Language warning: NSFW
Praised for her raw take on women’s body issues, comedian Amy Schumer hosted Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for a sketch taking on Hollywood’s treatment of middle-aged women on the latest episode of her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer. It was a well-timed take on a rote discussion aired in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s declaration and the ensuing #HillarySoOld Twitter trend. Millennial voters barely old enough to remember Sally Field will never know that famed star Myrna Loy already covered this territory in the mid-40s when she went from being Cary Grant’s sexy career-woman love interest to his dowdy middle-aged wife in the span of one whole year.
Why has Hollywood never been kind to middle-aged women? For the same reason men get sexier as they age. Both have a lesser chance of being capable or inclined to reproduce. Angelina Jolie may have been more than willing to surrender her lady parts in the name of science, but the reality is that a lifetime of hormone replacement therapy will not be kind to her looks or her figure. (Fortunately for her she can afford to hide all that the way most menopausal women anxiously hoarding Oil of Olay in Wal Mart cannot.) At the same time, a man whose hair is embracing that touch of gray has gone from sexual threat to father figure. (See: George Clooney’s resume.)
This double standard is fueled by a goddess feminism obsessed with the idea that a woman’s ability to bear children is a biological curse that must be overcome if she is to obtain equality. Instead of embracing fertility, we drug it, abort it, or demand federal dollars to daycare it out of existence so we can get back to work, our beauteous forms intact. Therefore, why should it be any surprise that menopausal years are seen as our last “f**kable” golden hour of life before the only thing working in our favor — our beauty — fails us?
The grand irony is, of course, that one of the greatest cultural institutions presumed to support Hillary in 2016 will, once again, inevitably work against her. In the end, she just doesn’t fit their type.