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Opinions of Saturday, 19 November 2011

Columnist: Lonto-Boy

Ghanaian Perspective: Should Older Women Date Younger Men?

Among the Ghanaian communities in London, there’s a new creature stalking the urban jungle-the cougar. This is a term among other vocabulary such as: sugar mum and cradle-snatcher used for a woman in her forties or fifties, on the hunt for younger men. These older women prowl party scenes, clubs, restaurants and even funeral places with predatory instincts looking for younger men in their sexual prime. Before I become too judgemental, this raises the question: How young is too young for a woman to date? [Should older women date younger men?]
Of course, this issue will split opinions but this is barely an issue when the genders are reversed among Ghanaians. No one bats an eyelid when our pot-bellied politicians ‘invade’ our university campuses in Legon, Cape Coast or Kumasi or when a 60-year old famous and wealthy man cavorts with even 17-year-old girl. Shamefully, some of these ‘small girls’ are even young enough to be their fathers. But, apparently Ghanaians look with awe or to some extend, frown upon this kind of relationship involving an older woman and a young man. Is this typical Ghanaian Hypocrisy or Double standards?

Quite recently, I was invited to a Ghanaian party and while being chatty and interactive, I nearly caused offense by making a well intended compliment about how this “woman was in a good partying mood with his son” to a friend which caused a few giggles among those seated by. My remarks were overheard by this supposed couple while dancing their hearts out to the lyric: “Small girl, you don’t know the thing”. This woman wasn’t amused. She gave me the look of thunder when the music stopped. She took my compliment as ridicule due to the age gap. I simply didn’t know, woman!
Yes, life in London and many places abroad life can be very depressing and hectic. However, a discussion of this issue among many Ghanaians show that many older Ghanaian women are getting into this kind of relationship at sky-rocket trajectory. This indeed, has become some kind of fashionable trend.
What are some of the reasons for this kind of relationship? I did some few research and some say, they fall in love rather than looking at the numerical age gap. Love in London, really? Some claim by dating younger men, they enjoy sexual satisfaction because the younger men are more eager and satisfying in bed. Some older women see this kind of relationship as an ego boost, especially after bitter divorce or split from a boring relationship from men of their own age. Some claim life is too short, so they’ve got to grab the young fruits to grow old gracefully. To some of these older women, they find the young lads as breath of fresh air. Charming!

So, this is an issue for different opinions and experiences. I therefore welcome all shades of views, analysis, observations and take as we debate on this issue of Ghanaian cougars and their toy boys. Well, the name cougar is one hell of a wild animal so beware of your comments!