Ashton Applewhite: Fighting Double Discrimination of Ageism and Sexism | Bouncing Back #25

In this episode, host Gabriella Joustra is joined by Ashton Applewhite, a renowned writer and activist

Are you familiar with feeling treated unfairly because of your age or gender? Have you ever found yourself in situations where your abilities were underestimated or limited solely based on these factors?

In this episode, you will explore the wide-reaching issues of stigmatization and discrimination that individuals face due to perceived differences, offering invaluable insights on combating ageism and sexism and actively promoting inclusion.

Meet Ashton Applewhite

Ashton Applewhite is a highly respected writer and activist residing in Brooklyn, New York. She is well-known for her empowering book, This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, and is a leading advocate in raising awareness about ageism.

Ashton is also a co-founder of the Old School Anti-Ageism Clearinghouse, where she dedicates her efforts to curating and creating freely accessible resources that educate individuals about ageism. 

About the episode

In this thought-provoking episode of Bouncing Back, Ashton explores the diversity within the “us” concept, highlighting the influence of variables such as age, race, gender, and socioeconomic status. She emphasizes the need to challenge comfort zones, engage with diverse experiences, and continuously learn and adapt. She also discusses the importance of using inclusive and value-neutral language to foster a more inclusive society.

Throughout the episode, Ashton discusses the fear and negative perception of aging. She emphasizes the importance of challenging societal messages and stereotypes. She also discusses the changing nature of work and the importance of creating a world that allows for breaks, career transitions, and financial security at different stages of life.

During the episode, Ashton argues that mandatory retirement should become obsolete and that better on-ramps to work should exist. She also emphasizes the importance of diverse age representation in the workforce and touches upon the personal experience of feeling out of place when surrounded by people of a different age group.

According to Ashton, women face great challenges in the workplace. She highlights the impact of patriarchy and how it diminishes and undervalues women, especially those from marginalized communities. Ashton challenges the idea that older women are a drain on resources in primitive societies.

Ashton also discusses awareness against misogyny. She emphasizes the importance of self-care, cultivating social networks, and consciously diversifying one’s friend group. Before moving on to the open mic session, she advises people to find activities they enjoy and join mixed groups engaged in those activities.

In conclusion

Taking an active role in creating a more inclusive and equitable society is essential for embracing diversity, challenging ageism, and promoting inclusivity. By rejecting the negative perception of aging, people can confront the challenges faced by women in the workplace. Therefore, it is also crucial to cultivate diverse social networks to foster understanding and support.

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