by Diva Rebecca
Intrigued by the recent headline making romance between Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, I decided to do some research on age difference in relationships. The 16 year difference in age makes the new couple something to talk about. Is it a scandal? Is he a cradle robber? Personally, I still think of Katie Holmes as the little girl next door from Dawson's Creek. She certainly doesn't seem to be old enough to be dating my teenage heart throb. She was still playing doctor with her own next door neighbor back then. Or is Mr. Cruise just a lucky hunk who bagged the hot young babe, a rising superstar? But while I was doing my research I came across this gruesome article: Age Difference and Marriage Culture. I was so absolutely appalled by this apathetic article, I decided to write a rebuttal.
There is no doubt in my mind that our nameless author (I say "nameless" because he has refused to leave his name most likely out of cowardice) is a sexist bible thumping woman hater. He pretends to have a greater and noble cause for his paper, citing moral and cultural blemishes which undermine our marital unions in this modern day while he drives to drudge up old world traditions to instigate more successful unions. But how far back in society does this misguided figure wish we should go?
To sum up his paper in brief, this man believes that we, as a modern society, should prearrange our daughters' weddings at an early age to a much older man. For the first couple of years during engagement there should be no sexual contact so that she could get used to the idea of marriage and he could work on building his career and future for the new couple. Any career ideas for the woman should of course be put on hold because she will be busy at home raising the children. He even suggested that maybe she could take come college credit courses here and there. After the children get older she could then get a degree and possibly enter the work force. This author attests to the fact that he is not against the strides that women have made over the past years in equality in business and government and that women should work....with a stay at home business. Does he think he is fooling anyone?
Now let's point out and break down some of his more interesting points, arguments and assumptions, shall we? In the beginning he makes a comparison of arranged marriages in the bible and what women experience in the dating world today. "Joseph and Mary in the Bible lived in a time when families "arranged" marriages with the girl at 15 and the man at 30......In our modern culture, "similar age" unions have been enforced through coeducation, campus "parties" and movies that glorify these institutions. Women have been vulnerable to date rape and a lack of commitment arising from inflamed but only temporary male passions, and even some "good guys" become "good byes"." Oh yes, and let's take a look at the good ol' days shall we? Relationships were not always so peachy keen back then as this guy would like to think. Rape was just as common as ordering a big mac and the women were treated like slaves and private property. Do you want to bring that back too? Yes, Mr. Sexist Pig, relationships fail and women experience hard times, but it is not because our evolution into equality has failed. Our independence and strength only encourages us women to try again and survive the hard times. And trust me, we have it much better now than it ever was before.
This man likes to dwell on women going to college. He pretends to detest coeducation standards, but this is simply a mask for him to be able to say that women should not be attending college. Talking about parental and government support for women in college he asks, "Do they really expect that most girls will meet a stable lifelong partner there?" Yes, dingbat, I do. Many men and women do meet a same age partner in college and marry soon after. Just because you were turned down by every college girl you met doesn't mean that you should try and ruin it for the rest of them. "We could ameliorate the temptation for short-lived same-age fornication-relationships if our culture said, "OK, coeducation has some value, but we will make a joint effort to set up younger women with older men for marriage in general." What? Oh yes, that is what I am going to do when I am a parent. I'll set up my darling virgin daughter, squashing any chance she ever had for having fun while she is young, to marry an older man who has most likely had his fair share of "fun". Men can do it, women can't. I still can not believe that there are people out there in America who actually think like this. And when you think it can't get worse your IQ drops a point as you read his next line of drivel. "Off to college they go, with parental financial support, or with government loans, to party and put off marriage for their careers. Therefore, women often marry far past their prime. It is such a waste, and a crime against the men of the culture." And there you have it. It is a crime against men. Yes, Mr. Nameless One, it is one big conspiracy set out to undermine and overthrow the the dictatorship of men. Also, I really must say that a thirty year woman is not past her prime. I think we are getting the picture now. You are just a dirty old man who wants to be set up with some cute little 16 year old girl, the innocent daughter of your fellow church patrons. Have you shown them your dirty little article? Do you think they will fall for it and start her arrangement with you? You are a sick and twisted little man.
Women have worked hard through the years to achieve complete equality. Putting her goals aside to appease an arranged marriage isn't exactly equality. If we went back to this sort of arrangement, we would all be wearing burqas in no time and regular stonings in the city square would come back to popularity. Women go to school and fall in love with men their own age because we want to. You might think that arranging marriages leads to a more stable family environment, but the rest of the sane world sees it leading to depression in women, suicides and battered women living in fear of her abusive spouse. Choice is the issue here. We have the choice to marry who we want, fall in love with who we want and God Willing, have bed breaking sex with whom we choose. What we learn is how to take care of ourselves, become independent and mature in life. This helps in a relationship, especially if something happens such as abandonment or becoming widowed.
I see nothing wrong with a large age difference in relationships, in fact, I think it is even healthy. Women are ready for a mature relationship at an earlier age then men. Too much of an age difference could create problems because of difference in societal view. At first, the woman might have a father figure complex but as she ages she suddenly values her independence. She might even rebel against her older husband's authority as she would her own father. At the same time, I think relationships of the same age have just as much chance as any other relationship. As long as there is love and free will, we will be okay.
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