Ey up, is this ageist?
“Ageism is everywhere yet it is the most socially normalised of any prejudice.”
(World Health Organization)
At Age Proud Leeds we know that ageism is all too common, and we want to shine a light on it! So, if you think you’ve seen, heard or done something ageist, please share it with us and we may publish it on this page, and write what we think about it.
By talking about it and exploring why something is ageist, we can start to break down ageist assumptions and stereotypes that are so harmful to us all.
We were inspired by Ashton Applewhite's brilliant Yo, Is This Ageist? to do our own Yorkshire version.
Ey up...is this ageist?
Jo from Stanningley sent this image taken in a train station, and questioned whether it was ageist?
This is an interesting one. Whyte & MacKay are saying that a 50 year old whisky is a good thing, a quality thing .... something money can't buy. By referring to the viewer as someone who looks like they would fancy a 50 year old (person) are they countering ageist stereotypes (of older people not being fanciable)? Perhaps. But through making a point of it, as something to get the attention of passers-by, are they also highlighting that fancying 50 year olds is something remarkable, something funny, that would cause us to stop and stare?
What do you think?
Lucy from Horsforth sent us this:
I was watching a review of Wimbledon 2019 when. The narrator said of the final between Djokovic and Federer, "This is no place for old men", presumably in reference to Roger Federer's age.
Thank you Lucy. Roger Federer is 38 years old, and a great tennis player regardless of his age. During last year's Wimbledon I remember despairing at the numerous times per match the commentators mentioned Federer’s age: "how does he still do it at his age?" Yes, age does play a part in a person's performance at the top level in sport, but it's not the only thing to take into account - skill, hard work, experience - all benefits that a player accrues with age.
'No place for old men' is a phrase which devalues older sportspeople and excludes people who are sat watching at home thinking about playing sport.
Lisa from Roundhay sent us this:
Well this starts off quite positive, until 'you can stay younger for longer, inside and out' crops up. Such phrases are common in advertising - young is good, something to aspire to and old is bad, something to be avoided. This view is rife in the beauty industry, where we see 'anti-ageing' everywhere, implicitly telling us that an older woman can't be beautiful unless she has managed to make herself look younger.
We don't agree! What's wrong with being older 'inside and out'?
Nasreen from Moortown sent us this:
Just reading comments re:life/work balance in different countries, in LinkedIn, and came across the attached comment, which no-one challenged. Warren Smith Learning Consultant @Media-Leaders said: So, first of all, the pressure on welfare systems is mostly due to aging population and ongoing attacks on the state (thereby reducing tax revenue since the 80's).
We think that an ageing population should be seen as an opportunity, not a problem. It is often stated that an ageing population will have detrimental impacts on the economy and health and care systems, and that older people are an 'economic burden' on the rest of society. But evidence shows older people contribute through work, volunteering, caring for family and friends, unpaid childcare to enable adult children to work, as well as the ‘grey pound’ spending power. Counting all of these contributions alongside the costs of social care and the NHS, older people are making an annual net contribution of £40 billion to the UK economy, predicted to rise to £77 billion by 2030. (A New Narrative on Ageing, EngAgeNet Publications, 2018)
Sean from Seacroft sent this...
I was watching a rerun of Room 101 on TV Channel, Dave. Greg Wallace, one of the 'celebrity' guests, listed one of his hates as old people in front of him at cashpoints. He feels they are too slow and hold everyone up and that they should be given their own cashpoints with big buttons on them. What he should be annoyed at is his own ignorance, lack of empathy and lack of patience!
We agree Sean. As well as the views of Greg Wallace showing a lack of empathy, we question why the BBC (and then Dave) are broadcasting these views as something to laugh at? Comments such as these feed into commonly held stereotypes about all older people being slow and unable to use technology, and are incredibly patronising and judgmental. By broadcasting them these stereotypes are reinforced as 'normal' and 'ok' and even 'funny' to the millions of people watching at home. If somebody (regardless of age) did need longer at a cash machine, we should be showing kindness and understanding to them. Having said that, the idea of a cash machine with bigger buttons is not a bad idea and would probably be of benefit to lots of people!