“New Wives For Old”: Older Men, Younger Women, and Cindy McCain

When I was a teenager, a couple of relatives cautioned me about marriage: “Never go for a younger man, or even a man your age. Go for the older ones, who have money and success and no energy to leave you.”

This advice did not just materialize out of the ether: nearly all the women in my family have been cheated on by their husbands with younger women. One was left with three kids on her hands when her husband walked out on her with a woman half his age. One killed herself. One had to survive the humiliation of having her husband waltz in with his mistress during a state dinner in his wife’s honour.

In Ukraine, these practices are defended on the basis of evo psych: men cheat, women are cheated upon. Men leave, women are left. If a woman decides to cheat or leave, she’s a slut and a whore, but for a man, such things are “forgivable” and “natural” and “hell, he can’t help it if his wife has stetch-marks after giving birth to three children.”

The younger mistresses of older men are looked upon with similar disdain: they’re sluts and gold-diggers. The men themselves are like teflon – nothing sticks. They are only doing what is natural and normal, in a world populated either by worn-out hags or slutty bitches.

I’ve noticed that Cindy McCain gets somewhat similar treatment.

Of course, I can’t compare the attacks on her with attacks on Michelle Obama: brazenly hateful, racist attempts at showing “the angry black woman” her “place,” ignoring her talents in favour of caricature. I furthermore like to think that I have no illusions about Cindy McCain’s privileged, wealthy status, and that she does not need a white knight on her steed to come in for a dramatic rescue right about now.

But I’ll never forget the New York Times article that basically stated that after John McCain left his wife Carol for Cindy, it was Cindy that was socially ostracized in Washington and not John. People turned up their nose at her, not him.

This bothers me.

I have no doubts that Cindy knew all about John’s family and marriage when he started pursuing her. I don’t think Cindy is a helpless victim, I think saying so would be insulting. But in the relatively multi-cultural circles I run in – Cindy is usually the “bitch” to John McCain’s “experienced statesman,” etc. Continue reading ““New Wives For Old”: Older Men, Younger Women, and Cindy McCain”