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Judge Judy: A Great Role Model For Older Women?

Barbara Morris, R.Ph.
Jan 16, 2008
I Love Judge Judy. If every kid to had a no-nonsense Judge Judy type mother there would be fewer problems in the world.

However, I'm not sure she's a great role model for older women. This is why: Judge Judy was sharing her wisdom on the Larry King show, and the conversation turned to computers. Judy and Larry admitted they had never used a computer, and that's okay. When you have people who can do what you don't want to do or can't do - that's fine.

But here's the thing. Judy implied that she was too old to learn. She didn't say so in so many words, but that was her message, loud and clear. It should not have surprised me - on her show, she often makes comments about "getting old" or "being old." As smart as she is, she seems not to understand that you are what you say you are. Chronological "old" is one thing. Mental "old" is something else. You can't control the former but you are in full control of the latter as long as you have your wits about you.

Here's what really bothers me: Her comment about age being a deterrent to learning new information compounds the widely held myth that old (or older) people can't learn new things. Judge Judy is an extremely influential woman - we listen to her and accept her wisdom. While she was speaking I could just picture older women who have given up on themselves, silently assenting that they too are too old to learn to use a computer, thankful to Judge Judy that she has given them permission to continue to vegetate.

She often chastises miscreants on her show, suggesting that they need an "epiphany." An epiphany, according the dictionary is a sudden realization, "a sudden intuitive leap of understanding, especially through an ordinary but striking occurrence."

Judge Judy is not old, but her comments and demeanor make one think that she's older than her reputed 56 years. She needs an epiphany. Not just for herself, but for the countless women who look to her as a role model.

That she has others who do computer work for her is great. It frees her up to do other things. However, I suggest that she keep her brilliant super-charged brain firing on all cylinders as she enters her older years by learning to use a computer. Other than doing crossword puzzles, I can think of nothing more challenging than doing battle with a dumb machine that makes you think far more intensely than you can imagine.

For example, remembering passwords is a major pain. I keep a log of passwords for handy reference, but I don't refer to it until and unless I am stumped when trying to log into a password protected page or program. I constantly surprise myself that I can remember so many different passwords. For me, that is a major benefit of using a computer - the constant challenge to remember what I want to remember.

Age be damned, Judge Judy! You are too old to learn only when you say you are. Get a new attitude, Your Honor!
About the Author
Barbara Morris is a pharmacist and author of Put Old on Hold. Visit her website http://www.PutOldonHold.com and sign up for free content-rich newsletter and receive a complimentary copy of "Thirteen Diva Tested Tips for Fabulous Skin."
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