By Margaret Morganroth Gullette
Let’s face it: nearly everyone fears getting older. We fear approximately wasting our appears to be like, our well-being, our jobs, our self-esteem—and being supplanted in paintings and love through more youthful humans. It sounds like the common, inevitable final result of the passing years, yet what if it’s now not? What if approximately every little thing that we expect of because the “natural” strategy of getting older is something yet? In Agewise, well known cultural critic Margaret Morganroth Gullette unearths 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 facts 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 sellers who are looking to promote us an illusory imaginative and prescient of younger perfection. Even worse, rampant ageism motives society to undefined, and now and then thoroughly discard, the knowledge and event got by way of humans over the process maturity. The costs—both collective and personal—of this tradition of decline are nearly incalculable, diminishing our team, robbing more youthful humans of desire for an honest later lifestyles, and eroding the satisfactions and feel of productiveness that are meant to animate our later years. when we open our eyes to the pervasiveness of ageism, despite the fact that, we will start to struggle it—and Gullette lays out bold plans for the total lifestyles path, from educating childrens anti-ageism to fortifying the social safeguard nets, and therefore ultimately making attainable the true pleasures and possibilities promised via the recent sturdiness. A bracing, arguable name to hands, Agewise will shock, enlighten, and, probably most vital, carry desire to readers of every age.
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Extra resources for Agewise: Fighting the New Ageism in America
Eventually we may lasso ourselves into the same protective loop, as we too grow older. Our high The Eskimo on the Ice Floe : 41 task, as adults knowledgeable about decline, is to protect everyone’s embodied selfhood over time. Like anger and the hope that comes through understanding, activism arises out of love. secular people may pr ay for vision and unity. May the generations of our fearful nation grow together in understanding. May our body-minds receive the help they need to age well. May we heighten the resistance to ageism, lessen the irrational fears we have of aging, and learn to know the difference between the two.
Imagining the Future Life Course Some Americans plan to be that Eskimo. In conversations and books, blogs and articles, people mention suicide as a possible out in their own future. They think they can correctly foresee their own decrepit self and will want to act on this image by ending their worthless later life. Baba Copper, a formidable activist for lesbian and anti-ageist causes, was in a group of younger women who, when asked to envision their later lives, said that they would be dead or would commit suicide before getting to be old.
Terms such as “demented” and a new concept like “living too long,” when put together, can generate hateful thoughts, promote hateful outcomes. ) Ageist hate speech may seem harmless even when it concludes that the old have a duty to die, implicitly encouraging practices such as preemptive suicide or medical The Eskimo on the Ice Floe : 37 manslaughter before the elderly cost us—we who are nowhere near old and still on the treadmill—too much. These mortal consequences are beginning to sound rational.