Best-selling author Sandra Tsing Loh wonders why her journey through middle-age is defined by clutter and dead mice rather than sandy beaches and luxury cruises. She urges Danielle and co-splainer Meghan Cox Gurdon to explore their inner goddesses, who may turn out to be named Karen.

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  1. Taras Coolidge

    The science fiction writer, James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Bradley Sheldon) wrote a story about those “invisible” older women, entitled, “The Women Men Don’t See”.

    What she was really reacting to, I think, is that she had been an adorable, pampered little girl who grew into a beautiful, pampered woman — who, in late middle age, was finally coming down to Earth, losing the privileges she had unthinkingly enjoyed her entire life and which she naturally thought of as normal.

    Alice Bradley is not entirely a typical case: as a little girl she had two children’s books published about her adventures in Africa. More commonly a spotlight flickers on over a young woman’s head at, say, 13, and it gets brighter and brighter up to some time in her twenties, then very slowly dims over the years that follow.

    That is to say, evolution has shaped men to desire women who are fertile — because the men who didn’t do that left no descendants.

    In species without menopause, the males continue to pursue females regardless of age. The recent documentary about Jane Goodall tells the story of an aged chimpanzee female — to human eyes perhaps the ugliest mammal on the planet — who instantly becomes popular with all the males when she goes into heat.

    • #1
    • August 4, 2020, at 11:29 AM PDT
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