I was watching a documentary entitled; “The Mine Wars” on Amazon Prime.  It is about the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike of 1912, when West Virginia coal miners organized to fight for fair wages and treatment, among other things.  One of the activists that helped the miners was one of my heroines, Mary Harris “Mother” Jones.

While this documentary was informative, it had an ageist element that I disliked.  Instead of simply describing Mother Jones as an activist and discussing her accomplishments, the narrator (presumably under the director of the writers and producer) kept discussing her age and her gender.  They talked about how her appearance as being “matronly”.  I found it not only to be sexist, I also felt a hint of ageism.

Mother Jones, like most activists, continued to be an activist until the day she died.  There is no age limit on how long you can be an activist, or even when you can start being one, so why bring up her age? It was irrelevant.  There is no retirement from activism, so instead of focusing on Mother’s age, those involved in the production, etc of “The Mine Wars”, should focus on her accomplishments as a labor activist.

Author: Stacie M Stark

Activist with 25 years of experience in human and animal rights and welfare. Specializing in children's rights and issues, LGBT rights, and companion animal welfare and rights. Member and always will be of Amnesty International, Best Friends Animal Society, and PETA. Mom, queer, vegetarian. Hello Kitty and Disney Princess collector. Cat lover. Sagwa fan. I want to live at the public library.

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