KAFENEION 1: Age is Valuable; Ageism Not!

DAGR’s first Kafeneion, a new initiative of community development spearheaded by Members-at-Large Sarajane Kidd Leone and Rebecca Lieb, was a great success! Our first conversation, ageism through the lens of the feminist book In Our Prime by Susan J. Douglas, also featured guest speaker Dr. Liz Mestheneos, founding member of 50+ Hellas. 

With a background in sociology and a history of work and leadership across Europe on ageing and human rights, Liz spoke convincingly about the book’s shortcomings and merits, and brought into focus some broader questions which deserve deep consideration when contemplating ageism and feminism. She highlighted the community organizing principles of Gemeinschaft vs Gesellschaft, our recent and continued shift from historic organizational principles by capacity to work physically to a knowledge economy, democratic issues vs. feminist issues, and the monumentally important bridging of generations.

There was much avid and storied feedback from attendees, and through the entire discussion led adroitly by Rebecca, a broader picture of feminist understanding, and purpose, was beginning to emerge. We were fortunate to have also had two men in our midst, whose participation was our first bridge!

We look forward to seeing everyone again and often around the Kafeneion – a virtual round table for discussion of issues close to all DAGR members’ hearts. Why not come forward and suggest one? Contact At-Large Executive Committee Members  [email protected]  or [email protected]

In June, we feature a discussion with Athens Pride Co-Founder and DAGR member Andrea Gilbert and WHO Epidemiologist Dr. Ioannis Hodges-Mameletzis. Details coming soon – but go ahead and mark your calendars for DAGR Kafeneion Wednesday June 23, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Athens time.

by Sarajane Kidd Leone, DAGR ExCom, At-Large Representative

 

Fish Street, Lesvos
from I Don’t Eat Fish
by Liz Mestheneos

In Fish Street, in the district of Endure,
Five fish on a ceramic plaque mark her door,
A final refuge, retirement, restful home
For a relic, rebel, reject and weary soul
Who worries about this unequal world
And her handsome fisherman neighbour
Returning early morning from the harbour.

 

Briefly contemplating dawn and light
On aching feet she visits teapot, toilet;
Tidies, titivates, ignoring lines, her steel hair;
Tries the crossword, moves her chair
To listen to birdsong, Bach, the radio news;
She opens the paper for other views,
Flexes opinions ready for a phone debate
With her old friends, few left of late;
Ready to lambast the banks for greed,
Corrupt politicians and the fraudulent.

 

As feminists, fighters for human rights,
Pacifists, they recount half-won struggles,
Ignoring their own inconceivable, unwanted defeat
In actual revolutions of longevity and technology.