By Leni Marshall
Deconstructs fiction and nonfiction to additional understandings of ways getting older and previous age are created.
In full of life, available prose, this ebook expands the achieve and intensity of age experiences. A evaluate of age reviews equipment in idea, literature, and perform leads readers to work out how their very own intersectional identities form their ideals approximately age, getting older, and previous age. This examine asks readers to interrogate the “texts” of menopause, self-help books on getting older, and foundational age reviews works. as well as the examine of those nonfiction texts, the poetry and prose of Doris Lessing, Lucille Clifton, and Louise Erdrich function cars for exploring how age family members paintings, together with how they invoke readers into kinships of reciprocal care as othermothers, otherdaughters, and otherelders. The literary chapters research how talented storytellers supply enactments, portrayals, and metaphorical makes use of of age to create transformative strength.
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Extra info for Age Becomes Us: Constructions of Bodies and Gender (SUNY Series in Feminist Criticism and Theory)
11 “Aging poses a huge threat to women’s sense of identity, perceived femininity, and sexual desirability” (Hurd Clarke 2, 128). Similarly, as men’s bodies pass beyond youthfulness to the point that their virility may come into question, they too can be stripped of gender. 12 With the decrease or loss of ability to perform as a normatively natural female or male, the individual becomes less gendered, or degendered. And since subjects are always already gendered, the inability to perform as gendered equates with a loss of subjecthood, of power and agency.
Menopause As I was growing up, my mother told me how babies are made, talked to me about menarche, birth control, her two very different birthing experiences, her two abortions, her breast cancer, and her lovers, yet this was the sum total of our conversation about menopause: Me: I’ve got my period. Do you have any tampons? Her: Nope, because I don’t need them anymore! ” I am not alone in this experience, especially among Caucasian Americans. 44 AGE BECOMES US Twenty-five percent of American women hear nothing from their mothers about menopause, and talk among peers about menopause often takes the form of humor or self-deprecation; health professionals serve as an information source for only 16 percent of women (Mansfield 98–100; Johnson).
One of the most central of Western cultural values, individualism, intersects with these messages to create what seems to be a choice. That is, free will allows people to make many conscious decisions about how to behave, holding them morally responsible for the 32 AGE BECOMES US choices they make about which cultural messages to accept or reject. The more time an individual has spent receiving cultural messages, the greater the social expectations that the person will accept and live by them as a socially constituted, discursively produced subject.
Age Becomes Us: Constructions of Bodies and Gender (SUNY Series in Feminist Criticism and Theory) by Leni Marshall