Episode 29

ROCK YOUR AGE with Ashton Applewhite | LAYC29

When are we too old or too young, or when it is too late or too soon, to change our perceptions, expectations, and attitudes about aging?

When are we the right age to embrace that aging is an achievement and a benefit to society?

My guest today explains how ageism is “stereotyping and discrimination on the basis of a person’s age. We experience it any time someone assumes that we’re “too old” for something—a task, a haircut, a relationship—instead of finding out who we are and what we’re capable of. . .”  from the blog: https://thischairrocks.com/what-is-ageism/

Ashton Applewhite is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism 

An internationally recognized expert on ageism, she speaks widely at venues that have included the TED mainstage and the United Nations, has written for Harper’s, the Guardian, and the New York Times, and is the voice of Yo, Is This Ageist? and a co-founder of the Old School Anti-Ageism Clearinghouse

Ashton is a leading spokesperson for the emerging movement to raise awareness of ageism and to dismantle it.            

An internationally recognized expert on ageism, she speaks widely at venues that have included the TED mainstage and the United Nations, has written for Harper’s, the Guardian, and the New York Times, and is the voice of Yo, Is This Ageist? and a co-founder of the Old School Anti-Ageism Clearinghouse. Ashton is a leading spokesperson for the emerging movement to raise awareness of ageism and to dismantle it.

Bonus:

TedTalk - Let's end ageism | Ashton Applewhite 

Old School is a clearinghouse of free and carefully vetted resources to educate people about ageism and help dismantle it. You’ll find blogs, books, articles, videos, speakers, and other tools (workshops, handouts, curricula etc.) that are accessible to the general public. Our goal is to help catalyze a movement to make ageism (discrimination on the basis of age) as unacceptable as any other kind of prejudice. https://oldschool.info/

 

About our Guest:

Ashton Applewhite is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism and a spokesperson for a movement to mobilize against discrimination, on the basis of age. 

In 2016, she joined the PBS site Next Avenue’s annual list of 50 Influencers in Aging as their Influencer of the Year. Applewhite has been recognized by The New York Times, National Public Radio, the New Yorker, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. 

Ashton blogs at ThisChairRocks.com, and has written for Harper’s, the Guardian, and The New York Times. 

She has been named as a Fellow by the Knight Foundation, The New York Times, Yale Law School, and the Royal Society for the Arts. 

In 2015 she was included in a list of 100 inspiring women who are committed to social change.

Applewhite is also the author of Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well and other books. 

Under the pseudonym Blanche Knott, she wrote the Truly Tasteless Jokes series, the first volume of which was the best-selling mass-market book of 1983, and was the first woman to have four books on The New York Times best-seller list

Applewhite's memoir, "Being Blanche" was published in Harper's Magazine in June 2011.

 

Twitter: Ashton Applewhite (@thischairrocks)

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ThisChairRocks

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thischairrocks

RESOURCES:

Episode 26 – We Fix You Industries

https://lift-as-you-climb.captivate.fm/episode/we-fix-you-industries

 

About the Host:

Isabel Banerjee - Your Next Business

Strategist and Transformation Catalyst

 

Dynamic, a self-made entrepreneur who overcame obstacles with an unrelenting positive nature, a farm girl work ethic, and a conscious choice to thrive rather than survive, Isabel Alexander Banerjee cultivated an award-winning, $10 million+ global chemical business and grew it from dining room table to international boardrooms.

 

Isabel’s strengths include the ability to initiate & nurture strategic relationships, a love of lifelong learning and talents for helping others maximize their potential. An inspiring speaker within both industry and community, she is a driving force behind those with the courage to follow her example of thriving against the odds.

 

With 50+ years of business experience across diverse industries, Isabel is respected as an advisor, a coach, a mentor, and a role model. She believes in sharing collective wisdom and empowering others to economic independence.

 

Founder of the Lift As You Climb Movement (www.facebook.com/groups/liftasyouclimbmovement)

and

Chief Encore Officer, The Encore Catalyst (www.theencorecatalyst.com) – an accelerator for feminine wisdom, influence, and impact.

also

Author & Speaker ‘Who Am I Now? – Feminine Wisdom Unmasked Uncensored’ (www.IsabelBanerjee.com)

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/isabelalexanderbanerjee/

 

Thank You for Listening!

It means so much that you listened to this podcast! If you know of anyone else who might find this show valuable or entertaining, please share it on your favorite social media platform.

If you have questions about this episode, please send me an email at Hello@TheEncoreCatalyst.com

 

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Transcript
Isabel:

Well, welcome back.

Isabel:

My friends in the Lift As You Climb community.

Isabel:

It's another stellar occasion to celebrate together, because I

Isabel:

have the extreme pleasure to be interviewing, to talking and meeting

Isabel:

her, virtually, for the first time...

Isabel:

Ashton Applewhite.

Isabel:

Ashton has been a very, very big part of my evolution, even

Isabel:

though she wasn't aware of it.

Isabel:

In the 10 years that I have been struggling to figure

Isabel:

out who the hell am I.

Isabel:

And the evolutionary journey that's taken me to be an author,

Isabel:

and to create an online program and now to be a podcaster...

Isabel:

She was often in my ears and in my eyes and in my thoughts.

Isabel:

So today I'd like to say, welcome to Ashton Applewhite.

Isabel:

If you don't already know who she is, she is the author of This Chair Rocks...

Isabel:

A manifesto against age-ism.

Isabel:

And this is a one sassy piece of literature.

Isabel:

It is irreverent.

Isabel:

It's true...

Isabel:

It's filled with all kinds of facts and inspirations...

Isabel:

and slam on the brakes, because you're going to give yourself a little check.

Isabel:

I believe you will.

Isabel:

I did about, wait a minute.

Isabel:

Why did I believe that?

Isabel:

Why have I been accepting that that was the truth in my life.

Isabel:

I have never been the right age.

Isabel:

According to the script provided by society in my life.

Isabel:

Now, I was a mom at 16.

Isabel:

I couldn't legally vote, drink or drive, but I was having to be self-sufficient

Isabel:

and financially independent.

Isabel:

All my life I seem to either be ahead of the c urve, or behind it.

Isabel:

So I'm really, really glad now that I can just say to hell with that, I'm making

Isabel:

up my own rules about what it feels to be me at this age and what I want to do.

Isabel:

Ashton.

Isabel:

I would love if you would set the scene for us a little bit about how the hell

Isabel:

you came to this place of writing this...

Isabel:

Manifesto, or Womanifesto, as I would like to say...

Isabel:

and why the work continues.

Isabel:

It's not done yet.

Isabel:

Right?

Ashton:

Those are two questions.

Ashton:

So how about I tackle the first one?...

Ashton:

In the middle, of which, I will forget the second part...

Ashton:

So you can remind me.

Isabel:

All right.

Ashton:

There wasn't some blinding moment of awareness for me, because I

Ashton:

am not terribly self-aware and I tend to sort of muddle my way into things.

Ashton:

And then only looking back, does it occur to me that, to have some grasp

Ashton:

of the process I just went through.

Ashton:

But I started writing and thinking about aging in my mid 50's which was 15

Ashton:

years ago now, because I was afraid of getting old and being sort of a nerdy.

Ashton:

I'm not an academic, I'm not a researcher, but I am thinky.

Ashton:

And my way into things is to, look stuff up..

Ashton:

look and see what, the science says, what the popular press says.

Ashton:

And in a matter of months, if not weeks, I came across the data points

Ashton:

that I started my Ted Talk out with...

Ashton:

a decade later...

Ashton:

That older people have better mental health than the young or middle-aged.

Ashton:

The minuscule percentage of Americans over 65 in nursing homes.

Ashton:

It was 4 and a half at that point...

Ashton:

It's down to 2.

Ashton:

The fact that dementia rates are diminishing and on and on and on.

Ashton:

And I did the same thing as you Isabel, I just smacked my forehead,

Ashton:

thought why don't we know this stuff?

Ashton:

And I became obsessed with that.

Ashton:

Why is our vision of late life so much grimmer than the reality all around us?

Ashton:

I am not a positive aging Pollyanna.

Ashton:

There are lots of legitimate things to worry about...

Ashton:

About getting older and moving through life...

Ashton:

But we never hear the other side of the story...

Ashton:

our fears are way out of proportion to reality...

Ashton:

Those fears are bad for us individually and collectively.

Isabel:

Thank you.

Isabel:

I was particularly surprised at the statistic, that now it's only 2%?

Ashton:

I've even heard 1%...

Isabel:

Really?

Ashton:

When I managed to run the numbers, I'm not all that good at

Ashton:

math, but, I finally just went back and extrapolated from the data from

Ashton:

the US Census Department, et cetera...

Ashton:

and there was more data after COVID...

Ashton:

and I got 2%.

Ashton:

That is again, of the population of Americans, over 65, in nursing homes.

Ashton:

Not all senior living, but nursing homes.

Isabel:

Right..

Isabel:

Which is completely opposite to the expectation I have.

Isabel:

fact, one of my talking points is...

Isabel:

My life set me up...

Isabel:

I was prepared by the script in North America as an adult to reach an age

Isabel:

of obsolescence, and then that I would just simply fall off a cliff.

Isabel:

I wouldn't have any impact.

Isabel:

I wouldn't have any relevance anymore...

Isabel:

And when I got closer to that cliff...

Isabel:

I went...

Isabel:

I am not going!

Isabel:

There's something wrong with this...

Isabel:

There must be a different story.

Isabel:

Thank you because you're telling the story about why we were set up to

Isabel:

expect to conform in certain ways that are not beneficial for society.

Ashton:

Especially women.

Isabel:

Especially women.

Isabel:

You're right.

Isabel:

I am not my mother or my grandmother.

Isabel:

I just don't fit into that profile.

Isabel:

And why should I?

Isabel:

Because that's not the point for me...

Isabel:

I'm lifting and climbing.

Isabel:

I know that my self, yourself, our peers...

Isabel:

have so much, that we can contribute and the impact that

Isabel:

we can have yet for decades and decades, if we continue to do so.

Ashton:

We're lucky.

Isabel:

We are, and that is true...

Isabel:

I feel extremely fortunate that I am quite healthy, physically.

Isabel:

I have no, major limitations around my physical abilities, other than

Isabel:

the fact that I don't get off the couch often enough to be as supple

Isabel:

as I say, I would like to be.

Isabel:

But my brain works and my heart works, and my ambition works.

Isabel:

And like you, I have a curious brain.

Isabel:

And so I want to keep on learning

Ashton:

Curiosity helps.

Isabel:

Curiosity definitely helps.

Isabel:

And I think perhaps that's one of the ways we can really shatter

Isabel:

this ageism is being curious and asking questions about why...

Isabel:

Why were we told that?

Isabel:

Why were we set up to expect that?

Isabel:

And why don't we present a different side of what is possible?

Ashton:

There's a scholar named Amos Wilson, who says...

Ashton:

If you want to understand any problem in America...

Ashton:

Don't look at who suffers from it, look at who profits from it.

Isabel:

Yup.

Ashton:

Who profits from our fears?

Ashton:

Who profits, when we're squabbling about who looks younger or whether

Ashton:

everything is old people's fault or everything is young people's fault?

Isabel:

Episode two ago on the podcast was the, We Fix You Industries and

Isabel:

how I am now examining how, subversive they are in their marketing to me

Isabel:

to convince me that I'm not enough.

Ashton:

Satisfaction doesn't sell...

Ashton:

No one makes any money off it.

Isabel:

That's why the six o'clock news is gory and bloody.

Isabel:

Okay.

Isabel:

I did ask you two questions.

Isabel:

the, other question was, what is the work yet to be done?

Isabel:

how do we advance this enlightenment?

Ashton:

What we need to change the role of older people in society.

Ashton:

Primarily...

Ashton:

Although I want to say, that ageism is any judgment about a person or a

Ashton:

group of people on the basis of age...

Ashton:

And younger people do experience a lot of it.

Ashton:

Quips like...

Ashton:

Kids today...

Ashton:

To reduce it to the minimum.

Ashton:

That's an ageist judgment as well.

Ashton:

But we do live in a youth obsessed society, and older

Ashton:

people do bear the brunt of that.

Ashton:

We need a grassroots movement like the women's movement.

Ashton:

Think what that did to revolutionize the voice and visibility

Ashton:

of women around the world.

Ashton:

And we need an anti-ageism movement on the same scale.

Ashton:

I would never presume to tell anyone, what to join.

Ashton:

One very good piece of advice I got when writing my book

Ashton:

was don't use the word should.

Ashton:

The world would be intolerable if it were full of activists, but all change

Ashton:

starts within as the saying goes.

Ashton:

So the first hardest, most unpleasant, most necessary task is

Ashton:

for each of us to look at our own attitudes towards age and aging.

Ashton:

Because each of us is biased.

Ashton:

We grow up or Raj by, messages, starting with children's books and Disney movies...

Ashton:

About how awful it is to get old, how tragic it is to

Ashton:

encounter any form of disability.

Ashton:

And that becomes part of our identity.

Ashton:

Unless we do really hard work to question where these beliefs come

Ashton:

from and what purpose they serve.

Ashton:

Even if that's all you do and I'm putting giant air quotes around the ALL,

Ashton:

because it is the hardest task of all...

Ashton:

Is to look at your own attitudes towards aging and compare them with the reality...

Ashton:

Whether that means simply opening your eyes and looking at the

Ashton:

older people around you or...

Ashton:

Reading my book, or going to...

Ashton:

There's a website that I co-founded, called the Old School Anti Age-ism

Ashton:

Clearing House, oldschool.info is the URL, everything is free except the books.

Ashton:

The more you know about aging, the less fear it holds.

Ashton:

And I'm not making that up.

Ashton:

I used to quote a study from AARP and the University of Southern

Ashton:

California, that I know it by heart.

Ashton:

Less fear about aging is associated with more knowledge of the aging process.

Ashton:

So educate yourself...

Ashton:

Partly because our fears are so out of proportion, but also, because these

Ashton:

facts they're not hard to find, but they are not at the top of the culture.

Ashton:

But noodle around...

Ashton:

and you will learn.

Ashton:

As you said, at the beginning of this, how many of your

Ashton:

conceptions are not fact based.

Ashton:

That is, along with getting off the couch...

Ashton:

Which is not my forte either...

Ashton:

That is very good for your health.

Ashton:

There are all sorts of studies that show that attitudes towards aging

Ashton:

affect the way our minds and bodies function at the cellular level.

Ashton:

So do it.

Ashton:

You don't have to want to be an activist, you don't have to want to go to the

Ashton:

barricades, but do it for your own health.

Ashton:

A movement needs a million voices.

Ashton:

You are advancing the movement by starting a podcast.

Ashton:

Someone else could advance the movement just by not buying

Ashton:

horrible birthday cards, that say disgusting things about older people.

Ashton:

Someone else could do it by speaking out, when someone calls them

Ashton:

sweetie, or deary, or young lady...

Ashton:

Just say...

Ashton:

What do you mean by that?

Ashton:

Right?...

Ashton:

And let that uncomfortable silence sit there, because ageism

Ashton:

still goes largely unremarked.

Ashton:

And it's going to take all of us little actions and big actions by

Ashton:

all of us to change the culture.

Isabel:

I'm confident that we will.

Isabel:

Because there are so many of us.

Isabel:

And when I say us, I'm very close to the same age as you,

Isabel:

and the baby boomer generation.

Isabel:

There are so many of us...

Isabel:

That if we start waking us all up to how we think about ourselves...

Isabel:

and then, that begins to trickle down through all of the people around us...

Isabel:

Our families...

Isabel:

How our grandchildren even interact with us.

Isabel:

It's not dear ol' Granny...

Isabel:

My grandchildren don't consider me the...

Isabel:

Mrs.

Isabel:

Walton, with the rocking chair.

Isabel:

They're like...

Isabel:

What is she going to do next?

Ashton:

But I have to say it's also okay to sit in the rocking chair.

Ashton:

I think it's...

Ashton:

It's very easy...

Ashton:

and I don't mean to jump on you Isabel...

Ashton:

but a lot of people drink the first slug of the Kool-Aid go...

Ashton:

Oh, it's going to be better than I thought.

Ashton:

I'm not going to fall apart and, get wrinkles.

Ashton:

And it's not all gonna go to hell.

Ashton:

But we can't stop the clock.

Ashton:

We shouldn't aspire to stop the clock.

Ashton:

We live in such a materially oriented...

Ashton:

Competitive hyper capitalist society.

Ashton:

That it's easy for the pendulum to swing the other way and think..

Ashton:

Oh, I'm going to do aging right!

Ashton:

I'm going to exercise.

Ashton:

I'm going to eat kale.

Ashton:

I'm going to work hard to look and move like a younger version of myself.

Ashton:

And that's another trap.

Isabel:

I don't feel challenged by you, in fact, I feel inspired by you,

Isabel:

and I'm glad that you're clarifying that because it isn't for me about

Isabel:

being a younger version of myself.

Isabel:

Because I don't want to give away any of me.

Ashton:

There you go.

Isabel:

I've worked really hard to become this me today.

Isabel:

How I do the next one third of my first century...

Isabel:

Should be my way, my style.

Isabel:

It's my turn.

Isabel:

To...

Isabel:

I don't have to conform to anybody else's idea of what it should be.

Isabel:

I should choose it to be my way.

Isabel:

And that's what I like to encourage others that when I talk to them about it is...

Isabel:

You get to write the script.

Isabel:

You get to write the script based on who you have evolved

Isabel:

to be what your strengths are...

Isabel:

What your life experience is...

Isabel:

What your tacit knowledge, accumulated knowledge is...

Isabel:

So exciting to me that we can continue to learn until the day the lights go out.

Ashton:

And I like to point out that no matter how scared they

Ashton:

are, I've never found anyone who actually wants to be younger.

Ashton:

For me...

Ashton:

I think about like becoming a teenager.

Ashton:

No, thank you.

Ashton:

I would rather roll naked over coals 'till eternity...

Ashton:

But, in the more abstract sense, we know...

Ashton:

That our years are what make us, us.

Ashton:

No one actually wants to return, to wipe the slate clean and start again.

Isabel:

Oh, gosh...

Isabel:

hell NO!

Isabel:

To go through that agony, the growing pains of life, over and over again...

Isabel:

That would be hell.

Isabel:

But to be able to build on the platform of...

Isabel:

Okay...

Isabel:

I know this now, and that I can continue to add to that...

Isabel:

Is to me, the definite advantage that we have, over who we might've

Isabel:

been when we were 25 or 45.

Isabel:

Right?

Isabel:

I love the fact that you put it out there for us all to really talk about that.

Isabel:

There's a lot of stuff that we know how to do so much better

Isabel:

and so much more confidently and intimately and sexually and...

Isabel:

relationship Lee, all the Lees.

Isabel:

Now because of the experience that we've had in our lives.

Isabel:

I love the fact that you opened it up out there.

Isabel:

Just because we have silver hair doesn't mean we don't

Isabel:

have sex, for goodness sakes!

Isabel:

Right?

Ashton:

I'm getting it!

Isabel:

Well, mine has just been ultra lightened to cover that.

Isabel:

But I personally like this...

Isabel:

it's fun for me at this time of my life to play with the style about

Isabel:

who I feel like I am right now.

Isabel:

Not because I'm trying to be a version of somebody on Instagram...

Isabel:

Uh-Uh But who I look at in the mirror and go...

Isabel:

I like you!

Ashton:

It's good for you.

Ashton:

It's hard work because culture fills us with messages that we're...

Ashton:

Not enough...

Ashton:

That we don't conform to the image norm.

Isabel:

For the last 10 years, I have been through a lot of knot holes.

Isabel:

I did the early retirement...

Isabel:

Sold my 8 figure business.

Isabel:

And I thought...

Isabel:

Boy, I was on top of the world, until I woke up one morning and went...

Isabel:

Who Am I?...

Isabel:

And who is this body...

Isabel:

and what's going on around here?

Isabel:

It took me a long time to get to the stage of going...

Isabel:

I am who I exactly are intended to be.

Isabel:

And there's a lot of baggage that I'm not bringing forward with me.

Isabel:

That has been sold to me over the decades of, well, this is what...

Isabel:

When you're 65 years old, you put that sweater on your shoulders, do

Isabel:

that little flip with the sleeves, and get in the golf cart and ride around.

Ashton:

Women are never the right age and sexualized very young and then

Ashton:

ushered over the hill two decades later.

Ashton:

I want to bring up the fact that consciousness raising, is the tool

Ashton:

that catalyzed the women's movement.

Ashton:

What happened was that women came together in a safe space...

Ashton:

Before we knew to call them safe space.

Ashton:

I think the phrase was...

Ashton:

What's said in the room, stays in the room.

Ashton:

Women only.

Ashton:

And compared notes and realize that what they had been thinking of as personal

Ashton:

problems or failings or obstacles were actually widely shared issues.

Ashton:

Not getting hired, getting harassed, not having enough, voice in their

Ashton:

marriage or in their professional lives.

Ashton:

And these were issues that we could and needed to come

Ashton:

together and do something about.

Ashton:

And that's very empowering, and with my colleagues at Old School...

Ashton:

We, I, created a while ago...

Ashton:

In the beginning, before Old School even existed...

Ashton:

A guide to starting a consciousness raising group around age bias, called...

Ashton:

Who Me Ageist.

Ashton:

And you'll probably put the links out with your podcast, but again, It's

Ashton:

oldschool.Info, search consciousness....

Ashton:

You'll find it.

Ashton:

We are about to launch in September, a guide called Ageist Sexist, Who Me?

Ashton:

Which is a guide to the intersection of ageism and sexism.

Ashton:

What it looks like between our ears, in the world, and how we

Ashton:

can become more aware of it, and understand the forces at work here.

Ashton:

So if you are feeling ambitious...

Ashton:

Bring some friends together and talk about this stuff.

Ashton:

Ideally women of all ages.

Ashton:

Because age segregation does us no favors.

Ashton:

I think it's easy for us older women to forget how hard it is to

Ashton:

be young, and to be ungenerous.

Ashton:

Younger women who are friends with powerful, older women...

Ashton:

Who are comfortable in our own skins...

Ashton:

Get a very wonderful lesson in how their fears of getting

Ashton:

older are out of proportion, and friendships form across age groups.

Ashton:

And that's only good.

Isabel:

This is exactly what the experience was for me in writing

Isabel:

my book, publishing my book, and sharing my story with the world...

Isabel:

The most common response was...

Isabel:

Oh my goddess, I thought it was just me.

Ashton:

Exactly.

Isabel:

And we were all living in these little silos thinking...

Isabel:

Everything that's wrong...

Isabel:

It's just me.

Isabel:

Everybody else has got it figured out.

Isabel:

They are better at this...

Isabel:

They've got more under control, et cetera, et cetera.

Isabel:

So defeating the imposter syndrome or at least slaying it for awhile.

Isabel:

Yeah.

Isabel:

It comes back that's the imposter syndrome, the Grim Reaper in disguise.

Isabel:

Having these conversations in safe places, and environments with commonality...

Isabel:

Is exactly the recipe.

Isabel:

Right?

Ashton:

The recipe is different for each of us, but those are fundamentals of it.

Ashton:

Absolutely.

Ashton:

I mean, our solutions are different, but the fundamentals are shared.

Isabel:

But in those conversations...

Isabel:

Different solutions come out and they can inspire ideas for each of us.

Isabel:

I love when you get a room of women together, and you start talking

Isabel:

about these common issues...

Isabel:

Usually, there's a reluctance at the beginning to admit.

Isabel:

Yeah, me too...

Isabel:

Like...

Isabel:

Who wants to say I pee when I laugh?

Isabel:

Right?

Isabel:

But once they get talking about it, and then it becomes more and

Isabel:

more where they are connected...

Isabel:

By their experience and by their doubts.

Isabel:

By the...

Isabel:

Wait a minute...

Isabel:

Couldn't we do this a better way?

Isabel:

I love that!

Isabel:

I expected the readers of my book to be women, more like me in their late

Isabel:

fifties, early sixties, seventies...

Isabel:

But in fact, my granddaughters read the book and said, This is what we need.

Isabel:

We need to be able to talk with other women, and find safe spaces

Isabel:

to inspire and lift each other, and change the isms that should be changed.

Isabel:

So thank you for that.

Isabel:

You have also another platform, Yo is this Ageist?.

Ashton:

I was talking about it...

Ashton:

This was many years ago with a friend and we were having some drinks together

Ashton:

and she ended up, texting me and emailing me in the morning and saying...

Ashton:

Got home and was all a little drunk.

Ashton:

And so I set up the site for you, because I probably never have

Ashton:

gotten it together to do myself.

Ashton:

It is a blog called Yo Is This Ageist, modeled on a wonderful preexisting

Ashton:

site called, Yo Is This Racist?, with permission, and it is a Q and A format.

Ashton:

So people send in photographs...

Ashton:

Someone this morning sent me a cartoon.

Ashton:

they might write, describe an incident that happened.

Ashton:

They might send a link to an article or an advertisement, and I pass judgment.

Ashton:

I hope wittily, and I hope accurately, although...

Ashton:

It's always subjective of course, to whether the thing in fact is ageist.

Ashton:

because, ageism is a new concept to a lot of people.

Ashton:

The minute you say, well...

Ashton:

Age is to age-ism, as racist is to racism.

Ashton:

People get it, but it is not something we talk about as much.

Ashton:

So we need help recognizing it when we come across it.

Ashton:

I mean, very basic litmus test is that if a similar comment, or cartoon or

Ashton:

whatever, on that basis of what you look like, who you sleep with, what ethnicity

Ashton:

you are, if it wouldn't pass muster...

Ashton:

Then a similar comment on the basis of age, is no more acceptable.

Isabel:

I saw the cartoon today with the grandma pants.

Ashton:

Yeah.

Isabel:

Oh, no, you know, there we go.

Isabel:

There we go.

Isabel:

Every woman over 60 is wearing sensible shoes and baggy pants,

Isabel:

and she's carrying a tissue in her bra, and mints in her pocket.

Isabel:

And yes...

Isabel:

Although my grandmother did carry Peppermints all the time.

Isabel:

She called them the pill.

Isabel:

When I was sad, she'd say here honey, have a pill.

Isabel:

Okay.

Isabel:

Yes.

Isabel:

And I feel I said something very ageist.

Isabel:

When I said...

Isabel:

I don't want to be the person with the sweater on my

Isabel:

shoulders and the golf cart...

Isabel:

Because, damn...

Isabel:

There's some really great golfers out there.

Isabel:

And that doesn't mean that every woman who golfs, when she retires,

Isabel:

doesn't do a million other things.

Ashton:

I have to watch myself for...

Ashton:

I mean...

Ashton:

I'm learning to be less judgmental in general.

Ashton:

But it is hard for me because I love to work.

Ashton:

And I'm lucky that I have managed find work that is fulfilling to me.

Ashton:

But to me, the idea of being...

Ashton:

Which changes everything.

Ashton:

Right?

Ashton:

If I had a job, I didn't like, or if I got laid off and couldn't

Ashton:

find a new job, I wouldn't have any choice about it, but I do.

Ashton:

And the thought of living a life entirely of leisure, is hard for me to imagine.

Ashton:

And I have to watch myself, first thinking gee, you know, what's wrong with you?

Ashton:

But you know, if you are lucky enough to have the choice and

Ashton:

have enough money to not have to work, and that is fulfilling...

Ashton:

power to ya!

Isabel:

Absolutely.

Isabel:

Whatever it is that works for you and that you have consciously, and I

Isabel:

like the emphasis on being conscious, that you raised consciously chosen...

Isabel:

This is the legacy that I want to live.

Isabel:

Right now!

Isabel:

That doesn't mean we can't change it whenever we are so inspired to do

Isabel:

so, not to just accept what somebody else tells you, but you choose,

Isabel:

of your own, what you want to do.

Isabel:

And if that's to be the best grandmother in the world or the best bridge

Isabel:

player in the world, or to become an astronaut or whatever you want.

Isabel:

And we're so privileged in our society to have these opportunities.

Isabel:

And I don't think that any of us should be denied that opportunity to do what

Isabel:

we want to do and capable of doing.

Isabel:

So thank you for leading that charge.

Isabel:

I'm looking forward to following in your trajectory, learning more, getting...

Ashton:

You're following in mine...

Ashton:

You're making your own.

Isabel:

Well, I, you know, there's a little, like, there's a little

Isabel:

star dust that you sprinkled out there and I'm, I'm, I'm in the,

Isabel:

I'm in the wake, so that's great.

Isabel:

All right.

Isabel:

Anything else that you would like to add today?

Ashton:

No.

Ashton:

I hope that people are inspired to question the mainstream narrative,

Ashton:

and think who's interest it serves.

Ashton:

I mean, women are, leading the movement against age-ism on surprisingly.

Ashton:

Uh, we certainly have the most at stake and I think we're braver.

Ashton:

So, you know, find whatever way in appeals and works for you.

Isabel:

Why do you feel that women are leading the charge?

Ashton:

Because we face the intersection of ageism and sexism.

Ashton:

And if we're women of color, add racism to it, if we have a

Ashton:

disability and ableism to it, right.

Ashton:

Susan Sontag called it the double standard of aging...

Ashton:

That aging enhances man, up to a point, and diminishes women.

Ashton:

We live in a patriarchy, which means that men have more power

Ashton:

and like holding onto it.

Ashton:

So if it furthers the interests of men in power...

Ashton:

In which, women do not have as much voice and autonomy, and lose it very, very fast.

Ashton:

After, some point in midlife, that doesn't serve us well.

Isabel:

No...

Isabel:

Doing our best, doing well, enables us to do good for others.

Isabel:

So let's be out in front on that.

Isabel:

I of course am going to include in the show notes, your bio and your

Isabel:

platforms and where everybody can follow and do their part to change

Isabel:

all of this in a positive way.

Isabel:

But before I bid you adieu, I like to ask my guests to share

Isabel:

something about themselves that we probably can't find on Google.

Ashton:

I tried to come up with a clever answer to this, but failed.

Ashton:

I don't like to cook.

Ashton:

I like to garden.

Ashton:

I have a very dark sense of humor.

Isabel:

Mmm...

Isabel:

I think that might come through on Google.

Isabel:

Well, thank you.

Isabel:

We'll imagine you in your garden, growing vegetables and giving them...

Ashton:

I wish I had room for vegetables.

Ashton:

I live in Brooklyn, so it is small and shady garden, but I make the most of

Ashton:

it, and it gives me great pleasure.

Isabel:

Well, I'm glad you are growing good things everywhere.

Isabel:

Thank you very much, Ashton.

Isabel:

I am very grateful.

Isabel:

You have done so much lifting and climbing in your life.

Isabel:

You're an incredibly wonderful role model for everyone.

Ashton:

Thank you and keep up your own important work.

Isabel:

Thank you.

Isabel:

Talk to you soon.

Isabel:

All right,

About the Podcast

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Lift As You Climb
Live Your Legacy; Empower Others to Create Theirs

About your host

Profile picture for Isabel Banerjee

Isabel Banerjee

Dynamic, self-made entrepreneur who overcame obstacles with an unrelenting positive nature, a farm girl work ethic and a conscious choice to thrive rather than survive, Isabel Alexander Banerjee cultivated an award winning, $10 million+ global chemical wholesale business and grew it from dining room table to international boardrooms.

Isabel’s strengths include the ability to initiate & nurture strategic relationships, a love of lifelong learning and talents for helping others maximize their potential. An inspiring speaker within both industry and community, she is a driving force behind those with the courage to follow her example of thriving against the odds.

With 50+ years of business experience across diverse industries, Isabel is respected as an advisor, a coach, a mentor and a role model. She believes in sharing collective wisdom and empowering others to economic independence.

Isabel Banerjee
Your Next Business Strategist and Transformation Catalyst