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Wondering...Are Older Men More Sexist?

(59 Posts)
MelonadeAgain Mon 14-Apr-14 18:13:23

Just a few things that's happened to me lately. For instance, an older man (sixties I'd say) started chatting to me in my gym class, and I couldn't really be bothered chatting back, so just answered in one word answers and walked off when the class started. He then spent the class glaring at me, doing his circuits right next to me and then did the same thing in the gym afterwards. I don't think I was especially rude, I just don't chat to people at the gym.

Ditto a couple of older men of I'd guess a similar vintage online, friends of friends on FB and on another forum I use. Sent me pms which I ignored and then started making comments about me being snooty etc on posts visible to me. Actually quite a bit of nastiness about it.

I'm trying to imagine if I got arsy with a young guy 25 years younger than me for not engaging with me in similar situations and failing.

gordyslovesheep Mon 14-Apr-14 18:14:51


rinabean Mon 14-Apr-14 18:17:42

Yes but it's not so much attitudes of when they've grown up, it's because you're not just a woman but a younger woman. They feel doubly superior and doubly outraged when you won't bend to them.

Topseyt Mon 14-Apr-14 18:20:50

Sounds like you almost feel they are harrassing you. Are they? Not sure from what you say exactly how it relates to sexism, unless the content of the conversations/pm messages was sexist?

It isn't unreasonable to want to be left alone sometimes. Perhaps they are not good at reading body language properly. It is usually pretty obvious when someone feels that way.

FloraFox Mon 14-Apr-14 18:21:53

I think older men have a stronger sense of entitlement to women's time and attention. Yes, that's sexist but I think young men are sexist in different ways. For example, an older guy at the library who decided to lift a book up (an obvious bodice ripper) and tell me I would love it (the Delusions of Gender book by Cordelia Fine I was holding obviously didn't mean much to him grin )

Maybe younger men do the same thing to younger women but not to old crones like me.

BackforGood Mon 14-Apr-14 18:22:48

Not sure what anything you have described relates to sexism / being sexist.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 14-Apr-14 18:22:48

Sometimes. Not always though. The most sexist man I know is all of 25.

MelonadeAgain Mon 14-Apr-14 18:30:32

Yes, that's kind of it. I was wondering if I was wrong in just wanting to be left in peace. Its as if they think there are social rules that mean you should respond to them in a certain way, that you should welcome their attention. But I'm not a nightclub hostess, I'm not there to meet men either.

The pms were sexist, when ignored had some allusions to sex, and indicated I should be flattered to receive their attention and that I was suffering from some mental condition to ignore the pms.

Ironically I didn't get this so much when I was younger, but now I'm mid thirties I've noticed it more! Perhaps they see me as being more in their (imaginary) age bracket.

BikeRunSki Mon 14-Apr-14 18:32:58

I work in a very me dominated professional (civil engineering) and , in general, my experience is that older men- in this field, in the workplace including construction sites- are more sexist. There is a bit a a reducing gradient of sexism with age. I would say this is very much associated with the cultural attitudes the men grew up with though. Men under about 45 are fairly not-sexist. I could be lucky though, for the last 10 years the most senior person in my chain of command has been a woman.

ForalltheSaints Mon 14-Apr-14 18:42:30

I think older men yes, also those from some cultural backgrounds.

thebody Mon 14-Apr-14 18:44:26

Not sure they were sexist but you sound rude.

Paq Mon 14-Apr-14 18:45:10

No, not in my experience. Sexism is equally pervasive across all age groups sadly.

thebody Mon 14-Apr-14 18:46:49

Just read so old men are pming you for sex? Friends of friends? Wow.

MelonadeAgain Mon 14-Apr-14 18:51:01

No, more like FloraFox described thebody. I think they just want attention and a bit of mild flirtation. Maybe I come across as rude, if I answered a couple of pointless questions with "Yes" or "No" or ignore pms from men I have never met. So if I come across as rude to them, it means I just don't want to engage with them, no?

weatherall Mon 14-Apr-14 18:54:46

I think they can be sexist in different ways like being more critical of single mums, being against working mums etc.

But then there's the younger generation who have been brought up watching porn sad

PiratePanda Mon 14-Apr-14 18:58:05

No. My 65-year-old father is a dyed-in-the-wool second-wave feminist who deliberately took a massive step back from his career to support my mum when she was promoted to a high school headmastership. His career never recovered, he's now retired, and he spends his time quite happily tending to house and garden, looking after grand children, and feeding my mum. He's awesome.

Before I met DH I had a lover 20 years older than me who was equally awesome, and my DH, 15 years older, is totally non-sexist.

That's the three most important older men in my life accounted for.

Ludways Mon 14-Apr-14 19:04:54

I can't really see where the sexism is in your op, just one person talking to another person, the only person mentioning gender is you.

IME no there's no difference in generations, in fact older blokes are probably less sexist as they've learnt to respect women more with experience.

thebody Mon 14-Apr-14 19:04:56

I see op. Can I ask d

thebody Mon 14-Apr-14 19:06:10

Bugger!! Do you have a partner?

I think some men see a single woman as fair game. Silly buggers.

Think this is across the age range though.

MelonadeAgain Mon 14-Apr-14 19:10:37

Happily married for 12 years body. I doubt DH would appreciate my inbox being full of pms from other men. Surely that's what dating sites are for? Or am I mistaken and do people pm each other regularly like this a lot? How do they have the time?

Aeroflotgirl Mon 14-Apr-14 19:20:04

Op they were not rude, you do sound very rude however

BertieBotts Mon 14-Apr-14 19:22:39

In general, yes, because they will have grown up at a time when sexist attitudes were more normal/accepted.

Individually, no not necessarily.

Latara Mon 14-Apr-14 19:26:05

I don't think those particular men sound sexist; but what I do think is that being older (eg. 60s) makes some men more confident so they are more likely than a younger man to make approaches to a woman (unless the younger man has had a few pints). IYSWIM.

FloraFox Mon 14-Apr-14 19:31:32

Men's entitlement to women's time and attention is often policed by other women, including people on this thread telling you you were rude, melonade. If it's a behaviour men are doing and women are not doing it, that's a clue there's something else going on. I don't engage men 20 years younger than me in conversation and get huffy or aggressive if the give me the cold shoulder (which I would think would be the best case response). I've never seen anyone else doing it but most women I know encounter old goats who encroach your space and make you feel awkward even if not directly threatened.

flipchart Mon 14-Apr-14 19:33:18

I'm not sure they are more sexist tbh.
A lot of older blokes I've come across both socially and through work are polite, excepting and embrace women in their social circle and seem to muck in with housework and childcare.

However and I don't know if it is the influence of hip hop and gangsta rap and all the other similar shit that young people are fed on music channels, many males ( not all clearly) in the 20 something generation that I come acoss seem interested in 'bitches and bling' Sometimes if we are out in a crowd it can be embarrassing and awkward with the terminology used and I have been present on more than one occasion when older men won't put up with sexis, homophobic and racist language ( I'm talking about blokes 50 to 67)

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