Sometimed, apart from The Mind Games, there is nothing I wish to read in Times 2 - Friday for example, apart from the one Arts article I have never heard of any of the 'modern' set. But on other days it is a bit hit and miss. After all they have to cater for all their readers and we all have different tastes and interests. Today every article is interesting to me and also it is a 'moderate' day with the Mind Games which (as long as I can take my time) I can do.
But an article on the first page, by Robert Crampton, really set me thinking. So thank you Robert. The article's heading is 'Female of the Silver Fox Species'. In it he argues that any word which applies to the ageing of women should be 'consigned to the linguistic dustbin of history. It made me think back to my childhood and how the ladies 'of a certain age' dressed and were referred to. And then I thought of other countries I had visited and how widows and ladies over fifty dressed. In country areas in Greece for example - in the thirties - ladies over forty dressed in black and melted into the background (and so did the men). Even here anybody in our village who tried to stay young by the way they dressed was universally looked upon as 'mutton dressed as lamb'. But not so the men. I remember hearing my father talk of certain men as 'natty dressers'. It was the ladies who had to become discreet and melt into the background (although I clearly remember my father putting up a real fight to be made to discard his collar stud and loose collars for fitted collars and short sleeves).
But it is a fact that there are certain words in our language, as Robert Crampton sugge sts, which are used in a derogatory way to describe ageing ladies - he cites 'ageing gracefully' which is always applied to women as a term which he says, along with words like shrew, harridan and nag should be consigned to 'the linguistic dustbin of history'.
Elderly ladies here have rebelled (and I am definitely one). We dress and behave as we wish to do. And when I look at people like Judi Dench, who - give or take a couple of years - is my age - I see a glamorous, attractive woman who dresses and behaves exactly as she pleases and makes absolutely no concessions at all to age, I am full of admiration. Getting old is no fun - and you don't realise the fact until you get there - so please gents, give us the freedom to dress and behave as we wish. As Crampton says, the nearest equivalent for a man is for him to be called 'a silver fox' and any man over sixty would take that as a compliment.