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View Diary: Today I'm 50. Here's what I've learned. (187 comments)

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  •  Agreed--the culture should shake it. (8+ / 0-)

    However, sadly, it hasn't. What is and what should be are, unfortunately, still very far apart. I don't believe that society, as a whole, continues to see women's "respectability" as linked to her personal sexual conduct. But I do believe that many individual men do, much to my, and every other thinking person's, frustration.

    Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead. ~K. Vonnegut

    by Greek Goddess on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:05:04 AM PDT

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    •  You say "too many" men still subscribe (9+ / 0-)

      to these antiquated and misogynistic views on sexuality. So?

      Is "bagging" such a sexist and stunted man, any kind of prize? Is it something we should want, or strive for?  

      The original point in your diary, and your defense of it, still trouble me.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:16:24 AM PDT

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      •  Not at all. Far from it. (9+ / 0-)

        All my life I've heard men of all ages talking about women, and the overwhelming attitude they have for a woman who "puts out" (not my term, by the way) too soon (again, a subjective measure) is contempt. Not all men feel this way, I hasten to add. But enough do that I feel I can say, from my own observation, that it is a prevalent attitude.

        Do I agree with it? Of course not. Do I like it? Hell, no! Does my disagreeing with it and not liking it make it not so? Sadly, no. I offer my observations only, not my endorsements.

        What have your observations been? Not your preferences for how things should be, but your observations of how things actually are?

        Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead. ~K. Vonnegut

        by Greek Goddess on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:24:10 AM PDT

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        •  in fact quite the reverse (11+ / 0-)
          Not all men feel this way,
          I am happy to be faithful to my long time sweetie who has never been shy about intimacy from the very start.  There are many things that have drawn us to together and a refreshing lack of gameplaying around intimacy is one of them.
        •  Again, I'm wondering, who cares if (11+ / 0-)

          "most men" really want women who are virgins, or whatever? Is it the "present reality"? If you're content with what "they" tell you about reality, then I guess it is. OK, listen to the traditional-gender-role propagandists: besides a general aversion to "slutty" women, men don't like "old" women, either. Indeed, many men absolutely swear they'd never look seriously at a woman past 40 as dating material. So the gender-role propagandists spin this as "everybody" supposedly wanting a hot young trophy, and not just for childbearing. This ubiquitous (and culturally amplified) propaganda has it that a woman who's "old" has supposedly seen her sexual and romantic prospects "dry up." But, scratch the surface a bit: women in midlife attract plenty of sexual interest. Based on my experience, and on long observation, mature women who are interested in doing so, have zero problem finding men to date. Being "old" is no bar in the area of relationships. I'm arguing that being "slutty" is no bar, either. No matter what "they" say.

          Yes, a lot of the culture is very sexist. I am not so thick-skinned that I haven't registered the dripping misogyny in advertising, movies, the corporate media, and the conversation of men in my earshot. But I know there are very different realities than the "official" one available to women (and anyone) willing to scratch the surface. The "surface," in regard to these particular issues, isn't so interesting. Not to me.

          Why give it air time?

          BTW, an excellent book, one that has really expanded my sexual thinking, is "The Ethical Slut," by Dossie Easton. Dossie, admittedly, is pretty wild. You may not go as far as she does in her sexual expression. But the book is guaranteed to make you think.

          It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

          by karmsy on Wed May 15, 2013 at 12:27:17 PM PDT

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          •  Thanks for the book recommendation. (9+ / 0-)

            I'm always up for things that make me think. Like this discussion--thank you for making it so spirited. I'm inspired to do a longer diary on the state of gender relations in the infancy of the twenty-first century.

            Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead. ~K. Vonnegut

            by Greek Goddess on Wed May 15, 2013 at 12:34:22 PM PDT

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          •  Heartily disagree (7+ / 0-)
            Indeed, many men absolutely swear they'd never look seriously at a woman past 40 as dating material.
            Most healthy men past 40 view women over 40 as very sexy and desirable.  Sure, about 15% or so of us are unhealthy assholes, but most men I know tend to find women their own age the most attractive.

            Scissors cut paper/Paper covers rock/Rock crushes lizard/Lizard poisons Spock/Spock smashes scissors/Scissors decapitate lizard/Lizard eats paper/Paper disproves Spock/Rock breaks scissors/Spock vaporizes rock

            by jgkojak on Wed May 15, 2013 at 01:40:56 PM PDT

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            •  Like I said above (4+ / 0-)

              the personal views/behavior of many men regarding the sexual desirability of women, are totally at odds with what men are "supposed" to want, per the (well-amplified) "traditional-gender-role propagandists."

              You've scratched the surface of the mystique. That's all any feminist would ever ask.

              It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

              by karmsy on Wed May 15, 2013 at 02:01:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, and BTW: (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                socindemsclothing, Greek Goddess

                By your own estimation, 15% of men over 40 shun women their own age. This is still quite a high number of men :) and can seem higher still if men in this 15% are constantly catered-to in advertising and entertainment, and all other areas of the culture.

                We have to knock the legs out from under the lie.

                It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

                by karmsy on Wed May 15, 2013 at 02:06:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Well here's some data from okcupid- (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              karmsy, Greek Goddess

              http://blog.okcupid.com/...

              Seems that men on that site do prefer women significantly younger than themselves- not sure how typical their attitude is. Maybe there are better polls out there, this is just what came up on google.

              •  Haven't checked out the link. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Greek Goddess

                Don't know whether the gathering of the data, represents a "sampling bias," which would serve to cast doubt on the finding, itself.

                Whether the finding is flawed, or represents the preferences of "average" men well (and I wonder about that), there's a problem.

                There's no denying the results are troubling.

                It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

                by karmsy on Wed May 15, 2013 at 05:10:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Maybe the appropriate interpretation of the data (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Greek Goddess, ladybug53, karmsy, Chi, zooecium

                is that the majority of men who utilize OKCupid are assholes...?

                Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. -George Carlin

                -7.88, -7.64

                by socindemsclothing on Wed May 15, 2013 at 06:23:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No idea- I did check their wiki page- (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  karmsy, Greek Goddess

                  seems like basically an online dating and social networking site. Maybe more open emphasis on physical attractiveness- but let's face it, that's usually a factor whether or not people state it openly.

                  •  I know a few people who have been very happy (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Greek Goddess, karmsy, gramofsam1

                    with the outcome of their time spent on OkCupid, so there are at least a few gems strewn among the a-holes.  

                    I've never had great success there...it's a free site, and free sites have a tendency to attract people who are only partially, if at all, invested in the pursuit of a long-term, monogamous relationship.  A lot of the guys there, at least IME, are dipping their toe in the dating pool while trolling for casual sex.  I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who's serious about dating.

                    Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. -George Carlin

                    -7.88, -7.64

                    by socindemsclothing on Wed May 15, 2013 at 06:57:33 PM PDT

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                    •  Well I'm a fan of match.com- (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Greek Goddess

                      not for myself, online dating was way in the future when I was single. But my daughter met her husband there 8 years ago, and he's a pretty terrific guy. The other guys she'd met there were, in her opinion, pretty nice guys too. She was very honest about being interested in a serious relationship, and she'd already adopted two kids, so maybe that screened out a lot of players.

                    •  Two comments... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Greek Goddess, zooecium

                      1. I may be an outlier- I met my wife on OKCupid when I was in my high 30's.  I tried match.com, and you don't get what you pay more for.  I used OKCupid. I can argue that I stopped dating after that (got married) b/c OKCupid had a better matching algorithm. Am I representative? Who knows?

                      2. As far as the statistics of older men who are dating, it's a self-selected pool, not random. This group excludes all of the men who are not dating at 40 or 50 or 60  b/c they're married or in a stable relationship. Of course there are bound to be more men in that group not interested in or maybe not capable of or for whatever reason just not yet ready for a serious relationship. There are also more women in that category as well. More, but not all. Some move on to being ready for a stable relationship, and some do not. It's probably not the website so much as the situation.

                      •  For the record, (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        socindemsclothing

                        I met my husband on Plenty of Fish, another free dating site. Well be married two years in July, and I couldn't be happier that I took a chance on love online!

                        Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead. ~K. Vonnegut

                        by Greek Goddess on Thu May 16, 2013 at 01:25:27 PM PDT

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                      •  Outlier, maybe...but it proves the point that you (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Greek Goddess

                        can always find a gem if you dig through enough muck.  I'm sure there are plenty of great people on OkCupid, etc., and it's always nice to read about another success story.  

                        I think women just have to brace themselves for the onslaught of undesirables if they're going to go that route.  And be courageous enough to have high standards.  A 40-year-old guy who wants to date women 25-42 is a shallow d-bag no matter if he's the CEO of Philanthropy Inc and rescues abandoned puppies and kittens in his spare time.  I would give anything to go back in time and beat that into the head of my younger self.  

                        Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. -George Carlin

                        -7.88, -7.64

                        by socindemsclothing on Thu May 16, 2013 at 07:12:59 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Tee hee! n/t (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  socindemsclothing, karmsy, zooecium

                  Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead. ~K. Vonnegut

                  by Greek Goddess on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:40:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  If you're not part of the solution...... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Greek Goddess

          Joy shared is doubled. Pain shared is halved. Spider Robinson

          by nolagrl on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:03:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  There Is No Such Thing as "The" Culture. (11+ / 0-)

      There are thousands of cultures around the world that are represented here full blown or diluted below the surface. Gender relations and expectations here run the whole gamut of the rest of the planet from the most oppressive to the most liberated.

      There was a huge sea-change in the mid 60's with the Pill, and while older generations and religious reactionaries stayed behind with the disrespect for sexual activity, a big chunk of the population moved forward at that point.

      I've been a wedding and funeral musician since the early 70's constantly dealing with most of the range of European and quite a few non European families. If you weren't an evangelical I'd have to ask if you stepped out of a time machine because I haven't encountered women or men in the mainstream with such harsh views of women's respectability since "Gilligan's Island" was on the air.

      But there are definitely ethnicities and religious affiliations where that's remained true.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:52:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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