KWAT Links (Kachin Women's Association Thailand)

I'm exploring perhaps three more decades of my life that will be shaped to some degree by not only misogyny, but due to the intersection of misogyny and ageism. That's a whole bunch of years I never gave the tiniest thought to when I was much younger.

No older woman ever demanded that I think about the fact that it would eventually happen to me. No person asked that I appreciate it, respond to it, and acknowledge the unfairness of what can occasionally feel like a one-way feminist street. I briefly stopped the oncoming freight train of ageism right in its tracks with my indifference, like everyone else my age did. Even in my late-30's, middle age appeared light years away. I did not read posts similar to this. They were not pertaining to me.

When I recall how I thought about middle-aged and much older women when I was younger, I realize I bought into American stereotypes and did so mindlessly. I credited older women a lack of significance and an inability to add meaningfully to a world and a dialogue that was no longer "theirs," as though ownership of culture rationally comes from any particular age group over others. My ideas originated from where? Tv? Movies? Journals? How foolish.

Must this training only be learned woman by woman, with the passing of time, and not due to the perspicacious use of ones visions and ears? Because women like me are writing and discussing. Trees in the forest are falling. I ask that young women hear. Selective deafness will not stop the train. It will keep rolling down the track, quietly and dispassionately. It regularly gets here.

For me, getting older as a woman in The U.S.A. is less about injustices done to me than it has to do with a subtle undermining of my place within this community and a not-so-subtle disrespect that pops up more with each passing year. Such as, if I condemn porn as systemically harmful to women, it is my age that prompts my labeling as a prude and a pearl-clutcher. It can not be that I base my judgement on studies and statistics and the awareness that womanism is a movement-- one that supports the liberty of all women, not to remain confused with individual women who decide to reduce their images to the sexual uses and abuses of their bodies, calling that empowerment. My age sets me up for a sort of ridicule only partly experienced by younger women with the exact same beliefs. The wisdom that comes with age has little value to anyone but those owning it, due to the fact that wisdom is another word for old, and old is what no person would like to be.