Why are middle-aged women these days subject to so much rage and hatred? Why are they so often portrayed as entitled, selfish and morally inferior – frequently by people who see themselves as progressive and kind?
As writer Victoria Smith approached middle age, she made her peace with her sagging neckline and having to cope with ageing parents. But the disdain and vitriol she experienced as a woman in mid-life came as a shock. In her new book Hags: The Demonisation of Middle-Aged Women she traces the ageism and misogyny that have been directed towards older women throughout history and explores why these attitudes have become increasingly prevalent in recent years.
In conversation with The Sunday Times’s Hadley Freeman Smith will dissect the popularity of the Karen meme, which references a stereotypically privileged white woman; she will explore why women who have the temerity to exist beyond the age at which they are desirable to men are inseen as superfluous to society; and she will suggest potential solutions which can benefit all women – whether they are hags or hags-in-waiting.