Age and gender intersect, often lowering quality of life for older women. Microlevel patterns include ignoring older women in one’s presence, flattening their identities to only their status as older women. Macrolevel patterns include the erasure of older women, with cultural (media) representations, organizational practices and policies and social policies that ignore the existence of older women or distort their characteristics in ways that diminish the likelihood of equitable treatment. Using autoethnography, conversations with a small group of older women, and scholarly and popular literature, we describe varieties of microlevel experiences and responses to them. Focusing on macrolevel erasure, we describe some of the effects of combined ageism and sexism, and we look at activists’ and organizational responses aimed at changing public awareness and attitudes toward age and gendering. Policy changes are suggested to make the social treatment of older women more equitable, including attention to housing, health care, and public education. We note specific past achievements that demonstrate policy change is possible.
Chasin, B.H. and Kramer, L. (2022), "Ageism and Sexism: Invisibility and Erasure", Segal, M.T. and Demos, V. (Ed.) Gender Visibility and Erasure (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 33), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 127-144. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-212620220000033015
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