Re: Titles and names

Douglass St.Christian (stchri@MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA)
Mon, 4 Mar 1996 16:09:12 -0500

At 02:55 PM 3/4/96 -0500, you wrote:
> All things considered, that would be one DEPRESSING list. But can
>we be so sure that older women are not particularly respected in US culture?
>Marie Conrad
>On Sun, 3 Mar 1996, Ruby Rohrlich wrote:
>> Elaine: If you're going to wait until you're 50 to receive respect, you
>> may be disappointed then, too. Older women are not particularly
>> respected in U.S. culture. Let's make a list of qualities and types of
>> people the culture respects. Ruby Rohrlich

sorry to include the posts but for clarity....

r.r. is, i think, on to something quite subtle here. older women are, in
general, not so much respected in north american culture, as they are
honoured. i think the distinction is a valid one, if we think of respect as
accruing benefit, privilege, real power and so on, and honour as something
like the title of queen in england. lots of pomp, lots of bowing and
scraping, but little real power.

i can't think, in all that i have read on social gerontology in n.a., of any
evidence that older women receive the more active kind of respect. perhaps,
adding to ruby's suggestion for a list, in general, of qualities which are
respected, we might also compile a list of qualities which are honoured in
the sense i am suggesting is the case for older women.

hollywood older women seem, for example, to be either widowed forgetful
objects of either humor or pity, or advice givers [ rather than people who
actually do things]...the active, alert, power-ful older woman seems an
anomaly, at least in conventional hollywood iconography...

being pithy because it is monday and there is a nasty winter storm on its

douglass st.christian