Cabal of Crones. Crone is a State of Mind.
Our modern world has a very mixed relationship with aging, but such was not always the case. We know from a very simple glance into our history that humanity is living longer. Of course this is all thanks to our developments in medicine, sanitation, agriculture and more. It’s worth considering the time lines for aging as it may not be as far in our past as we think.
In Ireland at the start of the 1900’s the average life expectancy was 50 years. By the 1920’s it was still just under 60 years old. It wasn’t until the 1960’s until this increased to over 70 years of age. It was only by the year 2010 that the life expectancy for women got over 80 years of age, with men still to reach that length of life.
Nowadays the word 'crone' has developed into something of a slur in many people's minds, bringing up images of poisoned apples, or gingerbread houses, but in older times a crone was seen as a person of knowledge if not wisdom. A person who had survived and endured through their youth, their middle years and had reached a level of experience that warranted the respect of their community.
With the shift in culture and the exposure of people to globalised media as well as the psychology of marketing, women in particular were, and still are, specifically targeted with advertising designed to demean them because of a natural biological process. By this I’m talking about aging and not any number of other biological processes that have been demonised over the years. Everything from makeup, hair dye, and the overt ‘anti aging’ moisturiser have instilled a fear in generations of women and created a culture of agism in almost every work place. Women, being an already marginalised workforce because of their gender, are also pressured over matters of their appearance rather than their ability. A clear culture has formed where a woman must present themselves in a certain way first before their knowledge, wisdom, and experience are considered of value.
There are greater efforts being made by many to raise the profile of women and their contributions to our species, but it is a very high mountain of fear and bias to climb and unfortunately there are still many people who are trying to make that mountain bigger, either through ignorance or just outright misogyny. Like the individual who coined the phrase 'Cabal of Crones' in our partnered social media presence. It might be fair to say they intended slander, but instead have inspired awareness and acceptance in those who appreciate the crones in their lives.
So, to all of you out there who want to make it harder on women in our world, who want to dismiss the value of experiences that age brings us, who want to define themselves as somehow ‘superior based solely on the random manifestation of Y chromosome during your gestation in the person who bore you, consider carefully the harm you do not only to your own life time, but to every generation after you.
And to everyone else, consider being loud in your love of the crones in your life, or love of the crone in yourself. Maybe you too can join a ‘Cabal of Crones’ no matter your age. Maybe crone can be a state of mind.