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Lynne Segal

The Scandal of Ageing

As Segal illustrates copiously in Out of Time: The Pleasure & Perils of Ageing, across times and places older women, although usually devoid of power, have been feared and mocked as troublemakers if not, in harsher times, condemned as witches. It is the ageing female body that everyone, including women themselves, has found so hard not to fear or disdain, and this is seen especially in representations of ageing female flesh. Culturally, the pressure is on all of us, but especially women, to remain forever young, with endless false promises for keeping us that way. Even with the best of intentions, those wanting to overcome the disparaging ways we are aged by culture have thought in terms of agelessness, suggesting the old are little different from the young. Yet such age-blindness is itself a subtle expression of age prejudice, stripping old people of their history, and leaving the obsession with youth unchallenged. Perhaps old women need to begin ageing scandalously, to beat back the scandals of ageing

Participants: Lynne Segal, Laura Huerga Ayza

22 March 2017