Do you think it’s rude to ask or disclose a woman’s age?

If yes, then what makes it rude to ask a woman her age? Why is it not rude to ask a child or a man their age?

How unwilling would you be to tell someone how old you are? How likely are you to lie about your age – what makes  you want to do that?

What do you think most people mean by ‘ageing gracefully’ –  should it matter to random people how other people (specially women) age?

What could make women want to avoid looking their real age – what makes growing old for women such a bad thing?

Do you like this quote (not sure from where) “I don’t intend to age gracefully, I plan to fight every inch of the way.”

Sharing an email from Maheswari Nair.

“Not sure the ladies will appreciate their age being put up there. ” – Ian Chappell

Ian Chappell is talking about Women players’ ages being put up on the billboard during the Women’s World Cup.

 

A friend felt that this was a comment made lightly which does not disparage the professional ability of the women, I felt that this comment by a an influential veteral player undermines the effort of the women’s team to be taken seriously… in the end he agreed with me.. but said “Ohh, you are a complete feminist”.

 

I am proud to be a feminist, however I was wondering, would only feminists react to such a comment and feel it is in bad taste?
If he had made a similar comment about a team based on stereoptypes about their country the outcry would have been tremendous, but this comment was shrugged off an an idiosyncracy.
Are racism and sexism so very different?

Blogging has changed the way I think.  The post below was published in Oct 2008.

So How Old Are You?

79 thoughts on “Do you think it’s rude to ask or disclose a woman’s age?

  1. I really wonder why there is such a big hullabaloo about women disclosing their age.

    In fact I feel nice when I tell people I’m gonna be 37 and they gasp saying “Really??!! You don’t look a day over 30!”🙂

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      • Not really his fault. The MAJORITY of women are extremely coy about their age or lie about it and make a big deal of how rude it is for anyone to expect them to divulge it. He’s responding to a fact of life. My own point of view is that people who try to hide their age are ridiculous and ageist.

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      • He was definitely being ignorant. I know earlier ladies used to lie/hide their ages but things have changed now. And he probably is still living in pre-historic ages.

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      • You are right Arun. At work, I remember a witnessing a b’day celebration in the cafeteria. It was kind of special since the lady had turned 30. And everyone in the group chanted ‘aunty, aunty’. The b’day girl did not like it one bit but her discomfort only fuelled the crowd around her. One idiotic fellow even told her ‘Aunty you better get married fast otherwise you will be a granny and a spinster.’ And guess what – everyone laughed. The b’day girl looked so awkward poor thing, she blew the candles (yes, there was a joke about the number of candles), thanked everyone and slipped out quietly as people tucked in.

        There’s nothing wrong with the word ‘aunty’; but it’s the connotation it’s taken on – someone ugly, sexually unattractive and inactive, dull and boring. Somehow there is such a warped idea about what humour is. Sure it’s fun to rib someone about their age – but there’s teasing, and then there’s being insensitive/insulting.

        People generally tend to ask age-related questions, only to follow up with disparging comments and negative judgements – oh you’re still single, you still don’t have kids, you still behave as if you are in college, you should not be having this problem at this age…and so on. Very rarely is the age question followed up with something positive.

        Unless I’m being asked this question for a medical reason, my answer is standard – whatever is your guess; we’ll accept that as my age. That usually withers the conversation very fast. For even faster results, I use ‘it’s none of your f*cking business’ with a smile.

        In general, I think women who don’t want to disclose their age are not ashamed/insecure about it – they’re just wary of every insignificant idiot making moral judgements and broadcasting it.

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        • India is extremely ageist when it comes to women. There are “timetables” or “cut-offs” for a woman’s life. I’ve had some male “friends” taunt me, calling me “pattima” and “spinster” for not being married at 27. *rolls eyes*. And these male friends are a year to two years older, with overly rotund tummies, or balding heads, and yet they refer to themselves laughingly as “naange ellam youth” (we’re all youth(ful)) Must be a dumb movie quote from Vadivelu/Vivek.

          I think an important part of being a feminist is to “cock a snook” (an expression I’ve seen used only on this blog :D) at these “norms”, and do exactly what we want. And if that involves being thick-skinned to insensitive jerks calling you “aunty” at 30, so be it.

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      • You have got a point there Arun. I may not have liked it but the fact is gone are the days when women lie about their ages. There may still be a sect but if you see on the whole, things have changed.

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  2. I think this has got something with the statement “Never as a man his weight and a woman her age” we were taught this in school.

    Does this mean that me are insecure about their weight and women about their age? if so, then why?

    I guess this has to do with appearing young and fair looking. So you end up looking younger than you are, and if some one asks you how old you are you reveal your true age which makes you old.. umm.. so what?

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      • I am not sure about this, but if i were to take a guess, it would be that for men it is generally considered ‘better’ to be older.. they are called wiser/experienced in such a case.. where as for women it is believed that the older they get the less attractive or beautiful they will be due to ‘signs of aging’

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  3. I think its insecurities IHM…
    Because we women have a lot of body image issues, we don’t talk abt age… most women get offended if someone says they look older than they actually are! Its all deep rooted conditioning …

    Personally, I have no issues with my age and I love to look my age🙂
    I’m 32 and I love everything this year and age has brought me…🙂🙂

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      • But then again, we have to concentrate on what the majority thinks. And I too am of the opinion that majority of women ARE insecure when it comes to their age.

        The underlying reason for that is that like it or not women’s worth is directly proportional to her youth and beauty.

        See TV commercials for wrinkle lifts and what nots, the botox industry or female actors’ reluctance in getting married and what I’m saying becomes amply clear.

        This is a pervasive perversion of human worth. But what do you propose we do?

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        • Get rid of all the women in India. These days, I think that’s the only real solution to changing how our “great and ancient” civilisation” approaches women’s issues. There won’t be “issues”, since there are no women. The khaps will definitely celebrate.

          Some days I feel really hopeless about the situation of women in our country and today is one of them.

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    • Completely agree, pixie! I’m a ‘wise’ old 33, and happily single and love to look my age too! And I look forward to each year as it unfolds, learning and discovering and living life to the fullest, along the way!

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  4. I am far far happier at 29 than I was at 19. More secure, more comfortable in my own skin.
    I remember a scene from the Hunger Games – the protagonists were discussing how everyone in the ‘Capitol’ was obsessed about looking young and thin – whereas in their place – being fat and old were things to be aspired towards – because most people had very less to eat and died young.

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    • Generally, looking like the rich do, is considered attractive. So in a society where most people do not have enough to eat, being fat would be considered attractive and sexy, because it implies you’re wealthy enough to eat plenty every day.

      Similarly, here in Europe, having really pale skin used to be considered attractive. This was because poor farmers working the field all day in the sun had tannes skin while wealthy people spent more time indoors.

      Then the industrial revolution came, and the poor started working indoor in factories while the rich started going on vacations to tropical places – and suddenly being *tan* was considered attractive.

      These days, in the west, the poor are significantly fatter than the rich, this is the main reason why being thin is now considered attractive.

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  5. Not sure about all the women, but I guess I don’t have an issue telling that I am 33.🙂
    I feel that makes me look more mature and able enough to handle tough situations.🙂
    People come forth and take me seriously. Also, none of my male friends have ever made me feel that I need to hide my age for any stupid reason.

    I guess, it’s all in the mind.

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    • Rekha, Anna’s mom – Amen to that and completely second it. I wouldnt give up a single experience that has brought me to 30 and I wouldnt want to go back or ever claim to be younger. Every year has changed me and I like the “me” I am now so much more all the time. As years pass I feel so much more in control of my destiny and where I am going…. I look forward to my 30’s just as I looked forward to my 20’s when I was 19.. In this journey why wish that you could turn back? Isnt every milestone to be savoured along with the experience of the journey?

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  6. I think part of women’s insecurity about their age has a lot to do with women being valued largely for their looks, rather than their accomplishments. Men on the other hand, are valued largely for the amount of money they make or their position in the power hierarchy of whichever socio-political system they live in. Personally, I think neither is fair, but again these are often the only somewhat reliable ‘yardsticks’ people have, to rate/judge other people. Hobbies can be faked, personality can be faked and even your opinions can be faked – but it is not easy to fake your age or power. To be honest, I am not sure which gender has it worse. What men undergo when they are in their 20s and pretty much penniless (unless they have rich parents and aren’t *too* independant that they are disowned), seems to be the fate of women in their 40s who want to have the same social pull they had in their 20s. Its a role reversal of sorts.
     
    Unless women win Nobel Prizes, conduct pathbreaking researches (in neutral topics, not just women’s issues), perform in the economic machinery on the same level as men, I don’t think we can socially engineer this bias into oblivion. In the dating/mating market however, what men and women find attractive in the opposite (or same, if one swings that way) sex would take a lot of time to change – enough time to ‘reset’ the evolutionary/attraction triggers which are largely primal. Even among a lot of feminists I have known, I have seen most women are still attracted to the same traits that are ‘valued’ in traditional gender relationships – their partners earning more than them, taller/bigger than them, are of higher social status, dominant, etc.
     
    The euphemisms and platitudes to justify changes. A woman in traditional gender roles would for example, would tell she wants a man to provide for her and her kids. A feminist would throw platitudes that a man’s earning power doesn’t matter, but would nevertheless dismiss a man who earns less than her as not ‘worthy of her’.

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    • I agree with you — i see the same dichotomy/hypocrisy all around me too. Women: Men must be bigger, richer, stronger. Men: Women must be smaller, pretty, ‘homely’

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    • Atheist Indian, I agree with a lot of what you said – including the evolutionary basis for attraction – but I think that part of being a feminist is the critical faculty, the training to push against the grain. Thus, while I will admit that something in me did balk when my go-getter husband said he wanted to retire and sit at home, the feminist in me made me unpack this instinctive reaction and recalibrate my response in a more thoughtful way. I can say that it took me a couple of weeks to be completely okay with his unusual choice.

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    • I am a feminist , 32 , and never dated a guy based on how much money he makes, but at the same time as earn well I would like to maintain a life style , I like fine dining and expensive clothes . I dnt expect my guy to pay for me but he should be able to afford all that. Last thing I need a guy to tell me to have coffee at home because it costs 150 at Barista( one of my firends Ex bf did that ). I like tall guys but I married one who wasn’t very tall . He used to get insecure when I used to wear 4 inches heels and appear taller than him or when I used to admire ( subtly ) Taller guys . This lead me to believe in one thing , Never Date / try to live with someone who is way above or below the league, because people are not comfortable with your lifestyle and this will lead to issues. Same is with someone who won’t dress up or have bad manners or is less educated .These are more of preferences of life partner than feminist or anti-feminist attitude . I dnt have to date a shorter guy to prove I am feminist .On the other hand I would not have thought twice in supporting a partner for few years had he chose to do his higher studies , pursue hobby or anther job and needed break .. just doing nothing for few months is also OK .

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      • 150 rs for a cuppa coffee is like buying cheap plastic at a chinese dollar store. If any cheapskate objected to me drinking coffee at such bargain basement prices, I’d drop him like a hot pancake too.

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    • @ AS & The Bride
      While I think we can use our critical faculties to overcome a lot of prejudices, xenophobia and cognitive biases; I don’t think our attraction triggers can be calibrated, not all that much anyway. I don’t think women and men, whether feminist, masculinist or otherwise have to be apologetic for what they find attractive in a potential mate.
       
      @ preetidutta
      Fair enough. While I am not one to decide, I think one *can* be a feminist and still have preferences in a mate that might not be traditional. However, what I find hypocritic is when feminists try to shame men for liking certain traditional traits of feminity and/or youthfulness in women; while at the same time, rationalising their own attraction to traditionally masculine characteristics in men.

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      • @Atheist Indian…Feminism is about demanding equal rights. Feminism does not and has never dictated as to how people should choose their mates. In fact feminism is enabling women to pick the mates they want as opposed to marrying someone who has been picked for them…

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        • @ Priya Dutta
          I am not talking about feminism. I talked about feminists. Feminism, like democracy or communism, is philosophically sound and looks very reasonable to armchair philosophers AND an anathema to male chauvinists. Yet when you see how these socio-political ideals play out in the real world – it becomes apparent that human nature is the weakest link in any socio-political school of thought or ideal. Feminism espouses gender egalitarianism, but in the real world, a lot of feminists are anything but gender egalitarian.
           
          Take last sentence for example. It isn’t feminism that enables women to choose their spouse. It is economic and social independance, which enables women to make their decisions without coercion or oppression from their parents/society. It is the same with men; men who are socio-economically dependant on their parents as adults wouldn’t have much choice in who they marry. In my native homeland, feminism is pretty much non-existent. Yet, in most of the native tribal cultures, women (and men) always chose their own spouses.
           
          Gender equality isn’t just about women’s liberation, it is about men’s liberation too. The victim of gender roles aren’t just women – but men as well. It isn’t just women who are objectified as breeding machines and sex slave; but men are objectified as mules, bodyguards and ATM machines in the same cultures. And contrary to what you claim, a lot of feminists DO use shaming language against men who are attracted to youth, beauty and traditional attributes of feminity. Unless these same feminists are able to act ABOVE their socially programmed or biological impulses, they are hypocrites for doing so.
           
          On that note, I can’t even understand why you’d admire taller men when your husband is around. It is the moral equivalent of your husband ogling at or expressing his appreciation of prettier and younger women around you, especially when you are ageing and not so youthful any more. It IS bad manners and shows a lack of courtesy, whether done by men or women.

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      • @Atheist Indian I take your point, broadly, about not shaming people for their instinctive attractions whether they are to young women who look fertile or strapping men who look like they can provide. The more I have been reading on evolutionary biology and neuroscience the more I am becoming aware of how we are hardwired to do certain things and respond in certain ways. A fundamental change in what human beings look for in a mate at the level of human society would take generations. Yet, there are signs that it is already beginning with more women going out to work…I remember reading a study on this, which I can look up if you’re interested.

        In the meantime, though, we cannot force our reactions and attractions. But I have found that our minds can sway our bodies though, to some extent. Thus for me to remain attracted to my go-getter husband turned retiree, I have to find other things that are attractive or see the aggression I used to admire expressed in other ways. Ironically, I believe it is feminism that enabled me to think this way. As a feminist, I cannot diss a man for subverting a gender role.

        I also think that at a social level we can start preparing what hopefully will be an evolutionary change by not reiterating that people should be attracted to certain things – whether certain kinds of men or the opposite sex at all. That might offer people more freedom to identify and follow their instincts, whatever they may be.

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        • @ The Bride
          Precisely. I am glad that at least one person here got what I was trying to say. I’d be cautious while reading evolutionary psychology though. However, I tread very carefully when I read evolutionary psychology. While our biological hardwiring programs us to be attracted to certain types of women or men, a lot of our attraction is also developmental and/or socially conditioned. I have come to understand this after I had a lot of dissonance between what I am supposed to be attracted to, in evolutionary terms and what I am actually attracted to.
           
          This applies to all other areas of psychology as well, not just romantic/sexual relationships. For instance, xenophobia is pretty much hardwired, but racism isn’t. Attraction to curvy women is hardwired, but attraction to submissive/docile women is developmental. Once we understand and relate to what is our biology differentiate it from what is our social conditioning, do we learn greater acceptance of ourselves.
           
          “That might offer people more freedom to identify and follow their instincts, whatever they may be.”
          Exactly. In my own observation and experience, I have seen a LOT of variations between what women and men want in a partner/mate, something that Evo Psych wouldn’t be able to explain without jumping around hoops. However, social norms (or shaming for deviating from the norm) keeps them away from acting their instincts howsoever psychologically *normal* they may be.

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  7. Hmm I can see that everybody here has no issues in revealing their age !
    But I feel that people feel bad (men / women alike) when they are told that they look older than what they actually are. But nobody minds if they are said that they look younger !
    And I don’t know if people here will agree with me, but I think women are more concerned with signs of ageing. And that’s because women’s beauty is more glorified compared to men. (Miss World / Miss Universe has much more following than Mr. Universe).
    Old men can still act as heroes in movies without hiding their real age. But I hardly see the same with woman. Sridevi can make a comeback while she is still looking pretty but I doubt whether she will be able to do that with grey hair and wrinkled skin !

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  8. Recently I turned 30, a very happy and content 30, and i stated the same on my facebook profile. My cousin told me i was very “gutsy” to reveal my age, one of my colleagues felt it was horrible to wish someone a Happy 30th because no one liked being reminded of growing old. I just felt i had a 30 great years behind me and so many better ones to come–why wouldn’t i celebrate or reveal my age?

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  9. We are made to believe that younger women are more desirable. Yes, it is all about feeling insecure about our real worth and relying on ‘age’ to feel good about ourselves. Look at all the wrinklefree-creams, look-younger-creams ads and you see that looking younger than what you are (even to those who know your real age) matters a lot in retaining place in their hearts. So it is not just about our hiding our age, but also about spending our time, energy and money in looking younger rather than working on our talents and skills to be respected and desired.

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      • It is about setting priorities in life. If you wish to spend your resources on looking younger – so be it. For me, desirable is being fit and healthy. It is to be able to smile through life, feeling good about myself – not just about the way I look, but also the way I carry myself. Have I been able to completely disassociate myself from this whole ‘look-as-young-as-you-can-race’? No. There are many external and internal factors responsible. I am trying. But I strongly believe that this is a very negative state of mind to be in.

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  10. I don’t have any issues with telling people my age. I am 33 by the way.😀
    What I don’t like is when people ask me how much I earn. That is nobody’s bloody business.

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    • Except the Income Tax dept, I reckon!
      Also, on a related note (Esp in response to @AtheistIndian) – I wonder why men and women are ageist when it comes to choosing a partner. Most men (atleast going by dating/matrimony portals) seem to have this stringent age specification (some going as far as to specify things like – “atleast 4 years age diff”! By which they mean, 4 years YOUNGER, not +/- 4 years..). A lot of women seem to do that too (in going for older men, on these sites.). Weird and totally ageist! When asked, they all trot out that same old biological-differences chestnut! Yawn.

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  11. To put it bluntly It is like hiding the age of a car or a cow while selling. Patriarchal society views women as a sex and breeding machine. So younger the better. And women are conditioned to be a product all the time.

    IHM, I am sure you will come out with your age too -:)
    and males here I suppose need not tell…..

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  12. IHM,

    I think it’s “rude” or not depending on who is asking, whether it’s a nosy acquaintance or someone who’s genuinely asking when it comes up naturally in the course of a conversation. For my part, I have never had any qualms about saying how old I am, although , when I turned 20 , I was quite disappointed that I hadn’t done anything significant with my life! Now that Im almost 34 , and a mom, and have lived a little, I am quite surprised at the fact that I no longer have any issues with living a most ordinary life.

    “I don’t intend to age gracefully, I plan to fight every inch of the way.”

    I like to look nice, but will not go beyond a little lipstick and kajal to fight
    such a pointless battle, because it achieves nothing other than destroying my peace of mind.

    About what you wrote earlier, yes, there was a time when my mother used to joke like that, till my eight year old self figured out that for that to be true she must have been eight when I was born. That of course was something she did not allow me to believe😀

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    • absolutely and if you are married then ‘ how come no children yet. You must plan right away else it’ll be too late, you know biological clock is ticking’

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    • gah! tell me about it! I enrolled into a b-school when I was 32 and had to face this “you are not married??? whhyyyyy???” question from 30 different people (mostly 20 somethings) on my 1st day there.. and then they’ll top it up with a ‘but you look younger than us.. how??? you’ve “maintained” yourself well’ when I tell them my age. Yeah right, as if I’m some friggin’ fresco from pre-historic times that needs restoration and maintenance! They all seriously managed to get on to my nerves that day *shudders*. I was actually contemplating replying with a mean “I’m sure I look my age. Are you sure you are only 23?” to some of those boys and girls.:/

      That aside, I am yet to run into women in real life who try to hide their age. Most women I know are comfy in their skin, and their age.

      But given the unkindly way people (men and women) react to women’s age, I wouldn’t be surprised if some women out of their insecurities, prefer not to disclose their age.

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  13. I’ve noticed that men too are getting coy about their age these days. Maybe it’s because of increasing primacy on looks for men, or being seen as younger isn’t good in some business settings (my husband faces this when he travels to certain countries on work).

    I might conceal my age in business settings if I felt that it would put me at a disadvantage. Otherwise, I can’t be bothered to hide it.

    Judging people on how they age is pointless. In general it’s about conforming to certain social expectations of how one should behave at a particular stage in life. I do respect people who accept changes in life with grace and aging is one of those changes. So while people are free to fight the onslaught of old age, I hope I won’t feel the need to fight what is only a natural process. I’d fight the stereotypes associated with what is expected though.

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  14. It also depends on who is asking whom. The way things actually are – If the guy is a young and the women he’s asking is young too ( irrespective of their marital status ) & vice-versa – then it might be perceived rude – with the person being asked – feeling as if the other is trying to analyze them them as a possible candidate(Though there’s nothing wrong with that) – but its the people around which exploit the situation for entertainment.

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  15. In a egalitarian culture, asking a woman her age, is no more (and no less) rude than asking a man his age. When it is considered more rude to ask a woman about age today, the reason is that women are still to a larger degree than men, valued by beauty, and current beauty-standards favours youth.

    That is to say, if a woman is older, or less physically attractive, this lessens her perceived value as an individual. The same thing does not happen to the same degree for a man. This is connected to traditional gender-roles where the man is seen primarily as valuable for providing for his family – on the average 45 year olds earn more than 25 year olds, and *much* more than 17 year olds, therefore being 45 is not considered much of a minus in a man.

    We’re adults, we should be able to handle the truth. There’s no shame in being born at the point in time you are born, it’s not something you can influence anyway. (the only things which should be shameful, are things where you yourself did something that is wrong, and where you could have reasonably avoided doing it)

    I’m 37 years old and earn 53 lakh a year. I have zero influence over the former, like all of us.

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  16. Why would one ask a woman’s (or man’s) age, in any case? Unless it is for some official document,
    Everyone looks “almost” their own age and how does it matter if someone looks a bit younger or older?
    Hence if a person is asking I think either he or she i a moron who cannot guess OR he/she is trying to get a bit personal and wants to say that remark – Oh you hardly look….🙂 ..for whatever reason..LOL

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    • That assumes that you’ve met the person. I’ve never met the Indian Home Maker, thus I have no idea if she is twenty or fifty. One would ask for reasons of curiosity. For the same reason one might ask what job a person holds, or which city they grew up in.

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  17. I’m so with you on this one. I’ve never tried to hide my age. In fact my kids’ favourite line, instead of “when we grow up” is “when we’re 40” (we had kids late) . I remember a friend asking “Why did you tell the kids your age.. they’re going to broadcast it”. But that’s how loads of people think. In our case the next question is, “Why did you have kids so late?” Pretty much drives me up the wall.

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  18. I think it starts with these people’s fundamental belief that women MUST be attractive, alluring (whatever their definition of those things may be). Then the idea is foisted upon you that youth = attractiveness, being petite, nice to look at, and the older you are, the less attractive people will find you, and should that happen, your life will, of course, cease to matter at all! The moment that happens, there is no meaning to your life, right?? Then, to counteract that, you must buy some anti-ageing cream or the other to ‘regenerate your youth’. And since you’re buying all these products to hide your age, lest you become unattractive to the world, why reveal it to people? //sarcasm

    Personally, I don’t see the issue people have with it. Everybody is a human being and subject to the ageing process. What is the big deal?

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    • Yes but what I’ve always been confounded by is since ALL women grow old and die having a social sterotype that demands eternal youth and beauty from women is pretty much going against basic biology and against life.

      Its particularly cruel to women because most women are considered Over The Hill by age 30; yet most women live into their 80s. So we spend the best part of our life feeling bad about “aging”. The energy women expend feeling bad about being 40 could be spent celebrating the wisdom and experience age bestows on you.
      .

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  19. Well, no it’s not rude because you can tell roughly how old someone is anyway. It’s no big secret. Obviously it’s supposed to be rude because women are judged on beauty and supposed signs of fertility (= youth). This goes back to seeing women as baby makers and men as providers. It’s unfair for both men as it is for women.. the pressure on one to be ‘young and beautiful’ and on the other to be ‘rich and powerful’.

    What I do find rude is when I visit India, people (even random neighbours) feel very free to ask how much I earn. I just feel it’s none of their business. I feel uncomfortable thinking that they will convert my pay in rupees and act weird about it. I don’t want to ‘rub it in’, but also it’s just personal!

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  20. I am NOT going to reveal my age! The very idea! *horrified*:/
    Ok, I just couldn’t resist that😛 Everyone knows my age, I put it up on my blog not long back and now all that anyone interested has to do is add one every year. Actually I have never minded anyone asking my age, it is what comes after knowing it, that bothers me. The ‘act your age’ ‘dress your age’ seriously pisses me off. As far as I know, it is a free world and one can wear what one likes and no age has corresponding behavior patterns stipulated for it. If anyone thnks so it is their problem and not mine. Of course the world is also free to make fun of me if it so wishes😉
    I have one thing to say. It is not always women who are coy about revealing their age. Men also do the same. I think you will find more men trying to conceal age, appear younger by dyeing their hair and mustache than women. Not that I have anything against it. Just that where I stay, I see more men trying desperately to look younger than do women.
    Now as to Ian Chappel’s comment, he is just repeating (without thinking) the oft quoted “wisdom” that says women do not like to reveal their age. The sad truth is women take this as some sort of gospel truth too and believe it of themselves. Any dumb thing repeated often enough is taken as “ved vaky” by everyone. What I wish is for someone to conduct an actual secret survey and publish the results. It will shock everyone to know who actually hides age (I believe that) in much the same way they found that it is men who are in love with mirrors much more than women.

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  21. I have a hilarious experience in this age discussion. We were having lunch with huby’s two best friends and their wives. One of them was recently married at that time, so the next one asked which year she had cleared her 12th. She replied the year. Then came the comment from the husband of the wife who had asked the question. Oh my wife is youngest here see all are elder from her and he was very proud to declare that and telling my husband that I am the eldest among the wives group. Then my husband gave a nice reply to his friend.. His reply was..Ya I and my wife are from same decade (we have 4 yr age difference) but you and your wife are from different decades (as they have around 10 yr gap). So we can still discuss on some films, serials and politics of one decade but you two can’t. I had a big laugh that day. Even many husbands feel proud to have a young age girl as their wife and they keep on showing that.

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  22. oh..so i am 32 years old…and i think i should say sometimes or rather most of the times, i feel awkward when i have to reveal (say out)my age to people..

    so IHM, why don’t u reveal ur age?

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  23. You know you are 40 when
    – your 8 year old asks you “what are acid washed jeans?”
    – you ask your 8 year old “what is Gangnam style?”
    – you still have VHS and cassette tapes
    – your child’s home base teacher is a decade younger than you
    – a good night out means eating out
    – your first computer was an Amstrad without a hard drive

    Yes, you’ve guessed it – I am 40!

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  24. Right, call me anything but I think it is one of the etiqutes not to ask a woman her age.. and thats what I have been told and taught . hence the reason I dont ask a lady her age.

    I think when i sit back and try to find a answer according to my own stupid reasoning, and please dont shoot me or kill me for this , IT is natural that men seem to be physically stronger than woman and I think ladies tend to age faster generally ( I know pathetic reason).. maybe thats the reason they dont ask .. reason being ladies use to do all the work at home and never getting time to get ready and do all the makeup etc, men had a good time and usually dressed up more.. SO they looked younger then the ladies .. maybe thats the reason

    or

    woman tend to outlive men generally I think that could be a reason too men dont want to know thinking they are nearing there time🙂

    I have no qualms in age.. end of the day its a number and that has never bothered me , I do more now , and I can vouch to do much more than most of the guys who are half my age anyday ..

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    • The data don’t support your first guess: Women on the average stay healthier longer, compared to men, thus in real terms they do *not* age faster. That society considers a woman “past her prime” at a much earlier age than they would a man, is a different thing, but that’s about cultural perceptions and not about health.

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      • Women outlive men. Even in India, which is so inhospitable to women. Men do not look or stay younger for longer at all. The thing is that there are more attractive connotations with an older looking man (richer, better status) than an older looking woman (infertile, past her prime).

        There is a flip side to this too. Many actresses start acting at 15 or whatever and an adult audience is more than happy to accept them in a ‘hottie’ role (even if morally they are too young). However, a 15 year old boy is seen as immature by adult women (and men) and not possessing any desirable properties as a mate, traditionally being money and power for men. Ofcourse there are exceptions but I am describing the norm.

        Age carries different associations for men and women, even if biologically it affects both just as much.

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  25. I don’t mind yelling my age from the rooftops – especially if it gets me deference ( just kidding) , i hate the comments and advise that follows, also hate the dress like this, age gracefully etc., etc., free advices. I can underand curiosity makes one ask someone’s age – nothing wrong and it’s not a big deal but what follows after i’d rather avoid, some people need to learn to shut up and keep their free advise to themselves.

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  26. It’s western etiquette not to ask a woman her age. Traditionally, a woman’s role in society has been to look young and beautiful so as to attract men. If a man asks a woman her age, it means she has failed in her ‘duty’ to look young and attractive.

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  27. May be off-topic, but why do you think Mr. Chappel’s comment about women’s age “undermines the effort of the women’s team to be taken seriously”? I listened to everything what Ian Chappel said from the commentary box, and I didn’t find anything that came close to undermining the effort of those women.

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  28. I think if a person is in a happy place in life, completely comfortable being what he/she is in life, completely comfortable with how they look/feel, then there would be no issues telling the age. I remember when I was in college I would never tell my age (I dont know why!). But today, I dont flinch, dont even think twice if someone asks me my age. I love being 28 and I love the fact that every new year is bringing different experiences and opportunities for me. I used to be scared about being 30, but I am now sure that in 2 years when I do turn 30, I will be totally cool about it. Maybe this is what “aging gracefully” means?😉 Accepting that age is nothing but just a number, and most of than not, it is we humans who associate negativities with particular age…

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  29. Hiding ones age seems pretty pointless.
    Owning up to a particular age is pretty pointless too.
    I know that I am often far more than what my years define me to be, and often far less too.
    My children know that I’m a generation older than them.
    My parents knew that I was younger than them
    And my friends are both much older and much younger than me…..
    So what does it matter?
    I’m old enough to know that just the number of years I’ve attained don’t matter-
    it’s what I’ve done with them, and what I’ll do with what remains.

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  30. It is rude to ask personal questions without a good reason or unless very good friends.

    I am 60 and proud of it. I have been through seven kinds of hell and earned every last day of my life.

    Is it a contradiction? I don’t mind volunteering my age, but dislike being asked.

    Age gracefully? I don’t wear miniskirts or a lot of make-up (actually, I dislike my face when painted), but I manage to keep a youthful outlook most of the time. I’m a fighter and will no doubt punch out Death when s/he comes to collect me unless s/he is very polite and respectful. In fact, I have died and been resuscitated and had quite an interesting discussion with Death at the time.

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