Racism, Sexism and now Ageism

This is the newest and fastest mover in the bias top ten, sitting just below racism and sexism.   Ageism* is the community and industry bias against people they feel are too old.  It is a process of stereotyping and discriminating against people because they are old or older than desirable.   From a definitional perspective ageism is like racism or sexism in that it treats people differently based on stereotypes about a group.

Ageism appears in many forms. A few examples below illustrate how the behavior of an older person is described in an ageist manner, where the same behavior by a younger person is explained without stereotypes. When an older person forgets someone’s name, they are viewed as senile; however when a younger person fails to recall a name, we usually say he or she has a faulty memory. When an older person complains about a particular incident, they are called cranky and difficult, while a younger person may simply be seen as being critical. If an older person has trouble hearing, they are  dismissed as “getting old,” rather than having difficulty with her hearing.

Please contribute to this very important issue by adding some real life examples of ageism that you have either experienced personally or know of.

This is not going away unless we fight back !

*Ageism also applies to people they feel are too young.

 

 

Comments
2 Responses to “Racism, Sexism and now Ageism”
  1. John says:

    Hi Ros,

    I have never personally seen or experienced ageism, but then working for yourself tends to keep you out of issues like that. I do however agree that it’s a real problem.

    Not just from the point of view of those who are discriminated against, but also to the industries and organisations who lose the skills and knowledge of older people. When a company says “no” to a job applicant because they are older then they are ignoring the value that long years of experience can bring with it.

    John.

  2. Reality Roz says:

    Thank-you for your kind comments. It is the beginning of a long and exciting journey.

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