Book review: 'In Our Prime' is a call to action

  • "In Our Prime: How Older Women Are Reinventing the Road Ahead" by Susan J. Douglas.

    "In Our Prime: How Older Women Are Reinventing the Road Ahead" by Susan J. Douglas. Associated Press/W.W. Norton

 
 
Posted3/29/2020 7:28 AM

"In Our Prime" by Susan J. Douglas; W.W. Norton; 288 pages

With books like "Where the Girls Are" and "The Mommy Myth," Susan J. Douglas has devoted her career to making crucial observations on feminism and the lives of women. Now she's back with "In Our Prime: How Older Women Are Reinventing the Road Ahead."

 

"In Our Prime" is a call to action, one that demands that we stop overlooking older women as key contributors to society and one that also asks older women to stop internalizing these messages and refuse to be discounted.

In America, there are more women over age 50 than there have ever been. These older women, Douglas argues, are in many ways happier and more productive than when they were younger. And yet, their needs (and existence) are consistently ignored, especially by the media and pop culture at large. Even when this generation is acknowledged, it is often portrayed as helpless, docile and clueless -- or that they are being urged to buy cosmetics that will allegedly help them look younger.

"In Our Prime" is a masterful takedown of gendered ageism. With this book, Douglas calls today's generation of older women to join her in refusing to be cast aside. She also hopes younger women will work with older ones to create a new and more powerful feminism in which everyone works together. As she reminds readers, young women will be old someday, and fighting today will help everyone in the future.

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