I will make of this what I will, but sad to say that this squares with my and my female friends' experience. All of us are in our 60s. Until recently my best friend worked at NYU as an admin. in the law school. She was there for over 30 years. She took the subway to work every day. She even saw the first plane hit the WTC back in 2001 as she walked from the train station to her office. Anyway, she was always the most happy, forgiving soul until she started getting older and realized that not only was she invisible, but it's like she was actively being shunned and treated poorly by those in the younger generations. The stories she told me would make you ill, and young people not getting up to give her a seat on the train was the least offensive of them. She doesn't have a car and has been in those situations in stores where no one offers to help her with large items too. Her only saving grace (in her words) is that she was built with strong upper body strength and can actually handle it better than most women her age.
I myself am not built that way, in fact just the opposite. I am short and pear shaped with next to no upper body strength. I reached the age of invisibility only about 6 or so years ago. I remember when it happened, it was that sudden and stark. I have always been fortunate enough to look young for my age and attractive, and that plus being fussy about my appearance helped delay the effect for a few more years. But I knew it was going to happen eventually. My mother always warned me about it 30 years ago! She did not take it well as I remember. She was bitter about it. I am just sad. It makes me understand all the more what she and all my older friends have been going through. I try to avoid those situations that would make me feel that way.
I remember my first experience with it. A rich client of my husband's invited us to go to a very famous and fantastic restaurant in NYC (Le Bernardin). He invited a few of his favorite support people like his admin. and the maitre d' at a local restaurant and his wife. They were a little younger and thinner than my husband and I and we and another couple our age immediately felt invisible to the other group. They were all having a fantastic time in the limo. bus we shared and segregated themselves away from us "old farts". When we got to the restaurant I had to endure going to the ladies room with the rest of the younger women, who acted like I was not even there. I really didn't know them but they didn't really know each other either, so why were they so palsy-walsy to the exclusion of me and the other woman in my age bracket? They were only about 10-15 years or so younger than us! I suddenly felt old, fat, unattractive. The other older woman looked hurt so I know it wasn't just me. That was new for me back then. I have to say that it has been that way and gotten worse ever since.
And don't get me started about how I feel like this is the reason I was let go from my job and couldn't find a new one! Age discrimination is real. My last company systematically got rid of anyone over 50 male or female, unless they had the right connections. They would "eliminate" their job by changing the title and rearranging some of the job duties and then lay them off. They laid me off for no reason when I was collecting workers' comp. after falling and breaking my arm in their parking lot. They thought it was the perfect excuse to get rid of another older person, but it was against the law to terminate someone on workers' comp. I won a lawsuit for wrongful termination but I didn't get all that much, plus no matter how many second interviews I was called back for after that, I somehow never got the job. This was NEVER my experience when I was younger. I finally had to give up looking for a job. I don't think I was hire-able at that point. I had tried everything for 2 years including going for jobs way under my level. I didn't suddenly grow a 2nd head or became a troll or something. I dressed well, not frumpy, and kept up with fashion. My resume was fantastic. It was my age, pure and simple, and I know it. I was lucky enough after being laid off during the recession at the age of 50 to still look young enough to get another job, but it took me over a year then to find one. By the time I was 59, forget it.
My best friend was also let go from her job but in her case the conspiracy was more sinister. It seems that she had outlasted everyone in the support staff in her office and was the oldest person there, working alongside people much younger than her. Of course, they all shunned her. I know what that's like. But one day one of them decided they hated her so much (she's the sweetest person ever mind you) that they would make up a lie to get rid of her. They told management that she hit them in the copy room! A bald faced lie! My friend was so shocked when confronted with this by HR that she didn't know how to react. They tried to BS her that they had "witnesses" - what witnesses? It was a small copy room and only 2 people could fit in it at most! Plus there were no security cameras in there. She didn't even remember any such incident happening whatsoever. She went over and over it again and again. She thought maybe she was going crazy! It was like they were gaslighting her! Anyway, they used this bogus accusation to fire her. I told her to get legal representation. She didn't and just decided to retire. She was lucky enough to be able to do that because her family had left her a secret bank account she never knew they had (they lived like they were poor believe it or not). She retired in January, only about a month or so before the pandemic hit in NYC. She actually feels lucky now. If she had been riding the subway in those last couple of months she might have caught the virus. She's cooped up in her apartment now but actually feels fortunate!
Sorry to go on so long - this is a hot button issue for me. When people in my generation were younger we didn't shun our elders, in fact we were taught to respect them, make sacrifices for them, and give them a lot of slack. And that was the way they were treated in offices and social situations. Now, forget it, we are treated like crap as if we are worthless. And don't get me started on how this mentality is manifesting itself regarding Covid-19! That's an entire hour's worth of ranting right there!