Thursday, May 16, 2013

May December

There's an odd story in The Atlantic, by one Hugo Schwyzer. I'm not at all sure that it's worth a read, so I'll just give you the major takeaways:

In keeping with the common trope that youth is something akin to being brain-damaged, young people are stupid.

  • Young women can't appreciate young men as potential partners because they've been hoodwinked by older men.
  • Young women feel that older men are good partners because they aren't bright enough to realize that they're mainly wanted for being docile and lovestruck self-propelled sex toys, and too immature to realize that older men are poor judges of character (since younger women aren't the docile and lovestruck self-propelled sex toys older men think they are.)
  • Young men can't manage to appeal to young women because they don't have the wisdom that older men should be imparting to them.
Older men aren't much smarter, apparently because they don't want to be.
  • Older men are afraid of dating people who will see them as they are. (What this says about how older men see themselves is unstated, but guessable.)
  • Older men selfishly spend their time looking for younger partners rather than mentoring the next generation.
  • Older men don't care about common standards of beauty or sexiness as much as they care about malleability, naïveté and man-neediness. (Which younger women don't provide, anyway...)
  • Older men suffer from elevated chances of depression, because they aren't matching wits women their own age.
Only older women seem to come out ahead - they are mature, perceptive and unselfish - they just can't get laid.

The solutions to everyone's problems is apparently that older men should limit themselves to dating older women. The older men get the challenge of having to contend with experience partners with finely-tuned bullshit detectors, the younger men receive mentoring in the time that the older men aren't skirt-chasing, the younger women now have both available partners their own age who are more mature and the ability to appreciate them and the older women actually get to have sex with someone (although what they see in men their own age, is, from reading this article, a mystery to both faith and science).


I'm as creeped out by the next person by an older man dating a woman somewhere in the area of half their age. While I'm a firm proponent of "to each their own," the minute I find out that He was in twenties when She was born, I start knocking back the Brain Bleach.

So while I can understand Mr. Schwyzer's desire for everyone to limit themselves to their own end of the dating pool, the way that he goes about constructing his case for it seems nothing short of bizarre. Perhaps more importantly, it seems grounded in a sort of apologism for "creepy old men:" they have low self-esteem and poor self-image, so they search out women who will apparently be unaware of how loathsome they actually are. (How men who will, apparently, openly complain "that their female peers are too entitled, too embittered, too feminist" think they'll find "a partner who is endlessly starry-eyed and appreciative" is beyond me.)

It seems to make more sense to work with what we know. Our current society desires youth in women in a way that it doesn't in men. Men can be middle-aged (or old) and sexy in a way that women normally cannot. And we live in a culture that has no problem judging a person by the attractiveness of their mate - I recall overhearing a workplace conversation were one person appraised a superior with the words: "If you're going to have a trophy wife, you should at least get the one for first place." That's a bigger issue than the wealthy businessmen and celebrities who use their money and position to attract someone who will elevate their status and perceived virility. We're all going to have to work, if it's important to us to change that facet of our culture.

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