photo: Greta Thunberg’s Facebook page
choose your influencer
older woman sexuality
When I started writing this post, on Monday, Greta had not yet given her speech at the U.N. Then she did and the shite really hit the fan. The haters came out in full strength. Then, after her speech, I reposted a quote on Instagram, that I grabbed from the brand Tome:
“Let this give you pause: @gretathunberg is changing the world, @kimkardashian is designing it more spanx. Choose your influencer.”
I read a concise little article, by Jennifer O’Connell, at the Irish Times recently: “Why is Greta Thunberg so triggering for certain men?” At first, it is quite puzzling. Middle aged men have been belittling this small powerhouse of a 16-year-old, in the press and on social media, like she was some sort of modern-day plague.
Well guess what, she is. She’s a pox on the patriarchy, and the best part of it is that she doesn’t care what they think, that’s not what she cares about and that’s precisely what enrages the men more than the truth she speaks.
They don’t like that she makes them listen, they don’t like that she speaks with confidence, they don’t like that she quotes scientific facts, and that she’s speaking at the U.N. this week, but what positively enrages them is that she doesn’t care what they think!
She’s supposed to care, she’s a female child.
What enrages me about these men is that I experienced the same thing when I was a young girl. While I was nowhere near as poised, well-informed, or dedicated to anything at Greta’s age, I was what was called “rebellious.” I always questioned authority, especially the authority of older men. Why this was true is complex and a story for another time, but that’s my experience.
At times, I’m sure that my “opposition,” and the way I expressed it, was inappropriate, more often though, I believe it was spot on. I knew that what I was hearing and seeing, or being asked to do was wrong, and perhaps like Greta, my 16-year-old life experience had made me fearless.
She’s supposed to care, she’s a female child.
What the men who ruthlessly and relentlessly attack Greta are seeing in her is the unfiltered behavior that young, strong, and intelligent girls portent: Greta will grow up to be a strong woman, a woman who speaks her mind articulately and with confidence.
The men, and some women, are full of foreboding. No one knows what will be, very few of us think that we’re heading towards some kind of utopia but, inevitably, Greta’s detractors will fade away. And whether or not I’m here when they do, I can’t wait.
These earrings are made by Avery Gregory. If you like natural colors, the colors of the earth, and if you like shapes and multiples of things, and if you like rocks, and clay, follow her on Instagram.
The earrings are ceramic, almost 3″ in diameter and very thin and light, like fine wafers.
They actually flutter in the wind. I was afraid they might be too fragile for me, but so far so good, and I don’t play football in big earrings.
Clay is the kind of thing I like in the fall. Heavy, clay bowls, and slipping and sliding on paths of clay like mud substances and dead leaves on a path in the park.
I’ve been toying with the color ocher lately. You can call it ocher, or clay, in any case it’s a good color, and one, I think, deserves attention. We tend to brush it off and think of it as boring and dull, but look at the picture below. Look at how the putty(?) jacket that Catherine Dupon is wearing, complements the ocher wall.
One of my readers commented about my last post, that perhaps lighter colors are more flattering on some older women? I suppose, that may be true for some, and in that case here’s a color that I think many of us would look good in, especially when pared with a color as complementary as the one Catherine is wearing.
That same reader, also asked:
“And — here is a real question: in terms of ‘mutton dressed as lamb’…it isn’t always ‘acceptable’ for a woman of a certain age to present sexually as a younger woman. So…what does ‘older woman sexuality’ look like????”
It’s a brilliant question because, intentionally or not, the use of the word “sexuality” really pushes some buttons. Yes, we’re talking sexuality here. And while I prefer the less loaded word, sensuality, it is, after all, sex we’re talking about.
It’s the question I’ve been asking myself ever since I started this blog. Some others might ask, “why worry about how an older woman represents herself sexually?” My answer is that I think it matters for the wider questions this “desexualization” of older women means for all women.
A woman’s autonomy has to include her sexuality and the way she “represents.”
There are two extremes in the way women are perceived in regards to sexuality: the young increasingly sexualized, the old viewed as asexual. While at the same time young women are maturing sooner and women in general, living longer. So are we “screwed” on both ends?
While I believe it’s always been that way, the acceleration of everything, the polarization, and objectification of everything, is bringing the extremes to the forefront. Yes we are screwed, but that’s why we’re all here, to find a way to something we can all live with.
I follow Catherine Dupon on Instagram because I think she does “older woman sexuality” really very well. From her long dresses to her shorts and her suspenders, she is subtle but not shy, sexy and comfortable. And if you speak French, you can read her blog.