There has been a lot of debate about the “older woman” TV presenter and the comparison between her and the young airhead “Autocutie”.
Thankfully, mature lady presenters are making a major comeback but one cannot help but wonder about the relationship between them and the new TV-types who seem to be mostly can-wearing teenagers with clipboards.
A couple of years ago, I met broadcaster Anna Ford and she was (and still is) a very beautiful lady. Her voice still resonated with the mellifluous lower-register tones of the professional broadcaster and she exuded a velvet steeliness and confidence which I imagine would be frightening to most career-building media hobbits.
So is it about looks? No – but it is about age and what it has brought - and I do not mean wrinkles.
Here are a few reasons why we should appreciate and cherish women who are over 50 and in this list, you will probably find the reasons why these women can frighten younger men:
1. They can run faster – because they tend to wear sensible shoes.
2. If you behave like an arsehole, they will tell you.
3. They no longer have wishy-washy views and will probably have developed proper healthy right-wing attitudes.
4. They are intimidating to young males with low self-esteem and are not impressed by 28 year-olds with Media Studies degrees.
5. For every stunning 60 or 70 year-old woman there are two myopic, balding, beer-gutted males.
6. They are dignified so they will not engage you in a slanging match but will destroy you by sheer force of intellect.
7. Older women have had their fill of “meaningful relationships” and “long-term commitments”. Your professional or personal relationship with them is based on your merit.
8. They often have an undeserved reputation as “ballcrunchers”. Get past that and you’re “in”.
9. They will never accuse you of “using” them. They are using you.
10. Their already off-scale assertiveness is still developing and you will need to have had some serious coaching before you can deal with them satisfactorily.
11. They never announce that they’re pregnant.
So, when we think that the argument is about “ageism” it is not necessarily about a number.
It is more about the time-honed intensity of character and the fear of God that these women can instill in lesser mortals.