What happens to women’s image as they grow older? How does modern society regard them?
The issue with advancing age amongst the female population is always discussed in every form of media, from the local newspaper to the top rating talk TV shows in which women are predominantly featured. They are talked about, advised, criticized, admired and looked upon as the backbone of the family. She is the one who is always there to provide comfort security and help, not only to her husband and children but extending herself to her grandchildren and in many instances the great grandchildren. So, is this the only role the older woman is relegated to? Is this the only thing she is now qualified to do? Is this how society sees and ultimately caters for her? Someone who’s job is to make younger people life easier?
Many will disagree, vehemently. arguing that today’s grandmother is no longer the little old lady who stays home baking delicious cakes for the family who will be visiting her. She is the one who gathers the family around the table on Christmas day and all the other festivities. She is always available to babysit at a moment’s notice without being asked if she is shelving other plans. Today she is the retired person who has been part of the work force which through her efforts has contributed to the modern development of society. This she has done through the various schools in which she helped restructure education and bring forward a curriculum more suited to the new technology literate generation. She is the one who relentlessly reinforced the love of sport participation in both males and females that has made many countries sporting nations to be feared both in the pool and on the track field by getting the children to the their events in the early hours of the morning to the late times of the day… A countless number of them have held leading jobs in the professional and industrial world which has brought the status of women to the high level they have today. This is apparent in School Principal positions, the law. In medicine, the armed forces, the finance sector: why, some are even being considered to be able to fly commercial planes! And who was the driving force to change the label from ‘old’ to senior’? Women of course! In retirement their contribution in all the different clubs is of the outmost importance as it is their vitality which keeps members active and going.
It cannot be denied that women have been the driving force in every sphere of society from the lowest payed cleaner to the highest medical officer in charge of a large medical institution.
But what senior women do not seem to have conquered is the fact that once they reach that magical sixtieth they start to become invisible. The younger recruits are sought after for new ideas. For position with responsibility even though they do not have the experience: It is the young executive who is chosen to be the face of the progressive establishment.
To follow on from this, society also forgets them. The media in all its aspects regards all older women as the forgotten generation. No matter how good and effective they may look, They are only good enough to be used for ‘homely’ advertising, such as the kind elderly grandmother smiling from a plastic bottle of laundry detergent, whereas the shampoo and conditioner displays young sexy women enticing she shopper with her beguiling smile to pick her up and try her out.
It can be argued that when both men and women reach a certain age, they should enjoy a restful retirement and allow the next generation to take the reins. There is no argument about that, but what this argument look on is the women do not become old and useless at the age of sixty. There are actually fifteen very good, if not excellent years in which women with so much knowledge and experience can contribute to the wealth of a modern society.
This argument can be taken further by taking a look at major industries. In this sphere it can be said with a certain amount of assurance that the majority of leading personnel are men of quite an advanced age. In their jobs they are esteemed and their judgement respected because of the vast experience; they are always at the forefront of everything. Yes it is true that there are some token cases of older females being quite powerful, such as judges and movie actors, but no more come to mind: in the majority of cases a leading person is always a man, very rarely a woman.
At a time and age when contribution effort, energy, experience and ability to guide are the main contributors seen as the most important aspect of employment, when it comes to women these factors appear to be forgotten or not relevant- at the age of sixty a woman becomes obsolete.