As I get longer in the tooth, and the distance between me and fifty shortens at terrifying pace, I have begun to look for heroines aged over forty. Partly because even though I grow older, I still want the story to be all about me. But also because heroines over forty are so rare to find. We become invisible, domesticated, hidden away from sight. The men have risen to power, and get to make the decisions or go on the adventures. So when I do find a woman past forty leading the story, I am delighted, because I see that life does go on for women—that possibilities still remain, that there are still new chapters, and that the wisdom that comes from experience has worth, and can lead to a new lease of life. Old women too can be explorers.
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