Women post 50 often find themselves in what Professor Marc Coronado calls “a sandwich.” On one side, they are often dealing with parents with declining health, and on the other, with adult children undergoing their own major life changes – whether that is moving out, having kids, or getting divorced.
And then there are the seismic changes happening in their own lives – changing health and sexual realities, social and financial adjustments.
Marc, who is 69, led two Revel discussions around “Feminism After 50” to talk about the many transitions women face in their fifth decade and beyond, and how women can continue to assert their independence and find fulfillment. “There are so many issues that affect women in this age group,” says Marc, a Professor of Women’s Studies at De Anza College in Cupertino, California, with a history of advocating for equal rights. “Being independent, finding housing, avoiding loneliness, building community, making money stretch, medical issues.”
Particularly in the Bay Area, Marc says affordability is an ongoing concern for women getting older and wanting to be sure they can stay in the area. One attendee talked about the idea of cohousing, and her interest in finding a small group of women who could buy property together and “live independently and supportively.”
Revel’s intimate discussion-focused events allow for these sorts of open conversations, Marc said, where women can express their concerns, share insights, and learn from one another. “To me, feminism is the everyday,” Marc says. “How are you treated and how do you treat others?”
Marc noted that people often view feminism through a political lens – but it’s an issue that impacts every aspect of a woman’s life, including healthcare, housing, and sexuality. She said ageism is a constant issue, adding: “There is a lot of discrimination against women as they get older.”
Marc added that Revel provides that necessary, supportive group for women to address the more personal life issues that you can only share with friends. “I’ve only been in San Francisco for 15 years,” she says, “And most of the friends I’ve met are through work. They happen to be in their 40s. We all need friends in our age group, and Revel is a great source for that.”