Older men, younger women

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at SPAMosu.edu
Mon Nov 6 23:43:23 MST 2000


>Older men and younger women is no more reprehensible, and involves no more
>power inequality, than young men and young women.  Or older women and
>younger men.  Or any (adult) age or gender combination.

If you can separate age difference from all other social relations,
then, yes, the relation between an older man and a younger woman
involves no power inequality (at least no more than in the relation
between an older woman and a younger man).  Here, however, we aren't
talking about the question of age in its "chemical purity" as it
were; we are looking at this question as it has been tangled up with
an actually existing system of gender oppression, powers of an office
holder (even if it's just an office of a marginal party leader!), etc.

BTW, the age of consent is actually an interesting question, now that
I think of it, since we have been discussing the origins of
capitalism, etc. in different threads for some time.  One of the
modern reforms of marriage laws has concerned the age of consent.
Moreover, we now tend to think of "teenage pregnancy" in rich nations
as if it were some kind of sin or crime or abnormality, unlike in the
past.  The issue must have been revealingly tangled up with the
emergence & uneven development of capitalism (esp. the question of
optimal reproduction of labor power from the point of view of
capital, as well as working-class & female resistances -- which may
be sometimes contradictory to each other -- to the bourgeois state
control of fertility), though I don't know if any Marxist has ever
commented on it from this angle.


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