Let’s Stop Praising Men Who Deign To Date Women Almost Their Own Age by B. Ellen
Nov 9, 2019
Keanu Reeves comes across as a sweetheart, but I’m not sure he actually deserves a sainthood for dating artist Alexandra Grant, who, at 46, is still nine years younger than him.
Nevertheless, their recent appearance on the red carpet (Grant, elegant with natural grey hair) was hailed as refreshing, even groundbreaking.
So it goes with the twisted maths of male-female age-appropriateness, especially in Hollywood – a man seen with anyone who isn’t half his age is hailed as a feminist god walking among us.
But why wouldn’t Reeves date Grant? She appears to be smart, talented, fun, a catch. But this is beyond one couple – this is about the gender politics of success and how society tells successful men that they “deserve” not only a beautiful, but also a much younger woman.
…Then there’s that other kind of age gap, with the freaky gendered socioeconomic dimension – where snagging a much younger woman becomes as much a signifier of male success as a mansion or a Porsche.
Here, the younger woman is less a human being than a male acquisition or achievement. I always wondered why some men were forever moaning nastily about gold-diggers.
…For women, the rules are different. Helena Bonham Carter has just been in the news with a much younger partnerand you’d have thought that witchcraft (bubbling cauldrons, the lot) must have been involved for this 53-year-old to lure this younger man into her aged lair. It barely matters that Bonham Carter is beautiful, talented and successful. That, these days, she’d be called a cougar rather than a crone. Still, society decrees that a woman’s status is rarely improved by her having a much younger male partner; if anything, it’s sacrificed.
(Link): Dear Abby: I Gave Up Dating, and 30 Years Later, I’m Lonely – letter from self-professing 70 year old guy who is overweight, says he prefers younger women and does not want to date women his own age
(Link): Follow Up Part 2 – 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)