In Our Prime: How Older Women Are Reinventing the Road Ahead by Susan J. Douglas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My favorite part of this book is the chapter on pop culture's depiction of older women: Chapter 5, "Visibility Revolts." The Golden Girls, Murder, She Wrote and Grace and Frankie are discussed in detail. Chapter 2, "Why the Seventies Mattered," talks about the sweeping societal and legislative changes in America, and also discusses a woman I never heard of, Maggie Kuhn, the founder of the Gray Panthers. The chapter is summed up thusly:
So don't waste your time with CNN-style quizzes about who played Starsky and who played Hutch. The 1970s was nothing less than a major, national upheaval in gender relations that profoundly shaped the fortunes and fate of millions of young and middle-aged women (and men too), and it continues to do so today. Maggie Kuhn was paying it forward to us. She promoted a visibility revolt that had real consequences. Let's have a drink in her honor, and then let's pick up her torch.
In this book, the author advocates for "lifespan feminism," which she defines thusly: "which sees the issues facing older women as part of a continuum of concern, attention, and activism that begins with the well-being of girls and young women and sees feminism as a mainstay and resource throughout the entire arc of a woman's life." As this book points out, just because a woman gets older, and moves beyond her childbearing years, doesn't mean she needs feminism less. This is a well-written, thoughtful book for feminists of any age.
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