You have been invited to speak on a student panel at Montgomery College about raising awareness on campus about the intersectionality of aging and gender, particularly as it relates to inequality and other social problems on college campuses. During your five-minute presentation, you are asked to specifically address these issues within the context of Montgomery College. Using your personal experience of studying on a college campus, such as Montgomery College, please address the following questions and how you would discuss them as a panel member. The questions are:
  • What do you personally believe the root causes of discrimination and prejudice specific to gender and aging are?
  • Does gender-based and/or age-based inequality exist on campus? If so, how so? If not, why not? 
  • How does inequality of aging and gender manifest itself on campus? Are there any examples you can you identify in which such inequalities have been observed and/or experienced?
  • What do you propose is necessary to address such inequalities on campus? How can your remedy or solution be carried out or implemented? 
***Your response (blog post) to this blog above is required by Tuesday, November 8, 2011  at 11:59 p.m.***
11/4/2011 01:36:06

I have personally seen and experienced age-based inequality. Although I have been studying ageism in the context of how older people are seen / treated, I have faced a few cases of mistreatment because of my youth.

I was treated very rudely by one of the financial aid counselors on several occasions. It felt as though he was exuding his authority to belittle me; making me seem like another young student who has no clue what they are doing, that is of no priority whatsoever.

In another instance, the professor was yelling at the class that was entering the room. The teacher had let us in and the students were trying to explain that to him, but he cut everyone off every time they spoke and raised his voice each time. This was extremely inappropriate conduct; especially due to the fact that he was treating is as if we were in elementary school and deserved no respect.

Discrimination is everywhere; no matter how subtle or how blunt. To address these campus issues, the staff must change their perspectives. They should not try to take advantage of the fact that we are depending of them, either for assistance or knowledge. They need to learn how to respect us and not view us as someone young, dumb and inexperienced, and we deserve as much respect as we give them.

Kinley Bunting
11/7/2011 05:44:42

I believe that the root of discrimination and prejudice comes from fear, a lack of understanding and acceptance of the opposite gender and/or age.
I have not personally witnessed any gender/aged-based inequalities but I am sure they do exist on campus. Teachers and student could assume that an older student may have all the answers and shouldn’t really be back in school, or that historically gender specific classes are slower to update there curriculum to accommodate a mixed gender class.

I wouldn’t say that I experienced gender inequality but more of gender discrimination. I did take Women Studies at my old college and I often felt as though the professor wasn’t prepared to have male students in the class after the first day. I thought that the class would look back historically on the Feminist Movement and we would learn about all the major figures and the forward/backward progress we had made as a society, but this wasn’t the case and we mainly focused on the present oppression/objectification of women in US society. Also, my female friends would often question why I was taking the class feeling as though I should have left the class when all the other male students did. With age-based inequality I can only assume that maybe some course that are more technically driven are not recommended for older students who could be returning to or wanting to get a college education. Though I restate that I have not witnessed this or any other form of age-based inequality.

I propose that people need to adapt to the changing times and to keep an opened mind. Have an opinion but keep them to yourself and make sure it’s an educated decision. It would be hard to implement these things but I guess it all starts when your being raised and first exposed to the world.

Fraol Bejiga
11/8/2011 02:28:56

I believe the cause for gender based and age based inequality is the society itself. Family’s value of boys more than girls and young more than the elder, advertisements and TV dramas in the mass media, and doctrines of religions all play crucial roles for the existence of these inequalities.
I have observed discrimination and bias related to age in my classes. Even though I have not personally seen the effect of gender inequality, I have learned it exists on campus through crime alert news of Montgomery College. In most classes, older students are usually expected to know more than younger students. They are expected to do more than the required work to receive the same grades as young students because they are usually considered to have more knowledge through experience. Female students are victims of theft and sexual harassment. Female are victims of theft more than boys because they are considered as weak to fight back. Female students are also affected by sexual harassment ranging from simple unwanted comments to physical abuse. For example, according to the Montgomery College Office of Facilities/Safety & Security crime alert news, there was a sexual assault on the second floor of the Student Service building on October 13, 2011. Older women are doubly disadvantages because they face the effect of both gender-based and age- based inequalities.
I suggest, since society itself is the base of these inequalities, there must be a vital change in the society in regards to the perception of these discriminations. Individuals should believe in equality of rights and opportunities of men and women and implement it in their everyday life. Government should play its role through implementing affirmative action in schools and enforcing laws to reduce work place discriminations.

Chun Yung
11/8/2011 04:21:01

In my opinion, the root cause of discrimination and prejudice specific to gender and aging is all about fear. People fear to get rejected and discriminated by others, so he or she might meet someone who is same race. When this group grow bigger, they will feel safer. In contrast, discrimination will start in that group, for they do not want anyone who is not the same race or age to challenge their group.
I do not have any experience about gender-based inequality on campus, but I have experience about age-based inequality. I park in the staff parking when I first time go to college, and I get a ticket afterwards. When I go to the payment counter to pay my ticket, I found that two people were waiting in the line. I start waiting. When it came to me, she just called me to wait in front of the counter. She need me to wait until she finish serving the two people after me. I ask her why. She said “I think you are so young, and you must have more time to wait.” Do I need to wait for longer time because I am younger?
Right now I am also taking the HE204 (women health). I am pretty interest in this class, for we do not have a class call men health and I want to know do we need more attention on women health. After I take the first class, the text and exercises that I found are all assume that you are a woman. The professor also surprise that we have three male students in that class. All the materials and exercises are fit for female students. It is hard for male students to take this class, but all male or female also can register this class on the MyMC.
Different people have different minds; people always want to protect themselves. Discrimination can not be avoid if a lot of people living in the society even in college. In my opinion, having some program for college students and staff to work and play together can let people be open minded, and having some training for those staff to make a discrimination free campus.

Gary Stevenson
11/8/2011 05:13:35

Older adults are thought of as being lower than younger adults on the subscale of instrumental ineffectiveness.This scale is discribed by most social structures as being relevant to an individaul adaptability and competency. Older audults are seen as being lower on every item comprising this subscale. therefore older audults are consistanly percieved as being less adaptive and competant than younger adults. Socialization creates gender sterotypes. In a family, parents treat male and female children differently from birth. They teach a male child to be strong,aggresive and smart,and they should have an ability to support thier own family in the future. On the other hand,parents teach females that they should live in a world of passitivity and emotion and being a good wife or mother in the future. Yes, I believe gender based and age based ineuality exist on campus but not just for people over forty. The young are discriminated against as well. People over forty are looked at as not competent or competative while younger people are looked at as having issues with autority, they have sense of rebellion against the norm like there pants hanging down. These are not all of the discriminitory points for the young or the old just a look at both. maybe if there were some focused events on age discrimination of the young and the old were put on by the college students young and old, the subject would bring some light and people would be much more tolerent and/ or deal with subject more then it is looked at now.

surafel Reta
11/8/2011 09:54:14

The causes of gender/age based prejudices are various factors and there is a great deal of overlap between these factors which makes it impossible to pin point at single cause.But I believe the major factor is the fact that western socites(like many other socites in the world) hold a distorted view of ageing , gender roles and other factors like race. The solution for this problem will be to educated people and to increase their awareness on issues like race, gender and age. When people are aware of these things the chances of gender,age or race based discriminations and inequalities will decrease.
I have not been in any way discriminated against based on my gender,age or race on campus but chances are some one at some point has experienced it. Such discriminations and inequalities can happen at any kind of social interaction whether it is between a teacher and a student or a student and a staff member. It can take place in any kind of setting as well.

Larai Umaru
11/8/2011 10:05:05

I believe the root causes of discrimination and prejudice with regards to gender and aging are: One's upbringing, culture, and exposure to discrimination by parents and family members. Children grow up hearing how their parents respond to social issues presented by the news media. This will shape their views on the people in society. Gender and age inequality do exists on campus because staff, faculty, and students are human beings raised in society. It is not always done on purpose, but many people don't know any better because they were not taught any better. I know that there are alot of adults that are returning to school to obtain their degree, therefore, MC has all age groups in attendance. Many times professors will make reference to something that may be from and older persons era and expect them to know about it. I have heard many female students complain that professors are harder on them than their male counterparts. I believe the only way to remedy inequality is to have open dialogue on campus. All issues of inequality should be addressed in a open forum.

Ronald Rollins
11/8/2011 10:50:22

Montgomery College is a Co-ed higher educational institution therefore, gender-age injustices and inequalities are issues of an objective nature. Women are targets for all the wrong reasons - young and old. Sexism can be noticed all over the campus. Many college men are on the hunt for relations with a woman in every class, hallway, lab, administration office, etc. The behavior associated with this all out pursuit in many cases is dysfunctional and can lead to a detrimental harmful affect on many women self-esteem and a poor definition of the woman they're aspiring to be. To make clear, I'm not against courtship in the educational institution, in fact, I was taught by a former Sociologist professor the colleges latent function was to promote coupling and marriage among its citizens. So, the sexism I'm addressing is that blatant dysfunctional behavior that many college men demonstrate. Showing a lack of respect for women by intimately dating among close friends, inappropriate advances, using their so called "game" to get their work done and test answers, even impregnating women forcing the women fall behind in their studies or drop out all together - creating a larger social issue. Women professor are targeted as well by this behavior. Men flashing their charming smiles and flirtatious diction in hopes winning the professor over and being graded on a scale.
Resolving this kind of behavior starts before college. At this level, though, gender specific roles and responsibilities can implemented in a curriculum taught in orientation. Some issues and topics that should be addressed include : maintain education as top priority, conduct yourselves as civilized and responsible adults, pregnancy, self-esteem, etc. Town halls at the start of each semester where students and faculty can speak out on the issues that they fill are most prevalent. Mediators and counselors will be made accessible for conflict resolutions as well. Montgomery College a community must hold to the same civil obedience as the society it lies within and our responsibility is to abide as such.

Hawanya Jones
11/8/2011 11:26:13

I personally believe the root causes of discrimination and prejudice in gender and aging basically resides within the individual and can be various reasons why people discriminate or are prejudice.Yes I do believe inequality exist on campus for example:When my class had to introduce themselves and tell a little bit about ourselves and I mentioned that I had five children two of them being adopted. The professor replied wow how old are you? you look to young to have five kids. I only have one and I am 35 (I must add that I am older him)and he continues to add what made you adopt two more? I felt that to be discriminatory based on my looks and not looking a certain age where a woman should look having five children. I think aging and gender manifest itself on campuses by the lack of understanding and respect for one's age and gender. I think it is necessary that the campus implement some type of plan/event to get the word out to students about inequalities on campus to help them better understand what inequality is, because some people are not always aware of how their actions towards others are seen as discriminatory and prejudice.

Rebecca odukoya
11/8/2011 11:29:03

Race discrimination exist everywhere. Im sure i exsist at MC but i not personally experienced it though. I have observed things such as minorities sitting together and clinging to the "own kind," and that alone can cause seperation amongst th students. one thing that is obvious is that with so many different races, genders, and ages there are bound to be issues that arise.

Wendy Maxwell
11/8/2011 12:11:38

The root cause of discrimination and prejudice specific to gender and aging is, in my opinion, the way society views and mandates as "old age" or age itself. When society sets a certain age for a certain qualification or mandate, people often form stereotypes based on that age and its mandates.

Age and race discrimination do occur at Montgomery College, especially age discrimination. I have both seen and experienced age discrimination. Some professors I have had and a few department heads have assumed that because I am of a certain [young] age, that I couldn't possibly understand the way certain things are, and that I must be imagining the problems I've had, or that I'm making things up. Sometimes, people assume that I'm immature for my age because I refuse to wear normal make-up or dress a certain way, when in fact I am a very nice and considerate person that stands up for the rights of others. I know a lot more than people think someone my age could possibly know about life.

Like others have said, discrimination *is* everywhere...but that doesn't mean we have the right to just sit back and let it rule our lives --or ruin the lives of others. To change this, a change to society's views about what "age" is and how the elderly and the young should be treated, would need to be set in motion.

11/8/2011 12:51:07

Based on my own personal experiences, I personally believe the root of both gender and age prejudice is ignorance. Yes; youth holds a naive aroma, while aging brings wisdom. And clearly, there are obvious differences between the two sexes. However, what justifies an individuals gender, or age, to be superior to the rest of the tribe? Absolutely nothing.
Although I have not witnessed, nor experienced, gender based inequality, age inequality seems to be a reoccuring issue. For example, on countless occasions, I have witnessed 'older' students question and challenge the instructions and intellect of younger professors. Pardon me if I come across as bias, however, these students fail to realize that they are the ones earning the degree, not teaching the class. Unfortunately, due to their own ignorance, they are unable to see that age does not define your amount of cognitive intelligence, or even common sense for that matter. As well as within classrooms, I believe age inequality occurs within administration, financial, and security offices throughout Montgomery College. My own observations have shown me that SOME elders working within these offices take advantage of certain students naivety, making simple processes and meetings full with tension and animosity.
Although these inequalities may never be resp;ved, I propose [and suppose] our only way of maintaining stressfree encounters is to expand our minds, and let go of bias opinions for two things not a soul can control; gender and age.

mydiem le
11/8/2011 23:37:25

From my judgement, I would have to say gender and aging inequality comes from discrimination and ignorance. Some people are too trapped in their own ways that they do not see the capabilities of different people around them thus bypassing the chance to stop and take the time out to think about other peoples standings. Particularly with females and the elderly. People who are prejudice against females most likely are men set in the ways of men overpowering women and always thinking that they are more superior.

On campus, I don't see much of the inequality going on because I don't stay in campus much , but I'm pretty sure it does go on wether in a micro or macro level. In a recent class discussion, there were mixed feelings and points of views between female and male professors. Some thinking that female professors are more easier than male professors, vice versa. Right there proves that there is inequality and different views between females and males.
The inequality on campus issue could be adressed in many different ways, whether its to have public speaking to as simple as having a more diverse staff member. Regardless how we address this issue it there will never be enough equality. There will always be that one person who will never get it through their head or that one person who simply jokes around but accidently offends another person. The level of equality has drastically raised throughout the years and is only getting better. With time most likely it will be near perfect .

Robel G. Beyene
11/15/2011 12:48:14

I believe the root cause of discrimination and prejudice specific to gender and aging is experience. Since older people grow up in a different generation then the younger ones. They would have constant conflicts of interests caused by society's continuous evolution through the generations. This ties in with gender roles as they are different from each generation. The changes that influenced society's are technology, governments and law, and basically any type of exponential discovery.

Yes because in most of my classes, the older people are isolated from the younger people. they usually never talk like friends because they in a different part of there life, where that difference limits the thing they have income. Also my professors treats the older people completely different from the younger ones, from voice tones to how they respond to that particular age group.

I think the way inequality of aging and gender manifest itself is through respect and the way the person was brought up. My teacher usually give more attention to the person of age or an elder. I also see men holding doors for women as a sign respect or masculinity.

I don't really propose any thing, I mean I respect my elders and treat women the way I was told. I would like for older people not to view me as just another ignorant kid but, its just part of aging and what a younger person might think is cool may be just stupid to an older person.

Lisa D.
11/19/2011 10:03:30

I think the root cause of discrimination and prejudice to gender and aging is a group of people thinking that they are better than the next and their insecurities cause them to discriminate. Women and the old have always been seen as weak which is where the discrimination begins.

I haven't really seen nor experienced any type of discrimination on campus, but I have heard stories from fellow students.

I think it manifests between teachers and students. Depending on how the the teacher/student were brought up and based on their beliefs the discrimination occurs.

I think the teacher evaluation students usually do at the end of each semester should have more questions about how the professor treats students instead of just how the class is taught. Since its an anonymous survey i think students should feel free to talk about any discrimination they felt towards them or a fellow student. Also there should be some type of hotline where students can contact if any discrimination against them happens and matters should be taken seriously by the school board.

5/27/2013 17:14:42

I have been reading your article for quite a while. Thank your for sharing your thoughts on Aging.


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