My favorite reason for reading the U.K. Guardian: schadenfreude:
What does it mean to us, as women, to be told that we’re worth less than we used to be? No man I know has ever been told that his powers, his allure, his charm have faded, and that he has to face up to that redundancy. Many women I know in their 50s talk about their invisibility in public places. I’m sure a case could be made for invisibility as a liberating force in a woman’s life, but I am not the woman to make it, not this week at least, when I’ve been dissed or else flatly ignored by all the men I’ve said hello to.
It’s making me a bit rebellious, I admit. It’s making me want to look 50, and talk about 50, and stand firm with a whole movement of women, rejecting the pressure to try to look 35 for ever, throwing away our foundation garments and hair dye. I get these impulses and then I buy another stupid snake-oil anti-ageing cream.
It’s true that men don’t see me any more. It’s sobering to walk down the street observing how the 50-year-old men behave, paying attention to what they’re looking at as they stroll along. They are not looking in shop windows. They are not looking at me. They are looking at women half their age.
Here are some hard truths, ladies: All that feminist stuff about how men and women being exactly alike except that men get an unfair advantage over women because we live in a patriarchy—pure hooey.
Men in their 50s stare at attractive 25-year-old women for the same reason that men in their 20s stare at attractive 25-year-old women: Youth and beauty are signals of health and fertility, which in turn signal unconsciously to a man’s mating urge a woman’s ability to bear his healthy children. A 25-year-old woman is at the peak of her fertility. A 50-year-old woman can’t bear a child to save her life unless she tries some expensive medical procedures that usually don’t work. The reason that men don’t necessarily lose their attractiveness to women at age 50 isn’t because society is unfair and patriarchal. It’s because some of the qualities that women unconsciously look for in a mate have to do with a man’s potential for protecting and supporting her and her children.
The poor lady who wrote the above was probably told all her life that biological reality was hopelessly outdated sexist thinking, and that she could live like a young woman forever: cycle through numerous boyfriends, dump her husband if she got bored with him and find a new, more exciting man. She was fed a bowlful of feminist propaganda that she believed with religious fervor. And she still believes it. That’s why she’s griping about the unfairness of it all.