How Society Treats Older Women

October 1, 2018  |  
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signs of a woman getting older

Gettyimages.com/Shot of a mature woman enjoying a day at the beach

I wouldn’t say that getting older is bad. In fact, getting older is better than the alternative of not being alive at all. And, age is coming one way or another, so there is no point in throwing a fit about it and getting all up in arms. I will say that there is a shift that occurs when a woman leaves her twenties. Twenty-year-olds are like this golden unicorns that everyone wants to befriend, touch, and have sex with. And you have to admit that when you’re in your twenties, the world feels full of possibility. Every day feels like an adventure. You feel this electricity on your skin, and it is intensified by all of the attention and special treatment you receive. In your thirties and beyond, you better hope that you put together a kick*ss friend group and have a job that you love because those are the only places you’ll be getting that sense of excitement. Here are ways society treats aging women differently.

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You wait in line at the club

Skipping the line at the club is for women in their twenties. Maybe some women in their thirties who can still tolerate bandage dresses and stilettos get to do it, but that’s the cut-off.

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Bathrooms are for customers only

I was at the beach with some girlfriends recently—friends who are significantly younger than myself. We all needed to use the bathroom so, we went to a nearby deli. My young, adorable friends went in, used the restroom, and came out. I, a bit older, went in, and was told that the bathroom was for customers only. Hm…

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You wait longer to order a drink

The young hot thing gets the bartender’s attention first. Or, maybe the young thing just has the stamina to push through the crowd and stand on a stool. Either way, you wait longer for service as you get older.

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We’re out of touch

An older professional woman is a risk—she could be out of touch with the modern way of things. An older professional man is experienced and knowledgeable. This is one of the reasons older women aren’t hired enough, even though they should be.

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Fear when we ask to talk to a manager

At least when you get older, if you ask to speak to a manager, you can see the sales associate tremble in fear. When you’re younger, they just play some trick on you and get one of their peers to pretend to be a manager.

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It’s Forever 21 or Chicos

The branding for women’s clothing is very polarizing. It’s all youth clothes or clothing for “mature” women. It’s almost as if the fashion world doesn’t believe women in their forties exist.

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Doctors are all about the children

Throughout your thirties, your doctors are obsessed with children. Will you have any? When? Are you taking the proper steps to maintain fertility? Do you know that your biological clock is ticking? I don’t think doctors talk to men about that.

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You’re aging: do something about it

Women are aging and it’s a problem. We’re drowning in suggestions for treatments, surgeries, serums, and devices to address the issue of aging. I swear Google analytics knows the second you turn 30, and adjusts your advertisement accordingly.

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Less catcalling

Well, that’s nice and it isn’t. I walked by a car full of rambunctious guys the other day, anticipating them saying something, and my getting angry. Then they said nothing and I was…relieved then…insulted.

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You apparently can’t take a joke

Younger men always feel that they need to watch their mouth around you and that you cannot listen to anything mildly crude or sexual. If you’re ten years older than them, they treat you with the same sensitivity they would treat a woman forty years older than them.

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Less free stuff

The free side of fries, the free drinks sent over by another table, the free entrance to clubs, the free dessert…it starts to die off.

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You don’t need walking to your car

Men stop offering to walk you to your car as much. Apparently, you’re not as much of a target for sexual assaulters as young women except yes you are.

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You’re given seats

This is another bitter/sweet moment—the moment when a person who you believe is the same age as you gets up to give you his seat. Is it flirtation or…seniority?!

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More doors are held open

Again, you’re not sure if more men are doing this for you because they see you as older and in need of help or because they’re just being nice.

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If you’re bossy, you’re “Being a mom”

If you’re a woman over the age of 30 who is assertive or concerned, you’re “Being a mom.” You know what they call a man who is assertive? A man.

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