Remember that feeling of counting down the days to your next birthday as child? How that three quarters at the end of ‘8 and three quarters’ meant so much?. If you’ve got siblings, the age difference can feel like the defining factor in access to late nights, not tidying your room and other “grown up things”. But at some point there’s a change where we become a bit more vague about our age. The number that we were once so proud of defining us at the start, the number that we absolutely could not wait to turn, we then begin to wave aside. It’s impolite to ask, isn’t it? Why do you want to know?
From our first podcast episode, it was raised to us that we didn’t consider the privilege of age. It was our mothers who pointed this out to us. These women who bore us and who (in their own way) informed us of feminism before we took it, ran with it and now challenge them with it every now and then on a phone call. “Maybe they have a point” we said.
You can’t talk about the elderly without thinking about their representation in the media. Old is synonymous for weak, vulnerable, slow and closed minded. When older women are silenced in films with fewer lines, fewer roles in front of and behind the camera as they age, it is an issue for all of us. Where is the appreciation of older women as they are? Some will be vulnerable, but not all. Most of them won’t be simple one liner characters, they are complex and compelling and we should be demanding to see more of them. As the founder of the Women Over 50 Film festival, Nuala, points out, stories are more interesting when written by and made by older women.
Our guests are not vague, vulnerable or slow. They’re vivacious and determined. Where is the shame in asking and in giving your age? Why don’t we ask people to introduce themselves by their age, like we do for everything else? Good point.
Who looks after us when we’re old, should it be the family or the state, or both? How is this a feminist issue? Who does the caring work and how much is their time, their skill and their care worth?
What do older LGBT people need? What happens when the older LGBT generation meets the younger one? Do they have more similarities than differences?
Find the answers to all these questions and more in Episode 16.
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