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Is the silencing and ridicule of older women necessary to keep women in their place?

(139 Posts)
QuentinSummers Sun 15-Oct-17 14:14:40

On a thread a while back someone (can't remember who, sorry) said they thought there was a deliberate strategy to stop older women talking to and influencing younger women. For example the no-platforming of Germaine Greer.
I've been thinking about it a lot and I agree. I have been thinking about the treatment if Mary Whitehouse as a crank and religious nutter when i was younger - but a lot of her fears have come to pass.
And the recent thread about asexuality - if older women and younger women talked more openly about their sexuality and women's desire, how women's sex lives are over the years, impact of things like hormonal contraception and childbirtg, perhaps it would help younger women understand and be comfortable with themselves. I can't help thinking that all the labels are people trying to assert that they are different to the rather homogenous, masculine, aggressive view of sex that's everywhere at the moment.
Then the other day I heard a BBC presenter describing the White Widow (female terrorist, high value target for the USA, killed in a drone strike) as a ridiculous and rather pathetic figure. Which seemed really incongruous given how much effort the US have put into catching her. And made me wonder if she was being deliberately ridiculed as she was influencing a lot of younger women to join ISIS (It's a distasteful example but really struck me).

Also tied in here are all the younger women who "get on better with men" (I was one of those myself, I am so embarrassed now).

What can we do to build the credibility of older women? I really think it's necessary to help women overall.

Thanks for reading the wall of waffly text grin

SentimentalLentil Sun 15-Oct-17 14:27:10

The get on better with men brigade, oh dear. I was one too, I think I even used to describe myself as a gay man trapped in a woman's body, when the correct term for that is a woman. It makes me cringe thinking about it.

Me and my Mam were somewhere the other day and I said that my dh prefers the company of women and has lots of female friends, and a man we were with said that his partner prefers the company of men because she finds females to be bitchy and me and my Mam had an eye exchange that quite clearly shouted 'wanker'.

SentimentalLentil Sun 15-Oct-17 14:30:48

I do think women are just expected to shut up as they get older though, opinions on young women are cute but no one likes an old opinionated crone.
It's why terf is such a powerful slur, why are you still talking grandma move over and let the young people (men) speak.

AuntieStella Sun 15-Oct-17 14:38:27

I funccthd ageism on MN is rife,

How does that fit this hypothesis?

MrsDoylesTeabags Sun 15-Oct-17 14:43:54

I do agree with you, as women get older we seem to become less relevant and dismissed as dotty old dears.
I see this IRL and on news and TV, Thinking about the Harvey Wienstein situation, people knew of it for decades but women whos spoke out were dismissed as 'crazy' or deluded.
A few months ago there was a TV program, it was about a court case where a man was accussed of murdering his ex wife. The case was fictional but the jury were real people debating the case, there was an older woman who felt the man was guilty but she was completely shut down by the other people as not knowing what she ws talking about. As it turned out she got it exactly right, she was the only one who saw things as they were.

Scaredycat3000 Sun 15-Oct-17 14:57:29

That is the direct opposite of what I experience and have experienced. I'm sick to death of older women sniggering and laughing at me, because I don't believe in their god, because I research stuff on the internet. You know like the NHS website for factual up to date medical advise rather than old wives tales. I should do as MIL says because she was a MW, who lost the final tribunal for assaulting a woman in labour and so lost her job. I got called a little bitch on FB because by a random because she had a an imagined idea that I hadn't shown her enough respect because she was older than me. I was quoting facts on older drivers causing accidents, not showing respect apparently quoting facts. FB is filled with nasty posts from the older generation about how terrible parents and children are today and how much better they were, whilst simultaneously posting shit like GM's house, GM's rules, always undermining of parents. I could go on.
We do have a problem with silencing, ridicule and older women, but it is coming from older women to people they consider should show them more respect based entirely on their age.

hahahaIdontgetit Sun 15-Oct-17 15:05:32

You were quoting stats on older drivers?
Do you honestly think drivers can be categorised by age? By gender? By sexuality?
I'm not surprised you got a bad response.

whoputthecatout Sun 15-Oct-17 15:12:59

Scardycat3000: I am an older woman (Germaine's generation). I don't bother what the age of the person is that I am debating with - it's their evidence that counts and I certainly don't do old wives' tales. No one should feel they have to respect me because of my age - though maybe a nod in the direction of considerable real life experience is appreciated occasionally smile though I won't hold my breath on that.

The consolation though of getting old is that you don't give a fuck about what people think of you. For example, I get called a TERF? Do I give a shit? No. It's just a silly word. It seems that calling someone 'phobic' is the worst thing you can do to them. Believe me, it isn't.

Scaredycat3000 Sun 15-Oct-17 15:24:19

Haha I was quoting stats on older drivers because she stated first that older drivers were safe and young drivers were dangerous, end of. Her ageism was staggering. The report by AgeUK is most interesting and leads the way in self entitlement.
who It does, anecdotally, seem to be specifically a Boomer generation thing, to demand respect for their age. My DM, a Boomer, told me she got an earful from a lady of your generation about Boomers attitudes and behaviour. They say when ever no one is left alive that remembers the last big war there will be another one, please never die?

SentimentalLentil Sun 15-Oct-17 15:29:09

Do you think Germaine Greer is old enough to remember the war??

QueenLaBeefah Sun 15-Oct-17 15:31:40

I've long been shocked at the way the BBC has treated older, female presenters. So "right on" about everything else but complete fine with sacking women who had the temerity to get past the age of 35yrs.

BitterLittlePoster Sun 15-Oct-17 15:44:17

What is your point, scaredycat? It seems like you're saying that silencing older women is necessary and correct. Cause they're all bitches.

Scaredycat3000 Sun 15-Oct-17 15:45:32

Senti She would have been 5 when war ended, but in Australia. Are you asking me If I can read and do maths? What a silly question. Shows exactly the attitude I'm talking about. If you are unaware of the theory which is backed by historical facts about the frequency of war maybe look that up rather than ask silly ignorant questions to try and make me look not as clever as you!

JessicaEccles Sun 15-Oct-17 15:49:33

Scaredycat makes me very glad I am old grin.

And you know what- I am nobody's granny.

SentimentalLentil Sun 15-Oct-17 15:54:22

Well one I'm only 30 so using me an example of the 'type of attitude' you're talking about is misplaced in this context.
And I just thought your comment about the war was really really odd. Asking someone not to die because they might remember the war is plain bizzare and implying that that's the worth of Germaine Greer, 'let's keep her around as her memories of something that ended when she was five will be a deterant for another war' is very patronising.

Also no one implied you weren't clever, but you do seem extremely young.

MrsDoylesTeabags Sun 15-Oct-17 15:55:39

Yes, I think that's the point Bitter

QueenLaBeefah Sun 15-Oct-17 15:56:39

Scaredycat- has every single older (baby boomer?) woman you've encountered been vile to you? And absolutely everyone else been all sweetness and light to you? Seems highly unlikely to me.

MissTook Sun 15-Oct-17 15:59:09

The term old wives tales is derogatory itself.

SentimentalLentil Sun 15-Oct-17 16:00:48

And obviously the men of the boomer generation Are notorious for their open minded thinking when it comes to the young hmm

thecatfromjapan Sun 15-Oct-17 16:01:17


Scaredycat3000 Sun 15-Oct-17 16:22:05

Wow, must remember to agree with everybody or get a load of shit made up about what I said.
Women in the media may well be silenced on general issues, I'm no targuing with that, the Weinstein case shows all women are being silenced in life, but older women being silenced IRL for being older women? Just not happening, no more than any other group. Older women getting upset because nobody is listening, in many cases the problem is with their ego and expectations of grandeur purely based on their age.

QueenLaBeefah Sun 15-Oct-17 16:26:20

So, in summary older women are one homogeneous lump and can be generally ignored. 👏👏

FlaviaAlbia Sun 15-Oct-17 16:32:21

I think you have something. I'm not sure anything but experience can teach some things though - it's a mindfuck to realise that women aren't equal, don't have equal pay, promotions, respect and are likely to be targets of violence just because of their sex.

When you're still in your idealistic youth maybe you tend to assume things aren't as bad as all that and blame choices people have made instead?

SentimentalLentil Sun 15-Oct-17 16:36:03

No one is makig stuff up about what you said.

Your comment about the war was really odd

They say when ever no one is left alive that remembers the last big war there will be another one, please never die?

I'm not sure how else to interpret that in context of the rest of your posts other than you think that older women are important simply because they remember the war.
Which is weird.

slightlyglittermaned Sun 15-Oct-17 16:40:26

That's exactly the pattern identified in the MIT women faculty report from 1999 FlaviaAlba. Younger women don't usually see as much of a problem - but as they get older, they gradually amass enough data to realise the pattern.

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