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 And it creates a false self-confidence so that as you age and it is withdrawn, well ,that just adds the trauma of aging that many of us experience.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?
10 thoughts on “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Crone = Sore Feet”
I get what you mean. The older I get, the more invisible I get. I don’t mind it, though. When I travel to a country where most people don’t look like me, I stand out like a sore thumb and get tons of unwanted attention. Then, I return home again to invisibility. It is comforting! I once saw an episode of ‘Six Feet Under” where one of the women (in her 50s and 60s) said that she could now shoplift without being caught because she is invisible as an older woman. So there are perks as well!
hahahaha Good quote from “6 feet under”, don’t remember it but I shall keep that tucked away for future use. 🙂 There is definitely perks to it, I watch young women travelling and so admire their guts!
Thanks for commenting.
Thought provoking and well written!
Why thank you.
I have experienced the fade away, much more as I gained some weight and started adding years on. About 3 years ago I went a bit nutty and chopped off all my hair, then colored a part of it with a shock color. I was working at home and not going outside much so it didn’t matter really. Since then it has become a signature look apparently because my hair is now my identifying mark and I am oddly noticed and approached more often with compliments and such. My husband even has people acknowledge me as oh that lady, with the shaved part and purple in her hair. Sometimes I enjoy the little bit of positive attention, other times I am annoyed that I am so easily picked out of a crowd and have the urge to go back to brown hair and a style more “age appropriate”. It’s an interesting time in my life to be sure.
Ahhh the ‘age appropriate’ demon. Bugger torments me something silly. But I do know what you mean about notoriety, being a stealth Crone can be addicting.Thanks for the comment and dropping by, nice to see you again. 🙂
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Ur best piece yet!
Thanks my dear.
“That is the tricky thing about oppression, often the victims don’t even recognize it as such because it is their normal.”
– Living in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) this is so true. May local women have stories about harassment or sexism, but don’t see it as such, unless they’ve actually lived abroad in a country where such actions are not condoned. I’ve actually had an older colleague state that “gender inequality doesn’t exist in Kyrgyzstan” – or perhaps it’s just that gender-inequal roles (and respect on the street) have become the norm.
Have you lived in other countries? Is it the same stuff there as what you deal with in Kyrgyzstan?