Hey, Ladies

3/11/2020==> This looks good!: IN OUR PRIME How Older Women Are Reinventing the Road Ahead  by Susan J. Douglas  Here’s a review at NYT:   Stop Telling Older Women to Step Aside  by Leslie Bennetts   Let’s beast it, ladies!!! We’ll change the world!

3/5/2020 ==> The hits just keep on coming! Here’s another article confirming my experience in the world:  Nine out of 10 people found to be biased against women  This is an article from The Guardian tells us what we’ve already sensed through our lives’ experience–men, and WOMEN, mostly don’t consider females the equal of males. These findings are a result of a UN Development study and tell us in no uncertain terms that people have a long way to go to become fully human.

2/28/2020 ==> I just came across this PBS video about an artist who addresses in an immediate way some of the issues I discuss below: Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Visual Artist: “Stop Telling Women to Smile”  This is really worth a watch!

ladiesMan1 copy

“Womanizer”    hammer, women’s purses   2013

This piece and incident, as described below, came to mind just yesterday as did an article from last spring, I think as a result of several things currently in the news: The WaPo’s Robin Givhan’s “Let’s talk about ‘Project Runway’ stars using ‘old lady’ to describe unflattering clothes” from April 23, 2019. Fashion, women who wear it and the men who get to decide…

This grad-school piece above was a ‘first draft’ attempt to express some degree of my lifelong rage at misogyny and the males who perpetuate it. When I presented it to my class, four young-ish men, the response was muted (these guys generally did not acknowledge the facts of sexism and they practically rejected the existence of ageism), but two of them did criticize my choice of purses. I had dug around in my own stuff and had rooted around a couple of thrift stores to find an array that suggested women of different ages, styles and incomes. These classmates told me with straight faces that the purses weren’t expensive or stylish enough, that they weren’t adequate; I could tell from their expressions that they were offended by the low-end items. In other words, these young men with limited experience in life and no experience as women, concluded my piece did not work because my materials were not expensive and designer-made, not because they did not communicate my intent. The instructor did not challenge my classmates; he pointed out a couple of confusing aspects of the piece, then hurried along, clearly not wishing to spend time talking about the world women exist in. It was a lost opportunity for all of us, I think.

So, this is what I was paying for, this is what ‘the academy’ allowed, rewarded and perpetuated. This was a few years ago; I look at today’s news and wonder how much has changed…

 

the new old me

 

1/16/2020 Hey! There’s a good interview with Elinor Carucci on TheGuardian.com site about her photo work regarding late middle age. She and Ann Neumann discuss some of the (unsurprising) issues women encounter as they age and how her images examine her (rockin’!) aging body…I can totally relate to the picture of her lying in the snow–ha!–and to some of the other things she brings up, especially since I have had so much trouble getting people in the art world to even acknowledge how older women are marginalized.  A good read and some good art.

12/6/19  Hey! I just another article about ageism and sexism in the workplace: Washington Post article, “Administrative assistant jobs helped propel many women into the middle class. Now they’re disappearing” Yup, older women are effed in this culture and this economy.

10/29/19 Hey! I just heard a bit of a story on Marketplace.org about the intersection of ageism & sexism in the workplace and recommend the podcast:  A double whammy for older women in the workplace

Here’s work from a ‘foto album’ I’ve done recently about aging and the language people are starting to use towards and around me, cuz they’re not seeing me, lots. When someone does notice me, it is not in response to the persona I strive to project into the world, but rather, it is as a thing apart, “an old.” I do not recognize this “other,” this irrelevant shell. I keep looking for what so many others see: my new old identity.