Quote for Today: Barbara Macdonald


The power of the old woman is that because she is outside the system, she can attack it. And I am determined to attack it.

One of the ways in which I am particularly conscious of this stance is when I go down the street. People expect me to move over. I noticed it particularly in Cambridge, where there is the University and there are groups of young people, and they are coming down the street in groups of two, three, or four and they expect me to move over, which means to step on the grass or on the curb. I just woke up one day to the fact that I was moving over. I have no idea for how many years I had been doing that. Now I never move over.

I simply keep walking. And we hit full force, because the other person is so sure that I am going to move that he isn’t even paying any attention and we simply ram each other. If it’s a man with a woman, he shows embarrassment, because he’s just knocked down a five-foot seventy-year-old woman and so he quickly apologizes. But he’s startled, he doesn’t understand why I didn’t move over, he doesn’t even know how I got there, where I came from. I am invisible to him, despite the fact that I am on my own side of the street, simply refusing to give him that space he assumes is his.

― Barbara Macdonald, as quoted in Women and Aging: An Anthology by Women by Lisa Domitrovich and Debi Berrow

Photo by Tadeu Jnr on Unsplash

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