When you are in your teens anyone over 30 seems ancient. Only when you start getting on in years do you come to redefine what it means to be middle or old-aged.
I am 57 so can wholly relate to Oscar Wilde’s statement that “The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young”
I was struck by this thought again when reading a blog post by children’s author, Stephanie Faris entitled ‘There’s no excuse for being a perverted old man’.
This relates to a series of sexually explicit comments made after an ‘innocent’ photo was uploaded to Instagram by 17-year-old actress, Ariel Winter. As you can see, this is not by any means an overtly sexy pose but the amount of bare flesh on display was enough to get some men excited all the same.
Faris writes: “Blaming the young girl isn’t the answer. Saying the men are wrong for looking isn’t the answer, either. However, there is a difference between looking at someone and saying extremely disgusting things to that person”.
I agree with this and would add that dumping all this venom on ‘old men’ isn’t all that helpful either; particularly when ‘old’ seems to extend to anyone over 40 – presumably on the basis that this is the age when they are technically ‘old enough to be her father’.
These salacious comments would have been equally inappropriate coming from a male who was the same age as the girl. The routine objectification of women is the issue here and this can, and does, start at any age.
Perversion and creepiness may become more embedded in the individual as the years pass but I take issue with the implication that these negative traits are confined to men of a ‘certain age’.
I’m just saying.