If you’re an over 40 woman then you probably know that there is a long list of things that you should definitely NOT be doing, saying or wearing at your age. For example, you shouldn’t be wearing leather trousers or going to festivals. Nor should you be going clubbing or wearing shorts.
You shouldn’t even consider keeping your hair long, especially if it’s going (gone) grey. Right?
It seems that today, even after many years of having the internet and more opportunities given to women to express themselves than ever before, journalists are still writing bullsh*t articles offering “advice” to older women about how to live their lives. I mentioned in Monday’s post that I’d be talking about this today because The Times (yes, The Times!) wrote an article outlining what women should and shouldn’t be doing and wearing and some other utter nonsense.
If you’re looking for a link to the article, there won’t be one. I’ll explain…
Why the media publishes these articles
On Monday I very proudly published my 100th #iwillwearwhatilike link up post, a weekly link up that started because of an article written two years ago listing 24 things that women over 30 (that’s THIRTY) should stop wearing. The response from everyone was, quite rightly, something along the lines of Why doesn’t she take a running jump, thanks very much – I’ll wear what I damn well like.
And thus, #iwillwearwhatilike was born. To date, there have been nearly 16,000 Instagram posts using the #iwillwearwhatilike hashtag (I checked at the time, it hadn’t been used before I started it). I’m very proud to have started something that resonates so much with so many vibrant, confident and working-towards-being-confident women. That was TWO YEARS ago.
And yet, here are we are reading the same rubbish yet again (and it’s not as if it’s a rare occurrence).
When articles like the one in The Times rear their ugly heads, it’s as if we’ve taken two steps forward only to be told to take five steps back. How many women read these articles and think that they really SHOULD be adhering to what they’re told in them because they’ve never heard of the fact that’s 2017 and women of all ages can wear and do whatever they like?
AND THEN I REMEMBERED: IT’S CLICKBAIT. NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS.
I’ll admit I went to look up the article online (I saw a tweet that included a photo of the newspaper headline only), but then stopped myself… Why, why, WHY am I looking this up? It’s going to be nonsense. I’m not going to agree with any of it. It’s all going to be bullsh*t. But I want to read it out of curiosity, and to see which point [they’ve listed] will rile me more.
And then I remembered: IT’S CLICKBAIT. Nothing more, nothing less.
Why should I give them the satisfaction of more traffic, when all they’ve probably done is written the article to stir up a reaction and get people to click the link? They want us to tweet about it. They want us to tag them @thetimes. They want us to give them free publicity and basically increase their site traffic.
So I didn’t look it up, and I haven’t read it. But regardless of the actual content, the reasoning behind it is misogynistic at worst, and ageist at best.
Forget that – there’s no best. Just worst.
It’s also controlling. There’s another “worst”.
They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. I’m pretty sure that’s all they’re doing it for, not because they really believe we can be controlled in that way.
WE NEED TO BE CALLING BS ON THESE LISTS OF THINGS WOMEN SHOULD AND SHOULDN’T BE DOING OR WEARING. I’M URGING EVERYONE READING THIS: PLEASE, DON’T CLICK THROUGH AND DON’T READ THEM. DON’T TWEET OR POST FACEBOOK LINKS TO THE ARTICLES.
What we need to do in response to these BS articles
The more we click on these clickbait articles, the more they’ll keep paying journalists to write them. We’re fuelling the fire by clicking and reading and tweeting and talking about them – the only people it benefits are the newspapers themselves.
However, we DO need to be calling BS on these lists of things women should and shouldn’t be doing or wearing.
Therefore I’m urging everyone reading this: Please, DON’T click through and DON’T read them. DON’T tweet or post Facebook links to the articles. Simply mention that you’re not reading them because they’re total and utter BS, and that no one should take any notice of them whatsoever because all they are is clickbait.
Definitely talk about them – just leave out the actual links (like I’ve done in this post).
Like trolls and other vile members of society who simply want attention through being utterly revolting human beings (I’m looking at you, Katie Hopkins and Piers Morgan), sometimes the best way to deal with them is to simply ignore them. By doing that, hopefully the demand for such articles will diminish.
Don’t give them the satisfaction, as my mother would say.
HAVE YOU FOUND YOURSELF COMPELLED TO CLICK THROUGH AND READ THESE ARTICLES? ARE YOU GOING TO STOP? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!
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So all that’s left to say is – I’ve shared my thoughts/stories/tuppence-worth this week, now it’s time to share yours… LET’S GET THIS [LINK UP] PARTY STARTED!
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Thank you for joining the #SaturdayShareLinkUp! Designed to allow you to share anything you like on ANY topic, it goes live every Friday at 8pm UK time and will stay open for a week. You can share blog posts or Instagram posts, old posts or new posts, and link up as many as you like.
PLEASE be kind and leave a link somewhere on your post, and share your post using the hashtag #SaturdayShareLinkUp – if you tweet your link with the hashtag and tag me in @notlamb I’ll even retweet it to my followers for you 🙂
A hot tip for linking up:
Use clear, bright images (crop in close if necessary) and add a relevant, descriptive title (you’ve got 75 characters to use). These sorts of thumbnails and text always get the most clicks, so don’t waste the opportunity to increase traffic and engagement on your best work!
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