By Toni M. Calasanti
This quantity of unique chapters is designed to convey recognition to a overlooked quarter of feminist scholarship - getting older. After numerous many years of feminist reviews we're now good trained of the complicated ways in which gender shapes the lives of ladies and males. equally, we all know extra approximately how gendered energy kinfolk interface with race and ethnicity, type and sexual orientation. severe theorizing of outdated age and age family members to gender represents the subsequent frontier of feminist scholarship. during this quantity, major nationwide and overseas feminist students of getting older take first steps during this course, illuminating how age kinfolk engage with different social inequalities, really gender. In doing so, the authors problem and remodel feminist scholarship and lots of taken with no consideration thoughts in gender studies.
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Additional info for Age matters : realigning feminist thinking
Like the gerontologists she critiques, Friedan focuses exclusively on the problems and pathologies of nursing home life. But she also recognizes the paradox: “I admit my own overwhelming dread and prejudice against nursing homes. In ten years of research, no data has emerged to counteract my impression of nursing homes as death sentences, the final internment from which there is no exit but death” (Friedan 1993: 510). In The Fountain of Age, then, Friedan chooses to explore the years between ages sixty and eighty, before disability and dependence set in—later life rather than “deep old age” (Twigg 2004).
Friedan later took a job for the newsletter of the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America, for which she wrote a pamphlet denouncing the exploitation of women workers and arguing equal pay for equal work. She extended this argument in a second pamphlet, written in 1953, called “Women Fight for a Better Life! ” While she wrote for the newsletter, Friedan took economics classes with other Smith sisters at the Jefferson School of Social Science in New York, which she describes in Life So Far as “the educational enterprise run, I suppose, by the Communist party” (Friedan 2000: 65).
Just as women were unable to imagine themselves past youth, marriage, and motherhood, most of us in midlife, men and women alike, are unable to imagine ourselves past seventy, eighty, or ninety. While this identity crisis has profound social and political consequences, I focus here on the consequences to feminist studies, concluding with recommendations for working with and beyond the legacy of Betty Friedan. indb 24 6/13/06 9:20:21 AM The Personal as Political • 25 We begin, then, with a discussion of The Feminine Mystique and what it reveals about Friedan’s own identity and age consciousness at age forty-two.