Thursday, January 24, 2013


There's something about this time of year, with the barren trees and cold winds, that naturally lends itself to contemplation of mortality. Sci-fi plot twists not withstanding, we are all going to die.

"You are older at this moment than you’ve ever been before, and it’s the youngest you’re ever going to get."

You have the option to look at this statement as glass is half full, or glass is half empty. I turned 38 this year. I've realized that most of my life plans have been focused on the under-forty mark. That I'm not really prepared for what comes next. This might just be me being short-sighted, but I have an inckling that it also has to do with how our culture prizes certain market-friendly age groups.

But the thing is, if I'm to live to my grandfathers age (99!), I'm not even half-way there yet.

In my thinking about aging, I've come across a funny taboo in conversation. It makes people uncomfortable to talk about women aging. It makes them bristle to admit that it's not an equal proccess. They squirm and conversationally side-step the issue that there is a big difference between a women at 40 and a man at 40. That his social power is on the upswing, while her's is on the decline.

I keep being told that age is a state of mind. But if that were honestly true, would there be a
291.9 billion dollar beauty industry hell bent on making us stay young forever (or at least look that way)? To get back to sci-fi plot twists, I've been wondering about what kind of social revolution we would experience if women were to get full reproductive freedom, not just to stop pregnancy but to control it. Would we finally reach an equality of the sexes?

There's a few really interesting theories about why women live so long after menopause, when it seems to fly against the laws of natural selection. I personally love the idea of the power of the grandma- that she's defending her genetic lineage. (Just watch most grandmas, and that you'll see it rings true). But what if women women's bodies were like most other mammals (Elephants have babies in their 60's!!!), and we could safely, successfully keep popping out babies til we were old and gray.

It would give a new meaning to silver fox.

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