By Margaret Morganroth Gullette
Let’s face it: virtually everyone fears getting older. We fear approximately wasting our seems, our healthiness, our jobs, our self-esteem—and being supplanted in paintings and love by means of more youthful humans. It sounds like the common, inevitable final result of the passing years, yet what if it’s no longer? What if approximately every thing that we predict of because the “natural” technique of getting older is whatever yet? In Agewise, popular cultural critic Margaret Morganroth Gullette finds that a lot of what we dread approximately getting older is basically the results of ageism—which we will, and may, conflict as strongly as we do racism, sexism, and other kinds of bigotry. Drawing on provocative and under-reported proof from biomedicine, literature, economics, and private tales, Gullette probes the ageism that drives discontent with bodies, our selves, and our accomplishments—and makes us effortless prey for retailers who are looking to promote us an illusory imaginative and prescient of younger perfection. Even worse, rampant ageism reasons society to undefined, and now and then thoroughly discard, the knowledge and event received through humans over the process maturity. The costs—both collective and personal—of this tradition of decline are virtually incalculable, diminishing our group, robbing more youthful humans of desire for an honest later lifestyles, and eroding the satisfactions and experience of productiveness that are meant to animate our later years. when we open our eyes to the pervasiveness of ageism, in spite of the fact that, we will be able to start to struggle it—and Gullette lays out bold plans for the entire lifestyles direction, from educating little ones anti-ageism to fortifying the social protection nets, and therefore ultimately making attainable the genuine pleasures and possibilities promised by way of the recent sturdiness. A bracing, debatable name to fingers, Agewise will shock, enlighten, and, probably most crucial, convey desire to readers of every age.
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Additional info for Agewise: Fighting the New Ageism in America
But here we are in the new regime. Ageism, middle-ageism, and decline ideology can spoil a day, steal a job, wound the memory, and kill. Pro-aging literally saves. 5 years longer . . ) The TV fact is true. Becca Levy and her colleagues followed 660 middle-class, mostly white Ohioans who were between ﬁfty and ninety-four, for long enough to discover the advantage. The longer-lived members of the group responded easily to statements like “I am as happy now as I was when I was younger,” “As I get older, things are [better than, .
Perhaps this book is aimed at levelheaded readers, male and female, who say, “I think I can deal with aging (in my meanings of the term). I don’t need more confessions of how ghastly it is. Tell me what I need to know, and do, about ageism. ” My ﬁrst bit of advice? The same I gave myself: When invited to use their term “aging” automatically, try substituting “ageism” instead. We might ﬁnd thousands of new ﬂashes of insight to share. Let me use the hot shower as a symbol of resistance, which enables us to defend our body-mind from cultural assault as it grows older.
But when my father died, it was my father. yi When we are youngsters, our parents are human to us despite the divide of time, innocent as we are of the cult of youth, generation markers, and “lifestyle” divisions. We respect seniority naturally, from its having been founded in the family. The connections may fray at times. But the bonds endure with changes over the decades—perhaps in spite of our parents’ aging, perhaps because of their aging, and perhaps by defying the negative meanings of aging.