January 23, 2011
WS Gender, Power, and Privilege
Dr. Joelle Ruby Ryan
1.) After reading more about ageist oppression, I must admit I have acted as an agent for ageism in the past. I now realize the ways in which I have given truth to ageism, as the negative connotations that the stereotypical ‘old person’ has been depicted as has lingered in the back of my mind ever since I can remember. From the ways in which I complain about their driving skills, to the times I have laughed at the disparaging humor that pokes fun at the elderly, I have perpetrated ageist discrimination. Ageist stereotypes have become an internalized idea that is firmly rooted within our socio-cultural attitudes, that center around a person’s ability and age. Society perpetuates ageist oppression without fully being aware of the many ways it exists within our daily lives and cultural norms. Whether or not a person can admit to the ways in which they perpetrate ageist oppression, I believe ageist oppression is further enabled by society’s ignorance to ageist prejudices, as it is a form of discrimination that people often fail to acknowledge. Society perpetrates a societal norm that fuels ageist oppression by the ways in which they ignore the systemic and marginalized practices that subjects a person’s worth based upon their attributed age.
Until recently, I haven’t really given second thought to the many instances in which everyday socio-cultural practices center upon adultist power and privilege. Society, as well as well as myself, perpetuate an ageist, socio-cultural atmosphere, through the ways in which we identify old people as less human, or incompetent beings that are boring, stinky, and cranky. At the same time, the youth generation is seen as disrespectful, arrogant, spoiled and ungrateful, even criminal. And in turn, this oppressive indifference has habituated a subconscious, cyclical, ageist ideal that is rooted deeply within our societal practices...