Volcanoes are erupting in The Philippines, but on-fire Australia received some welcome rain. The Iran war cries have been called off and The Donald’s military powers are about to be hamstrung by the Senate. Meanwhile, his impeachment trial is starting, and we’re all on Twitter for a front-row seat.
People are happiest at the beginnings and the ends of their lives. The vast majority of Americans over 65 live independently. The older people get, the less afraid they are of dying. Aging is a natural, powerful, lifelong process. So how come so many of us unthinkingly assume that depression, diapers, and dementia lie ahead? Underlying all the hand-wringing is ageism: discrimination that sidelines and silences older people.
Ageism activist Ashton Applewhite is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, is the voice of the Yo, Is This Ageist blog, and led the team that developed Old School, a clearinghouse of anti-ageism resources. These tools help catalyze a movement to make discrimination on the basis of age as unacceptable as any other kind.
Applewhite has been recognized by The New York Times, National Public Radio, The New Yorker, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism and was named as a Fellow by the Knight Foundation, The New York Times, Yale Law School, and the Royal Society for the Arts. She has written for Harper’s, the Guardian, and The New York Times, and speaks widely at venues that have ranged from universities and community centers to the Library of Congress and the United Nations.
Applewhite is also the author of Truly Tasteless Jokes and Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well. She was on staff at the American Museum of Natural History for 17 years, quitting in 2017 to become a full-time activist.