A woman has accused the AARP of age discrimination.

Well, duh. Of course the AARP practices age discrimination. They won’t let me join because I’m too young. The AARP doesn’t even try to deny this blatant ageism; it’s clearly spelled out on their How to Join page.

Oh, wait. The woman in question is 63 years old, and the AARP fired her and then passed her over for job openings because she was too old?

Perhaps someone is taking the organization’s name too literally. It’s the American Association of Retired Persons, not the American Association of Old Persons. As long as the 63-year-old woman was still working for them, she wasn’t retired, and therefore not eligible for any favors from them. The AARP simply helped her become retired.

UPDATE: My theory turns out not to be valid. I first began to suspect this when I noticed that nowhere on the AARP website is there any explanation of what “AARP” stands for. I resorted to Wikipedia, where I found this explanation:

The organization was originally named American Association of Retired Persons, but to reflect that its focus had become broader than American retirees, in 1999 it officially changed its name to just “AARP” (pronounced one letter at a time, “A-A-R-P”). AARP no longer requires that members be retired.

In that case, the AARP has no conceivable excuse for its treatment of the 63-year-old woman — except, perhaps, senility. (That could also explain why the How to Join page spells the generic term for “husband or wife” as “spouce” in two places.)

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