Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Who's grandmother is she?

OK I hate to be the Debbie Downer of the Grandma Luge celebration but I have some concerns over how she is portrayed and how she portrays herself.
I am wholeheartedly in support of Anne Abernathy's representation of the power and ability of women over 50. She counters stereotypes of the aging woman. But she simultaneously reinforces stereotypes of the role of women over 50 by calling herself Grandma. (I don't even think she is really a grandmother--but I couldn't find any family bio information.)
The nickname also reifies common connotations of older women as nurturing and kindly (often read as passive and only good for comforting others) when clearly Abernathy is quite different from the stereotypical grandmother.
Viewing her website it is clear that nickname is an asset to Abernathy's career. Who wouldn't want to (economically) support Grandman Luge? And I do want to support her and I feel nbdly she couldn't race in Torino--I just want her to change her nickname.

1 comment:

EBuz said...

"The nickname also reifies common connotations of older women as nurturing and kindly (often read as passive and only good for comforting others) when clearly Abernathy is quite different from the stereotypical grandmother."

ken I love you but isn't that all the more reason she SHOULD use the nickname? To help change its limiting and narrow connotation?