Author, activist, and TED speaker Ashton Applewhite has written a rousing manifesto calling for an end to discrimination and prejudice on the basis of age.
In our youth obsessed culture, we’re bombarded by media images and messages about the despairs and declines of our later years. Beauty and pharmaceutical companies work overtime to convince people to purchase products that will retain their youthful appearance and vitality. Wrinkles are embarrassing. Gray hair should be colored and bald heads covered with implants. Older minds and bodies are too frail to keep up with the pace of the modern working world and olders should just step aside for the new generation.
Ashton Applewhite once held these beliefs too until she realized where this prejudice comes from and the damage it does. Lively, funny, and deeply researched, This Chair Rocks traces her journey from apprehensive boomer to pro-aging radical, and in the process debunks myth after myth about late life. Explaining the roots of ageism in history and how it divides and debases, Applewhite examines how ageist stereotypes cripple the way our brains and bodies function, looks at ageism in the workplace and the bedroom, exposes the cost of the all-American myth of independence, critiques the portrayal of elders as burdens to society, describes what an all-age-friendly world would look like, and offers a rousing call to action.
It’s time to create a world of age equality by making discrimination on the basis of age as unacceptable as any other kind of bias. Whether you’re older or hoping to get there, this book will shake you by the shoulders, cheer you up, make you mad, and change the way you see the rest of your life. Age pride!
“Wow. This book totally rocks. It arrived on a day when I was in deep confusion and sadness about my age. Everything about it, from my invisibility to my neck. Within four or five wise, passionate pages, I had found insight, illumination, and inspiration. I never use the word empower, but this book has empowered me.”
—Anne Lamott, New York Times bestselling author
In this lively, entertaining book, Applewhite mixes her personal experiences and opinions about growing old with an exploration of society's attitudes about age, debunking myths and exposing ageism. Author (Cutting Loose) and blogger (Yo, Is This Ageist?) Applewhite uses an enormous number of sources, including books, interviews with experts, and research studies, to examine aging in America. She uncovers quite a few problems "I see ageism everywhere" and tempers them with recommendations for changing the conversation and inciting social change, suggesting ways to "push back" against, for example, antiaging rhetoric. She covers topics of all kinds, such as isolation (a fertile environment for disease), sex and intimacy, and the role of work and how companies can better accommodate older workers. She works hard to discuss and correct common misperceptions about aging. Her humor, high-energy writing, and emphasis on positive ways to view and experience age contribute to making this a valuable resource, an agent for social change, and an enjoyable read. (BookLife)