Woman at work

Ageist Sexism: Throwing Hissy Fits Over Nancy Pelosi’s Age

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces she’s running for re-election and Twitter erupts with immature, so-called progressive punks raging about her age, claiming she is too old for the job she’s been doing—and doing better than so many men before her, old or otherwise.

Step aside, short-sided men, because your ageism is outrageous. Misogynist double-standard much?

Defined as stereotyping and/or discriminating against individuals or groups based on their age, ageism is a term coined in 1969 to describe discrimination against senior members of our US population.

Ageism is a form of bigotry quite prevalent in 2022, if social media is any indication, especially when it comes to women in prominent positions of authority and power. And it’s an issue I address in my Other Worldly novels, because protagonist Rowan Layne is a woman in her late fifties who is quite vocal about sociopolitical issues, including sexism and racism.

Rowan Layne is an intelligent, accomplished older woman. And when a male of any age is threatened by such a woman’s confidence and knowledge, they attack her age, or her weight and her looks, which might also be associated with her age.

It’s as if the entire universe is supposed to revolve around a male’s personal and pathetic concept of how they view females, and how they myopically deem women should be valued, in the workplace and everywhere else.

One prime example of ageism is losing a job because of your age. These Twitter twits think House Speaker Pelosi should lose her job for no other reason than her age, pure and simple—and simple-minded.

Although ageism is not exactly viewed as a predominant form of discrimination (it was virtually impossible to find an ideal image to accompany this blog post), people losing jobs due to aging happens all the time in the US despite the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (passed way back in 1967 for those born decades later who think they’re entitled to subjectively judge their elders). This law prevents discrimination in the workplace for folks 40 and older. It encourages employers to hire based on abilities and skill, rather than age. Imagine that.

Perhaps citizens should also vote for the candidate of their choice based on abilities and experience, rather than age, when it comes to women. After all, Americans have been voting for men for years based on anything but their advanced age. Indeed, older men are seen as seasoned statesmen.

In an AARP article from December 2019, it was noted that about 30 percent of the US population is now age 50 or older. Yet, according to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report, age discrimination remains a significant and costly problem.

An AARP survey found that nearly one in four workers aged 45 and older have been subjected to negative comments about their age from supervisors or coworkers. This survey also found that 70 percent of older workers see age discrimination as a hurdle to finding a new job. Reports also indicate that older workers are prematurely pushed out of longtime jobs, with most never earning as much again.

So, whiny men want to push Nancy Pelosi out of her job solely because she’s old enough to be their grandmother and that’s somehow a bad thing?

We women have existed for centuries with men, younger and older, running this nation, this planet.

Do the math. It’s old guys who have really screwed things up, the senate minority leader being a glaring example. Do folks want Mitch McConnell out of office because he’s too old? Or is it because of his unconstitutional machinations and blatant racism? His age simply means he’s had longer to attempt to decimate our democracy. And what he has single-handedly done to the Supreme Court is an atrocity that has nothing to do with his age.

When it comes to discrimination, females have been attacked since the dawn of time merely for their gender, much less their age. To this day, women earn less than men while working the same jobs.

Women have had to compete for jobs in the public eye while being held to a different standard than men, who have not had to experience or endure ageism or any other form of discrimination to the extent that females have.

Stereotypes abound for women being seen as too old for everything from the clothes they wear or the men they date. A recent Yahoo headline: “Is And Just Like That ageist? Why Carrie and Her Friends Seem Over the Hill at 50.” The stars of the Sex In the City reboot seem “over the hill” because of sexualized social strictures put in place by men, and unfortunately perpetrated by too many women, that seek to define women as being worthy of respect only if they’re young enough to be seen as physically attractive to males of any age.

It’s time women of a certain age take, and hold on to, the reins. Those so very easily threatened men will have to grow up and get over themselves and their skewed view of women.

And while we’re at it, men really should quit with the quest to find other jobs for Kamala Harris so they can replace her as VP with yet another white male. As Rowan Layne and her mom would say, that’s tacky. And so very telling.

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