INVISIBLE - Maureen Murphy

Older women can be invisible to the rest of the world – why? People seem to assume that the brains of senior females stop working, that older women are irrelevant and no longer contribute to society. As Janice Kennedy says in her article Being seen as a ‘senior’ [Janice Kennedy, Ottawa Citizen January 5, 2014] “In countless different ways, our culture says, ‘Seniors are more or less worthless’ ……… With growing dismay, I have come to realize that it no longer matters how I present myself, how polite or pleasant I try to be, what clever things I think I’m saying, how engaged I seem to be with the world, what I may once have done or yet plan to do. All that is immaterial. As just Another Old Person, I’m really not worth anyone’s time of day”. Well, I am undertaking to bury that myth. Here is a group of senior women who are not invisible. They are painters, photographers, politicians, musicians, singers, activists, full-time students, athletes, in addition to being grandmothers, lovers, mothers, and friends. When I started this project, many friends came to mind – they run, take 900 kilometre cycling trips, play bridge, go to school full time, argue about politics, and chain themselves to the Parliamentary Gallery in the House of Commons. People started telling me that they knew someone who would be perfect for the project, and others contacted me directly. I think that his is a life-long project - to ‘portray’ women who are engaged in life and to change perceptions of those who think we should be invisible.


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