Entertainment | WorkI’ve got 25 years on Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook honcho whose new book has people talking about how far women have come in the world of work. But much more than mere age separates the two of us. Sandberg is unabashedly ambitious, and she urges readers of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead to follow her example. Me, I’m not so ambitious — or perhaps I should say I’m nowhere near as ambitious as I was at …
AARP Blog Author
Suzanne Braun Levine
Biography: When I was a young woman in the early sixties, basketball – my favorite sport – was played half court for girls in high school and not at all in college; the abortion I needed was illegal; when I looked for a job it was in the Help Wanted/ Female” pages; when I got married I began ineligible for a loan without my husband’s signature; and “Ms” stood for Multiple Sclerosis.
When I went to work at Ms. (the word was beginning to take on currency) Magazine in 1972 all that was changing. During the 17 years I edited Ms. the world women like me lived in was totally transformed, and the Ms. team were at the heart of it. We reported on the brave women who were on the frontlines, we published the powerful writers who were taking chances with material, and we told the stories that women had been afraid to tell.
When I moved on to edit the Columbia Journalism Review in 1989, the world for women had changed, but the press was often way behind the curve. From the vantage point of CJR I saw how often the same stories that made Ms. so ground-breaking were belittled or dismissed by the press at large. One milestone: The New York Times finally accepted the term “Ms.” in its pages instead of requiring any woman they wrote about to declare herself “Miss” or “Mrs.”
When I began writing books, it was a continuation of the belief that had driven my editorial efforts all along – if one woman was experiencing something, others were too, only they weren’t talking about it. Those were the stories that needed to be told. At the time I was experiencing something myself– a restlessness, a sense of approaching a frontier, a preoccupation with what I was going to do with the rest of my life. As I talked to other women my age, I heard similar concerns, so I wrote Inventing The Rest of Our Lives: Women in Second Adulthood about the unprecedented stage of life we were defining by living it. My next book was the accumulated wisdom of women on that journey. It is called Fifty is The New Fifty: Ten Life Lessons for Women in Second Adulthood. My most recent book How We Love Now: Women Talk about Intimacy after Fifty (out in paperback in January, 2013) explores the ways our most intimate relationships are changing as we change.
Change is the operative word here; we are a generation that is constantly confronting change, and we are now reinventing the way women live as we age. In the blogs and books I write I will keep telling the stories of our lives.
Suzanne Braun Levine 'sPosts
Relationships | Your LifeAdmit it, you’ve sneaked a peak at the Facebook listing of a grade-school pal or enemy; you’ve Googled a high school sweetheart; you’ve even contemplated going to a reunion, after decades of scorning them. You may not be able to explain this increasing curiosity about those long-lost relationships, but we are all doing it. Think of it as historical house-cleaning. Among the many needs that emerge as we reach our fifties, sixties, and seventies is the need to explore the …
Your LifeI have always dreamed of going on a safari — the elephants roaming, the lions stalking and the luxurious tent and campfire meals! This would be the moment to go for it — my kids are grown, my freelance work gives me the time flexibility, I am still healthy, and I have enough financial backing to take the trip of a lifetime. The problem is that now that my dream trip is an option, I am stunned to discover that …