You have likely already seen the viral vid, “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman” or if you are a woman, many of you have lived it.
This is my perspective, as a Crone.
As women age they often feel like someone is slowly erasing them, that they are becoming ghosts. Bartenders don’t notice you, clerks ignore you and you are forced to be more assertive in getting attention. Some women resort to wearing more provocative clothing and piling on the makeup and some stop trying. BUT one of the perks of being a ghost is no longer being harassed on the streets. I never really got how oppressive that nonsense was until it wasn’t there. In fact it wasn’t until i was in Hopkins, Belize that it hit me full force. I wrote about it in “Garifuna’s Sexy Nature Inspires Confidence in Crone“. (I know, horrible title).
That is the tricky thing about oppression, often the victims don’t even recognize it as such because it is their normal. So when women say “it isn’t that bad” or “it doesn’t bother me“ or “it is part of my culture/religion“ or what ever bullshit denial they come up with, it doesn’t mean it is not oppressing them. Cause it is, under the surface. It wears on you adding subtly to the stress of being a woman in this society and time. And it creates a false self-confidence so that as you age and it is withdrawn, well ,that just adds the trauma of aging that many of us experience. The oppression gets us coming and going. At least till you get to the point where you really get how liberating not being harassed really is. As a Crone I can travel comfortably and not have to constantly deal with unwanted attention. To experience someone being nice to you with no ulterior motives, that is a sweet sweet thing. Yeah there is always going to be the hustlers trying to make a buck but that is easy to spot and not so insidious. Being older is, at least in this, more comfortable.
So all you Crones out there afraid of travelling by yourself, don’t be. It will amaze you how easy it is to move through the world as an ‘older woman’.
As a younger woman, do you recognize how the unwanted attention wears on you?
As an older woman have you experienced the invisibility of your age? Do you find it liberating or just a different form of oppression?