Ronni With Playmate
(Extra)ordinary Lives

Crabby’s Bad Hattitude

Those ladies of the purple dresses and red hats are at it again. Red Hat Society founder and “Queen Mother,” Sue Ellen Cooper, has published a new book: The Red Hat Society’s Laugh Lines.

Red Hat Book Cover Crabby Old Lady (grimacing while her toes curl in her shoes) mentions this today because a few women of the red-and-purple brigade have recently been leaving comments on a previous post here expressing their dismay at Crabby’s bad “hattitude” toward their club:

“…it is a shame you feel the way you do.”

“You may be missing out on some of the best times and friendships that you may make in your life.”

Crabby intends to take her chances on that second one.

This new book by Ms. Cooper is a 209-page collection of boilerplate platitudes and just about every self-help bromide published in the past 40 years. If anyone has reached 50 and doesn’t know these things – well, maybe they need The Red Hat Society.

One of the themes of this book and the Society itself runs counter to everything Crabby Old Lady and Time Goes By stand for:

“…the Red Hat Society seeks to take the sting out of reaching the age of fifty,” writes Ms. Cooper.

And, “I’m always encouraged when people refer to themselves as ‘years young’ instead of ‘years old.’”

She had better not try that phrasing around Crabby Old Lady who takes additional umbrage at Ms. Cooper’s self-important co-option and misunderstanding of the women’s movement:

“The Red Hat Society has been referred to as ‘the second women’s movement’…[but] it is important to emphasize one significant difference between the first and second movements. We Red Hatters are not angry with men, nor is there any stridency in our attitude toward them.”

Oh, let’s not raise our voices – it’s unladylike. (And can we find Crabby a frilly '50's apron?) It is attitudes like these that marginalize people – women, in this case. Crabby doesn’t know where Ms. Cooper was during the 1960s and beyond, but she surely missed the point somewhere in women’s struggle for equal rights, carried forward by women whose “stridency” she has surely benefited from.

The main purpose and goal of the Red Hatters, to “have fun,” is – discounting the feminist claim – harmless enough (if you don’t get caught in a horde of them loose on the streets of New York as once happened to Crabby). But the relentlessness of it, as recounted in this book, along with the red-and-purple uniform, is too cloying, too retro for Crabby who also fears she can never again wear a red hat without being taken for (Eew!) a Hattitude Hottie.

[See also Older Ladies and the Red Hat Society.]


I reckon the first book they NEED to read about feminism is bell hooks: "Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics." It's short and compact - easy reading and very informative.

Second: I am so glad that red is a really bad color on me! I adore being the age I am! Adore it and loving it even more since I met YOU, Ronni! As Kramer would say: "I'm, out there, Jerry, and loving every minute!"

good grief!

Oh my I wonder why the Red Hat Society feels 50 is the secret age? I am 48 and some days I feel much more muture and then some days I feel as if I am in my 20s again. To me age is just a number it is what you make of it that is important and I had a very wonderful gentleman who one day told me....Honey I am not getting older I am just getting more mature. I have never forgot that and never will for he was my mentor.

Among other annoying things about those Hatters, calling the feminist movement of the 70's, the "first" women's movement is just plain wrong. Grrr. The whole thing smacks of the cute-ification, if you will, of old women. yuck.

You GO, Crabby Old Lady!

I thought the whole point of the "when I'm an old lady" poem was that when you are old you do what YOU want and not what other people want or what seems "popular". I think the whole popularization of the purple and red poem is an abomination.

Grrrl, I love it when you get your crabby on! Some of us do remember. And we're not going back.

I am amused by the Google ads on this page -- all for Red Hat (c) paraphenilia. I thought the poem was cute when I first read it (when I was, like, 20), but all the clubbiness now surrounding the "movement" is just twee. Yuck.

Ignore hattitudes and platitudes, Crabby! And keep on the good work. I don't know why the Red Hat ladies even bother to write. Interesting that they feel they have to ;)

I live in England and I want to know if there are any Red Hat Societies in Britain? I am 8o years old and I'd like to join before it's too late.


Did you know that RHS now issues a VISA card? Bills it as even more ways to have "playtime".... yeah, just what a person on a fixed income needs...a colorful way to get deeper in debt! Nope, The Red Hat Society is no longer a nice little "social club" it is a BUSINESS entity out to take advantage of the baby boomers in the same way other marketers exploited them in the 1960's and upward to now! Glad I'm no longer in that club, and glad you are exposing them for the phony organization it is!

Maybe the ladies that join the RHS never had the opportunity for female empowerment before this age. Maybe they had so many responcibilities that they never got a chance to have lunch with their girlfriends or visit france with their sisters. I think anytime women get together to enjoy one another and expand their horizons, it's a good thing.

However, it is a disgusting shame that there are people out there capitalizing on these women, I need that to be said. Rather than denounce the ladies within the club, denounce our society that feels the need to capitalize on every nook and cranny of our lives and exploit it to the point where we want to throw up everytime we see a group of ladies with a red hat.

I think it is wonderful that women can express theirselves with the red and purple. I am 55 and loving it.

Thank you, oldlady_4 and Lyrielle, I've never had so much fun, free from raising my kids, cooking, cleaning, etc., finally caring for myself,making new friends and going new places with them.

The "RED HATTERS" are a great group of friends. My group has 15 women who are all great. Help each other and what ever else they can do.
Getting together, to get away from the trials of life is a "GOOD THING"!!!!!

I am Queen of a chapter in Torquay England, I have 60 amazing new friends,and I cant say enough how amazing The Red Hat Society is and the fun we all have.

I have seen many Rad Hat ladies out for lunch or dinner and they have been loud and drunk...NOT FOR ME!
My husband was shocked!
Staying away from Red Hats in Jacksonville, Oregon

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)