KWAT Links (Kachin Women's Association Thailand)
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
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.