the pop culture of a different era. Maybe if someone from your own era does not know important figures from that era, that person could be considered ignorant, but it is inappropriate to use that standard to judge the knowledgeability of people of the next generation.