Is this the dawning of a new age?
Older women rejoice, the French president has made you desirable in the eyes of younger men
Groundbreakers like Madonna have been parading younger lovers around forever.
HELLO toy boy! Yes, the time for older women to appreciate the younger man is here. Thank you Brigitte Trogneux. The wife of French President Emmanuel Macron is, at 64, 25 years his senior. I smell change coming on, even if it does come with a whiff of pain au chocolat or coq au vin.
Of course groundbreakers like Madonna have been parading younger lovers around forever. But there’s a curious double standard that still surrounds the older woman-younger man liaison. (Actually, Madonna is a Macron fan, writing on Instagram after his election that “no one seems to care about their age difference or insisted that Brigitte ‘act her age’.’’)
Cultural prejudices, where we traditionally team older men with young women but not the reverse, are propagated by and reflected on social media. On screen, for example, we accept a pairing of Sean Connery with Catherine Zeta Jones. Less acceptable would be Sally Field with Ryan Gosling. Notably the words “age appropriate” are usually applied to women too, not to men, especially those older ladies who like to show off a bit of cleavage and sport fabulous designer clothes. Mutton dressed as lamb, the chauvinists mutter, and some women too.
Perhaps single, older women are meant to hang up their high heels at a certain age and accept that they are “middle-aged” and should not fish in fertile ponds. Or is it the idea that women may appreciate young flesh in the same way that men appreciate a beauty contest, the Victoria’s Secret parade or models in a magazine that seems a bit unseemly?
Of course I’m not saying that all women want a younger man, that older men aren’t great, or that a man who is the same age as you is not a suitable partner. I am saying what’s age got to do with it, if you both click and if younger appeals?
That said, not all women want to run around after a man 20 years their junior, or run around after a man full stop. But as we broaden our horizons about relationships, let’s make sure that the prejudice we have about the older woman is just another one to bite the dust. Vive la difference.