There was a time it was taboo for an older woman to have a relationship with a younger man. Think back to the 1967 film The Graduate in which a woman seduces a man young enough to be her son. The cinematic satire was a hit receiving various Academy Award nominations and winning for Best Director; however, it would have been completely unheard of for a woman to actually do those things back then. Fast forward forty-four years later and it is more common these days. Thanks to celebrities such as Goldie Hawn, Demi Moore and Mariah Carey the world has been given actual examples in which there can be long-lasting relationships where the guy is the quintessential “trophy piece”. The question is should women marry younger men or merely have a good time with them and settle down with a man who is their age or older?
In a New York Times article Kershaw (2009) discussed census data that concluded the rate of marriage between a woman with a younger spouse doubled between 1960 and 2007. Demographer Andrew A. Beveridge at Queens College discovered the number of marriages in which women are 5 years older is 5.4% and 1.3% for women 10 years older (Kershaw, 2009). The numbers indicate that women are doing it more but it is still less common for an older woman to actually marry a younger man. Marriage already has its challenges so to add additional issues such as the way a younger beau deals with not being where he wants to be financially or professionally, what his family thinks or other possible age-related insecurities can be more than a notion.
The recent news of Ashton Kutcher cheating on Demi Moore astounded many. On the episode of her show that aired Monday October 3rd Wendy Williams made a comment that Demi should have known better than to marry a younger man that was 15 years younger because she is too old to have his babies with her “dry eggs” (see video attachment, jump forward to 7 minutes to go straight to this particular comment). One of the viewers commented on her site that she was upset by Wendy’s comment, that men have been marrying younger women “since the beginning of time” and it is time for societal views to start changing.
One would think society had already changed, but I suppose not. There are still some people who will talk and may not approve. But the bottom line is it doesn’t matter what other people think, what matters is what two people feel for one another. To the ladies open to the idea of marrying a younger man, if you are strong enough to deal with the pros as well as the cons of that situation and you are not settling then more power to you. Connie H. of Greensboro, NC is in her late thirties and has been married to her husband that is 12 years her junior for 5 years. She said she didn’t let anyone stop her from being happy. I say kudos to her! Love at any age is a gamble, and you only live once so do you!
(Tune in later next week for part 2 on this topic!)
Kershaw, S. 2009, October, 14. “Rethinking the Older Woman-Younger Man Relationship”. Retrieved October 8, 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/15/fashion/15women.html?pagewanted=all
To see comments in reaction to the October 3rd Wendy Williams show: http://www.wendyshow.com/2011/09/30/ashton-kutcher-basketball-wives/#comment-85651