I spend way too much time online, reading blogs and on Twitter. And every day I must see about a dozen references to cougars. They make me laugh, because that’s not really a category that’s relevant to me or anyone I know.
I’m more worried about piranhas.
I hope you’ll give me some leeway here as I try to connect some disparate dots for you. This weekend the NYTimes published an article on Women Bullying Women at Work. It was one of those pieces that got emailed around a lot and written about by lots of other women.
I read it and didn’t think it was in the slightest bit controversial or even note-worthy. I spent most of my “professional” career in female dominated offices where women had the bulk of the jobs in middle management (myself included). And by and large there was a ton of bullying and backstabbing and wrestling for position. All amongst women. The few guys in middle management got to sit back and have a free ride. They didn’t live with the same kind of pressure or scrutiny. And by and large, if they stayed with an organization long enough, they were guaranteed a promotion to the top. Very few women made it to the top. We were all in the middle, beating each other up. A rare few would rise. And not so infrequently when a space at the top was made for a woman it was made for an outsider. Someone who wasn’t covered with mud.
I’m not going to get into the politics of this. It’s a very real thing that happens every day in large organizations. And it’s one of the reasons I walked away from my former career. I refuse to play dirty.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s poll, women my age find it hard to date in NYC. Sure, there might be some younger men who find us attractive. And if I wanted a younger guy that would be great. Plus, there are plenty of guys who are 10+ years older than me who are dying to date me. And I think some of them are great. But the prime candidates, the ones I’d probably want the most, are in their early to mid 40s. And many of then are strictly interested in much younger women. Leaving me and other single women my age (let’s put a random number on it – 100K in the NY metro area) with a rather shallow dating pool of prime candidates (let’s guestimate and say 25K who would be as open to dating us as someone younger AND YES I’m making these numbers up but they ring true based on my experience).
So that leaves us with a 4 to 1 ratio. Not good. And so some women become willing to do just about anything to win a guy.
I know some women who misrepresent their profession and income (either making themselves more or less successful to seem more attractive). I have a friend of a friend who hasn’t left her home in years without serious cleavage showing. Even in the dead of winter this women walks around with her boobs out. She’s always the center of attention, I can assure you. And yeah, some women lie about their age, and other details of their life.
I could get mad at the women in their early – mid 30s who are dating the men I’d want to date (if I wanted to be mad at someone). But then, I’d have to be mad at myself. I had a few boyfriends who were 10 years older than me when I was in my early 30s. And now I sometimes date guys in their early 50s. I’m sure than doesn’t make women in their 50s happy. We’re all taking what the others want. Fighting over dwindling resources.
But like I said, I refuse to fight dirty. I’m pretty sure I’d rather “lose” and never date again than have to pretend to be someone I’m not to find a guy.
Tags: cougars, dating, nyc, nytimes, older men, younger men