Gransnet forums

Everyday Ageism

How sexism and ageism combine against women

(24 Posts)
janeainsworth Mon 22-Jun-20 13:22:14
and what to do about it

vampirequeen Mon 22-Jun-20 16:25:20

I don't think the pictures show a lack of respect for women. It's more of a lack of respect for age. We live in a society where no matter if you're male or female getting old is seen to be a bad thing. The experience, knowledge and understanding of the world that we've built up has no value. If you google images of men growing old they show the same sort of images. Young fit upright men and old men hunched over Zimmer frames.

AGAA4 Mon 22-Jun-20 16:35:50

I watched a detective thriller on tv last night that depicted ladies in their 70's as shuffling, cantankerous old bats.

I am well into my 70's. I don't shuffle - walk miles every day. I hope I am not cantankerous but may be an old bat.

justanovice Mon 07-Sep-20 13:32:56

Very well said. I agree with every word.

Esspee Mon 07-Sep-20 13:41:30

That 45+ guy looks really hot! Happy to trade him for my OH.

Yes I agree with you OP sexism and ageism are completely unacceptable and women suffer more than men. What to do about it? Well we certainly should challenge it every.single.time.

TwiceAsNice Mon 07-Sep-20 13:49:09

Never felt discriminated against in sexist or ageist way. Got two new jobs in my sixties still doing the one at 67 and feel valued for my experience and knowledge.

Septimia Mon 07-Sep-20 15:18:58

I bought a lot of things online for my FiL and that, together with general assumptions, mean that I get a lot of bumf about stairlifts, chairs that throw you out of them, incontinence pants etc. I need none of them yet, I know where and what to look for when I do, and the assumption that I do b****y annoys me.

I think we can make a difference simply by the way we behave. I know that many people have health problems that make mobility difficult, but my mum always paused when she stood up and put her shoulders back - it took years off her.

So standing as upright as we can, walking as firmly as we can and not shuffling or drooping any more than we can help should at least give the impression that we're fit and youthful. A lot of it is down to our own attitude as well as other people's.

M0nica Mon 07-Sep-20 17:36:31

I so agree with the contents of this essay.

TwiceAsNice I am glad your experience has been so good, but the fact that you have been fortunate does not mean that many more women have been much less fortunate. My own experience has been similar to yours but I know this is only because I come from a family where our shared genetic inheritance means we seem to age slowly and people consistently assume that I am considerably younger than I actually am and other family members have the same experience.

Eloethan Mon 07-Sep-20 20:17:05

Recently I read a letter - I think it was in The I - in which the writer reporter that when she was a health worker (some years ago) GP reports invariably referred to:

men "suffering" pain ..........


women "complaining of" pain ...........

I would hope training these days would prevent this sort of prejudicial language but there are still so many examples of language being used in a sexist/ageist way.

As always, there are people who say it's all a lot of fuss about nothing, but there is plenty of evidence to substantiate the claim that there are real differences in the way various categories of people are viewed and depicted - some to their obvious detriment.

Sparkling Sat 12-Sep-20 20:45:53

I am sorry but I don’t think we are treated worse than men. Worked all my life with men and women, in fact found that a lot of women could be unkind to other women, there’s good and bad with everyone.

Iam64 Sat 12-Sep-20 21:10:21

I agree that ageism and sexism conspire against women, certainly in those drawings

MOnica's response fits with my experience

Hithere Sat 12-Sep-20 21:26:33

Sadly, some of those behaviours are also performed by women to other women.

It is not gender related, it is society related.

M0nica Tue 15-Sep-20 20:05:01

The other interesting thing about those pictures, is that the younger women are drawn with an overt sexual attractiveness that the older women emphatically no longer have. When you think what the average woman in her 20s, 30s and 40s looks like, very few have that conscious attractiveness that these drawings display. These pictures are sexist in their portrayal of all age groups.

Hithere Tue 15-Sep-20 20:49:17

I think pictures of men are sexually oriented too

Anyway, those graphical representations are very unrealistic of ages and gender. What happened to all other body types we encounter in all phases of life?

Granmarderby10 Sun 18-Jul-21 13:26:26

A very interesting article

Granmarderby10 Sun 18-Jul-21 13:55:18

Even at age 16 or so I could never “get” the women who would put (Mrs) in brackets before their name on old style office/work communications, when they were usually just know n by their names and it was irrelevant.
In essence was it is it not just saying “ take note, I am spoken for” or someone finds them sexually attractive and they have a certificate to prove it. A RESPECTABLE married woman. The rest of us were just….chopped ham I take it

Chardy Sun 18-Jul-21 14:03:54

I am sure that we remember our encounters with men in those age groups - did any look like the ones in the photos? Did any of us aspire to be with men who looked like that? I know I didn't.

faringdon59 Wed 25-Aug-21 17:09:38

Yes, i agree sexism and ageism do combine as we get older
Also there is a lot of prejudice (especially amongst retired people) about us singletons.
I've recently joined a walking group and have really enjoyed the socialisation that goes with it. Until last week when the walk leaders wife joined the group. She made a bee line for me, introduced herself, said I'm married to him (pointing at him) and then said I'll be the backstop today. I'm nearly always towards the back I felt like she marked me all the way through the walk! Crazy!

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 25-Aug-21 18:32:20

Does anyone here identify with the 50-60 or 60+ women? They look at least 80 to me. I’m 70 but identify with the 40-50 picture. Ridiculous that the men are pictured so differently. Where are the bald heads, jowls, specs and beer bellies please?

Petera Wed 25-Aug-21 18:41:14

and what to do about it

Some years ago I was sitting in a plane and the seats behind were occupied by a young (male) doctor trying to chat up a young woman.

He was trying to impress her with his caring side and leaning heavily on the fact that he worked in paediatrics, describing all the wonderful work he did for children.

He then went on to say that he had started in geriatrics and switched because he had seen a lot of people with mobility problems and (I still remember his exact words) "..what's the problem? They can always get a wheelchair".

varian Wed 25-Aug-21 18:49:19


I watched a detective thriller on tv last night that depicted ladies in their 70's as shuffling, cantankerous old bats.

I am well into my 70's. I don't shuffle - walk miles every day. I hope I am not cantankerous but may be an old bat.

Have you ever watched "Vera"?

I imagine that Brenda Blethyn , who is 75, is trying to portray DCI Vera Stanhope as being somewhere in her sixties, but she is the boss of her squad of detectives and is the one who solves the crimes.

Katie59 Wed 25-Aug-21 19:32:15

50 + images are way out of line much closer to 70+ these days

Jackiest Tue 31-Aug-21 16:45:09

If you examine things looking for sexism and ageism you will always find it, often when it is not there.
Men may not be told that their looks are all that matters but society does expect them to be fit, strong and able to do all the heavy manual work. When they become older they can no longer fulfill the role that society expects of men and they often consider themselves useless.

Redhead56 Tue 31-Aug-21 19:01:00

I identify with the 40/50 illustration ok a can’t walk too fast but I look fit for my age nearly 65. The other illustration is a stereotype of what all older women look like which is ridiculous. Simply because we are all different that’s sexist in my opinion.