Aging Woman and the Invisibility Factor

There was a column in the National Post this morning called 10 Ways to Make Canada More Senior Friendly. It appears that the piece was written by National Post Staff members Joe O’Connor and Jeremy Sandler.  It is a very good example of what the term “Ageism” means.  In short, the article is a derogatory depiction of a group of people based on a prejudice against that group.

The “10 Ways to Make Canada More Senior Friendly” is simply a list of  ten of the more common stereotypes that brand Seniors as being tired, broken down people. It isn’t a funny column. It doesn’t contain anything original. It is offensive.

These National Post Staff members were commenting on the fact that Statistics Canada is predicting that people over the age of 65 will soon outnumber children under the age of 15. No surprise here – the Baby Boomers are becoming senior citizens. While the young staff writers of the National Post are looking forward to a rapid diminishment of Baby Boomer power,  Baby Boomers will likely not oblige them. Baby Boomers have always considered themselves to be Change Agents, and as such it is unlikely their “Senior Years” will be anything like the ageist stereotypes that the National Post listed in their column today.

In addition to Ageist Stereotypes, women often become  to suffer from being Invisible.  Writer Susan Reimer explains: ‘As women age we begin to fade from view, moving from vibrant to translucent to invisible. To young husbands and little children, women shine like a sun at the centre of their universe. Soon enough, these same husbands only pretend to listen when we speak. Those same children dismiss us with a flip of the wrist. And the rest of the world, full of people who might once have thought we were pretty or interesting, does not even see us when we pass.’