I’m fascinated by the fact that all the younger guys (35 and under) from OKCupid that email me and say the exact same thing. They make some effusive comment about my looks. What that really tells me is how younger men (or maybe men in general) perceive women “of a certain age” as feeling less than or unattractive in some way simply because we are no longer in our twenties or thirties. That we’re somehow *starved* for attention or validation. That a simple yet disingenuous compliment about our looks will make us more pliable. It’s insulting.
Equally insulting is the idea that men have the ability to “break our spirit” by offering some desperate attempt at an insult o our looks. Last week one of those Game/PUA guys tweeted at me that it looked like I was balding. (Note: That is not a cryptic plea for people to tell me “omigod that’s sooo stuupid you’re not balding.” I know that.) He deleted the tweet pretty quickly. What was I supposed to do or say in response to that? Was I supposed to get all fucked up about it and fear other men thought the same thing? No, really, I’m genuinely curious.
When women around here brag about “always” getting hit on by younger men, I just roll my eyes. I’d guess that, in 90% of those cases, those men are blowing smoke up that woman’s skirt not because he genuinely finds her attractive but because he believes it’s been a very, very long time since anybody has complimented her on her looks.
I could turn up the bravado and be all, ‘Oh no he di’in’t! I get told I’m beautiful allll of the time.” That, I’m sure, would get me all kinds of likes and retweets and “you go girls.”
The truth is, once we hit a certain age, the compliments do slow down. We don’t get the same amount of looks when we walk into a room as we used to. Strictly by being younger women are deemed more attractive.
And yet…I accept this. It’s supposed to bother me, though, right? I’m supposed to cry ageism and talk about how shallow men are and how “hot” I am and all the dates and sex I have. That’s what women are supposed to do, right? I can’t be bothered to get worked up by it. If anything, I’m more annoyed at the idea that women are supposed to crave the acceptance and attention from men. Especially women my age. I like male attention as much as the next girl…but liking it and needing it are two different things.
The whole purpose for most dating blogs isn’t to offer the author a creative outlet. That’s what they say, of course. The real reason most of those blogs exist is so the women (and sadster guys) can talk about all their dates and feel/give the impression that they are far more desirable than they actually are. They’ll even reveal some of the most jaw-droppingly embarrasing things. The question is: why? What is it about being able to say that you have a man in your life that is so important that women will forego all common sense and dignity just to have a guy to talk about? What is it about having a man that makes us more “okay?”
I was having a conversation about this with a couple of male friends this week. I was telling them about a few articles I had read where the authors had to work in mentions of their new “boyfriends.” They’re excited. I get that. I understand that the real motivator in those situations is to brag and, let’s be honest ladies, compete with other women. What I don’t understand is why these women feel as though having a man in their life somehow elevates them in some way. What is the real value of the man’s presence? Even in the comments here, I see women trip over themselves to talk about their relationships.
Why do we do that? What is it about having a man in our life that makes us feel smarter, wiser, more beautiful or more confident? Why do we feel a need to prove something to strangers?