Monday, July 20, 2009

Man I'm Getting Old

I was reading another chapter related to multiculturalism last night that once again initiated thinking (by the way I have two more weeks of that course and I am nearing the disability chapter - I will post about that, I am sure). The chapter was on older adults and challenges they face in our society. I started thinking that some of this is similar to the area of disability. Older adults are often not offered the newest treatments. I think about how this relates to our history where certain concerns, like heart problems, were not treated with children with Down syndrome. A judgment is made on who is important and worth survival. In addition, age is an area that impacts us all - and, like disabilities, has connotations related to worth and vulnerability. If you think about it, there are similarities in the way jokes and sarcasm are used to distance oneself from those concerns (and so my title of my post). These could really be seen as microaggressions against those who are experiencing these challenges (just like the r-word). This all comes in my mind right now because last week I had a toe issue. All of a sudden my toe swelled up with an infection and it was a strange ordeal. I ended up going to the emergency room and getting treatment (it is better now). My joke over and over again was the title of my post. I used to never have any health concerns and now things happen. What I realize now is that my age has nothing to do with it, but it is an area of vulnerability and tension for me that I have to really think about and work on. And maybe this was why I did this microaggression. But I have to work on this - microaggressions (even jokes) aren't the way to go, because just like with the use of the r-word with some as a way to joke about that vulnerability they don't want to think about - it doesn't solve the initial problem which is what you internally think about that area, your fears, and society's pressure to be a certain way.


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