Slightly altered, I stole that header from Kavan Peterson at changingaging.org. In fact, I've stolen the entire post.
Ageism in all its forms drives me nuts. Nevertheless, it is as commonly perpetrated throughout the American cultural spectrum as the N word once was. It's a knee-jerk response everywhere you look.
As much as I love both of them, Jon Stewart and his Comedy Central cohort, Stephen Colbert, regularly make derogatory references to old people. In Stewart's case, it has surfaced more frequently (and often in reference to himself) since he turned 50 earlier this year.
But every single day on television, in magazines, newspapers, all over the internet, there are dozens of instances of “getting old is a bummer” and that is only the most polite version.
My point today is to show you a video I found at changingaging so I don't want to carry on at great length but it must said that some of the biggest perpetrators of ageism – which is the direct cause of age discrimination in the workplace - are elders themselves. As Marketwatch recently reported:
“'I don’t think baby boomers are any less likely to discriminate against their peers than other generations of older employees,' Ballman said.
'Boomers were the decision makers in many of the layoffs over the past few years, and older employees were targeted in those layoffs more than any other workers.
“Others agreed. 'When I talked to people, I found that some of the most age-discriminatory people out there are older people,' said Joanna Lahey, an associate professor at Texas A&M University who studies age discrimination.”
I'll save the rest of my ageism rant for another day. Right now, I want to introduce the TEDtalk from Jackson Katz who is addressing sexism and violence against women, homophobia and racism which doesn't necessarily sound apropos of ageism, so let's hear from Kavan about why it is:
”I have no complaints whatsoever about Jackson Katz’ message and delivery here. Physical and other forms of violence perpetrated by men against women and others is a serious, rampant problem.
“I will simply add that he could have easily included ageism in his message and everything he recommended to reframe sexism, racism, homophobia and violence would apply.”
Katz is a compelling speaker. I agree with everything he is saying and I heartily agree with Kavan that all of it can be applied to ageism too. Please watch with that in mind.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Dani Ferguson Phillips: How President Kennedy's Council on Physical Fitness Almost Scarred Me for Life