I don’t mind middle age, but I mind everyone’s archaic attitudes about it, especially when it comes to attractiveness.
The truth—rarely uttered, but unavoidably true—is that we are young for a far shorter time than we are not, and almost without exception we are assholes during this very fleeting period.
Which is all to say: I refuse to smile when told, “Wow, you don’t look 50,” as if it’s the ultimate compliment. I refuse to play nice when I’m called a cougar for snogging a 25-year-old. And I really refuse to make self-deprecating jokes about my age the way others do, perhaps because they have children so are inured to insults about their age. America so fetishizes youth—to our peril, since the result is a bunch of maskless bozos who insist on civil liberties without civic responsibility—that it licenses a toxic desexualization of the not-young, especially of women. Put simply, I reject the rejection. Continue Reading →