In February, a Senate Legislative Subcommittee heard testimony on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. Before a packed room, women of all ages turned out to testify why the Equal Rights Amendment was so important that it literally changed their lives, causing a ripple affect in the cultural fabric of society that fostered the notion of equality, independence, self recognition, and individual identity for future generations to come.
Today, women and minorities are advancing in all fields because of those selfless advocates that fought for equal rights...and while there are new battles being fought for fairness and equality, the war against ageism looms on. Discrimination against age continues in the workplace, home front, shopping, entertainment and in health care. In spite of the number of adults becoming Baby Boomers, aging into seniorhood, ageism is prevalent throughout society, the media, and among younger generations. In the book “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism,” author Ashton Applewhite raises the question of aging in America and Ageism. “From childhood on, we’re barraged by messages that it’s sad to be old. That wrinkles are embarrassing, and old people useless,” she writes.
Applewhite wrote “This Chair Rocks” as a apprehensive boomer to proaging radical, debunking myths, denial, and stereotypes that prevent people from aging well, dealing with negatively as to how the brain and body functions, how aging is dealt with in the workplace, in the bedroom, affecting selfimage and sefworth. It exposes the allAmerican myth of independence, that insist that older adults are a burden to society, their families, and will drain lifesavings outliving retirement planning.
Applewhite’s book challenges many preconceptions, forcing the reader to embrace all ages of life as a call to action. “Like racism and sexism, ageism serves a social and economic purpose: to legitimize and sustain inequalities between groups. It’s not about how we look. It’s about how people in power assign meaning to how we look.”
Applewhite advocates for people of all ages to foster an equitable society, one that is intergenerational in collaboration, challenging behaviors and attitudes that hold people back, but instead to create language and support in every stage in life.
“This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism” is published in paperback at SKU 9780996934701, $20.