Here’s an interesting discussion. Is it wrong for men to desire younger women? And what causes it?
If there’s one tangible thing that men can do to help end sexism—and create a healthier culture in which young people come of age—it’s to stop chasing after women young enough to be their biological daughters. As hyperbolic as it may sound, there are few more powerful actions that men can take to transform the culture than to date, mate, and stay with their approximate chronological peers. If aging guys would commit to doing this, everyone would benefit: older men and younger men, older women and younger women.
This proposal flies in the face of everything we’re taught is normal and inevitable. Take the case of Johnny Depp, who turns 50 next month. His new girlfriend, actress Amber Heard, just turned 27. Described as acting like a “besotted teenager,” the thoroughly middle-aged Depp is reportedly eager to start a new family with Heard, who wasn’t yet born when he made his film debut in 1984′s Nightmare on Elm Street. Last year, Depp separated from his long-time girlfriend (and mother of his two childen) Vanessa Paradis, shortly before she turned 40.
POSTED BY TONY RAFETTO
Life imitates art: as Kyle Buchanan wrote for Vulture last month, Depp is only one of many aging male Hollywood stars whose onscreen love interests remain forever young. Stars like Liam Neeson and Tom Cruise age slowly, if at all, out of sex symbol status. Ours, as Buchanan documented, is a culture which represents men’s sexual desirability as being as enduring as women’s is fleeting.
It’s certainly not just graying celebrities like Depp who rob the cradle. Research on the preferences of users of OK Cupid, one of America’s most popular dating sites, indicates that “men show a decided preference for younger women, especially as the men get older… so, even though men and women are more-or-less proportionately represented on the site, men’s decided preference for younger women makes for many fewer potential dates for women.”…
So if older men aren’t pursuing much younger women because of evolutionary hardwiring, why do they? It’s hard not to conclude that much of the appeal is about the hope of finding someone less demanding. A man in his 40s who wants to date women in their 20s is making the same calculation as the man who pursues a “mail-order bride” from a country with less egalitarian values. It’s about the mistaken assumption that younger women will be more malleable. Men who chase younger women aren’t eroticizing firmer flesh as much as they are a pre-feminist fantasy of a partner who is endlessly starry-eyed and appreciative. The dead giveaway comes when you ask middle-aged men why they prefer to date younger; almost invariably, you’ll hear complaints that their female peers are too entitled, too embittered, too feminist.
I liked the following comment in response, from “j r”:
You sound as silly a social conservative trying to argue that gay marriage will destroy America. I wonder if you realize that.
Also, why do I want to be challenged in a relationship? The world is challenging enough. When I come home from a hard day’s work, the last thing I need is to have more crap flung at me at home. What I want from my wife is support and that’s what I aim to provide her as well. The whole idea that men need to be challenged and pushed and prodded to change has to be the outright daftest idea of the contemporary feminist cannon. No wonder so many people are clinically depressed.
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