I appear to have reached a stage in my life where ‘younger feminists’ – not my phrase – are telling me what’s new and important. I think this is great. (Honest! not least because I also meet all too many younger women who simply don’t see feminism as being for them at all.)
But as I look to older women (60s/70s/80s) for their knowledge and experience, for their eldership, I wonder if the younger feminists are interested in the thought that went before, or must it all be new and young*? And is there any place then, for the middle aged woman’s experience?
As I approach 50, feeling, in many ways, stronger, more capable, more adept, more MYSELF, than at any previous time in my life, I am also aware of being dismissed as not getting it, not relevant, not seeing myself or my experience represented in its multiplicity, in the arts, in politics, in business, in the world … and I wonder, do I have to be 80 before what I think counts again?
(Which, given I was told I also didn’t count in my teens and 20s – in fact all of up to now – seems a bit unfair …)
*Yes, this has been the cry of age forever. Of course. Clichés are clichés because they’re true. Doesn’t mean they’re not worth questioning.
“the blog-poster as a young feminist”
Vital Statistics, NZ women’s theatre company, 1985
(I’m not the baby.)