The Other within Us: Feminist Explorations of Women and Aging

By Marilyn Pearsall | Go to book overview

over the world to deliver and to hearken to papers on the latest astonishing discoveries about the decline of grip strength in menopause or the number of stromal cells in the fifty-year-old ovary, the woman herself is too busy to listen. She is climbing her own mountain, in search of her own horizon, after years of being absorbed in the struggles of others. The way is hard, and she stumbles many times, but for once no one is scrambling after her, begging her to turn back. The air grows thin, and she may often feel dizzy. Sometimes the weariness spreads from her aching bones to her heart and brain, but she knows that, when she has scrambled up this last sheer obstacle, she will see how to handle the rest of her long life. Some will climb swiftly, others will tack back and forth on the lower slopes, but few will give up. The truth is that fewer women come to grief at this obstacle than at any other in their tempestuous lives, though it is one of the stiffest challenges they ever face. Their behavior may baffle those who have unthinkingly exploited them all their lives before, but it is important not to explain, not to apologize. The climacteric marks the end of apologizing. The chrysalis of conditioning has once and for all to break and the female woman finally to emerge.


Notes
1.
I. Dinesen, Seven Gothic Tales, intro. D. Caulfield ( New York: Harrison Smith & Robert Haas, 1934), p. 20.
4.
H. Arendt, Men in Dark Times ( New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968), p. 97.
5.
B. E.S. Erskine, Anna Jameson: Letters and Friendships ( London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1915), p. 149.
6.
C. Rossetti, The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, memoir and notes by W. M. Rossetti ( London: Macmillan, 1904), p. 352.
7.
L. Hellman, An Unfinished Woman: A Memoir ( Boston: Little, Brown, 1969), p. 179.
8.
V. Sackville-West, All Passion Spent ( New York: Doubleday, Doran, 1931), pp. 113-15.
13.
E.Jennings, Collected Poems ( London: Carcanet, 1986), p. 104.
14.
M. Westkott, The Feminist Legacy of Karen Horney (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1986), p. 199.
16.
Jennings, Collected Poems, p. 106.

-273-

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The Other within Us: Feminist Explorations of Women and Aging
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 16
  • Part One - Situating 17
  • 1 - The Double Standard of Aging 19
  • 2 - Portnoy's Mother's Complaints 25
  • 3 - The Plight of Older Black Women 37
  • References 41
  • 4 - The Feminization of Poverty Among the Elderly 43
  • Notes 54
  • 5 - Older Women in the City 57
  • Notes 68
  • Part Two - Problematizing 71
  • 6 Friends or Foes - Gerontological and Feminist Theory 73
  • Notes 91
  • References 91
  • 7 Heresy in the Female Body - The Rhetorics of Menopause 95
  • Notes 110
  • References 110
  • 8 Gender, Race, and Class - Beyond the Feminization of Poverty in Later Life 113
  • Notes 119
  • References 119
  • 9 - The View from Over the Hill 121
  • Notes 134
  • 10 - Adult Daughters and Care for the Elderly 135
  • Notes 146
  • 11 What Setting Limits May Mean - A Feminist Critique of Danielcallahan's Setting Limits 151
  • Notes 158
  • References 159
  • Part Three - Representing 161
  • 12 Sunset Boulevard - Fading Stars 163
  • Notes 175
  • 13 - Remembering Our Foremothers Older Black Women, Politics of Age, Politics of Survival as Embodied in the Novels of Toni Morrison 177
  • Notes 193
  • 14 Visible Difference - Women Artists and Aging 197
  • Notes 214
  • 15 - Time Will Tell 221
  • Part Four - Privileging 227
  • 16 - Toward Another Dimension . . . 229
  • 17 - Indian Summer 233
  • 18 - In the Heat of Shadow 239
  • 19 - Mirror of Strength Portrait of Two Chilean Arpilleristas 243
  • 20 - The Space Crone 249
  • 21 - Serenity and Power 253
  • Notes 273
  • Credits 275
  • About the Book and Editor 277
  • About the Contributors 279
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