Midlife Crisis: not just for men anymore

Here’s a little something to chew on over the weekend:

It’s generally thought that the social phenomenon of a “midlife crisis” begins when the individual realizes that they won’t be able to do all of the things that they once thought they could. That some possibilities are forever out of reach.

Now, examine that mental image of “midlife crisis” in your head.

I’m willing to bet that many USAians have an image of a 40-year-old in a convertible, trying to date 18-year-olds. That is, a 40-year-old male. (Think about [LINK]American Beauty for a moment, yes?)

The concept of the midlife crisis was, until only a generation ago, a moot point for women in the United States. Their possibilties were limited not by age – but by gender, and had been for their entire lives. During the late 60’s and 70’s, however, those women were constantly engaged in doing more than they had ever thought possible before.

My generation (I’m at the tail end of X, depending on how you count it) is the first where women have lived most, if not all, of their lives being told they can do more, that they can be anything they want to be. Just like men throughout the latter half of the 20th century.

Which makes me wonder about stories like this 42 year old woman hooking up with a 16 year old boy.

Because right about now, we have the first generation of women who are suddenly realizing they won’t be able to do all of the things that they once thought they could. They are realizing that some possibilities are forever out of reach.

Makes me wonder, it does.

[Disclaimer: This is all totally off-the-cuff. I haven’t even done a literature review, let alone any kind of real academic work on this. I reserve the right to be completely wrong. Feel free to tell me so in the comments.]

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