Honestly? This is still a thing? A question that needs to be asked?
As Dodai explored earlier today, sadly it's enough of a thing that feminist author Suzanne Braun Levine, founding editor of Ms.has penned the new book 50 is the New Fifty. 5itNF talks about the increasing ageism of society paired, paradoxically, with an increasing sense of opportunity for women in an age bracket that once spelled automatic retirement and a tacit societal asexualization. The title, as the author explains, is a response to bromides like, "Fifty is the new 30." Quoth she,
Fifty is an exciting, new stage of life where women are feeling more comfortable, more masterful, more full of hope and energy than they felt in their 30s. And I haven't met a single woman, truly, who would like to go back to her life when she was 30. We might like to go back to our lives when our bodies were a little different and we could wear belts, but otherwise, in terms of life experience, women are finding that their 50s and their 60s and even their 70s are a very exciting and authentic time.
Levine is also encouraged by the state of feminism, saying, "I think feminism is strong and pervasive and vibrant, and I think the fact that the generations are in dialogue over what the agenda should be and who is a real feminist is really not a bad thing."
All this is well and good, but the proof of the pudding, as someone once said, is in the eating. And by "eating" I mean "random links that Time.com puts at the end of each paragraph." Here is a list of Levine's quotes and the corresponding (randomly generated?) link that follows each:
I am watching to see whether being over 65 really changes my relationships with other women or not. (Read "Twins and Aging: How Not To Look Old.")
(I)n terms of life experience, women are finding that their 50s and their 60s and even their 70s are a very exciting and authentic time. (See pictures of the world's most celebrated senior citizens.)
I have a 22-year-old daughter who cannot really comprehend that when I got married, I was unable to take out a loan without my husband's signature, or that jobs were listed [as] male and female in the paper. It's inconceivable to her. On the one hand, that's a good thing because it means that she is somewhere else, that she doesn't have to deal with those things. On the other hand, it's a bad thing because she doesn't realize what a struggle women have in most societies. (See pictures of facial yoga.)
It's night and day now. Of course, women are still doing the most housework and the most caretaking. (See pictures of women in space.)
In all my years of working with material about women's lives, the two things that always hold women back are, one, the feeling that they're crazy if they want to do something out of the ordinary, and, two, that they are the only ones in the whole world who are experiencing whatever it is they are experiencing. Once we are there for each other, regardless of the similarities of our situations, we reinforce each other's courage.See pictures of Barbie at 50
See pictures of showbiz's sexiest blondes at LIFE.com.