The first theme in this presentation is an analysis of the image of ’the woman’ as portrayed in an important Swedish official research report on gender issues. Three forms of limited age constructions have been identified: 1. Selection of arenas and themes, 2. Model monopoly and 3. Lack of problematisation of age. ’The woman’ is described as in fertile age, fighting her way to combine family and working life. Older women, on the other hand, are made invisible as actors. They only appear as passive objects in need for care.
A second theme to be brought to discussion is the importance of acknowledging older women’s own experiences. Based on focus groups interviews I join the research tradition that emphasize the need for qualitative studies of older women. The results to be presented shows that women 75+ discuss their everyday life in a way suggesting that the popular notion of ’double standards of aging’ might be a far-reaching theoretical oversimplification, produced behind the writing table, but not double checked with reality.