Feminist writer and activist, Lynne Segal, discusses her recently published Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing with psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, social critic and writer Susie Orbach - author of many celebrated books, amongst them Bodies and On Eating, and recently co-edited Fifty Shades of Feminism, with Lisa Appignanesi and Rachel Holmes
In her autobiography Making Trouble (2007), Segal described herself as ‘a reluctantly ageing woman’, and mused about the need for ‘a feminist sexual politics of ageing’. Out of Time is her answer to these issues.
Fears of ageing, Segal argues, are fed to us from childhood in stories and fairy tales full of monstrous, quintessentially female, figures. She confronts the simplistic attributions of generational blame frequently named as causes of the economic crisis, the growing erotic invisibility for ageing women as well as the expectations of gender and ageing that inevitably constrain ambition and political engagement.
Out of Time also examines the representation of ageing in the work of other writers (many of them feminists) including Simone de Beauvoir, Alice Walker, Adrienne Rich, Philip Roth, Diane Athill, Joyce Carol Oates, John Berger, Grace Paley, Jo Brand, Jacques Derrida and John Updike.
Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing(November 2013) Verso
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