Quoted on anti-ageism

A frequent, unabashed advocate for a variety of doing-what’s-right causes, Sarah, through her activism, sometimes shows the lasting effects the celebrity bully pulpit can have. Case in point: It was back in September (9/12/13) that Sarah talked on Totally Biased about her surprise and consternation at being jabbed for her age during the August 25 Comedy Central Roast of James Franco. Today (2/8/14), writing about “Society, Career and Power” in Elle magazine, Nisha Chittal quotes Sarah to help indict age bias. (We added the highlighting in this excerpt from “Why I Never Tell Anyone (Especially My Coworkers) My Age.”)

ElleLogoFor better or worse, the practice of women hiding their age is nothing new. Look at any number of movies and TV shows, and you’ll see countless jokes about women and age, and countless female characters hiding and even lying about their age. In Sex and the City, Charlotte York declares on her thirty-sixth birthday: “I’ve thought about it, and I’ve decided I’m sticking at 35.” She later adds, “Men are more interested in meeting 35-year-olds.” In Judd Apatow’s 2012 film This Is 40, Leslie Mann’s character pretends she’s turning thirty-nine and later gets caught lying about her birth year on paperwork at her doctor’s office. In September 2013, Sarah Silverman pointedly joked she was “embarrassed” to discover she was forty-two after a slew of ageist barbs were directed at her during a Comedy Central roast of James Franco: “Because it’s personal, that is just so woman-based . . . . I feel like your joke is that I’m still alive. My crime is not dying.”

 

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