By David Futrelle
Manosphere dudes love to spread their ideas, such as they are, through memes. And most of these memes are just plain terrible — badly designed, vaguely incomprehensible, and full of blatant misinformation.
I’ve made fun of assorted manosphere meme fails many times here on We Hunted the Mammoth, but I haven’t ever made a concerted attempt to fact-check their claims. So I’m going to start doing that.
Here’s the first meme on my list.
THE CLAIM: Women age like milk, men age like wine.
This central claim of this meme — that men age better than women — is a favorite folk belief of the modern Man Going His Own Way, and MGTOW memers like to illustrate this point with photos of the two main stars of the 1986 movie Top Gun — Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis — from the movie itself and as they look today, more than 30 years later. This is the newest version of the meme I’ve been able to find:
In order to properly assess this claim, you’d need a representative sample of people of various ages and a reasonably objective way to judge their relative attractiveness (perhaps using some sort of large survey in which a representative sampling of people judged a set of pictures).
What we’ve got instead is a sample of two, and the person doing the judging is the sort of dude who sits around making MGTOW memes in his spare time. Not only is the sample way too small to be statistically significant, but it’s also wildly unrepresentative, given that one of the two subjects is Tom Cruise, a genetic freak who doesn’t appear to age. Normally you’d throw him out of any data sampling as an outlier.
Using him to represent how men, on average, age makes about as much sense as using, say, Helen Mirren as your example of how women, on average, age. I mean, here’s Helen Mirren at the Oscars in 2002, when she was about the same age as Cruise is now (56).
And here she is in a bikini at the age of 62.
I mean, who can compete with that? I’ve got more than a few years to go before I hit 62, and I certainly don’t look that good in a bikini.
Tom Cruise, like Helen Mirren, is a decidedly non-representative data point.
You don’t even have to expand your data set very much to see just how unrepresentative Cruise is. All you have to do is to look at some current pics of some of the other male stars from Top Gun.
Here’s Anthony Edwards today, looking neither like fine wine or curdled milk bur rather like a dude in his mid-fifties, which is what he is:
Val Kilmer, now 59, is fighting freaking cancer, which is a motherfucker.
Tim Robbins, at 60 years old., still retains some of his perpetual boyish charm, but there probably aren’t a lot of teenage girls with this picture tacked to their wall.
The point is: different men age differently, and very few of them — even Hollywood stars — age as gracefully as Tom Cruise.
So that’s the men. What about Kelly McGillis, who’s now 61? Well, in the recent picture in the meme above she certainly doesn’t look much like curdled milk to me. I mean, sure, she doesn’t look like she did in Top Gun, but if THIS is your example of a 60-year-old who’s aged badly you seriously need your eyes (or your brain) checked.
But again, basing your aging expectations on Hollywood stars is a bit ridiculous. The real world tends to be a bit less less glamorous.. Some age gracefully, some not so much, and I’m pretty sure it has little to do with their gender.
And let’s not even get into that chart, which isn’t based on any actual data but rather is just something some dude put together using data points he pulled from his ass. Also, if you look at the age range across the bottom, it appears that the graph maker thinks 11-year-old girls are more sexually attractive than 50 year-old-women? Jesus fucking Christ.
VERDICT: The meme maker’s claim is unsubstaintiated, due to small and unrepresentative sample size and blatant misreading of the data. And the only thing the chart proves is that the chart maker should probably be on some registry somewhere.
You may be left wondering how gracefully MGTOWs themselves age. Well, I don’t have a representative sample to work off of, but I do have some anecdotal evidence in the form of the video below, showing an assortment of mostly middle-aged Men’s Rights Activists and MGTOWs enjoying themselves at a retreat organized by A Voice for Men.
Though this video practically reeks of alcohol, I have to say I’m not seeing a lot of fine wine here.
Now growing old gracelessly isn’t a crime or a moral failing; how you look at any age is really no one’s business but your own. But MGTOWs like to throw a lot of stones, and it appears that in this case, as in so many others, their homes are made of pure glass.
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