Racism and sexism are two types of discrimination that have been present in past and recent generations. Ageism has become another. California Lutheran University is providing the opportunity to learn more about this issue.
Author-turned-blogger Ashton Applewhite will present This Chair Rocks: How Ageism Warps Our View of Long Life, a talk on the myths of aging.
Sponsored by CLU’s Center for Equality and Justice, the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations, and University Village Thousand Oaks, This Chair Rocks will address the stereotypes and foundations surrounding ageism.
Applewhite believes there are three methods of stopping ageism: information, integration, and activism. Knowledge about age, interacting with people of all age groups and informed discussion will help decrease ageism.
Applewhite originally went into publishing but ended up becoming a New York Times bestselling author under the pseudonym name, Blanche Knott. Since 2000, she has been a writer for the American Museum of Natural History and in 2007, she created a blog about aging and ageism. In July 2012 Applewhite created her blog “Yo, Is This Ageist?” and started speaking on the subject.
“The more you know about old age, the less surprising it is, partly because our view on late life is so grim, and it’s not rooted in fact. It’s rooted in ageism and it’s rooted in ignorance,” an interview video on Applewhite’s website said.
According to Applewhite’s website, “Age is to ageism as race is to racism: discrimination on the basis of age. We experience ageism any time someone assumes that we [are] ‘too young’ or ‘too old’ for something instead of finding out what we’re actually capable of.”
“Ageism runs both ways…[it] affects young people as well,” Applewhite said.
ASCLU-G Sophomore Programs Board representative Christopher Otmar plans to attend Applewhite’s talk. “I don’t think we’ve ever had this at CLU before. We get a different perspective on something we don’t know about,” Otmar said, “I think it will shed light on many misconceptions we have. I think it will be good for our students.”
Applewhite will use stories to discuss the effects of ageism, and said the talk is as “funny as it is fierce and it just might change the way you envision the rest of your life.”
“I promise to make you laugh,” Applewhite said.
This Chair Rocks: How Ageism Warps our View of Long Life will be presented Oct. 1 in the Samuelson Chapel at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information on Applewhite’s message, visit her website at thischairrocks.com or contact the Center for Equality and Justice at (805) 493-3694.
Published Sept. 25, 2013