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Overcoming Pervasive Ageism

DSC01912Did you know that ” the fastest growing segment of our society is women over the age of 85?”

Transgenerational Design observes that the growth rate of total population 80 and over is twice that of those 65 and over and almost 4-times that for the total population! In the United States, this group will more than triple from 5.7 million in 2010 to over 19 million by 2050.

Next Avenue laments that, “society looks at older women as ‘other,’ something they will do anything not to become…older women, then, are the personification of what our culture fears most.”

But research suggests that women leaders are more assertive and persuasive and have stronger interpersonal skills than their male counterparts.

Shouldn’t aging women be judged for the substance of who they are instead of their appearance? Evelyn Granieri asserts that women and society in general must confront the fact that ageism is “a serious, pervasive and destructive prejudice”- something that will not stop “until we stop laughing at the caricature of this population and focus on making the most of their considerable gifts and contributions to all of us.”

Our nation’s highest court has recently made great strides in expanding equality for the LGBTQ community.

Granieri suggests that our acceptance of Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out is “a sign that we’re breaking through one more destructive social stigma.”

As a nation we are continuing to confront our unacceptable racial biases with symbolic actions such as removal of the Confederate Flag from several public buildings in the South. Presidential candidate Donald Trump was just censored by NBC Universal for his unacceptable ethnic remarks about Hispanics.

Change in society’s attitudes about prejudice and equality is in the air.

Is it possible that the next frontier in overcoming prejudice will be our pervasive ageism?