The other day Rosie the Riveter, this iconic World War II poster, turned into a very engaging tee-shirt looked at me frm the window of the one and only neighborhood store that sells clothes, Liberty House.
How many of us as little girls puzzled over Rosie's image back in the 1940s? Ronni Bennett could only have been a toddler then but something had started in late 19th century America--women taking snapshots with their own cameras, riding bicycles--to offer smart, creative women an alternative to domestic gooddesshood. For Ronni, there was the rebellious, hard working, somewhat quirky for her time Aunt Edith.
Ronni showed us once again her place in that lineage in an interview with New York City's leading public radio host, Brian Lehrer. Except this was television. Brian, public intellectual/social justice guru, also has a weekly show on CUNY-TV . Yesterday ElderBlogging was a generous segment in his program on "Social Networking."
Undiverted from this opportunity to spread the gospel, Ronni smiled. She spoke about words she favors to describe us, "the neutral word is 'old'...not 'elderly' which implies frail." Most favored, of course is "elder."
The fearless leader of the notion, she clarified that elderblogs are personal, "not a one-way street." The value of blogs is a chance to show what aging really looks like," her tag line at Time Goes By, We talk to one another about what engages us as elders. She covered a lot of territory; listen for yourself HERE. New York City lost when there was no job for her in the ageist marketplace here.
Portland, Maine, was the winner when Ronni moved there two years ago. We elders know how to land on our feet, thank you. She ended the interview with a nod to the influence of boomers, those folks a little younger and often unsettled by aging, "They are going to change things a lot, " she said and noted there's a place on her site for "Honorary Elderbloggers, those not yet 50 years old."
Using that model, a new group forming at NYC NOW (National Organization for Women) decided to expand our boundaries with the name "Boomer and Senior Women's Network." Like Ronni, I'm not fond of the "s-word" but that was in place before we began. More important is what we're working on--ways to become better advocates for ourselves and other older women around health issues, particularly in how we relate to doctors.
We meet at 2:30 p.m., second and fourth Thursday of the month, in the NOW office in Manhattan. Join us, add your ideas. Contact me through the address on my About page for more information. Once again, Rosie and Ronni remind us, We Can Do It!