Ashton Applewhite is a writer and activist based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism and a leading spokesperson for a movement to mobilize against discrimination on the basis of age. In 2016, she joined the PBS site Next Avenue’s annual list of 50 Influencers in Aging as their Influencer of the Year. Applewhite has been recognized by The New York Times, National Public Radio, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism.
Ashton Applewhite asks us to look at ageism — the assumption that older people are alike and that aging impoverishes us.
Ashton Applewhite would like us to think differently about growing older. As she writes: “Aging is a natural, lifelong, powerful process that unites us all. So how come so many of us unthinkingly assume that depression, diapers, and dementia lie ahead? Because of ageism — the last socially sanctioned prejudice.”
She’s the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism and is the voice of the Yo, Is This Ageist? blog. She is also the author of Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well — and was a clue on Jeopardy! as the author of the mega bestseller series, Truly Tasteless Jokes. (Who is Blanche Knott?)
It’s not the passage of time that makes it so hard to get older. It’s ageism, a prejudice that pits us against our future selves — and each other. Ashton Applewhite urges us to dismantle the dread and mobilize against the last socially acceptable prejudice. “Aging is not a problem to be fixed or a disease to be cured,” she says. “It is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all.”