Interview archives: Older men/younger women relationships: Is age really just a number?

This interview was recorded in July 2011 and originally aired on Vancouver Co-op Radio.


In this episode, Meghan Murphy explores the older man/younger woman relationship with guest, Hugo Schwyzer.

We’ve all heard or seen the cliche that is the middle-aged man who, maybe post-divorce, seeks out a much younger woman; but whether it be to start a (new) family or simply to pump up his ego, the ‘creepy’ factor remains intact. While some may want to present this kind of relationship as ‘natural’ or as some kind of biological imperative that is applicable to men in particular, we must ask whether or not it is indeed ‘natural’ and why it is that we continue to get that creepy feeling about middle aged men who pursue relationships with women in their 20s.

Are men really meant to aspire towards Hugh Hefner? And what does it say about our culture when we assume or accept the idea that men won’t be interested in women their own age? Moreover, what does it say about these men who are only interested younger women and what are the implications of these kinds of relationships? Is love ageless or is there something more to the story — specifically, how does gender and male power play into these so called ‘May-December’ relationships?

While detractors will argue that these situations are personal choices and demand that critics stay out of their bedrooms, as it were, there’s no doubt that this is, at least in part, a social phenomenon.

This interview explores these very issues with Hugo Schwyzer, who has written extensively about the dynamics and the implications of older men dating much younger women. Hugo is a professor of history and gender studies at Pasadena City College, is a writer, a public speaker, and an activist.


**Editor’s note – August 04, 2013: I’m leaving this up for transparency’s sake, but want to state that, at this point, I have zero respect or interest in promoting Hugo Schwyzer’s work. Through his work, politics, and behaviour in his personal and professional life, Hugo has shown himself to be someone who is not only deeply disturbed and lacking in integrity, but not deserving of any attention or space in the feminist movement.

Interview archives: Older men/younger women relationships: Is age really just a number?
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.