Age is just a number
Q:Is ageism ok on tumblr because most people who use it aren't middle-aged? How is an age preference any different to a body type preference?
Ageism as a structural, systemic problem is not okay. Losing out on jobs, etc. because of age is not okay.
However, when it comes to online dating, there is something else at play. Many, many people find that significantly older men going after significantly younger women display predatory and/or grooming behaviors. It shouldn’t take too long going through our older men tag to notice a pattern in how these men assert themselves over the protestations of the women they are messaging. There is a lot of entitlement on display in that tag.
I’d also recommend reading this article about new stats from OkCupid. Even if you don’t want to read it, look at the following graphs. The first shows a woman’s age versus the average age of the men they find attractive. The second shows the reverse.
You can also see this trend in the average age of leading men versus their female costars’ ages
Notice a trend? Surprise! That “something else at play” is just our old friend misogyny. Hooray!
It’s telling that the only people I’ve ever seen complaining about ageism in online dating are men. Looking at these data, I’d have to say that the only ageism coming into play is that of older men against older women. So maybe women—young and old—are just getting tired of the misogynistic idea that we “expire” after a certain age. Guess what? We are still vibrant people after the grand old age of 23.
Stop feeling entitled to young women’s bodies. Stop getting your panties in a twist when we turn you down because we’re looking for a partner who is in the same stage of life as we are, or because we were abused by an older man as a child or teenager, or because we just fucking don’t like you because you’re being a creep.