If you are a woman over the age of 49 who is fighting against sexism, don't forget about ageism. Younger females may view older females as competition, so once a women hits her forties and feels politically motivated, focusing on ageism more so than sexism may result in a larger political base from which to try and make change.
Proof of how ageism may have stopped Hillary Clinton in 2008 more so than sexism may be found in how demographics are used in the television ratings process.
Here's how math and ageism have combined forces to debilitate the power of those over the age of 49. Presently, television demographics are clustered into two groups of 18 to 49, and 50 to end of life.
The average age of everybody between the age of 18 to 49 is around 31 years of age. The average age of everybody between the age of 50 to end of life is around 60 to 62 years of age, and there in lies the problem, two demographic groups ARE NOT ENOUGH to fairly evaluate the buying, viewing and voting power of so many different age groups.
Instead, by making television ratings only a "two horse race", the 50 and older crowd have been greatly marginalized by the television networks, resulting in ageism. The graphic above is a perfect example of ageism.
In 2012, Harry's Law was NBC's highest viewed show, yet it was canceled because the 18 to 49 viewers were deemed too low. In essence, too many OLDER PEOPLE watched Harry's law, and their "vote" was thrown out in favor of a MUCH SMALLER younger vote that other shows were receiving.Sound Familar? Even the names are similar, What happens to "Harry's Law" now could influence what happens to "Hillary Clinton's Political Fate" in 2016.
In the case of Harry's Law, what if the 34 to 49 and the 50 to 65 age range were slowly trending upwards in the ratings? Suddenly, the argument could be made that Harry's Law was either solid or gaining in THREE of the four demographic categories, not one!
NBC chose to focus on the extra 400,000 viewers between the age of 18 and 49 who watch Third Rock than watch Harry's Law, even though Third Rock gets 4.4 million LESS VIEWERS over the age of 49 than Harry's Law does!
The argument could be made that Third Rock was already in syndication, and therefore it made sense to renew the show since it was already making money in syndication. However, Harry's Law should do well in syndication in a couple of years, assuming there are more than two season's worth of shows to syndicate.
The marginalization of those over 49 will have a devastating affect on how television show content continues to be aimed at the younger viewer, which in turn will pressure all of the talk shows and cable news shows to skew their content towards their younger audiences as well, and that will not be a good thing for Hillary Clinton's political future. Ageism hurt Hillary Clinton in 2008, it will probably be worse in 2016.
Ageism appears to be running rampant in the present two demographic group ratings system, and this should be changed back to a four demographic group ratings system as soon as possible.
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