As much as I love men (eye candy) I love women even more I think. As I get older, I am appreciating women who are straight shooters. They can cut through the bullshit if they don’t care whether you “like” them or not. There aren’t many because, of course, we’re conditioned to want people to like us and to do that we have to be nice. Why is it so much easier to hate women than men? I don’t know. Miley Cyrus? Can’t stand her. Kim Kardashian, go away. Can I rattle off the names of some men I hate? A little harder.
When you pass 40 you start to know what it’s like to feel invisible. The male gaze, or what I like to think of as the mating circle, is dependent upon who else is available at the time. So, if you stand out on a dating site that’s because the selection is fairly limited, making it easier for you to be singled out and selected by the male population. Walking down the street in New York or Hollywood, or hanging out on the beach, you’re not going to be noticed the same way because the pool of choices is so much more broad. Make sense? Okay, does it half make sense?
If you live in a big city, chances are you will have a less of an easy time meeting people randomly – unless you are one of those drop dead gorgeous types. You have nothing going for you out there in the world other than your looks. If someone likes how you look they will talk to you, notice you. But on a dating site, on in various selective communities online it easier to stand out if you have a “special set of skills” that might be attractive. For instance, if you’re smart, funny and know a lot of stuff and look even half-way decent (on the internet, for the most part, that translates to: not fat) you will get attention. You will feel like a Playboy bunny walking down the street even if, when you walk down the street you look average, worse than average even. Funny how that works. This is what I have always loved about the internet since I got online nearly twenty years ago: it kind of levels the playing field. Or it used to anyway.
I am finding, as I get older, that I appreciate women more. Perhaps this has to do with not being competition with them much anymore, especially the younger ones. Sure, sometimes I am filled with envy that they have their whole lives ahead of them, and other times I remember what things were REALLY like at that age and how hard life can be until you really figure out who you are.
I love to read bitchy, snarky articles online. I love to read women who challenge the mostly male commenters at male-centric websites. I love those who use their smarts and their wits to compete even when it’s so much easier to use their bodies.
The truth about women is that too many of them spend their days marinating in fantasy. I don’t think fantasy of the romance novel kind is very good for women overall. I think it sells an unrealistic ideal that is impossible to attain, for one, but also it’s a time waster. Think of all we could accomplish if we weren’t sitting around waiting for Prince Charming? Honey, that train has left the station. Waiting for Prince Charming is as futile as waiting for Jesus. They ain’t never coming for you. You have to do this life without them. Moreover, half the time, you yourself are the rescuer, the Prince Charming, who is coming to save everyone else.
When we give up our power as leaders, bitches, cunts, rulers, goddesses in hopes of being attractive enough for a guy we define our validity by the fickle desires of a visually based sex who is just as easily distracted by the next shiny object (pair of tits) coming down the pike. It isn’t that men don’t matter. They matter. A lot. It’s that our sense of who we are and what we can be should not depend on what they think of us.
Easier said than done. The thing to do always is to channel Patti Smith. She is the honey badger of older women. Fuck growing old. You can still be this:
I think Sam Shepherd wrote this about Patti Smith – and all I can say about that is, Sam Shepherd. Enough said.
“If you were still around”
If you were still around
I’d hold you
Shake you by the knees
Blow hot air in both ears
You, who could write like a Panther Cat
Whatever got into your veins
What kind of green blood
Swam you to your doom
If you were still around
I’d tear into your fear
Leave it hanging off you
In long streamers
Shreds of dread
I’d turn you
Facing the wind
Bend your spine on my knee
Chew the back of your head
Til you opened your mouth to this life
Homestead Valley, Ca.