Deborah Ross: Older women, eh? What are they good for?

If you ask me...

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, these are deeply uneasy times for older women. Moira Stuart, Selina Scott, Arlene Phillips, Anna Ford... all claim to have been dumped by television due to their age, as does Miriam O'Reilly from a BBC programme called Countryfile. As it happens, 189 per cent of older women never watch Countryfile, because it just sounds so dull, but they still find this business a worry all the same.

It's as if older women aren't good for anything anymore, or good at anything, which is just plain silly. Older women are good at so many things. They are good at buying those big granny panties which can also serve as car covers in snowy conditions. They are good at searching all over for their keys when they've had them in their hand all along. They are good at remembering when public toilets had those towels you had to crank round, and drying your hands actually meant something. They are good at resentfully serving up yet another family meal, resentfully.

They are good at wearing the sort of things they swore they would never wear, like fleeces and warm little boots with zips up the front. They are good at despising young shop assistants, particularly those who rifle about in drawers or check lists rather than serve. (Hello? You're a shop. I'm a customer. Might we connect some time soon?)

They are good at feeling bad about their necks, particularly if the neck has run up credit card debt. They are good at dissing their teenage daughters for their cheap, Primark sluttiness, even though it only spurs them on. They are good at watching Kirstie's Homemade Home, with its instructions to "break all the rules" and "go for what you like" and thinking: "But what if I like box mounted offal? Or Nazi memorabilia? Or the still beating hearts of birds, strung like fairy lights over the fireplace?"

They are good at spending obscene amounts of money on neck creams, even though they don't work, the neck doesn't deserve it, and it means the family have to go without those little extras, like shoes and food. They are good at turning the central heating up, and then guarding the thermostat with Doberman and bread-knife from all the males who go about complaining: "But it's tropical in here."

So they are good at all this but, unlike John Craven, say, they aren't good at being pretty enough for prime-time TV. This is a great pity, particularly as they are also good at not putting up with any shit from anyone. Go, Miriam, go!

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Political Editor: Cameron's unexpected tax pledges give the Tories home advantage

Andrew Grice
President Barack Obama walks with U.S. Secret Service agents to Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Calif., May 8, 2014.  

Obama's Secret Service has become sloppy with its delusions of Hollywood grandeur

David Usborne
Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence