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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Aging Ageism Relationships

Aging vs. Ageism[i]

Coming Out Old: Issues of Ageism and Privilege.
Resource Author: Dr. Dorothy Jean Furnish
All of the information below is from Dr. Fumish’s site
“Aging is an experience shared by every living creature from the moment of birth. If we are children, we are said to be "growing up." If we are youth, we are "maturing." But if we are adults, we are "getting old." So we begin the ritual of our culture: we spend time, money, and psychic energy trying to "stay young." In the process, we deny our identity. We say we are aging, or we are not as young as we used to be, or we are getting older. We are reluctant to say, "I am old."
“Children "grow up" eagerly looking forward to adult privileges. Young people "mature" with the anticipation of sharing adult power. As adults, however, we resist "coming out old" even to ourselves because it often signals the end of both privilege and power, as well as the reluctant recognition of our own mortality.”
“Ageism—and its personal impact—is a reality shared by almost every old person, although many of us are socialized not to recognize it. It has been defined as "the systematic discrimination and oppression of people solely because they are old."1 Illustrations can be found on a continuum all the way from "irritating" to "life demeaning."
“An old man leaves his umbrella in the car and is called a "forgetful old man." An old woman does not recognize the need for changes in societal structures and is called "out of date." An old man takes his umbrella with him in case of rain and is called a "fussy old man." An old woman speaks out against the status quo and is called "disruptive and feisty." Old men and women are voted out of public office solely on the basis of their age. Same sex partners, one old and one younger, are dining out. At the end of the meal the table server pointedly gives the check to the younger of the two. At the grocery store, obviously able-bodied, white-haired customers are asked if they need assistance with their groceries. Able old people lose their jobs in order to make way for the young.”
“Ageism is alive and well when all of one's being is defined by a single characteristic—the number of years one has lived. Ageism is based on a deeply ingrained, negative stereotype of what old people are really like. It is used to rationalize discrimination and to confuse our discussions about rights and privilege.”

[i] About the author
 Dorothy Jean Furnish, an old 74-year-old professor emerita of Christian education at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, (Written in 1995) To access it google Dorothy Fumish and the title of this post,

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