This writing and title is version 2:
Wow. All I can say is thank you Ashton Applewhite for braving this topic of ageism, thank you for TED Talks for bringing it to your stage, and thank you to my local AIGA SF organization, of which I am a member, for supporting the topic within the design community. Link here.
People who have the courage to talk about things that general society doesn't have the courage to talk about are always my role models and inspiration. I am posting this precisely because of Ashton's courage. Wow.
It has absolutely been my experience, much to my shock. The AIGA's first sentence of introduction is even more stunning to me because it explains my shock living in this (lovely) liberal culture: ".... (ageism) is considered to be acceptable even by many who are against other forms of prejudice & discrimination in the workplace." Yes. How can people be so unaware? This 12 minute talk is packed with right-on facts, perspectives, positivity, humor, the politics of ageism (how capitalism feeds into it) and the best concept of all, "ageism is prejudice against our own future selves."
What I wish for is what the AIGA SF asks of this workshop, "Participants should leave with the beginnings of a personalized action plan." Mine is to be more transparent with my own voice, here and now. In my own way, raise awareness and make it public. And to highlight and remember another one of Ashton's sentences, "Culture is fluid" ... Only if we voice it. We can't fight the "isms" without being out there to raise universal awareness. What Ashton advocates is real, true, wiser AND smarter and just better for everyone.
A day later I come back to this post after G and I had a conversation about it and the Ted Talk ... I am so deeply grateful for having this partner who can help me focus my brain cells ... Someone who can really See ... Remember that our decisions can be minuscule, and that influences happen all the time, and how we react is everything. His main question to me is, "Is this idea empowering me, is this idea helpful?" I see what he is getting at, the push towards ditching it completely if it's bringing me down, which it was. And so my answer is this. The empowering part - which is also my favorite thing about feminism - is that my experience was vocalized by someone other than me. I didn't have to carry it alone. Another thing feminism does for me is raise awareness of behaviors, so that is what I love love love about this TED talk and Ashton's presence, the AIGA SF's workshop. Raising awareness, changing behaviors, language, and creating connection.
Identifying with ageism is out. Thank you G for being specific: 'ageism is a nominalization. A word to describe an idea, but it doesn't exist as a thing that everyone has, it is very non-specific.' There is no ageism, but there are ageists. There are always unaware people and aware people.
Just like anything in my day - if I focus on this negative, it WILL bring out the negative. We always have to chose who and what we let in. The freedom, my freedom, is with my choice, my mental choice. For me I choose not to focus on ageism, but continuing to find true people, people who line up with me. Freedom is a very small intimate space, but if I learn how to carry it around with me everywhere, then it's infinity ...