Why are so many women ageist?

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How women silence other women

I’ve noticed a very curious thing lately and it’s got me thinking a lot about how women silence other women. I’m used to men silencing me, telling me that my opinion isn’t valid, etc. I mean, its old hat now, but women...

Let me explain.

For those of you that have hung around me for a long time you will know that the last year has been a bit of an identity crisis for me, shall we say? I’m struggling to find out who I want to be after dropping most if my business, as it no longer excited me. This has been a somewhat painful, frustrating and liberating experience. An experience that has had me open up be vulnerable, ask searching questions and flounder a bit, which is very unlike me. I have reached out to my community about it a few times, but when I do this I seem to get one blanket reply.

‘It’s your hormones; go and see the doctor!’

While I might be a woman of a certain age, to suggest that any sort of self-reflection and questioning is to do with hormones is somewhat perplexing. And yes, I know it might be and no, I will not go to the doctor to have my opinion, thoughts and vulnerability reduced to a by-product of my hormones; actually, I find this quite offensive and unnecessary. Can’t I have opinions, thoughts and ponderings without it being about hormones?

Meanwhile...

On the opposite end of the scale I have been helping my recently-graduated 21-year-old daughter find her voice in the world, air her opinions and share how she feels about certain things. But every time she opens up and shares she gets told that she is young and has a lot to learn, or some variation of that, generally discounting her voice because of her age.

So, I’m too old and hormonal and she’s too young!

So when are women allowed to have a voice then? Is there some kind of age where it is OK to speak and be heard and not be shouted down due to your age or the state of your ovaries? I’m guessing perhaps the 30’s are the golden years then and yes, when I look back that is when all the good things happened to me; TV shows, book deals and all that. It was when people listened to me; I wasn’t too young to know anything or too old and over the hill. And when I look at all the ladies bossing it at the moment, most of them seem to be in their thirties. So we only really have a voice in our thirties, ten years out of our life when people will actually listen to us.

That seems stupid and unfair.

What happened to the vibrancy of youth and wisdom of age? Do they not count for anything? I for one am sick of society and in particular other women inferring that I am to over the hill or that my daughter just doesn’t know enough.

When will we learn that every voice is valid and more to the point, every female voice is valid?

Please, before you feel the need to tell me I’m hormonal and tell my daughter she is too young, think of another female voice you may be repressing, another female who may stop speaking up because she doesn’t feel valid. Support all women; young , old and in between, we are all valid, our voices all need to be heard and we all need to be seen for who we are, not the age we happen to be.