A New Paradigm for Older Women

Article excerpt

Visionaries Have Wrinkles: Conversations with Wise Women Who Are Reshaping the Future by Karen Sands. Broad Minded Publishing. 2012. 255 pages. Paperback. $19.99.

In Visionaries Have Wrinkles, an anthology on womanhood and maturity, gerontologist Karen Sands notes that women have more power to drive business, politics, and society than at any known time in history. However, many older women grapple with self-image, partly due to longstanding negative stereotypes: Women's magazines ignore them and prize youthful beauty, and popular fairy tales portray them as wicked witches.

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Yet, ancient folklore offers an entirely different image of mature womanhood: the "crone" as a respected elder whom people turn to for healing, guidance, and wisdom. Sands calls upon older women everywhere to "realize their inner crones" and affirm new roles as mentors and cultivators. She then profiles successful older women who have embraced "cronehood."

World Future Society member and popular conference speaker Helen Harkness gets personal mention in the book. Her accomplishments include founding the career counseling firm Career Design Associates and authoring, after age 67, several bestselling books on career guidance. …