Our friend Charmaine Yoest has this take on the Tom Cruise-Katie Homes hookup that, as all avid tab-readers like me know, has already produced a charmingly bulging Katie but no ring from Tom. The general reaction seems to be: No Big Deal. Charmaine writes:

“A middle-aged man who is handsome (I guess), wealthy (in the extreme) and powerful begins dating a fresh-faced, virginal young woman, 17 years his junior. She hero-worships him.

“This man has as part of his personal history two failed marriages. The end of both previous marriages is universally acknowledged to have been at his instigation.

“Barely six months after the man and the young woman begin dating, she turns up in public, visibly pregnant.”

Now I, for one, think that Tom–who looks really, really different from the way he did in his premiere film “Risky Business,” is more creepy than handsome, and the tabs say that Katie’s parents aren’t keen on him, either. But if they don’t want a shotgun marriage, how about going after him with a shotgun, metaphorically speaking? Isn’t statutory rape (if Katie was rreally 17 when they started making whoopie) still a crime?.  

Says Charmaine:

My critics will race forward to say that in that bygone era the ‘community’ would have made our erstwhile couple feel downright uncomfortable in public. They will point out that ‘shotgun weddings’ might not always have been best for everyone involved.

“They will say I’m being judgmental.

“Well, so be it.

“Let me be clear: I’m not necessarily arguing for a return to shame and stigma full stop. But there is a Shame Continuum.”

Charmaine’s post is linked by the redoubtable Anchoress, who adds this:

“Did Dan Quayle cover this many moons ago, when he tackled the issue of glammed-up single motherhood? Yes, to a point. He was sneered at, of course. Such judgemental prudery, so unenlightened, so square.

Seems, to me, though that the ‘square’ people are actually thinking about these issues and how they affect the community of humanity, as a whole. Whether they’re right or wrong, they are actually trying to think these matters through, they’re not simply rationalizing them away.”

This is all part of the Anchoress’s longer post (with many links) on virginity, a state much derided by Our Betters in Academia and the Media but still treasured by a surprising number of “square” young people. A must-read.   

Update: Gimlet-eyed Inky reader H.E. e-mails this:

“I’m sure plenty of people will write in about this. But, she’s 17 years younger than him. Not 17. She was born in 1978.”

Thanks for the catch, H.E., and I stand corrected. Katie Holmes is more like 27 than 17, and statutory rape is out of the question. That pushes Cruise’s age up to something like 44. Doesn’t he look wierdly young for a man in his mid-40s?