Age matters : realigning feminist thinking - download pdf or read online

By Toni M. Calasanti

This quantity of unique chapters is designed to carry realization to a overlooked zone of feminist scholarship - getting older. After a number of a long time of feminist reviews we're now good expert of the advanced ways in which gender shapes the lives of ladies and males. equally, we all know extra approximately how gendered energy family members interface with race and ethnicity, classification and sexual orientation. severe theorizing of outdated age and age kin to gender represents the following frontier of feminist scholarship. during this quantity, top nationwide and overseas feminist students of getting older take first steps during this course, illuminating how age kin engage with different social inequalities, relatively gender. In doing so, the authors problem and remodel feminist scholarship and lots of taken with no consideration options in gender studies.

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Friedan 2000: 71) Friedan also attributes the “maturing” of her political views in the 1940s and 1950s to reading philosophy and trying to process this reading in terms of her daily life. Adorno’s The Authoritarian Personality had a great influence on her understanding of the personality types most likely to turn revolutions into dogma and to stifle the democratic spirit necessary for human evolution. From Hannah Arendt’s essay “On Revolution,” she learned that revolution is best thought of as a process, not an event, which requires continuous questioning and transforming.

The primary message of Friedan’s life and work, for me, is this: if women overcome their fears and embrace the possibilities in their own development, they and all those around them will benefit, and society will move forward in progressive ways. To deny one’s own potential is to deny the potential in others; the personal is political. Feminist researchers can advance the agenda of social change by conducting age studies, an endeavor that I define as follows: if feminism is “a form of politics which aims to intervene in, and transform, the unequal power relations between men and women,” (Hollows 2001: 3) then feminist age studies is a form of research and activism that aims to intervene in, and transform, the unequal power relations between age groups, as influenced by gender.

She contrasts traditional gerontology research, conducted by the “young turks” who deal with age in terms of pathology, to the work of the “gerontological underground,” those who look for growth and development in age. Significantly, Friedan mentions none of the feminist critiques or gender-sensitive analyses of aging that were circulating in academe during the 1980s and early 1990s (Macdonald and Rich 1983; Riley 1985; Rossi 1985; Reinharz 1986; Minkler and Estes 1991; Older Women’s League 1986, 1987, 1990) nor does she reference the work of other popular feminists writing about age, such as Susan Sontag or Germaine Greer.

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