DEAR MISS MANNERS: Why is it considered taboo to ask a woman her age? Why would a woman not be obliged to answer when asked her age?
GENTLE READER: Well, why, indeed? A society that extols youth and degrades age has poisoned the pleasure of having a long life, but people have curiously adopted this attitude. Often, even employers (illegally) value youth over experience.
In social circumstances, Miss Manners has always thought it ridiculous to consider one's age an embarrassment. Nevertheless, it is -- to many gentlemen, as well as ladies -- and therefore that question should not be asked of anyone except children.