Season 1. Episode 01: “Confronting Ageism” guest Ashton Applewhite

Episode 01: “Confronting Ageism” guest Ashton Applewhite

Ageism is stereotyping and discrimination on the basis of a person’s age, although in a youth-obsessed culture, the older population bear the brunt of it. The term was first coined by Pulitzer prize-winning author, Dr. Robert Butler. Since his unfortunate passing, the fight against this damaging form of oppression has been taken up by Ashton Applewhite. When Ashton speaks on the subject of ageism, people listen — she is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, and her TED talk, Let’s End Ageism, has over 1.6 million views. In today’s show, we discuss Ashton’s research, the myths about growing old that make older adults feel a sense of dread about it, and how to come together to challenge these narratives to build a society that values each individual equally. Ashton informs us that while getting older does come with a few downsides, many of the so-called facts about this process simply are not true. Rather these are forms of misinformation spread by the capitalist, patriarchal, sexist culture we live in that cast aging as a disease that can be cured rather than a beautiful, powerful, inevitable natural part of being human. We discuss some of the reasons why it is hard to rally as a unit to fight against ageism, as well as a host of positive circumstances about our present moment that make it much easier to bring up consciousness-raising conversations. Our exchange also explores the subject of ageism in relation to marketing, inclusivity, privilege, internalized inferiority, individualism, the fight against other forms of oppression, and so many more rich and complex intersections. Be sure to tune in today!


Key Points From This Episode:



“With divorce, with getting older — these are scary transitions. Much about them is unwelcome. We are right to be apprehensive, but our fears are so out of proportion.” — @thischairrocks [0:05:42]

“Each of us has to figure out where we push back and where we accept.” — @thischairrocks [0:36:42]

“Every human being ideally, deserves to be valued and supported from the minute they're born until we kick the bucket.” — @thischairrocks [0:20:46]

“As long as we are valuing ourselves by external standards, we're never going to be happy with what we see.” — @thischairrocks [0:24:13]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Ashton Applewhite on Twitter

Ashton Applewhite on LinkedIn

This Chair Rocks Website

This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism

Let’s End Ageism TED Talk

‘Ageist, Racist, Who Me?’

‘Let’s Dismantle Ageism’ Workshop

Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well

Audre Lorde

Dr. Robert Butler

National Institute on Aging

Joe Coughlin

Becca Levy

Margaret Gullette