I’m a few months shy of 65, and yes, I find that nearly impossible to believe—and sometimes difficult to share.
Divulging one’s age is definitely a personal decision. I respect that, and so do most women I know.
My friend Maery, who coincidentally turns 65 today, not only willingly shares her age, she dares people to make a joke or a derogatory comment.
Others I know are more sensitive about sharing. One reason is because they fear age-related discrimination. That’s the situation of another friend who, unlike me, spent most of her 30s and 40s as a stay-at-home mom focused on her family.
Now, eager to complete her PhD and advance in her career, she recently declined being nominated for the Minnesota 50 Over 50, an AARP Minnesota awards program that honors Minnesotans over the age of 50 who are doing amazing things in one of five categories: arts, business, community, nonprofit and disruptor.
Two other women I know declined to be nominated as well because they, too, didn’t want to call attention their age. One felt doing so would diminish her accomplishments, another thought doing so might jeopardize her job hunt.
The male colleague who asked them if he could nominate them described the experience as awkward and uncomfortable. He went on to say that he would never feel uncomfortable asking a man about his age. And he doubts a man would ever decline being nominated because of his age.
What do you think? Do you own your age or are you sensitive about revealing it? If so, why? Do you see a difference between how men and women view age and their willingness to talk about it? What can we, individually or as a society, do to help ourselves and others openly claim—and share—our age?
Share your thoughts.