We've done "cougars." We've done "MILFs." But surely it's been a while since we did "older women vs. gold-diggers?" We have to give each generation equal opportunity to blame and/or objectify every other generation or we're not doing our jobs.
I'm a 38-year-old woman. I like older women and I hope to be one someday. I don't want to ignore their complaints about men their age dating younger women, but I have noticed something conspicuously absent from the conversation a discussion of why younger women choose to date older men. For the most part we are not "gold-diggers." Mostly we are tired of dating postadolescent man-children our age.
When I was 26, I met and married a man who was 43. He opened doors for me, vs. a guy my age who actually shoved me into some bushes trying to get into the house before me in the rain. He paid for dinner vs. young men who haggled over every dime. He was an excellent lover who put my needs first vs. guys my age who were done in five minutes then told me I could go ahead and finish by myself. He makes me feel beautiful. He never goes commando because he doesn't have any clean laundry, and I have never once seen him throwing-up drunk.
So, older women complaining about younger women dating all the men their age we wouldn't have to if you had raised sons anyone would want to date. There, I said it. We now have multiple generations of boys who don't actually become men until they're around 40. We do not want to finish raising your sons for you. What happens when they're 25 and think that they're the best at everything they do, but they don't know how to do laundry, cook for themselves, or pay rent on time? What happens when they don't have any manners or respect for other people because you thought it was cute to see a little boy act like a king? Well, here's what happens girls their age don't want to date them. They find older men who will give them respect, affection, and great orgasms and then there are no older men left for you to date.
You can bitch and moan, call us gold-diggers and call the men we date cradle-robbers, but when you're throwing around blame, just be sure to look around the corner into your 28-year-old son's bedroom, and then look in the mirror. If you raise sons women want to date, you will ensure that there will be some men your age left when you're 55 and single.
Not a Digger
Whoa! Whoa there! I was with you until suddenly the brute piggishness of the men you chose to date in your youth became the fault of the older women you would like to be one of eventually. There were better-behaved guys out there, you know. They were the guys who are always complaining that the hot girls think of them "just like a brother." Young women are often attracted to louts, for any number of reasons. Many things can be blamed on louts, but young women's desire to sleep with them is not one of them.
There is, I admit, some blame to be laid on the parenting styles of the '70s and '80s (permissive to the maxi-max-max) for the childishness of (some!) of the young men you knew when you yourself were in your 20s. Some. But let us not lay that on the mothers alone. Indeed, let us watch it with the blaming, period. Yes, it was a permissive era and yes, it turns out in hindsight that children may need more responsibility and less indulgence than was popularly supposed when you and your idiot boyfriends were coming of age, but you know what they say about hindsight. And speaking of hindsight, surely its glow ought to be illuminating the fact that you were choosing the sort of boy-men who spent a lot of time drinking till they puked, and who would (I'm sorry, it's awful of me but this is hilarious) shove you into the bushes to get out of the rain. Dumb-dumb boys! Don't date 'em!
Yes, it is hard for young women, who do tend to mature faster than young men do, to find reasonably well-behaved guys their own age to date. I don't think this is an artifact of any given era; young women have always complained of the immaturity of young men. Yes, older men are attractive to young women for far more reasons than their larger billfolds. Yes, it is unattractive of older women to sling epithets at the younger competition. But it's also unseemly for you to blame them for the bad behavior of what were, after all, grownups at the time. What would you think of a 26-year-old man blaming his mother because he forgot to do the laundry? I thought so.
See Andrea's other column at carnalnation.com.