Obnoxious, Condescending, Sexist Esquire Editorial by 50-Something Year Old Man, Tom Junod: “In Praise of 42 Year Old Women” – Condescendingly Reassures 40 Something Women He’d Sex Them Up
WARNING: This post contains the “F” word in it a lot, mostly by other people who I am quoting. I am not going to sit here and edit out all the “F” words. Proceed at your own risk if naughty words make you blush
Edit. There is a follow up to this post on this blog here:
(Link): Follow Up – Reactions by Other Writers to Sexist, Condescending 50 Something Men Who Think They Are Final Arbiters of If Women Are Attractive Past Age of 40 (Re: Esquire Editorial by Junod)
I do acknowledge that there is a lot of sexism and ageism in our culture. Women are thought to have “sell by” dates – and I notice this age varies.
(By the way, the same thing has caught up to men now. See for instance: (Link): Men Become ‘Invisible’ And Lose Sex Appeal At 39 – Article from Daily Caller)
This attitude about women and women’s ages varies from person to person, and from decade to decade.
I remember when I was a kid, age 40 was thought to be a little on the “old” side – not by me personally, but by the wider culture, the TV shows, magazines, newspapers, people in their 20s and maybe 30s at the time.
(Starting when I was around age eight, I began reading the newspaper almost daily, even the front section, that had the political and cultural news, and I watched the evening news with my father every night. That’s how I can say with confidence I’m pretty well attuned to how people viewed things back then.)
In the last few years, sexist PUA and MRA guys have said a woman’s expiration date is age 25, while others of them say no, it’s 30, while others might say 35. Of course, all of them overlook the fact that women do not even have an expiration date to start with.
That none of these males can agree with each other on when a woman supposedly loses her hotness testifies to the truth that it’s all bogus.
Even in the sub-heading of this nauseating editorial, it is stated from the out-set,
In our occasional ranking of the ages, we found that this year’s most alluring is not what you’d expect. It’s not 27 (honored in 1999) or 39 (2008) or 86 (1937 and 1983). No, this year it’s 42. Because it’s not what it used to be.
You might be tempted to think, well, if that is so, if this magazine is honoring 40 something women, wouldn’t you be thrilled that a magazine is writing an editorial saying that 40 something women are no longer considered old, past their prime, or old hags? No, not entirely.
Because the editorial is condescending, and the author, Tom Junod, says insulting things, such as, a woman’s beauty is fading when she is in her 40s (no, it’s not).
This reminds me of an editorial at a Christian site, by a married man, who tried to reassure adult singles that we are fine dandy dan just they way we are.
I appreciate that the Christian author was trying to be helpful or compassionate to older singles, but the condescending attitude was more of a put down (read that page here: (Link): Oh geeze. Another married Christian condescendingly patting single Christians on the head, reassuring them they are dandy as-is, and to remember they have the fictional Gift of Singleness)
It’s the same thing with this editorial. The male author, who is 55 or 56 years old, says he would gladly have sex with a 42 year old woman.
I saw photos of this guy at Gawker, and I find him terribly unattractive. I am in my early 40s, fit, attractive, and I would not give him the time of day. What on earth makes him think I’d want to do him, out of gratitude that he says he finds women of my age still attractive? No, no, no. That is condescending.
As an author at Gawker summarized the Esquire editorial:
(Link): Esquire Writers: We’re Willing to Fuck Early Middle-Aged Ladies, (from Gawker)
The original ed is here:
(Link): IN PRAISE OF 42-YEAR-OLD WOMEN, by Tom Junod (on Esquire’s site)
Yeah, see, I don’t need a dude more than ten years my age reassuring me I’m fine as I am. I already know I’m fine as I am.
Here’s the intro:
by Tom Junod
Published in the August 2014 issue
Let’s face it: There used to be something tragic about even the most beautiful forty-two-year-old woman.
With half her life still ahead of her, she was deemed to be at the end of something—namely, everything society valued in her, other than her success as a mother.
If she remained sexual, she was either predatory or desperate; if she remained beautiful, what gave her beauty force was the fact of its fading. And if she remained alone… well, then God help her.
From the Gawker author’s take on Junod’s editorial:
Esquire magazine (Motto: “The Inactive Ingredients of Erection Pills, in Magazine Form”) has a very important message to all the 42-year-old women out there: Esquire writer at large Tom Junod might like to fuck you.
That’s right, ladies of a certain age (42). Tom Junod has decided you may still be hot.
This was not always the case. Once upon a time, 42-year-old women were not really worth wanting to fuck, or if Tom Junod did want to fuck one, it made him sad.
[snip Juno intro]
Now, though? Now 42 is awesome. Tom Junod can name several famous women who are 42 who he would be willing to fuck. Right in their 42-year-old vaginas. Cameron Diaz. Sofia Vergara. Leslie Mann. Amy Poehler.
He would fuck these women, despite their age, and even share a joke with them, because the 42-year-old woman, she is a person, or at least a person-like idea:
[Gawker author quoting Junod]:
It is no accident that every woman mentioned here has comic as well as carnal appeal, and entices with the promise of lust with laughs.
But it’s not all easy. Being sexually attractive to Tom Junod at the age of 42 is a real job:
[Gawker author quoting Junod]:
Of course, they have to work for their advantage; they have armored themselves with yoga and Pilates even as they joke about the spectacle.
Still, what has made them figures of fantasy is not that they have redefined the ideals of female strength but rather their own vulnerabilities.
Go to a party: There is simply no one as unclothed as a forty-two-year-old woman in a summer dress. For all her toughness, and humor, and smarts, you know exactly what she looks like, without the advantage of knowing who she is.
Were you afraid you might go to a summer party, as a 42-year-old woman, and not have a magazine writer mentally appraise what you would look like without your clothing on? Fear not (as long as you’ve been doing yoga and Pilates)—Tom Junod is so thoroughly prepared to undress you with his mind, you’re already naked.
What accounts for society’s and Esquire’s sudden tolerance of women of this age, 42? Tom Junod, according to Wikipedia, was born in the Eisenhower Administration, and is currently either 55 or 56 years old. Nevertheless, Tom Junod is gracious enough to admit he’s capable of wanting to fuck women who are within 13 or 14 years of his own age.
I, myself, by coincidence, am 42 years old right now. But I am male. As such, I would like to follow Tom Junod’s lead and reassure all the 28-year-old women of the world that I do not believe their advanced years should render them sexually unattractive to me.
Or maybe he’s using a percentage, rather than a spread of years. Tom Junod is willing to entertain the thought of intimate relations with women all the way up to 75 percent of his own age.
Tom Junod, age 21, cruises into the high school parking lot to tell the 15-year-olds they’re still OK. (He shakes his head at Sweet Sixteen parties, though.)
Tom Junod, age 30, is ready to consider dating a summer intern in his office, even if she has already finished college. Tom Junod, age 85, tells a 63-year-old woman not to worry, she’s still got a little something going on, in his eyes.
It boils down to feminism, you see:
[Gawker author quoting Junod]:
A few generations ago, a woman turning forty-two was expected to voluntarily accept the shackles of biology and convention; now it seems there is no one in our society quite so determined to be free.
Conservatives still attack feminism with the absurd notion that it makes its adherents less attractive to men; in truth, it is feminism that has made forty-two-year-old women so desirable.
This is what it was all about, ladies.
But Tom Junod is, after all, only one man. You may be asking yourselves: Do other men also want to fuck 42-year-old women? Do they ever!
There’s a double feature playing at the Esquire Drive-In, and the second show is by Stephen Marche, who is not quite even 40 yet. Guess what?
[Gawker author quoting Marche]:
Women who are 42 are grown-ups, they are in control of their own lives, or as in control of their own lives as they are going to be anyway, and it is altogether good that American men desire women in this state. Desirability and self-possession should go together.
Marche, though, is not sure this is so nice. He is writing to express the fact that he is uncomfortable about the use of the term “MILF,” when applied to these 42-year-old targets of male desire.
Why? Possibly because it is a porn indexing term, inherently and exclusively used to objectify women? Well, yes, but no. The fact that “MILF” is a popular pornographic search term, to Marche, indicates not that it is a constructed concept, which is shaping men’s sexual expectations, but the opposite—that it reflects some deeper or prior impulse. You can ((( click here ))) to read the rest.
No, I don’t find it flattering or reassuring that a wrinkly looking 55 year old writes an editorial telling women of my age he’d still like to boink me.
The guy who wrote this travesty apparently thinks this is a one way street, where only men are visual and only men care about what a person looks like. Wrong! Women are visual and care about when men look like.
I find that condescending on so many different levels, that for one, he assumes I’d find him handsome or charming enough to want to boink back (and the answer to both is no, I don’t).
I don’t need anyone reassuring me it’s okay to be 40-something. I already know that. Trying to convince me it’s okay is actually insulting in a way.
Here are a few of the reader comments from Gawker that were underneath this article:
by NoLackawannaTom Scocca
I find it sadly comical that men— aging, fat, balding— always think they can attract women half their age. (Actually, they often can—if they’re rich or famous or both.)
I wonder if they ever considered that some hot, beautiful women ten years older than them would drink battery acid before they would fuck them.
This is fucking jaw dropping.
It takes a lot to get a rise out of me but this Tom Junod guy has hit a spot I didn’t know was there. I’m a 40 year old male and this sickens me.
This guy is disgusting.
I couldn’t even finish the article.
The parts I did read made me puke in my mouth a little bit. He’s what? 55 or 56? So who in the hell is he lusting after in real life? What age is the lady he’s dating or married to? Jeez.
What the shit is this shit.
This is nauseating to men and women. The idea that women have a sell by date is ludicrous, and the idea that men should determine who to sleep with based on chronology is moronic.
The truth is that people will sleep with almost anyone. People (mostly in Florida) will have sex with relatives, with animals, with warm soup.
The attempt to make yourself feel more successful by only copulating with what the Esquire staff considers acceptable is pretty pathetic. Fuck who you want, provided they also want you, and shut up about it.