More in the press today about how older women TV presenters are sidelined. It seems that not only women over sixty, but even women over forty start to become ‘invisible’, or at any rate unviewable. By this yardstick I must be well on my way to disappearing like the Cheshire Cat, leaving nothing behind but a smile, or possibly a snarl.
It seems crazy that as we live longer, we also persist in discriminating against older people. Yet there’s also a longing for authoritative voices, which often come from older people. I for one much prefer an older newsreader, particularly a woman, because of their quality of empathy. I feel that with their life experience they understand the import of the news much better, and you can hear it in the way they deliver it.
Some years ago I was on a plane which ran into turbulence, and some of the passengers, including me, felt sick. I looked around at the cabin crew to see whom I might call for assistance. There was only one older crew member, a calm and comfortable-looking middle-aged woman, and I had no doubt that it was her I would want to help me. I feel sure that many other passengers were thinking the same thing. It crossed my mind then that airlines would do well to recruit more mature, sympathetic-looking people like her.