Agewise: Fighting the New Ageism in America by Margaret Morganroth Gullette

By Margaret Morganroth Gullette

Let’s face it: nearly everyone fears growing older. We fear approximately wasting our appears, our future health, our jobs, our self-esteem—and being supplanted in paintings and love by means of more youthful humans. It seems like the common, inevitable final result of the passing years, yet what if it’s now not? What if approximately every thing that we predict of because the “natural” means 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 admittedly the results of ageism—which we will be able to, and will, conflict as strongly as we do racism, sexism, and different 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 dealers who are looking to promote us an illusory imaginative and prescient of younger perfection. Even worse, rampant ageism factors society to undefined, and now and then thoroughly discard, the knowledge and adventure received through humans over the process maturity. The costs—both collective and personal—of this tradition of decline are nearly incalculable, diminishing our crew, robbing more youthful humans of wish for an honest later lifestyles, and eroding the satisfactions and experience of productiveness that are supposed to animate our later years.   after we open our eyes to the pervasiveness of ageism, even though, we will be able to start to struggle it—and Gullette lays out formidable plans for the total lifestyles direction, from educating young children anti-ageism to fortifying the social defense nets, and hence eventually making attainable the true pleasures and possibilities promised by way of the recent durability. A bracing, debatable name to hands, Agewise will shock, enlighten, and, maybe most crucial, deliver desire to readers of every age.

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This version appeared in 2006, as news about businesses and local governments firing midlife workers was being widely reported. ” These satirical jokes point beyond their immediate targets to a cultural iceberg that people need to protect themselves from. I want to explain the lethal power of what is four-fifths hidden here. Start with the fact that few versions humorous or otherwise use the word “old,” the Eskimo’s main characteristic. That doesn’t have to be stated. Hidden though it is, everyone already gets it.

Now, the author tells us about his interviewee, “he’s growing old and it’s the same bulls**t all over again. ”qf The use of the ice floe story leads us into the horrors of behavioral ageism, especially in medicine. Concerned doctors use it to highlight the fact that in some cases, medical care (like dialysis) is already being rationed by age. For Dr. Erich Loewy of the University of California at Davis, the doubtful fact that Eskimos used to eliminate the elderly 30 : c h a p t e r o n e should have nothing to do with medical practice.

Meanwhile, can we focus more often on the body parts we have taught ourselves to find pleasing? Maybe, in time, what we praise could be the whole integrated body-mind, with its spirit, character, charm, and responsiveness. Confession of a new kind would be in order. ” These wouldn’t be boasts about natural endowments, as in the competitive beauty subcultures, but anti-ageist challenges to decline. Irony on top of insult: Despite all the instances of ageism around and inside our heads, many of us go along naively thinking that aging is just a bodily experience without any history or environmental influences about it.

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