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Unfortunately, the topic of ageism is one that goes overlooked way too often.  People often feel as though there are more important issues to deal with (racism, sexism, etc.), that ageism isn't really that big of a deal.  At, we refuse to believe that one form of oppression is more important than another.  They all can have real and unfair effects on the people who are suffering through them.  With that said, here are some key points to keep in mind when talking about ageism.


  1. Ageism doesn't just refer to people who are over 40 years old.  In fact, people under the age of 25 are often target by those who are considered to be in the privileged societal group (ages 25-40).  For example, college aged students are often looked upon as stupid and irresponsible.  Even though many students in this age group make poor decisions, it doesn't mean everyone in this age group is stupid or apathetic to the things going on around them.

  2. Generally speaking, people over 40 are considered to be targeted due to their age.  One of the most common forms of discrimination in regards to age happens in the workplace. For example, a woman over 40 might not get hired to be a bartender because she isn't 'appealing' to the male customers who patronize the bar.

  3. Discrimination tends to become more overt as people become senior citizens.  For example, people often make fun of older drivers still on the road.


These are just a few examples of what ageism might look like.  If you choose to further explore this topic, think about times where people have stereotyped you because of your age, or where you have stereotyped someone else. Who did those encounters make you feel, and how would you change them if you could?

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