If Madonna Were an Older Man: When Double-Standards Apply



Would she be held to the same standards? If not, why?

The article uses several celebrity examples of older men who seem to get away with certain behavior that Madonna would be skewered for.

The narrative here is that older women, in general, are held to completely different standards to that of older men.

Sometimes this is true, but not always, as I’ll explain.

First, an example of what you’ll read in the “bullet-pointed” article:

1: Harrison Ford, Private Plane Pilot. On March 5, the 72-year-old actor crashed his World War II-era plane. The story made headlines around the world, all honoring how well he managed to handle the accident and hoping for his speedy recovery.

Madonna’s Headline
No longer High, Flying or Adored, Madonna Crashes on the Runway and the Charts.

My Take: Madonna, in particular, set herself up for all of this.

Either she cannot see, or chooses to ignore, the reality that “25 and 55” are two different things.

While rock stars like Mick Jagger still rockin’ n’ rollin’, we’re all in on the fantasy.

Jagger has never pretended to deny – or in any way change public perception of – his age.

In the case of Madonna, it’s the other way around.

Her album covers are case studies in Photoshop overindulgence; her competitiveness with pop singers half her age the punch lines of every late night missive; and her incessant allusions to bedding young men is as cringe-worthy as biting a dry Popsicle stick.

With Madonna, it’s not about men and women being held to different standards, it’s about Madonna not coming to terms with reality as the rest of the world knows it.

The final 11 bullet points cite:

2] Paul Newman: Car Racing at 70. 

Madonna’s Headline
Bitch on Wheels: Desperate Madonna Still Thinks She’s in the Race

My Take: Again, this is not about age as much as it is about Madonna. Nobody ever beats up on older female triathletes. They applaud.

3] Iggy Pop, Shirtless at 67.

Madonna’s Headline
Icky Pop: GrandMadonna’s Topless Photo Looks Like a Map of the Old Stars Homes

My Take: Iggy Pop looks like a friggin’ monster as he did 30 years ago. No one’s ever disputed that. The fact that he’s preternaturally shredded only makes him a greater curiosity, not sex symbol.

4] Tom Cruise, Fencing at age 52.

Madonna’s Headline
Right of Light Saber: Madonna Learns How to, Literally, Stab Her Friends in the Back

My Take: They’re probably right about this one.

5] Russell Crowe, Knitting at age 50.

Madonna’s Headline
Unapologetic Stitch: Will Madonna Knit Baby Booties for Her Next Boyfriend?

My Take: This one reaches for a story it never quite lands.

6: Brad Pitt, Motorcycle Riding at age 51.

Madonna’s Headline
Motorcycle Mama’s Message to Her Children: Biking Is Fine!

My Take: If Madonna wants to ride motorcycles, nobody cares as long as she isn’t riding it in a tu-tu.

7: Sean Penn, Surfing at age 54

Madonna’s Headline
Drowned World: Madonna Desperately Tries to Stay Afloat

My Take: Not to hammer a point to oblivion, but if Madonna wants to resurrect herself, an acoustic guitar and her voice on stage would be enough to fill arenas anywhere.

8: Johnny Depp, Owning and Island at age 51.

Madonna’s Headline
From British to Bahamian, Madonna’s Un-American Ambitions

My Take: See #5 Russell Crowe.

9: Sting, Tantric Sex at age 63.

Madonna’s Headline
Chanteuse on the Loose: Madonna’s Sexual Stretch Marks

My Take: It is true that Madonna would be the laughing stock of the world if she were to publicize something like this in light of her recent missteps.

10: George Clooney, Sports at age 53.

Madonna’s Headline
No Longer in a League of Her Own, Madonna Strikes Out on the Playing Field, Dribbles in Public, and Chases After Tight Ends

My Take: If Madonna competed successfully in a triathlon, she would set an example for women her age. Instead, she expects people to just imagine her doing it, along with everything else.

11: Denzel Washington, Boxing at age 60

Madonna’s Headline
Former Musical Heavyweight Madonna Now Hits Below the Belt

My Take: If Madonna wanted to box, no one would care one iota.

12: Kevin Costner, Horseback Riding at age 60.

Madonna’s Headline
Madonna owns… wait, she fell off her horse in 2005, leaving her with a broken hand, busted collarbone and three cracked ribs. One very popular New York Newspaper wrote it…”Madonna Falls Off Her High Horse.”

My Take: I remember this story well, and again, Madonna is her own worst enemy.

When Keith Richards fell out of a coconut tree or four-wheeler or whatever the hell happened to him in Hawaii, he got flowers and high-fives, not a tsunami of negative press because he’s cool being who the hell he is!

Bottom line:

The article is not about gender stereotypes.

It’s about Madonna…as usual.

While Men Fight Their Way Up the Corporate Ladder, Many Women in Houston Fight Their Way Up the Social Ladder [usually fist-to-cuff]

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  Comes With Baggage Founder Lori Levine shows off her one-of-a-kind orange HermËs Birkin at the Comes With Baggage Fashion Editor Preview on May 14, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Comes With Baggage)

HermËs Birkin bag


Wednesday Martin, author of Primates of Park Avenue, she found herself, she says, “going native.” She wanted to belong among the Upper East Side mommies who hired stylists and makeup artists for school drop-off and pickup, who got preventive Botox every three months, who perfected the flawless facade.

~ ~ ~

In many ways, this is the female version of my new book, Urban Dystrophy, now available on #Amazon.

Again, money is the buy-in, followed by a tightly-scripted narrative to which all aspirants must adhere – to the letter.

Think of it as high school all over again, but without the food fights.

Men know all about this.

In exchange for a residence at “900 Park Avenue,” women stand at the Devil’s Crossroads and relinquish their souls for a table at the right restaurant where people eat each other.

The ones who survive have the most checks on the list of must-haves.

Age comes to mind.

To wit, the author  refuses to reveal her age.

All we know is “I’m in my 40’s.” 

The reason for this is academic:

Not only are women expected to perform well under the scrutiny of white hot halogen, but because youth and beauty are expected to be indelible commodities, the farther away one drifts, the more perilous the journey.

No wonder Botox runs like rivers on the Upper East Side.

Mothers then pass these values on to their children, who attend the right schools, go on the right play dates, have the right tutors, and generally, explore all that “intensive mothering” can – and damn well better – provide.

People say celebrities are so different from everyone else, but when it gets down to it, money is what splits the herd.

The “Ideal Female Physique” to Certain Men of a Certain Age

Film Title: The Stepford Wives.

Not that I need to remind any of you in my demographic, but for “outsiders” interested in what older men find physically ideal in women, you can use the link below to run the numbers for yourselves.

Most women I’m around can recite them in their sleep.


769558-kosNeedless to say, what you want is not necessarily what you get.


I was in the gym yesterday when one of the guys I train with commented on how many of the women around us had identical physiques.

I guess my narrative is beginning to rub off on some of these guys.



Speaking in generalities is always a dicey proposition, but generalizations do have their place, or no one would have the vaguest idea what I was talking about.

To wit, women of a certain demographic – or those aspiring to become members of it – know that a specific appearance is the key to “moving up.”

It’s not that other attributes are ignored. It’s that one opens the door while the other closes it behind them.

Let’s take my health club, for example.

All of the “well married” – or aspirants – look like they rolled out of the same factory.

Their overall physique is best described as “long and lean.”

Some have described it as that of 12-year-old boys in yoga pants and tans.

But why would any man want the women in his life to look like an adolescent boy?

Here are 5 of the most commonly cited reasons, though they tend to avoid using the adolescent boy metaphor:


1] High-end fashion apparel is designed around a long, lean look, so women who look this way always look great at cocktail parties and benefits. 

2] Women on the “curvy” side give the impression that the men in their company are, for whatever reason, are unable to command a more exemplary model.

3] Women who are “long and lean” look more educated, cultured and intelligent, which reflects well on the man in their lives, even if neither is the actual case.

4] Men of this demographic prefer smaller women they can physically handle, and subconsciously, dominate. 

5] Women who fit this profile avoid criticism from other women, which makes men who rely on flawless social reflections feel better about their choice in mates.



I was having lunch yesterday at my health-club when one of the staff approached my table to thank me for helping her with her diet. I simply suggested that she try a diet more in line with the Paleo guidelines, which avoid such items as bread.

But what struck me wasn’t that something I suggested was helping her accomplish her weight goals, but why she was trying to lose so much weight in the first place.

“Jay,” she said, “I know that my ticket out of this job is my body. If I can just get that lean look, I can come back here as a member.”


A few statistics worth noting from the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders:


1] Women are much more likely than men to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15 percent of people with anorexia or bulimia are male.14

2] An estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of women suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime.14 Research suggests that about 1 percent of female adolescents have anorexia.

3] An estimated 1.1 to 4.2 percent of women have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.

4] An estimated 2 to 5 percent of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period.

5] About 50 percent of people who have had anorexia develop bulimia or bulimic patterns.

6] 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.


Needless to say, the costs of maintenance are usually ten times the value of homes in nicer neighborhoods, and I haven’t even mentioned jail time for women who suffer homicidal rage targeted at the husbands.


Dating at Middle Age – It’s Still a Man’s World

20B6B19C00000578-2845186-Rising_popularity_Tinder_is_increasingly_being_used_by_middle_ag-20_1416655218668There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind. Patrick Rothfuss.



There are no shortages of women-run “advice” sites extolling the virtues of older women and the men who just can’t wait to date them.

Most, if not all, of this is wishful thinking – or a marketing ploy – designed to drum up web hits from an audience of older women who feel invisible in a world that values youth and beauty before other qualities.

These sites claim that older women are simply more selective than younger men and women, which is why it’s harder for them to find partners.

This is true.

If I were a 50 or 60-year-old woman expecting to find a fit, handsome and highly successful man my age to date and marry, I’d have to be out of my mind.

Most men who fit that description are looking at women in their 20’s, 30’s and maybe, early 40’s.

But like I said, the narrative is good for attracting female readers looking for a glimmer of hope in what appears to be an existential nightmare because it is an existential nightmare.

As I cover in my new book, Urban Dystrophy, the biggest problem women face is the delusion that such men have reached a stage in life where they look beyond the physical, which is about as ridiculous as it sounds no matter what you hear to the contrary.

Most of these men have already been married and are now statistics in the “gray divorce” pile up.

They said “I do” in their 20’s, went on to build a family and career, made a ton of money, and are now bored and entitled.

What they want this time around is NOT the older woman they divorced, but the one they married back when they got married.

They want to start all over again at 50 or 60 with someone reflective of their accomplishments.

Now you know the origin of the term: Trophy Wife.

But for most men I know, it’s far more complex.

In addition to the trophy aspects of the woman they also want someone they can converse with, share a mutual understanding, and love.

Older women often refer to this as man’s delusion, but for the more self-actualized among us, this is simply not the case.

While our accomplishments tend to precede us, there are no shortages of younger women waiting in line to date, live with, and ultimately, marry us.

That’s a lot to ask of a younger woman just starting out in life, to be perfectly frank.

And while some of them are grifters and psychopaths, many, many more are everything but.

In the end, it’s not that older men don’t didn’t find women their age interesting. It’s that they are simply not physically attracted to them.

Note: Most successful older women I personally know either date – and underwrite – much younger men, or they sleep alone. 

Thankfully, women are better adapted to single-hood as evidenced by their ability to bond with other women in ways that men find difficult, if not impossible.   

In this sense we both win. Count your blessings.

Older Men and Their Obsession with “Packaging”



Not all men are superficial.

I have actually known a few in their 50’s and 60’s who chose women their own age [within 5 years].

A few. Not many.

Most of them fell into the following categories:

1] Passive men lacking in ambition and drive who find emotional fulfillment in the company of powerful mother figures who do the driving for them. 

2] Men with average to low libidos seeking travel companions.

3] Men who feign interest in such women because they look good on paper, but end up with women half their age because they look better in the flesh.

4] Normal, well adjusted men who would never consider dating anyone outside of their own age demographic because they live in the same psychological box they grew up in.

5] Budding serial killers looking for an older, submissive companion who will blend in with the neighborhood and stay out of the shed.       

6] Men who have been married to the same women for decades and don’t see the changes as profoundly as they would had they met them on a Match date yesterday.

7] Men who genuinely love their wives too much to leave them, mistresses notwithstanding.

Understand that what gets people to where they are in life tends also to drive every other aspect of their life.

As I “testified” in my soon-to-be-released book, Urban Dystrophy, The Perverse Truths About Mid-Life in the Big City, there is nothing more powerful, no greater human commodity in the mind of a driven and successful older man, than youth and beauty.

Now you know the true crucible of older women.

Fortunately, due to the resiliency of gender adaptation, women are able to emotionally bond with others of their gender, enabling them to outlive their male counterparts by several years.

In this sense, we both win.


I remembered bookmarking this article from last month’s Huffington Post, and thought it would dovetail nicely with the narrative of this discussion. In it, Eva Mendes claims that the leading cause of divorce is “sweatpants.” If I may, I think that what Ms. Mendes was trying to say is that men

are visual first, human second.