From childhood on, we’re barraged by messages that it’s sad to be old. That wrinkles are embarrassing, and old people incompetent. Author and activist Ashton Applewhite believed them too, until she dug into where this prejudice comes from and the damage it does. Pointing out that we are all old or future old, Applewhite explains the roots of ageism in society and between our own ears, and lays out the personal and professional consequences for women in particular. What makes aging different for women—and so much harder than it has to be? How does the double whammy of ageism and sexism affect women’s health, income, and well-being? How does competing to “stay young” dig the hole deeper? In this provocative talk, Applewhite proposes throwing away the damn shovel, forging cross-generational compacts, and collaborating on new ways of thinking and behaving. The women’s movement taught us to claim our power; a pro-aging movement will teach us to hold onto it.
Author and activist Ashton Applewhite has been recognized by the New York Times, the New Yorker, National Public Radio, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. She blogs at This Chair Rocks, speaks widely at venues that have ranged from the United Nations to the TED mainstage, has written for Harper’s, the Guardian, and the New York Times, and is the voice of Yo, Is This Ageist? The author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, Ashton is a leading spokesperson for a movement to mobilize against discrimination on the basis of age