An open invitation to Caitlyn Jenner

This post is by Sheila Roher, MPH, a veteran of the feminist and LGBT movements, who advocates a social movement approach to transform our social imagination around longevity. After studying with Dr. Robert Butler at Columbia University, she worked with “Age Friendly NYC” at the New York Academy of Medicine. She is the founder of Radical Age Lab, a social enterprise business, and is working on a book about aging in the 21st century.

 

“I am a woman,” George told me. “I’ve always felt like a woman.”  

Having the Talk—not the one about sex, the one about dying

A close friend’s grandfather is dying, though no one knows how close to death he is—perhaps months away. Even his doctor seems clueless, although perhaps he’s just not saying. In any case, he’s not asking. And even if everything were in the open and everyone on the same page—a pipe dream, I realize—no playbook would reveal itself. Dying is a concatenation of unpredictable events.

 

Declaring independence from ageism

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The Changing Aging blog declared Independence from Ageism on the Fourth of July and named four "incredible leaders to wage this war: Dr. Bill Thomas; the late Dr. Robert Butler, who coined the term ageism; Ronni Bennett, elder-blogger extraordinaire; and Ashton Applewhite, the Imperator Furiosa of anti-ageism." Played by Charlize Theron, Furiosa is the main protagonist of this summer's Mad Max: Fury Road movie, and she is seriously badass. Make my day, and what great company to be keeping. Saddle up!

Is a generation of powerful women turning age into an advantage? Not exactly.

"Could the current cohort of eminent women in their 60s herald an era when aging, for women, ceases to be an enemy, and even becomes a friend?” asks Liza Mundy in the current issue of the Atlantic. (And could that magazine actually be taking a progressive position on aging?) As she observes, it’s an intriguing idea and also a profoundly counterintuitive one, given the notorious dearth of women in the halls of power.

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