Why Ageism is One of the Only Forms of Acceptable Discrimination?

Gillism is one of the only forms of acceptable discrimination

It is quite clear to me that old age is one of the only forms of acceptable discrimination.

I recently read the article, “Older workers are pushed out the door: why is it still okay to be old at work?” By Richard Eisenberg. This article was an interview with Stanford Research authors for Business titled, Equality for (almost) everyone: Equitable advocacy predicts lower support for sexism and racism, but not gilism.

I bought the full report from American Psychological Association And I found it a bit nerdy but, again, it’s a research study!

I found some very interesting findings that I want to summarize in this post.

How is Gilism different from sexism, racism and other comparisons?

The author states that racism and sexism tell people to “stay in your place.” Do not go beyond the boundaries that society has set for these people.

Gilism, on the other hand, tells old works to “get out of the way.” In an egalitarian society, as we grow older, we must ultimately voluntarily step aside and let the next generation take our place.

One of the things that the Baby Boom generation is best known for is that the world has adapted and adapted itself to our desires and needs for decades. The youngest baby boomer is 57 as of October 2021. In earlier periods we would have been expected to move aside until now and retire. We do not play the game of retirement and getting out of the way like previous generations. The younger generations sure do not like it.

Why do we not move out of the way?

I am 65 years old and have no intention of retiring. At the same time, I have no intentions of working for an employer again. Applying the standalone model allows me to do this. Years of savings and a little luck in my timing allowed me the choice to retire or continue working. A very large part of our generation is not in this situation, they need to keep working.

The report discusses the concept of “blocking opportunities”. The author defines this as Belief that older people are actively preventing more deserving groups from receiving the resources and support needed to move forward. “

Much depends on how young people see why we do not retire. Do they understand that many cannot retire or do they have a point of view that we are choice Not to retire?

Reuse your career podcast

Listen to the last episode

Much depends on how young people see their older counterparts.

A few years ago I gave an abbreviated version of the multi-generational workshop to the leading law firms in Austin. The leader of the host law firm was in his late 60s with no intention of retiring soon. When I went to close the meeting I asked for some last thoughts. One of the lawyers, who was born in the mid-1960s, said he only wanted the older partners to simply retire to get the “hell” out of the way. It was a classic case of opportunity-blocking perception and a clear form of aging.

This was a classic case of why gilism is one of the only forms of acceptable discrimination.

The reality is that we are living a longer and healthier life. At the same time, we are not financially prepared for retirement. Depending on what study you look at somewhere between 70-80% of baby boomers are unwilling to retire.

Some of us do not want to retire. I want to keep working but I have decided to pursue an encore career.

This is not new. We heard about university professors who remained in office even in their 80s. Look at the current and past U.S. presidents, none of whom are going to step aside and let the next generation take the lead.

Many of you reading this post are not blocking opportunities because you are at the opposite end of the scale your opportunity is blocked for you by gilism.

The younger you are, the more likely you are to believe in the sequence

Research has shown that beliefs in the concept of inheritance increase as you get younger. The younger you are, the more likely you are to think older workers should step aside.

When I interviewed Aston Applevit in the podcast episode, this chair is rocking! With writer Ashton Appelvit [Podcast], We talked about how we tend to separate from age during our lives.

We start going to kindergarten and then progress in the education system with people the same age as us. The reality is that we spend much of our first 25 years in age segregation. Only as soon as we leave school do we experience peers who are not our age.

Why is gilism one of the only forms of acceptable discrimination? Makes sense, it makes sense!

I have found that the results of this study are quite clear. It is easy to understand why it is possible to treat old age as acceptable. But I do not like it!

The challenge is that the baby boom generation is big. As a group, we did not save enough for retirement but again it is not entirely our fault. The concept of retirement is still a relatively new thing and the way we save for retirement changed in the 80s with the passing of the pension.

We are now dumping the COVID-19 epidemic in which we were part of the most vulnerable population.

Logically, it all makes sense but I see that there is no quick fix to the problem. Yuck!

Mark Miller

Love what you read? Get insights from Career Pivot

Do you need help with …

Check out our Help Center where you have access to 14 different content portals.


Similar Articles


Most Popular