50 Not Out !
Women over 50 matter
Being a woman over 50 in the UK is like being a third class citizen, not a second-class citizen a THIRD class citizen. It’s like being an elephant in the room an invisible person that no one talks about or considers their opinion feelings or thoughts.
Women in their 50’s today probably never went to University as only 1 woman in 15 went in the early 80’s and depending on where you lived would depend on what work was available, so for many women in the North that was a factory or warehouse. Women born in the 50’s and early 60’s unless from a well educated or wealthy family had little choice other than to find a job, and hopefully marry someone wealthy enough to support her and her children whilst she took maternity leave and very often then lived of whatever allowance her husband would provide her with.
This seems a very distant state of affairs not often written about by well-educated women working in London in the media. But this was very much the case for many women in the 1980’s only 35 years ago.
I was prompted to write about how I feel about women of this generation when I watched an amazing programme last night about the greatest icon of the 20th Century. Although many talented and ground-breaking women where nominated not one made it to the final pick. Women really where the silent majority in the 20th century, and it’s really not that many years ago.
We tend to think in 2019 that women are equal, the Me-too movement the acceptance of women as equals in all walks of life. However what about that huge demographic of women living in Britain over the age of 50 that nobody really talks about the ‘Silent Majority’ as I like to call them. The carers, the cleaners, the toilet attendants, the night shifters, the shelf stackers the unpaid family slaves ??? These women never went into higher education they just took any job they could to fit in, with cleaning, childcare, cooking, looking after elderly relatives, and very often much of that work was unpaid.
It’s a widely know fact the lower down the pay scale you sit the worse your overall health. Obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption is rife amongst the over 50 low paid women’s demographic.
Quite often the media is dominated by amazingly brilliant, very well educated older women, like Joan Bakewell or Jenni Murray on radio 4 and the beautiful, Mariella Fostrup who recently did a programme on the menopause and described how she thought HRT and her private gynaecologist was the answer for her. The programme was totally unrepresentative of most women in the UK who cannot afford private gynaecologists and have no choice.
Women over 50 may live until their 80’s or 90’s whose going to feed and clothe them pay for their care? Most have very small pensions, if any, no savings and the husbands they relied on rightly or wrongly? Well many have left for younger women.
Until we respect, nurture and give value to this group of women they will become a huge burden on society. In many cultures such as India the older woman is afforded great respect and her knowledge and power is valued by the family, regardless to whether or not she’s within the home or at work.
The culture of youth and beauty that so many worship exacerbates this immense problem and even women with power and a voice of that generation propel this beauty myth by having extremely expensive cosmetic procedures that most women could never afford to keep themselves in fantastically high paid elitist careers, once again not representing the real women over 50 today.
Wonderful, clever bright, educated women like Carol Vorderman whose physical appearance has changed dramatically over the years still deny that they have had any work done. Further diminishing women’s self-esteem depression and feeling of worthlessness in society today.
There is much written about children’s depression anxiety and feelings of low self worth, but you try being a women in the UK today who is over 50, something has to change and quick.
You may as well be INVISIBLE!!!