Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fear of 36... Err... 50

For those of you naysayers that may think all I do is clean, teach Sunday School, occasionally query magazines, Ebay and stand forlornly at the window wondering how my babies flew the coop and are now in college (well, it's not for 15 years, but I think ahead which is nice for my anxiety) it turns out I sometimes read.

I'm currently reading a book called "Fear of Fifty" by Erica Jong. While some of her rants are a bit on the pedantic side for me, I have to agree with so much of what she says about a society that puts women in the grave the moment they get a wrinkle. She is smart, sarcastic, and is probably on a much higher dosage of Zoloft than me. So for that last credit to her name, I give you a quote:

"I look around me at fifty and see the women of my generation coping with getting older. They are perplexed, and the answer to their perplexity is not another book on hormones. The problem goes deeper than menopause, face-lifts, or whether to fuck younger men. It has to do with the whole image of self in a culture in love with youth and out of love with women as human beings. We are terrified at fifty because we do not know what on earth we can become when we are no longer young and cute. As at every stage of our lives, there are no role models for us. Twenty-five years of feminism (and backlash) then feminism again - and we still stand at the edge of an abyss. What to become now that our hormones have let us go?"

Who else wants to stand up and applaud this woman (with the hands that show our real age) for saying it like it is? And who can give this book to Lindsey Lohan, or Paris Hilton, or the executives who think that's all we women care about? And who can be there to talk to my daughter at 13 when she wonders why her six foot, healthy frame isn't being shown on the magazine covers?

It's so much easier now that my little Pipsqueak still gets excited over the word "quack". I hope this culture doesn't turn me into one.


Teri M. said...

Amen, sistah.

meno said...

I like Erica, she's sassy. I think i'll get that book. That is an excellent quote.

kim said...

*claps and stuff*
Women of Substance thats what we are now....(that was a book i think) We arent starlets and air heads or party girls ... were Moms we've grown up and learned a lot on the journey, I for one am proud of my 46 years and look forward to the next 46 ....and one day i'll be the old wise one everyone wants to listen to :)