Shhh, it’s a secret

Via Althouse:

Dear Prudence,
I’m a 21-year-old female who is becoming increasingly fearful of aging. Since I was 18, I’ve tended to date men who were in their mid-20s to 30s which I figured that was about my attraction to the intelligence and maturity that comes with age. But I’m starting to realize that a large factor in my choice of mates is that I enjoy being cherished for my youth. I’m terrified of losing what I see as my most desirable trait. I am surrounded by beautiful women who are decades older than I am. But in my mind, youth precedes even physical attractiveness when it comes to sexual desirability. This sentiment has been echoed by the men I’ve dated. I’ve started exercising and using anti-aging skin products, but is there anything I can do to ease my apprehension?

Well, I’m not going to bother quoting “Prudence’s” advice, as it’s TOTALLY bunk. What’s happening here is a tiny sliver of reality has begun to intrude on the poor girl’s consciousness – that youth is more important than what this deluded young woman calls physical attractiveness, a trait she apparently associates with women “decades” older than she is (which, at 21, makes these woman at least 41). Let’s look at this biologically: at 21, our letter-writer is at the peak of her fertility. The beautiful women decades older than she? They’ve either hit The Wall, or they’re about to hit it: their days of fertility are gone. That’s why the men she talks to say that youth precedes physical attractiveness when evaluating a woman’s sexual desirability. What she doesn’t realize is that youth – and fertility – ARE physical attractiveness. By definition, physical attractiveness and sexual desirability are inextricably linked – practically synonyms. The height of a woman’s physical attractiveness is highly dependent on her youth. They are one and the same, not two different things. Prudence advises this young woman to ignore biological reality, and stop looking for men, to go have a career and be a good little Empowered Feminist Woman. Then she can focus on finding a “nice guy” who appreciates her for “more” than whatever’s left of her fading beauty. This is total rot. Rather than abjuring her search for men, this young woman needs to take the wisdom she’s stumbled upon – aging is Not Good for a woman’s SMV! – and use her prime years to find a man to commit to, if she ever wants to have children and a family. Men are creatures of loyalty; those who speak to relationships with clear eyes, stripped of politically correct lies about human nature, testify that they see their wives with “love goggles” – viewing them not as they are (middle-aged, past their prime) but with the overlay of the girlhood of their pasts, as they were in their youths, the height of their beauty and attractiveness. Loyalty is important to men. Therefore all young women would be well advised to take this into account, and search diligently from their young adulthood for a suitable match, so that the man they choose will forever remember them as the women they were in their prime. The statistics for those putting off marriage later and later are grim – every year, there are more and more women who are “never married” – and not all of them are happy to be so. (See all the whining “Where have all the good men gone?” articles: they were snapped up by the younger, wiser girls, O aging independent career women.) Youth and beauty are a depreciating asset. Therefore strike while your value is highest, instead of procrastinating! Any woman can get education and a career whenever – age, other than debilitating old age, is no barrier. Finding a mate and starting a family has a deadline.

Allow me to tell you a parable:

Imagine that every girl is born, possessing a dwelling place. It might be a beautiful mansion or a cozy cottage; how beautiful it is, is not hers to decide, only hers to maintain. If she does well in her childhood, not doing anything to mar it, the house grows as beautiful and desirable as it can be when she reaches her adulthood and gains full control over it. Now, she has two choices: what shall she do with her house? She may rent it to as many as will have it as long as she desires, or “sell” (give, really) the house to anyone she wishes. (Or neither, and keep it for herself, but not many women take vows of celibacy, so we shall pass over them.)

Consider the rented house. People don’t take very good care of rentals; the manager might be conscientious or absentminded, but in either case, the wear and tear on the dwelling grows more and more pronounced with every tenant that passes through. These tenants have little reason to care for the long-term upkeep of the dwelling; they’re only staying temporarily. Then, after many years, if the woman wants to stop renting her house and find someone to “buy” it… well, it’s fairly beat up, full of “character” and ghosts of past tenants. It’s a smaller market, as many potential “buyers” have already found other houses to invest in, ones that didn’t spend years as flophouses. And new, pristine houses are coming onto the market every day! But even if a buyer is found, that buyer has no memory of the house-as-it-was, at the peak of its beauty; all those who do have such memories are long gone.

Then consider the house that is not rented. It may stay lonely and empty for a while; perhaps a few long-term renters, not much wear and tear on the house. It stays beautiful; and if the girl who possesses it diligently searches the market of “buyers,” she is likely to quickly find one that prizes a new, pristine house – or at least, a house with fewer previous tenants. And no matter how the house may age (as it will, requiring upkeep) the family that flourishes inside it will remember always how that house looked, at the peak of its beauty, before time began taking its toll.

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