This week on “Yo, Is This Ageist?” Anonymous asked: Not long ago, a 73-year-old woman was raped in Central Park. When I told my boyfriend about it, he said, “That’s awful!” I think he meant not just that a woman was raped but that it was worse, maybe even creepy, because she was in her 70s. Was he being ageist?
Probably not. A violent act against a very young or very old person is viscerally disturbing because they’re less likely to be able to defend themselves—not that 74 is “very old.” If, however, your boyfriend meant that the victim was too old to be an object of desire, his response was ageist, sexist, and ignorant. Rape is an act of violence, not passion.
What do you think? Tell us in the comments box below.
“Yo Is This Ageist” is a blog by Ashton Applewhite.
See more Yo questions here and check out Ashton’s blog Staying Vertical. Got a Yo question for Ashton? Leave a comment below.
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