Tuesday, February 25, 2014

63-year-old Woman

That's my age. I don't see me in media of any kind, at the grocery store checkout on a magazine cover (unless it's the rags with bad pictures of celebrities and the "cancer" with a question mark headline), or on the internet. I just googled "women photos 63 years." And I got double digit million results with celebrities who are supposedly aging gracefully. Cher? Gracefully? I searched again using google Advanced Search, and asking for none of the words celebrity, celebrities. Here are the top 7 results.
1) East New York 76-year-old woman apparent victim...
2) 63 year old woman kills teen who tried to rob her
3) 63 year old Chinese woman gives birth to twins
4) 63 year old woman loses 250 pounds
5) I am a 63 year old woman. Am I too old for buccal fat removal?
5) This woman is 63 but looks 45
6) 63 year old woman dead after 70 year old brother shoots her
7) At 102, she changes oil, spark plugs on her 82 year old car.

No wonder I'm cranky.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Finland vs Russia Hockey Coat of Arms

In celebration of the Finnish hockey victory over Russia at the Sochi 2014 Olympics, I have redone the Suomi Coat of Arms. Bit of history - when the tsar ruled Finland, he insisted that the lion (ordinarily carrying a sword) be flipped to point away from Russia. Clearly the tsar didn't have enough to do. If the lion had been carrying a hockey stick, who knows?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sunday, February 2, 2014

What's A Girl To Do?

Writer Holly Robinson's (no relation) blog post on January 26, reposted on Huffington Post on the 27th How Old is Too Old for a Main Character? is a response to a Fay Weldon article in the NY Times Sunday Book Review A Writer of a Certain Age which is unfortunately blurbed on google the author remembers when looks started to matter in publishing.

Weldon claims–in writing right out in front of everybody–that women want to read books about their younger selves. Hogwash. I read books about women of all ages, men of all ages, horses of all ages, dogs, history in all ages, wars in all ages. Weldon cannot possibly know what women read. That's men that want to be their younger selves, Ms. Weldon. No woman I know would go back if given the opportunity, but every one of my brothers would. Robinson writes that yes, more women than men buy books, but more under 45s buy books overall. That does not mean that the women under 45 are all reading fiction featuring 20-something women. The Bowker link Robinson uses doesn't go to Bowker, so I'll look that up later. But this may be like the more cat food is bought than baby food trope. Yes, under 45s may buy more books. Parents buy children's books, buy gifts. Regardless of genre, Weldon is out of shape stating what age female character any woman wants to read.

And how infamously addicted we are to facing facts bravely about how unmarketable older women are. Both women indicate that they are okay with the status quo–because they have to be. Robinson takes a moment to talk about her older female in her book, and writes that she will continue to write women of all ages. But both women writers sigh when mentioning that agents will tell you not to write older women because publishers won't publish those books. What's a girl to do? is implied, but nowhere written. Robinson goes so far as to share with us what a nice guy her agent is. Weldon's unforgivable action is that she is a teacher and she warns her girl writing collegiates away from writing older women. With this she moves from facing facts bravely to being a spokesperson for the patriarchy. You can give a nod of complicitous assent to the ongoing exclusion, suppression and outright prejudice against women creatives, but you damn well better not teach it to the young women launching their lives. That's how we got suppressed in the first go.