WOW is now 18 months old, but I’m still asked: “Do we really need another blog? Let alone one for older women.”
If the world is rushing off the cliff, shouldn’t older women try to enjoy their golden years and not get distracted by the Trump White House?
The very fact that Trumpism is taking over speaks to the need for the voices of older women.
I think the world needs, more than ever, not just an influx of feminine values, but also the wisdom of the older woman. We can take our lead from the Native Americans, who have a tradition of looking to their female elders for guidance. Exemplary Native American women, like LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, are leading the protest encampment at Standing Rock.
Mainstream America, dominated by ageism and sexism, with its emphasis on looks casts off the older woman.
She is rejected simply because her body is no longer supple and her face is not wrinkle free. Many aging women I know exhibit a pronounced self-consciousness about their bodies, making excuses for their crinkly necks or flabby upper arms.
Typically the opinions of older women are disregarded. As a vibrant 81-year-old friend told me, “My kids somehow feel compelled to correct my thinking, which is just as sharp as ever.”
The Op-ed reactions to Trump are dominated by white males. Where are the voices of learned women, particularly older women with political and global expertise?
My original rationale for WOW remains the same: I believe we need a place where older women can resist the cultural put downs, where they can feel honored in their efforts to lead a meaningful life, and where they have a forum for support, online friendships and resources. I want to reach those older women who feel alone, misunderstood or rejected just because they are old!
Going forward, I will endeavor to make future posts more inclusive: to offer guest writings from women of color and of different sexual orientations and ethnicity.
Jean Baker Miller in her ground-breaking book, The New Psychology of Women writes that a central attribute of women is their “relational” nature. Women come alive in groups of other women. Women often do their best thinking aloud in women’s groups where they feel supported and safe. In the internet era virtual community has become central for many women.
Attesting to the power of women’s communities, a friend once commented, “If, women had pajama parties, they wouldn’t need therapists.”
Past posts have addressed some of the concerns of older women like, living alone, facing one’s mortality, going gray, fears of developing Alzheimer’s, shared housing, and the importance of close friendships, along with books and films of appeal to older women.
I will continue to write abut the ups and downs of aging while including interviews with remarkable older women with full lives. Because a sense of humor has gotten me through many a rough spot I will keep trying, when appropriate, to find the humor in a given topic.
I think of WOW as collaboration between my readers and myself. I welcome your suggestions for future blog posts. Let’s continue to show the world feisty, engaged, confident older women who refuse to be sidelined because of their age!
If you’d like more conversations with like-minded women, we have a Facebook page for you: WOW (Women’s Older Wisdom)