What do Rupert Murdoch, Billy Joel, and Alec Baldwin have in common? They are all involved with women decades younger than themselves – women who could be their daughters. Because they are powerful men, we often accept this as normal. But just try reversing it.
Demi Moore was practically our only role model for a successful relationship of an older woman with a younger man, but alas even this long-term marriage has come to an end.
I'm not saying there's anything particularly great about falling in love with someone half your age, that those people will have anything to talk about, or that the relationships will last; however, I am pointing out that women who do this are often ridiculed whereas men are admired. That's because men are still greatly valued for their status, prestige, and money, and women for their looks and youth.
When I turned 50, I had a hip replacement because my hip was fractured in an accident I'd had years ago and the joint wore out. The only thing worse than turning 50 was turning 50 and having a hip replacement! I felt ancient. Absolutely fossilized. And as a result I developed a big-time crush on a guy 25 years younger than me. He was really fond of me (Hello, Alex!) until he realized that my interest was romantic and then he ran as far as he could in the opposite direction. And rightly so. I get that. What I didn't get was the way my family and friends mocked me, as though it was a ludicrous notion that anyone so much younger could be interested in me. Why? Because I wasn't an 81-year-old man with an empire that stretched as far as the Wall Street Journal and Fox news?
In my novel Straight and Narrow, my main character Tara Richards is about to turn 40. She is deathly afraid of the clock turning, and sees 40 as the demarcation line between young and old. To make herself feel younger and more attractive, she yearns for the attention of a 24-year-old guy. What happens? Read Straight and Narrow! And let me know your thoughts on younger men and older women.