Why are men and women in the public eye viewed differently when it comes to age? For people approaching 70 or way past that age, you’re not too old to run for office, but you may be too smart to run for office. Hillary Rodham Clinton will be 69 by Election Day 2016. That’s the same age Ronald Regan reached when first elected in 1980, yet those who appeal to motivate young voters say she’s old and tired. See, “Dark side of social media: age discrimination – CBS News.”
Can age discrimination ruin the health of seniors who want to stay involved and active in life? See, “Facebook Encourages Age Discrimination, Negative Age.” According to that article, Yale researchers found a Facebook posting that read, “Everyone over the age of 69 should immediately face a firing squad.” That’s enough to make a senior sick of trying to engage in life with people of all ages from all backgrounds.
That’s one example of what Yale researchers found on Facebook that led them to conclude the social media giant is a platform for negative age stereotyping. Yale researchers, led by Becca Levy, associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health, analyzed the site descriptions of publicly accessible Facebook groups that focused on older persons, says the March 13, 2013 Huffington Post article by Ann Brenoff.
The sites, referred to in that Huffington Post article, with a combined 25,000 members, were created by the energy of youth that competes against the wisdom of age. Social media postings often are uploaded by younger people in the age 20 to 29 range, according to a Yale School of Public Health press release.
The Huffington Post article noted that the study found that the elderly were ‘vilified’ on three-quarters of the Facebook sites examined, and noted that “In some cases, executing the aged was proposed.” Having once subscribed to a Facebook site that supposedly was for senior citizens, instead, pages contained cartoon making fun of older adults, poking fun at some of the health issues seniors face while aging, as if illness, age, or health issues are a joke to younger people.
Many older adults don’t find that type of putting down older people to lift up the self-confidence of youth ‘amusing.’ It’s just not a healthy trend when intergenerational groups are not included in the circle of social media. It’s a type of apartheid separating youth from wise older folks. A sign of insecurity on which side?
Is running for office a healthy trend for folks over age 70?
Check out the article, “Princeton University – Researchers chart new path for study of ageism.” As senior citizens, are you tired of hearing youth tell you that you’re too old and tired to run for public office just at a time when you couldn’t feel better? You may want to check out the sites, “Morning Read: ‘He Was Too Old and Too Tired to Drive to Albany,” and “Republicans Paint Clinton as Old News for 2016 Presidential Election.”
It seems when a woman reaches 70, the media rants use words such as old and tired, but when a man of the same age runs for various offices, he’s experienced with the wisdom of age. See, “Should There Be An Age Limit To Run For Office? – HuffPost Live.” And you may wish to check out, “No, Hillary Clinton is not too old to be president – Salon.com.” See, “At 69, will Hillary Clinton be too old to run for president in 2016 – Quora.”
Actually, both males and females are likely to be addressed (by youth) in the media as “old and tired” when they seek public office or run for any type of election. Men are more likely to be called old timers by bus drivers and similar workers. Women are more likely to be labeled as wandering with dementia. The picture isn’t pretty for vigorous seniors working on improving their health by staying busy.
It seems it’s fine to serve as a senior volunteer, but seeking public office or a job in public relations is sorely in need ‘fresh’ faces, at least that’s what’s heard in numerous professional societies catering to media professionals and public relations executives. Check out the article, “Ageism in Advertising…Is it Accurate? | Beyond Madison Avenue.”
Interestingly, when a man is too old to run for office, the news headline may say he’s too smart to run for office. But when a woman wants to run for office and the headlines say she’s too old, often they don’t add the words, “too smart.” It seems the only older runners that get kudos in the news are those who actually are physically running as in marathons, where older runners run for fitness rather than for office. See, “Older runners | Running for Fitness.”
When women run for office, it’s often: “You can fool Mother Nature, but you can’t fool Father Time”
How many politicians would trade the energy of youth for the wisdom of age and still style themselves as fit with “vim and vigor?” Age is not only a matter of being in the eye of the beholder, a matter of interpretation, but also is viewed differently in the media if the person running for office is male or female. See, “How Old Is Too Old? : Blog Of The Nation: NPR.”
Check out, “Senator Frank Lautenberg Is Too Old to Run for Reelection.” See, “Win your next campaign – NGP VAN – ngpvan.com.” Apparently, age and office is open to interpretation. The young may see the old as experienced or as tired. The old may see their peers as experienced, distinguished, and sharers of wisdom. The young may look first at energy, freshness and charisma. People often are viewed like celery, if it snaps when bent, it’s fresh and has buzz appeal. If it bends, the energy and electricity are either spent, on holiday, or somewhere else in time. Maybe it’s time for space tourism business for anyone, regardless of age.