"To Grandmother's House We Go": On Women, Ethics, and Aging
Aging is a topic that philosophers have largely ignored. We have had lots to say about death, some things to say about dying, but rather little to say about the life stage that usually, when all goes well, precedes it. Mirroring our lack of attention to children and childhood, we have preferred to focus our attention on idealized (rational, independent, autonomous) adults rather than adults in the last part of their lives. For much of the history of philosophy, philosophy has also ignored the lives of women. These two areas of philosophical abandonment may well be connected, for old age is much more the domain of women than of men. You cannot begin writing about justice, gender, and old age without noting that old age is gendered. Old age is gendered both in concrete terms, who the old are, and in conceptual terms, how we think about old age.