Monday, June 13, 2005

May and September romances

I've been watching a fascinating video series on Pierre Trudeau. As far as I'm concerned, he was Canada's most dynamic Prime Minister. Love him or hate him, you must admit that this controversial statesman was brilliant, inspired, and courageous and he had an epic vision for Canada.

He also fell in love with a woman 28 years his junior. Now, I'm not a Margaret Trudeau basher -- and while I'm on the topic, I'm not a Justin Trudeau basher either. I thought it was quite rude of the Ottawa Citizen newspaper to publish an unflattering article about Justin right after he got married -- but I know that Maggie is not held in high esteem by many Canadians.

Since I grew up in New Jersey, I didn't realize that so many Canadians were critical of poor Margaret. So she smoked pot and went a little crazy with the Rolling Stones. Let's try to put that in a cultural perspective. Moreover, Margaret was 19 years old when she met Pierre Elliott Trudeau. No wonder she couldn't adjust to the uptight, upright life of a politician's wife. I sympathize with her and I have always liked and admired her. But I digress.

My point about Pierre and Margaret is that somehow they transcended a huge age barrier. They fell in love and couldn't have cared less what other people thought about their relationship. Was it doomed to fail because of the age difference? Probably. Certainly, Pierre was criticized for his choice but just try to picture the scenario in reverse. What if Margaret had been Prime Minister and she had fallen in love with a 21-year-old university student? (ala Bill Clinton.) She would have been considered a laughing stock.

The whole business of older men and younger women reeks of sexism. Men have chosen younger mates for centuries. Just think of Jack Nicholson, Henry Fonda, Ed McMahon, Frank Sinatra, Tom Cruise, and the highly contentious relationship between Woody Allen and his step-daughter. Occasionally, we see the role reversal where someone like Demi Moore or Jerry Hall, Mick Jagger's ex-wife, is dating a younger man.

But I read a disturbing article about Jerry recently. Apparently, she's 48 years old and loves to go out with twentysomethings. But she doesn't want to bring them home to meet her four children, nor does she wish to meet their friends or have to suffer by listening to their music. She was quoted as saying that she thought that Demi's long-term relationship with Ashton Kutcher was "ridiculous" because why should anyone become "serious" about a young boy?

Jaded? You betcha! Sounds like payback time to me -- she got tired of her own Rock Star God husband cheating on her, so she decided to use younger guys as sex toys. Not very admirable as far whereas Demi's relationship with hot "You've Been Punk'd" Kutcher is sweet. At least they love each other and she treats him like a human being rather than a plaything.

In D'Amour Road, 39-year-old Tara falls for 24-year-old Alain. She's not trying to use him. She doesn't think of him as some stupid baby or trophy that she can show off to her friends. She genuinely adores him. It happens. It actually happens quite often in midlife -- think of American Beauty where the Kevin Spacey character went crazy for his daughter's friend. Was he a pervert? Nah. He was just having trouble coming to terms with his age. Instead of buying a Corvette, he lusted for the girl.

I don't think there's anything wrong with sex without love. As far as I'm concerned, they're two completely separate things. I'm not judging Jerry Hall because she doesn't love these young guys; I'm judging her for her contempt towards them.

Sigrid Macdonald

No comments: