Welcome to  
The Old Women's Project

San Diego, California


How to contact us:

Please leave your name and telephone number at
619-574-8812 and we will respond.

Watch this space for Action Alerts

We are pleased to announce the completion of
a new DVD about the OWP:

Look Us in the Eye:
The Old Women's Project
by Jennifer Abod
click here


Articles by the OWP

 
Why is Ageism an Old Women's Issue?
 
Why are Ageist Attitudes Still Acceptable?
 

Real-life Examples of Ageist Comments

 
How to Recognize
Any 'Ism' When We See It
 
A Handy Guide from the OWP Language Police: How to Know if You're Being Ageist
 
Over the Hill and Out of Sight
by Janice Keaffaber
 
An Open Letter to Women Organizing Against War
 

 
 
 

ABOUT THE OLD WOMEN'S PROJECT:

The Old Women's Project works to make visible how old women are directly affected by all issues of social justice, and to combat the ageist attitudes that ignore, trivialize or demean us. We are a group of old women who use actions of various kinds to achieve this goal. We welcome women of all ages who wish to join in our actions.

Click here to see photos of a few OWP Actions

Click here to read articles about The OWP


WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT:

Old women must be treated as equal to other adults. We reject both contempt and "respect" on the basis of age, but rather celebrate honest exchange between generations. If we can have relations of equality, people can see for themselves whether we have "wisdom and experience." Some of us do. (Sometimes old women fall into wanting "honor and respect" just because women get so little respect throughout our lives that we feel we should at least get some pay-off at the end. Besides, we're aware that if we don't get special "respect," we usually end up with special contempt. But we also remember when "respect" for women was used as a reason to deny us the vote.)

Old women can and must speak out to demand this equality for ourselves and other old women. This breaks the taboo against old women asking for ourselves rather than for "future generations." But our own lives matter, and future generations of old women depend on us to end ageism.

Ageism disempowers all women. As long as younger women gain false power by distancing themselves from old women, the 35-year-old loses power by not being 25.

The word "old" is a statement of fact, not a matter of shame. We claim it, believing that as long as it is humiliating to be called old, it will be humiliating to be old.

WHO WE ARE:

For those who asked to join The Old Women's Project, we are not a membership organization. We are three San Diego women — Mannie Garza, Janice Keaffaber, Cynthia Rich — who have worked together on progressive issues for over a decade. As The Old Women's Project, inspired by the work of Barbara Macdonald, we have organized a number of actions, large and small, here in San Diego. Our first was the Women's Mobilization for Low-Cost Housing on International Women's Day 2001, which launched the current affordable housing movement in San Diego.

We have organized women-only anti-war actions in San Diego, including the "Women Don't Buy This War" protest on 1-19-03, "Women Will Not Be Silenced/No War" on 2-10-03 and the silent vigil bearing witness across international borders, "We Mourn With the Women of Iraq," on 3-22-03.

We've participated (carrying our large Old Woman puppet) in many progressive actions by other groups, such as the Home Health Care worker's rally for a living wage, four actions by California Coalition for Women Prisoners, rallies protesting the demolition of the single room occupancy hotels downtown, the Dyke March in Hillcrest, and many more.

Our purpose is to make visible the reality that old women have our own personal stake — not solely in issues such as Medicare, Social Security, prescription drugs, nursing homes, as vital to our survival as those are — but in all issues of social justice: Old women are raped, battered, trapped in the prison system, are caregivers as well as care recipients, need affordable housing, try to raise children in poverty (many of us find ourselves having to raise our children's children), face racism, anti-Semitism, hostility against Arabs, homophobia, ableism, and more — and are on the frontlines facing the impact of war and its aftermath. At the same time as we work to end these conditions, we work to end old women's invisibility in these struggles.

BUT OUR WORK WOULD NOT EXIST WITHOUT YOU — THE WONDERFUL WOMEN WHO JOIN US IN OUR ACTIONS. WE ESPECIALLY WELCOME OLD WOMEN, BUT WOMEN OF ALL AGES ARE WARMLY ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE.

Top of Page
 
Old Women:
Images & Realities
 
The Secret Lives of
Old Women
 
No Wonder Women Dread Getting Old!
 
Our Bodies /
A Celebration: Paintings by Alice Matzkin