Chapter 9. The Raging Grannies
Narrative Construction of Gender and Aging
by Linda Caissie (P.126~142)
政大圖檔所 陳勇汀 2013/4/11
- 研究目標：對抗社會對老奶奶的印象。My aim in this chapter is to try and fill some of this gap by discussing how the Raging Grannies, a group of older women activists, challenge the social construction of age and gender through their collective stories and provide a powerful "conterstory" to dominant narratives of both.
- Stereotype of old woman: 對老奶奶的刻板印象
- the academic literature, including the literature on feminist theory, fails to recognize older women involved in activism. 研究缺乏認知
- many feminist groups still judge older women by age instead of individuality, 聚焦年齡
- and are concerned more about attracting younger women than about including older ones 關注年輕時期
WHO ARE THE RAGING GRANNIES? (P.127) 誰是崛起的老奶奶
- the Raging Grannies are a group of older women who
- have ideas about what is wrong with society and
- how to make it right.
- The Grannies (or gaggle) 老奶奶的特徵
- are made up of mainly Caucasian, middle-class, educated older women, approximately 52 to 67 years of age, and
- represent a variety of backgrounds teachers, nurses, artists, homemakers and
- statuses: married, widowed, or never married.
- protest the U.S. Navy nuclear warships in the water surrounding Victoria.
- After not being taken seriously because they were regarded as old women, they decided "to break the stereotype of nice but negligible grandmothers by becoming outrageous"
RESEARCH METHODS (P.128) 研究方法
- Feminist Gerontology 性別平等老人學:
- to improve the negative images of older women by challenging negative stereotypes of them and emphasizing women's development over the entire life course.
- acknowledges the dual importance of social action and individual empowerment as tools to enhance the lives of older women.
- interpretive paradigm 詮釋典範: gain an understanding about persons and their lives from everyday conversations and observations
- in-depth active interviews 深度訪談: Twenty-one Raging Grannies
- open-ended questions 開放式問題 in nature to allow them the freedom to refuse to respond
Discussion: Subjects about Raging Grannies (P.129) 描繪崛起的老奶奶
- While some older women conform to societal expectations, others challenge these prescribed gender roles
Defining One’s Self (P.130) 自我定義
- They may now have choices and new opportunities to continue learning and growing through their continuing abilitiesand expanding interests.
- They did not define themselves immediately in terms of traditional gender roles.
- Their involvement in activism, 行動主義者
- their love for music or street theater, and
- their interest in social justice.
- They would use images of older women that run counter to societal expectations.
- we don't care if we look ridiculous (荒謬) but we would like you to listen and would like to get out there and be part of life so that people will listen.
Reclaiming "Old" (P.131) 對於「老」的重新詮釋
- Being old becomes a person's main social identity. Research is usually focused on such aspects of aging asdisability and illness.
- old is only negative if we define it that way.
- By using old age in positive ways, we are saying that there is nothing wrong with being old.
- They are not marginalized (邊緣化) just because they are older women... "because I am not going to let people push me around."
- older women have more of an advantage
- they can get away with more during a protest (講話比較有威嚴) "We are old,so why would someone want to gather up a bunch of old women and put them in jail?
- They no longer have the obligations (更少負擔) of family, work, body image, and so on.
- "They are putting age out there."
- The Raging Grannies are certainly not attempting to present a more youthful public image...
- making funof the stereotypes withtheir costumes " we are changing the idea of what an older women should be"
Reclaiming Public Space (P.133) 對於「活動範圍」的重新詮釋
- "a woman's place is in the home" is grounded in the gendered division of labor,
- women have a history of using public spaces for social activism.
- "It's fun shaking people! ...I feel a freedom with the Raging Grannies to do anything that is me, and that is marvelous, right?
- The Raging Grannies reclaim public space by expressing their anger and political concerns in spaces once dominated by men.
The Strength of a Women's Community (P.134) 女性社群的力量
- Woman-centered culture is often focused on responsibility, connection, community, negotiation (談判), and nurturance (育兒),
- in contrast to male culture, which is focused on self-interest, combat, and hierarchy.
- Women get things done because as a group we communicate and delegate (請託) instead of fighting.
- women have a greater understanding of such social issues as violence, child poverty, and unemployment, because often they have been affected by these issues directly.
- Being involved with a group of women gave the Grannies social support, collective action, camaraderie, and, no doubt, strength in numbers. 社群力量大
The Power of Humor and Music (P.136) 幽默與音樂的力量
- Women have a history of using nonviolent, creative methods of protest, including song, dance, poetry, humor, play, and symbolic imagery.
- The Grannies will also use props that are symbolic of who they are:
- 旗幟 umbrellas, spoons, pots, pans, mops, and even their own flag, namely the Canadian flag, except that the maple leaf is replaced by the picture of a Raging Granny.
- Whereas a speech may be heard only once, songs are learned and repeated indefinitely.
- 促進團結 women sharing humor and laughter can create solidarity through a shared sense of reality.
- 建立主張 The use of humor and laughter can help create and affirm the group's own meanings.
- 說服他人 Humor and laughter can function as a socially acceptable release for anxiety
- 諷刺刻板印象 Grannies are also resisting traditional gender roles through their use of humor
CONCLUSION (P.138) 結論
- Older activists can carry their acquired skills and knowledge into old age to continue working for social change.
- older women can use the past as source material from which to challenge stereotypical views of older women
- activism is "giving the Raging Grannies the opportunity to come together as a community to educate and make a better world."
- For younger women:
- By reading the Raging Grannies' stories, younger women can draw upon the "narrative maps" that the Grannies provide as they formulate their own maps of aging and redefine their own aging selves.