Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Times 2

 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.

31 comments:

Heather said...

I admire Judi Dench too, and the fact that she is growing older naturally. It saddens me that so many much younger women see fit to have Botox treatment and their teeth 'fixed', in order to stave off the 'dreaded' ageing process. I think it takes away character from their faces and in some cases they are almost beyond recognition. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and several other senior actresses are still working, so what are these younger women afraid of? But then it is their personal decision.

Carruthers said...

Man over 60? Don't you mean man over 70?

sillygirl said...

I wouldn't say give us the right - I would just say I HAVE the right!

Minigranny said...

I quite like the fact that the Grandmothers (Yia Yias) of Greece wear their black clothes with such grace and are sure in the knowledge that they are respected by the younger generation. It's almost become a symbol of their power as Matriachs. Everyone to their own I suppose.

Barbara Anne said...

I so agree! :)

Granny Sue said...

Hear, hear! I remember well an incident about 6 years ago. I was visiting my son in Florida, and his friend Felix was driving me to my son's workplace. A lady over 60 was walking across the parking lot. She was wearing what I considered clothes "too young" for her, and stiletto heels too. I said, "Whoa, look at her" in a not complimentary way. Felix, on the other hand, said "You go, girl! Wear what you like. You're rockin' it!" His comments completely changed my perspective. Why shouldn't she dress in a way that made her feel good? My judgmental self learned a lesson that day.

The Feminine Energy said...

What an interesting blog entry for today! I love it!! If you get time, do a google search for "Gloria Struck". In short, she's currently 95 years old and STILL drives a Harley motorcycle. Look her up... her story is fascinating!! ~Andrea xoxoxo

JayCee said...

I remember visiting the doctors surgery only a few years ago ( I was still in my late 50s) and saw a young locum GP. He said that I was "well preserved". I assume he meant that to be a compliment but I felt a little insulted by that term, as though I were an embalmed mummy!

Ellen D. said...

I once had a physician's assistant tell me that I was "spry" for my age and he made other comments about me being old. I refused to see him again.
I can be myself now and I don't have to worry about how I look because no one is looking and I am fine with that!

Carol said...

I am 72 years old and have the wrinkles, scars and spider veins to go with them. I also live in an area that experiences very high summer temperatures. If I go to town in comfortable clothes that happen to reveal those badges of maturity, I do it knowing that there will be judgemental comments, and that I will ignore same. Comfort over ageism.

Derek Faulkner said...

I wonder how men react being told that they look good for their age, or aren't those clothes a bit young for you - possibly like me, they'll just laugh and get on with life, I doubt they'd turn it into a big thing.
This thing of women picking holes in various comments, blowing them up out of all proportion is a bit like the BLM campaign where every mention of colour etc. has to be turned into a massive you against us thing.
These days it's very difficult to say anything without the motives for saying it being questioned.
I rather think that The Times, being short of a decent news article, simply thought it'd be a good idea to get a man to talk on behalf of women.

Rachel Phillips said...

I didn't think any woman bothered about ancient customs of dressing according to ones age or the assumed expectations of others and all dress how they like.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rachel - I am not entirely sure that rule applies out here in the wilds of the Dales where country customs still rule amongst the older population - young things feel as you do but not the ones of a mature age - it will come but it is not here yet.
Carol - I love your comment - a perfect response I would say.
JayCee - a typical comment I would say and I would rather think of it as an insult these days.
Brilliant Granny Sue
MiniGranny - I had never thought of it in that way - thank you for that.

So many fascinating views - thanks for them all.

The Weaver of Grass said...

If you have time folks do as Andrea (Feminine Energy) suggests and look up Gloria Struck - well worth a read.

Debby said...

I remember when I was a child, listening to my aunt explaining that she was growing her hair for the last time, because she would be turning 30 and would have to wear it short after that. This was in the early 70s. I didn't understand why but I looked around me and saw all the women in their thirties with short hair and permed curls. I worried about that, until I simply decided that I wasn't going to do it. I'm 65 and my hair is in a ponytail this very minute.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago I went to an older women's group, average age late sixties, and saw a woman with striking long naturally grey hair, pulled back, but almost to her waist. She stood out from all the others with their short hair, permed curls, and various shades of colour, and I thought 'Wow...I'm going to do that.'..and I did! Fun! Pam.

Joanne Noragon said...

Most of us go our own way these days, but I still see too many women constricted by their husband's expectations.

Bonnie said...

I could not agree with you more! We should not have to ask for the freedom to dress and behave as we wish, we should have it and do it. Judi Dench is an incredible person and I also admire her greatly. Great post Pat!

Cro Magnon said...

My dear father was one of those who wore a suit almost every day of his life; even if he was forced to sit on a beach. He was an avid mountain climber, and even had special suits for that too. When I came of age, he allowed me to use his tailor, who always spoke of father with great affection. But, then, I suppose he would.

Janie Junebug said...

What a good post. I do as I please and make myself comfortable in my dress and especially my shoes (usually sneakers). I would not appreciate comments related to my age.

Love,
Janie

CharlotteP said...

As a child, I lived with my Nan. In my earliest memories, she looked (to me)like an old, old lady; grey hair in a bun, longish, unfashionable dress. Thinking about it, this was not an acceptable 'uniform' forced on her by convention, but was how she had worn her hair and dressed when she was young; and how she still felt comfortable. Likewise, I have changed the way I dress and have my hair very little since my 30's. I wouldn't choose the long hair and mini skirts of my youth, not because it's socially unacceptable...feeling comfortable is what matters.
The young do like to be different, and 'edgy'. Have you noticed the one fashion that has lasted, and lasted? Ripped jeans. Do you think this is because most fashions start with the young, and are gradually accepted by older people; thus, wide bell bottom trousers gradually become narrower among all generations; most older people wouldn't touch ripped jeans; so they have remained a uniform for some of the younger population?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Fantastic all you rebels - I am proud of you. Keep it up. Women of the world unite!!!

Derek Faulkner said...

I'm all for women being rebellious and doing their own thing - good on them.
But still feel that they should live with the odd adverse comment that they get rather than turn it into some kind of campaign. When I and a couple of friends became the first of the long-haired hippy types in our town in the mid-1960's, we were called poofs, girls and lots worse, but we didn't write to the papers complaining about it, we just enjoyed being different.

Debby said...

I have heard it said that the weight loss that makes the biggest difference for a woman is losing the weight of everyone else's expectations.

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Emmbee said...

I wear what I like. I live by 2 mantras.
Dress for the wearer, NOT the starer,
And
Grow old Disgracefully.

Jennifer said...

Great post, Pat, and I'm enjoying the comments, too!

hart said...

My family (New Orleans) had some of the same phrases and this one for when a woman "of a certain' age wore something they judged too young for her
"Look, the old gray mare's got a new red harness."

The Weaver of Grass said...

Hart - I have never heard that before - I shall remember it!
Emmbee - I live by those mantras too
Agreed Derek - the mid sixties was probably the start of the revolution - my mother would have been horrified if I had gone out with a hippy type as you call them - but now nothing like that matters any more

Thanks everyone - as usual you have lived up to my expectations with your replies.

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