Age matters : realigning feminist thinking - download pdf or read online

By Toni M. Calasanti

This quantity of unique chapters is designed to convey recognition to a missed sector of feminist scholarship - getting older. After numerous many years of feminist reports we're now good educated of the advanced ways in which gender shapes the lives of girls and males. equally, we all know extra approximately how gendered energy kin interface with race and ethnicity, classification and sexual orientation. critical theorizing of previous age and age relatives to gender represents the subsequent frontier of feminist scholarship. during this quantity, top nationwide and overseas feminist students of getting older take first steps during this course, illuminating how age kinfolk have interaction with different social inequalities, relatively gender. In doing so, the authors problem and remodel feminist scholarship and lots of taken with no consideration innovations in gender studies.

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At several points in the book, she characterizes “the problem that has no name” as an issue of social welfare. For Friedan, personal issues are always based in larger social and political systems (such as sexism and patriarchy) and, in turn, have social and political consequences (such as the arrested development of women and their offspring). ” It is important that today’s feminists understand where this philosophy came from, what it meant to Friedan in 1963, and what it meant to her in old age.

Like the gerontologists she critiques, Friedan focuses exclusively on the problems and pathologies of nursing home life. But she also recognizes the paradox: “I admit my own overwhelming dread and prejudice against nursing homes. In ten years of research, no data has emerged to counteract my impression of nursing homes as death sentences, the final internment from which there is no exit but death” (Friedan 1993: 510). In The Fountain of Age, then, Friedan chooses to explore the years between ages sixty and eighty, before disability and dependence set in—later life rather than “deep old age” (Twigg 2004).

Such omission gives credence to a criticism that has trailed Friedan throughout her long career: she writes, primarily, for self-promotion, and she is no friend to other feminists. Perhaps admitting that other feminists had already taken up the subject of age would have undermined her authorial stance as warrior–savior–activist who, following a keen native intelligence and gut instinct, exposes a critical social issue at its roots. In describing the age mystique, Friedan again points to a discrepancy between myth and reality, this time what research and culture tell us about old age versus what elders know and feel themselves to be true, and she reveals how the myth limits human development.

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