Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Now that I am retired, I have the time to open every email and click on any link which interests me. Today I spent some time exploring the website of Maria Shriver’s 2009 California Women's Conference which has as a major theme The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything—the “seismic shift” since women have become half of the American workforce.
One of the conference links explores generational difference:“The XX Effect: From Generation to Generation. What Do Women Want?” Access the website:
I was struck by the responses to "What do women want?” broken down into “twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties plus? Why “sixties plus?” Why collapse the experiences of women in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s into one category?
Surely the issues that women face in their 80’s are different from those faced in their 60’s? The 60’s are the decade when women contemplate retirement. Can I handle it economically and psychologically? Should I transition to retirement through reduced work load (assuming that’s an option)? How can I make the most of my retirement years?
By their 70’s, most women have left the work force and different issues emerge. As a retiree who recently turned 65, I would have like to have learned about the experiences of women in their 70’s, as I try to get a handle on what may lie ahead, assuming I get there.
When I was in my early 50’s, I became aware of the invisibility of older women, but I am still surprised when I see this in organizations/websites dedicated to the empowerment of women.
What’s behind this? Is it fear of old age? The women featured in the “sixties plus” category looked like they were in their 50’s—-a nod to our society’s obsession with youth which would have been a lot more difficult to pull off if there had been sections on women in their the 70’s, 80’s.
As the baby boom generation ages, just maybe we will see more honesty about age.