“Journey from Invisibility to Visibility” covers a lot more than women over 60

The book “Journey from Invisibility to Visibility: A Guide for Women 60 and Beyond”, by Gail K. Harris, Marilyn C. Lesser, and Cynthia T. Soloway, turns out to be a broad discussion of family values and roles as they pertain to individual identity at all stages of life, not just “the afternoon” of life, where 60 is the new 40.

The book is filled with very long quoted inserts of personal accounts, and with spaces for note taking and review, like a guide or handbook.  That isn’t my own particular interest in the way I write my own books.  But at a certain level I can see how some people believe they would help the books to sell.

The book presents Erikson’s “phases” in the growth of individual identity as they emerge in childhood and go into adolescence and adulthood.  These might be compared to other books that examine how consciousness emerges (“I Am a Strange Loop”). As life progresses, new stages emerge, along with the ability to recall earlier formations of the self right out of space-time.

The book also pays a lot of heed to the way gender roles have evolved over the past fifty years.  It is quite frank about the fact that women (and men) generally didn’t get to choose their missions in life the way millennials insist on today.  The fact that women – and men – find independent meaning out of family is seen as a challenge to those who are more vertically socialized. The authors give an anecdote of a woman who was shocked at the success of her middle-aged son without marriage, and without concern over who would take care of him in old age.

Old social norms then meant channeling sexuality to become attached to adaptive family roles.

The book starts with a long rhymed poem in 4-line verse “A Woman’s Perspective”, by GW.

Author: Harris, Lesse, Soloway
Title, Subtitle: “Journey from Invisibility to Visibility: A Guide for Women over 60 and Beyond”
publication date 2017.  I received a review copy
ISBN 978-1534751897
Publication: Amazon Create Space (N. Charleston, SC) 373 pages, 9 chapters, paper, endnotes
Link: see Amazon   Or review site.

(Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 1 AM EST)

“The Intern”: a comedy about a 70-year-old retiree who seeks “real life” in a fashion firm

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Name: The Intern
Director, writer:  Nancy Meyers
Released:  2015
Format:  1.85:1
When and how viewed:  Netflix DVD
Length 121
Rating PG-13
Companies: Warner Brothers, Dune-Ratpac
Link: official site


The Intern”, written and directed by Nancy Meyers, opens with 70-year-old Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) appraising himself in a ritzy New York apartment and explaining what it feels like to live as a retired widower, having already seen the world and finished his bucket list.  He keeps his suits and ties in immaculate order, as well as his NYC coop (in contrast to me).  He needs something to do, involving real people.

He finds an e-commerce fashion firm in Brooklyn, “About the Fit” (a little snazzier than the real life “Bindle and Keep”, July 29), which has an “outreach” to senior citizens by letting them “intern”.

He goes through the interviews and demonstrates his “people skills”, especially when the youngest manager, Justin (Nat Woff) asks him what he wants to be doing in ten years and then apologetically withdraws the cookie-cutter question. Other young managers include Jason (Adam Devine, the “Man-o-Lantern 2”).

But most of the film revolves around his working with CDO Jules Olsen (Anne Hathaway). He own husband (Anders Holm) had become a stay-at-home dad to give her time to grow the film, but her personal life is creating enough noise that Wall Street wants her to step down from the startup.  She’s inclined to do so to save her marriage.  In the meantime, Whittake has developed a romance with massage therapist Fiona (Rene Russo).  In one sequence, he participates in a fake home breakin to save Jules from an embarrassing email on her own computer (remind you of Hillary Clinton’s server scandal?)

The film is stronger as it starts than as it follows through its 121 minutes.  There’s a real question of whether you need to join with other people in a bureaucratic environment to accomplish things.  There are real issues of keeping up appearances.

The film should be viewed in light of Ross Perlin’s 2011 book “Intern Nation”.

(Published: Monday, Aug. 1, 2016, at 3:15 PM EDT)