Want to find a man in midlife? Lie and say you’re under 40, says KATE MULVEY

Our thanks to Nigel for this. He writes:

I know this may seem a trivial story but it does illustrate a deeper set of problems. Firstly the obvious egotism, as with so many such stories about being unable to “get a man” there is never any thought that the woman or women aren’t “wonderful” and it can’t be anything about them. An egotism that of course blinds this woman to the way she airily dismisses balding men or older men.

The second point is the blindness to reality. As men are males it should not surprise anyone that if they want “their” children, they need to find a woman of child-bearing age. Nature is unfair but the reality is for that important reason women do have a “sell by date”.

Thirdly is the relationship with the truth. The article is the usual set of self-justifications for dissembling or outright lies that suits the writer. This is both commonplace and a little-noticed facet of “femininity”. Any man or woman can think of the endless parade of small lies that are the everyday experience for women.  From the answer to “does my bum look big in this?”  to the “my truth” of Meghan, we are used to dealing with endless dissembling and lies, about weight, fashion, hair and makeup, responsibility, age, shopping, compliments and so on. So much so that women make a big show of “I’m only telling the truth” because they know all the many small deceptions that characterise their lives. It’s not that men don’t lie, in general they know when they’re doing it. I think quite genuinely that many women come to believe that their web of small everyday untruths are somehow “true”.

In fact this difference even shows up in psychology with males being more aware of “rules” and more likely to accept responsibility for breaking rules. Men are psychologically much more likely to adhere to a rule to their own detriment.

I think this everyday dissembling gives women huge practice in lies and genuine difficulty in distinguishing between “my truth” and actual facts. In some ways it wouldn’t matter much if one simply assumes there will need to the expectation of lying , “no dear the dress looks great”, “you look 10 years younger” etc. But this had crept into the law, “hate crime”, “believe”, “offended”, “I felt”, “my truth” and so on. In a sense feminism has simply imported what we all know about, and massive industries depend on – the fragility of the female ego – into our laws.

And so this journalist will not admit that maybe it’s older balding men who no longer want children who she should look for, rather than younger men. And possibly the man who escaped was right, if she could lie about her age, well, what else might be a lie?

Of course, as always, women want the upsides of everything and the downsides of nothing. It’s OK for them to deceive men – and positively recommended in this woman’s article – but it’s not OK for men to deceive women.

They enjoy the power and privileges that come with being young women, especially if they’re attractive, and resent it when they age and that power fades over time and younger women than them enjoy that power and privilege. Oh, and the dig at bald men, given that baldness is an immutable characteristic? How nasty and sexist is that? I’ve never heard any men complain about middle-aged women who’ve suffered hair loss.

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