THE BLOG
23/05/2018 12:58 BST | Updated 24/05/2018 15:14 BST

Let’s Call Out The Double Standards Of The Media When It Comes Relationship Age Gaps

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What is everybody’s obsession with age? Seriously.

Age is nothing but a number, a socially constructed myth and excuse for oppression and segregation. I for one am a firm believer that adulthood is adulthood, regardless of what decade of adulthood you may be. I believe that relationships are made from something far deeper than a few digits on a birth certificate. It is made from a genuine connection of shared interests, hobbies, humour – and of course an aesthetic attraction in most cases! So why is age brought into the equation? And more importantly, why does the media hone in and scrutinise the relationships whereby the female is significantly older than her male partner?

I have read numerous articles in which the age of an older woman is frequently referenced and discussed when she has a younger partner. Yet, when a younger woman is in a relationship with a significantly older male, nobody seems to question the man - It is even viewed as the women bringing out his youth. It is also common for a younger women to be brandished a ‘gold-digger’ (an utterly disgusting phrase!) if she is with an older male of wealth. So can the woman ever win? Go younger = frowned upon, go older = gold-digger. What do you want us to do? Stick within a five year radius? Age is a lazy tool of oppression, designed to pigeon-hole females and keep them in line. Nobody should have the right to dictate who women see and don’t see.

The most high profile, contemporary example of this is the relationship between Brigitte and Emmanuel Macron, of which there is a 24 year difference in favour of Brigitte. Their relationship is constantly ridiculed, yet when I see them together, I think they look extremely happy. Why can’t we as a society just be happy with them?

The media are constantly questioning whether their relationship is truly compatible, yet they are quick to praise the partnership between Vincent Cassell, 52, and Tina Kunakey, 21. I read of Tina ‘rejuvenating’ Vincent, and how she is keeping him looking young. This is all well and good, but why is it not the same for the Macrons? Instead we see Brigitte’s ageing appearance brought into the spotlight, and the 24 year age gap baulked at. This is a gross example of double standards, fuelled by a media sector seemingly unable to accept that love transcends beyond age and social class.

Do people think that an age gap of 10 years + means that people’s minds will work in a different way, meaning that they are not compatible? Adult minds are adult minds, and it’s high time we as a society got our heads around that fact. But the sexism and double standards in attitudes towards age differences are fed into us - so to destroy this taboo, it must be stopped at the source.

The influence of the media cannot be underestimated. If the media want you to believe that an older woman should not be with a partner 20/30 years younger – then the chances are, we will echo this view. This is only natural.

It’s down to the media to stop manipulating the way we view relationships, and I fear this will only happen if we as a society call out the sexism and double standards rife within.

There are far more pressing concerns in the world than a 20-odd year gap between a perfectly happy couple. Leave them alone.