Eighty is Different
Body Work

Older Women Rock

I’m OK with being eighty.  But I wouldn’t have minded if I had been born five years later. Then I might have been a bra-burning-1960’s-feminist. I might not have been expected to be a teacher because I failed to get a husband in college.

So imagine how pleased I was to see “Older and in Power, Unwilling to Remain Unseen” on the front page of The New York Times a week ago. 

Whatever you think of Nancy Pelosi, she is Speaker of the House at age seventy-eight. And Glen Close just beat out four younger nominees to win the Golden Globe for best actress at age seventy-one.  There are 127 freshmen women in the new Congress and the oldest of them, Donna Shalala, is turning seventy-eight. Susan Zirinsky, at sixty-six, will take over CBS news in March.

Of course, we still have a long way to go. Movies have few roles for women over sixty.  Corporate boards were only 17.3% female last year.  But California has just passed a law that mandates at least one woman on every board.

Much to celebrate. Much to be done. 



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