Hello Oprah - An Elder Advocate's Appeal

The last time Oprah Winfrey was mentioned on my blog was the occasion of the launch of her magazine O in 2005. With the exception of single, short paragraphs from Maya Angelou and Linda Ellerbee who had some wise words about growing old, the 320 pages of that first issue overflowed with stories and advertisements promoting youth and beauty reinforcing, as I wrote in 2005, “our ageist culture’s demand to put a bag over our heads when the first wrinkle appears.” ...more

This is a pleasant surprise, not the Oprah appeal, but seeing your post at BlogHer. :-)  I ...more

The Supreme Court Abortion Decision

A Supreme Court ruling on 18 April 2007, upheld a law banning late-term abortion with no provision for the health of the mother. In addition, the law is so broadly written that many legal experts believe it leaves the door wide open for individual states to further restrict abortion. Many already have by making life so dangerous for physicians who performed abortions that there is no clinic or hospital within hundreds of miles that will do it. You may think, because old women are past child-bearing age, that this is not an elder issue. You would be wrong because: ...more

 I love these pro-choicers who want to keep morality out of laws. You can't do that, that is ...more

Dr. Kane Answers Questions on Long-Term Care

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a story about a remarkably good book about long-term care: It Should Be This Way: The Failure of Long-Term Care. One of it's authors, Dr. Robert L. Kane, agreed to take questions from readers. I also posted the story on my blog, Time Goes By. Here are his answers: ...more

A Blast From the Past – the E.R.A.

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification. Lost in the brouhaha last week in the matter of Kathy Sierra, was an announcement that federal and state lawmakers are launching a new drive to pass the Equal Rights Amendment proposed in 1972. What a blast from the past. ...more

I remember when I learned that the ERA was never passed. I thought it had when I was a kid and ...more

The Matter of Kathy Sierra

My issue, my main interest, my reason to be in the blogosphere is the topic of aging. If I can’t relate a post to aging, I don’t write it – at least not for Time Goes By and BlogHer. But a second strong interest, as a member of fairly long standing, is blogging itself and I try to keep up. It was on Monday that I first learned of the Kathy Sierra issue from a listserv at BlogHer. That evening there were few opinions, just links to Kathy’s post wherein she explains her reasons for canceling a speaking engagement and dropping out of the blogosphere: “I've been getting death threat comments on this blog. But that's not what pushed me over the edge. What finally did it was some disturbing threats of violence and sex posted on two other blogs...” There have since been what must be a millions of words from bloggers with, I have no doubt, at least an equal amount in the works (including this post). Most I have read are in support of Kathy, rightly deploring the atmosphere of fear, hate and misogyny the threats create. But before the commentary buries the original issue, I’d like to explain my initial reaction to Kathy’s post. ...more
I am not too lazy to write an academic paper. I just do not have time for writing. Thus, I need ...more

You Need To Know These Things About Long-Term Care

If you haven’t already, it is not unlikely that you will one day find yourself caring for an aging, sick relative. Once upon a time, this kind of caregiving was done at home and indeed, when I was a child, many of my friends and playmates helped with that care. “I can’t go to swimming today, Ronni,” they would say. “I have to take care of gramps while mom goes shopping.” Today, for a variety of reasons, home care is frequently impossible, or impractical, so you will need some form of professional long-term care. And it will not be easy: “[Long-term care] is the country’s best-kept embarrassing secret. Almost every adult in this country will either enter a nursing home or have to deal with a parent or other relative who does. Few people, however…are prepared to deal with a system that is seriously flawed.” ...more

I have the good fortune to have a grounded, realistic mother who is almost 85 and who still ...more

Elder Fashion – An Oxymoron

I am 5 feet 2 and for decades I weighed 110-115 pounds. My body (as opposed to me) has always wanted to weigh more and for forty years following puberty, I counted every forkful that went into my mouth to maintain my svelte figure. Inevitably, the number on the bathroom scale would creep up (I like to cook and I’m good at it). The panic point was 125 at which time I redoubled my exercise efforts, filled the refrigerator with gallons of V8 juice and pared off the excess. It’s not fun to lose weight. I know; I’ve done it dozens of times. But it’s not hard either. Well, it’s not hard until menopause after which, weight loss requires super-human effort. It is exhausting and, I suspect for many in addition to me, a (non)losing battle. So one day about ten years ago, I wondered what would happen if I stopped thinking about my body size and ate anything I wanted. ...more

ey Ronni, great article! Fashion to me is meant to represent your personal style. I don't like ...more

Generations of Feminism

I have recently been taken to task via private email by a reader of my Time Goes By blog. For the second time in as many months I’m accused of being “defensive” about feminist ideas. Among my various sins this time was including men in an important ageist issue. (“There are always women who need to come to the defense of men.”) Another transgression, apparently, is not giving elderblogging a feminist spin. The writer says she is feeling discomfort with elderblogging (although she is referencing my blog specifically) because ”it's [sic] primary mode is reflection on the past, being ‘nice’ in traditional ways, and not raising the hard questions.” ...more

Are some feminists incapable of learning from history? I can't believe there are well-meaning ...more

Wine, Foie Gras and Women’s Longevity

French women of a certain region in their country have the longest life expectancy of anyone on Earth except the Japanese. This in spite of the fact that Cahors, in the Midi-Pyrenees area that is their home, is famous for its foie gras and red wine. The Washington Post reports: “Women in the more temperate Meditteranean countries – France, Spain and Italy – tend to live longer than those in colder northern countries. The trends are also reflected within France itself: Women from southern areas where olive oil and duck fat are more prevalent in diets have longer life spans than those from northern areas, where diets include more butter, beef and pork, according to demographers.” ...more

It might be also moderation in emotions, especially negaive ones :)
I have often heard very old ...more

Betty Friedan – 1921 – 2006

Last Sunday was the first anniversary of the death of Betty Friedan. Without her seminal book, The Feminine Mystique, published in 1964, BlogHer might not be here today because the women’s movement of the mid-20th century would not have got off the ground. Or, at least, not as soon as it did. Ms. Friedan was a giant influence in my life. Although I never met her, it is not going too far to say that she changed the direction of my life. When I finished high school, few “girls” went to college and the only jobs reasonably open to us were secretary, waitress, teacher and nurse. Fortunately Betty came along when I was in my twenties to teach me and every other woman that we could aim for something more or different. ...more

in my desire to upchuck on every single Chrysler. Instead, I'll just do what I wanted Betty ...more