Invisibility and the Older Woman

I saw this interesting thread on another social media group I belong to. The initial post was a younger woman who was agitated that she was always getting approached when she went to the beach to go surfing. Men trying to give her unsolicited advice, or asking if she’s ok. The comments on the thread were mostly in agreement with how annoying it was to be mansplained, or men just have to tell women what to do etc. One woman replied saying that it’s more likely these men just want to hit on her or start a conversation and to enjoy the attention, as now she is older, she feels invisible and never gets noticed by any men. Others chimed in also to say that is true - at a certain age, you aren’t noticed anymore.

I’m not sure how I feel about all this but I thought it was an interesting thought. The theme of the invisible mature woman is one I am drawn to.

2 Likes

It’s interesting I was talking the other day about how men treat women nicer when they are attracted to them.

I remember someone saying that to me once… she used to be the one who when she walked into a room, all the heads turned. I also definitely take all the compliments I can get these days :slightly_smiling_face: what used to annoy me when I was younger, I now ask them where I can mail the check haha…

3 Likes

I am guessing too that is even true when it’s female on female… in general people considered universally attractive do get preferential treatment.

@SocalGirl ha I agree - I’ll take all the positive compliments and weak ass attempts to chit chat now unless if they’re being super creepy then, heck no

1 Like

I have always been totally disgusted when men cat-call or stare at me. I still have men holler and honk when I am out walking and it is so bizarre. But, I do have a tinge of fear around the day that stops completely. Objectification is a sick cycle.

It also creates an unnecessary competition between women. When I was in my 20s I had a manager in her 50s who was very mean to me. Once day I just called her out and asked her why she was that way with me. She told me she felt intimidated by me because I was thin and the male partners of the firm seemed to like my opinion. I was stunned. I couldn’t do anything about that! I ended up leaving that job even though I liked it. She was just too toxic.

3 Likes

This is an interesting topic, and I find it complicated how I feel about it to be honest.
I do not like unsolicited, creepy, sexually charged comments or attention from men or women, and in the past it pissed me off, unless I was actually flirting with someone obviously. I had both women and men grope me when I used to go out a lot, or make gross comments, etc. I used to wear a gold nameplate style necklace that said in pretty hand-writing: Eat Shit with diamonds on it of course! If someone creepy approached me, I’d ask them if they liked my necklace, then watch them walk away LOL

Now that I’m in my 40’s I DEF notice less people notice me in a sexual way, but also I’ve been with my partner for 10 years so I put out a very different vibe, and I don’t really care. I find women compliment me the most, in a NICE way, so THAT feels good. I’ve worked hard on my outer and inner self, and feel good about that, so it is nice when my hair, makeup, outfits are complimented, in a respectful way.

Where I DO feel SUPER INVISIBLE right now is in my job search. Making a mid-life career pivot after 20 years of contact center management, leading teams, project management, creating and delivering training, CRM, but applying for JUNIOR roles in HR/Talent/Recruiting, nobody values anything I have to offer. They want to hire some 20-something fresh out of school who makes sense on paper. I always had people contacting me for jobs on L/In for 6 figure salary jobs, but now that I’m burnt out from managing people and making companies rich, nobody gives a shit. I’m going back to school, I can’t afford it, but apparently my 20 years of experience means nothing unless I keep doing the same thing.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Rant lol I know I am awesome, but MAN this is frustrating.

2 Likes

Welcome to the Scarlet forum community and thanks for making your first post! Completely agree with you that objectification is a bad cycle. I’ve definitely experienced too what you say about someone acting unkind to me because of jealousy, in both social and work settings. I do love that you called her out on it and at least she admitted it.

2 Likes

WOW! I totally relate on feeling invisible in my career. I have been in Communications Management (writing, marketing, websites, etc.) for 20 years and I feel burned out too. I used to have lots of interest in my work and now it is like crickets. I had one person who was interviewing me tell me they didn’t think I had the skills, when I had been doing 90% of the job tasks they were looking for for over 10 years. I have been on the hiring end too and noticed that younger candidates will claim to be experts in things that they have little to no experience, which is probably why it is becoming so darn hard to compete. I don’t know the solution, but I feel you…sigh.

1 Like

@HappyHealthyHer That makes me feel better! Thank you for sharing your experience. There is no easy answer for me, but I am resilient and determined, and I know I have a lot to offer so I will keep on pushing. I am applying for some education funding, which includes some additional funds for living costs, so hopefully once I gain some specific education this will help to set me apart and add to my experience while building a new career. Ageism is real, and there is definitely discrimination in terms of ‘culture’ and ‘fit’ as companies use these terms to sugar coat their own biases. It all fuels my interest in working towards a career, rooted in Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity :raised_hands:

2 Likes

I typically look for work in the nonprofit sector. I see positions quite regularly that call for experience in Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity on Idealist.org. If you haven’t looked there you might want to give it a shot. I feel a bit conflicted about the idea or pursuing more education, as I think so many of us are actually overqualified already. Best of luck! I was having a pity party today, thank you for making me feel less alone.

2 Likes

@HappyHealthyHer It’s definitely frustrating to see that ageism isn’t often addressed as an area where discrimination happens especially in the workplace. More work needs to be done to ensure there is equal opportunity and representation for people from various age groups and even the application process itself can be ageist.

1 Like

Thanks to you too, I feel less alone from you sharing your thoughts too! This is a great place for us to connect and feel safe and supported, I love it and appreciate everyone on here :sparkling_heart:

2 Likes

People say I’m attractive, I’m 53. I do think it all has to do with the energy you put out there. I am not friendly to men if i don’t want to be bothered. I have no interest in comparing myself. I love me… im good enough for me. Anything else is a bonus. I believe women with insecurities, rears it’s ugly head when you feel threatened, a trigger so to speak taking them to a place of vulnerability. I’m a huge fan of raising women up. Anything else is just crap and Drama.

3 Likes

It’s true… energy and vibe is such a big part of it!

1 Like