One day you will see that, typically, if a woman from our culture changes then it is not from “age”–maturity, experience, etc–but from necessity. I would agree that old women are often different but usually not because they are better and have “grown” and “learned”–old women, when they change, usually do so because they must.
The average aging woman in our culture, when she must change, is plenty disillusioned when forced to finally grow up: she thought that she would coast through life forever with no accountability as the social-toddler that she was taught to be, and with far more credibility than she ever actually earned. But this, too, shall pass.
By the time one of these women loses enough of her (poisonously subsidized) social-value and is forced to change, she typically will try to call on her credibility as a “wise old woman”–but no one in our culture really appreciates an old woman, especially not a hypocritical old woman–a woman who has gladly benefited, throughout, by men’s socially engineered addiction to young, shaved, shiny women yet a woman who suddenly and self-servingly now wants to rage against the machine that she meticulously helped to create. No one appreciates that. Moreover, by then it is too late for her to help reverse the machine: she has no credibility–undue or otherwise–because, by then, not even by shaving and shining can she hide the fact that she is old, and old is considered ugly because it reminds people of death. And she is dying. Our culture does not listen to its dying women.
As to the disillusioning roller-coaster of her life–the worst part of that is this: by the time she gives up on the corrupt, mutually-sexist, mutually-exploitative system from which she hitherto benefited greatly–by the time she wants to change that system, she is almost dead; she even looks dead: stumbling–flustered, fearful and unhappy–through her increasingly disappointing days.
This is a kind of disillusion that only a woman can bring upon herself: she must accept and relish the pernicious pedestal upon which she has been persistently pressured to perch, ignoring Gloria Steinem’s admonition that, “a pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.” A social-fall from such a socially-subsidized height is frightening, and the landing is brutal.
They say, in our culture, that “men age more gracefully than do women.” When this is true, it is only because the man has been let to live more gracefully than has the woman, whereas the woman will have been bombarded with, and will have accepted, training as a shaved, shiny, petty, empty, self-righteous, tedious mini-tyrant. Often, women even feel lucky to be thus spiritually poisoned; and men easily age as gracelessly as do women when men were as socially-retarded as are the women to whom the aforementioned applies.
In the end, Trish–no, it is not “just young women.”