Sunday, March 4, 2012


There are some expression that enter the language in order  reduce an entire group of people to nonentities.  Granny pants is one of them. Inoffensive as it seems, it is meant to garner laughs at the expense of older women. The subtext is that women who have viable eggs are ridiculous. The irony of viable eggs as the supreme marker of attractiveness, charm, with, competence, and the ability to contribute to the socio-economic complex, is stunning. This  standard a dichotomy between women such as   Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian and Meryl Streep,  Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, Ruth Ginsburg. That is, between women who do not qualify chronologically for granny pants, and women who do. One can subdivide them into endless categories just as one can simply say that  some of them are  old enough to wear granny pants and that the others,  if they are lucky enough, will grow old enough to do so. Whichever way one looks at it, they are, irreducibly female.
Sexism and ageism often seem to be both sides of the same coin. They show how much easier it is to see lump people into categories that rob them of their individuality. If I understand this failed jest correctly, women who wear granny pants also sit in rocking chairs crocheting granny squares or staring vacantly into space until such a time as when
they are called to meet their maker.Just how close to reality is the image of the crocheting granny? I If one takes into consideration the gender-pay gap in  United State where women's earnings  are 77.4  percent of men's--these are 2010 figures--chances are that only a small number of  women past childbearing age are to busy trying to survive to indulge in  infinite leisure. The popular perception is a distortion based on age-gender bias. It accounts for the popular notion  that older men look distinguished while older women look extinguished. Again, maybe this perception seems to be linked to sexuality. Most  elderly man can father a child, most older woman, cannot. If worth is reduced to the ability to reproduce, what of the men women who are unable to do so? To equate human worth with the viability to the viability of eggs and sperm is as intelligent as saying that rabbits are superior to elephants.
I  find it utterly discouraging to think of humanity as nothing but a blob rushing to reproduce, but that is the message I get from labels meant to diminish older women. What is the explanation for the pervasiveness of age-gender stereotypes in a so-called civilised  nation? What are parents teaching their children, that grandma is a doddering old fool in funny  pants? How do families who would not countenance racist jokes allow their offspring to think of older women as objects of derision?  I wish I knew the answer to these questions as much as I wish I knew what sort of underpants  Streep, Morrison, Angelou, Ginsburg, Steinem  and Clinton wear.  I just turned sixty five and I would like a similar pair.