Women growing older with grace and gusto

Are you prejudiced?


Have you ever had the experience of catching yourself out in prejudiced thinking? I bet you have.

It happened to me the other day, and I’m a little reluctant to share it with you, but here goes!

You’ve probably read that Hillary Clinton was in hospital recently with a blood clot. This prompted a lot of speculation in the news media about her chances of success if she runs again for President in the 2016 election, as she’s front-runner for nomination.

I hadn’t realised she was seen as front runner. As soon as I read that speculation, I found myself doing some surprised calculations. She’d be 69 if she was elected, 77 by the end of her second term, assuming she gained a second term.

“Surely that’s too old” I found myself thinking.

The inner cringe

And then I cringed with embarrassment. Me. The one who writes about women aging with grace and gusto. Who celebrates the abilities of women at any age. Who knows that Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until she was in her seventies, that Laura Ingalls Wilder started writing in her forties and didn’t publish her famous “Little House” books until she was in her sixties, that political activist Doris Haddock (Granny D) walked 3,200 miles across the US when she was in her 90s to advocate for campaign finance reform.

I know, and know of, dozens of gifted, strong women in their 60s, 70s 80s and beyond.

So just want to say sorry Hillz, hope you run, and hope you win.


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11 Responses to Are you prejudiced?

  1. Honestly, as much as I espouse being non-judgmental… as much as I write about tolerance and love… as much as I seek to rise above… I still catch myself with quick, knee jerk little whispers or loud drafts of all of the above. I love the words “the inner cringe”- so perfect– thankfully we do catch ourselves and then straighten our thinking and move forward only to do it again and again – BUT – how wonderful that we can publicly show that we are still working and seeking and evolving – Kudos–

    Claire -yup – at times something in me is also jealous of those women who are older and more productive or healthier ….on and on… but then knowing that I am enough as I am starts to sink in – wish it would stay put!!
    Bobbi recently posted..WOW and AWEMy Profile

    • Hi Bobbi, thanks for the comment. Yes, I first came across the phrase “the inner cringe” when a counsellor friend used it to describe those memories we harbour – sometimes for years – of things we’ve done that still embarrass us.
      I’m sure we all do this, and it’s great when we can catch ourselves in the act, but I do so agree with your final phrase – wish it would stay put!!

  2. Although I do agree that Hillary is getting a little long in the tooth — as I hope all of us get to be — but I think she should go for it anyway. (When we do get a woman President, I’m waiting to see what term they come up with to call her husband. The First Gentleman?) If Hillary does get elected, she’ll not only be the first woman President, she’ll be the first spouse of a President to become President.
    WOL recently posted..Big Cats, Little Cats and a Quibble or TwoMy Profile

    • She’s already done so many firsts, this would be a good one! There was a short-lived TV series a few years back starring Geena Davis as the first female President, and I’m sure they referred to her old man as First Gentleman. It’s a strange role for a spouse at the best of times!

  3. I love the honesty of this post. My confession is that when my husband and I looked for a housemate last year, the person most interested was 55. We both recoiled from that, wanting a housemate who was younger (I am 52 myself, and Thor is 59). Then we shook that off, like you did with Hillary. The 55 year old has been our housemate for a year. It’s been perfectly peaceful, but at some point this year the arrangement will end. The reasons it needs to end don’t have anything to do with age — which is the exact point.
    Alison Wiley recently posted..Learning To Love Change: Two Great BooksMy Profile

    • These issues and instincts are fascinating. I sometimes find it strange having got to the age when I’m now always one of the oldest people in the workforce. So for example my boss is around 25/30 years younger than I am. She’s really good and incredibly competent but I confess when I was first applying for the job I did wonder whether it was going to work out. Thank goodness it is!

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