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Men age like fine wine, women age like milk: A MGTOW meme FACT-CHECK

Not so fast, MGTOWs

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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Katamount
Katamount
3 years ago

Huh, Anthony Edwards is transforming into Stephen Tobolowsky a little more every day.

You think Kilmer looks bad in that picture, you should see him in that godawful Snowman movie. Poor guy looked rough.
comment image

Given they had to dub his voice due to his recent throat surgery, I have no idea what he was doing in that movie. Must have needed the paycheque.

Ah well, we’ll always have Top Secret!

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
3 years ago

@ Buttercup:

MGTOW wine doesn’t pair at all. It prides itself on ruining the flavor of everything it encounters. Every vintage of Chateau de Unsolicited Dickpic is terrible. It’s salty, fermented from the grapes of wrath, and spending long amounts of time in the dark doesn’t improve it any.

You are the wind beneath my wings

Phaos
3 years ago

Kelly McGillis looks fine in that photo. Like she’s older but a LOT of the difference between the young and old photo is just due to how she’s got her head turned and her having shorter hair now.

As for Tom, it’s not exactly a shock that a wealthy attractive person who puts more time, money, and effort into looking good than most people put into and make out of their jobs is still looking pretty solid at his age.

Richard Gadsden
Richard Gadsden
3 years ago

I know a bunch of men who have been mayoresses – in England* “Mayor” is a non-gendered title, and their consort is the Mayoress, regardless of gender. If unmarried, or if their spouse is unable/unwilling to take on the role, then the Mayor may choose someone else (often a sibling or nibling) to take on the role as consort.

* Yes, I mean England. The head of a city is “Convenor” in Scotland and “Maer” in Wales.

Viscaria
Viscaria
3 years ago

That first photo looks like a pic of conventionally attractive rich people of approximately the same age who can afford expensive and time-consuming skin care routines, and the second photo looks like a pic of conventionally attractive rich people of approximately the same age (some years older than the first two) who can afford expensive and time-consuming skin care routines. What am I supposed to be feeling right now?

moe szyslak
moe szyslak
3 years ago

Honestly I actually wouldn’t be suprised if actual real data on this did show an effect like this (though less hilariously neat and extreme obv) because of the different sexist cultural standards around ageing (at least in my culture, I’m not sure how it would look around the world).

The idea sort of implied here that if that effect existed it would be Natural or Biological is absolutely wild though.

Hambeast
Hambeast
3 years ago

Viscaria – According to the MGTOWs, you’re supposed to admire Tom Criuse and be grossed out by Kelly McGillis.

I think she looks great in that picture.

Lainy
Lainy
3 years ago

Okay I’m sorry, this must be before my time. What kind of shit did Tom cruise get in that’s gave everyone the creeps?

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
3 years ago

@Lainy

Scientology?

cornychips
cornychips
3 years ago

@lainy

He is a scientologist. He literally uses slave labor via SeaOrg at hos mansion. The last few wives were under a contract. Before Scientology decided that katie holmes was to be his wife, they chose another actress to audition. She ended up “disrespecting him” and they sent her to a hard labor camp. (I forget her name)

Hes a pos and david miscaviges right hand man.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

@Crip Dyke:
Maybe get a mass spectrometer for the ‘tasting’ to ensure objectivity? (Which will make it completely worthless, of course, but when has that stopped these sorts of people.)

@Knitting Cat Lady:
Yes, Cruise’ sensitivity about his stature has been going around the grapevine for a long time. Makes you wonder why these MGTOW want to use him as an example of manhood, considering how being ‘too short’ seems to some of them as being why nobody wanted to date them.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
3 years ago

@Weird Eddie: awww, thank you!! You’re very kind. :3

I’m starting to wonder if any MGTOW are under age 40, considering how convinced they are that every straight women has designs on Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Tom Cruise. I suspect that clueless tone deafness is part of their schtick, though. They can’t use celebrities that women actually admire, or they risk being branded a white knight beta orbiting simp. MGTOW don’t know what women want and don’t care. (But still, we’re expected to treat their every utterance about women as gospel.)

Re: the graph, is anyone else driven to distraction by the fact that the Y axis doesn’t use numbers, but instead goes from BAD to GOOD? How much is a Unit of Bad? Why are infant girls, 15 year old boys, and 50 year old women all 1 Bad?

And why does the whole thing stop at age 50?

Podkayne Lives
Podkayne Lives
3 years ago

“I would fuck 1986 Kelly McGillis. I would not fuck 2019 Kelly McGillis. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind looking like Tom Cruise in either year. Since I have no ability to discern the difference between my own thoughts and objective reality, I am going to assume my opinion on this matter constitutes some deep truth about the difference between men and women.”

Addendum: he would totally fuck 2019 Kelly McGillis. I am reminded of the line from The Committments: “AND you’d do it with Tina Turner, and she’s a granny!”

Lainy
Lainy
3 years ago

@cornychips

That’s horrible. Did he go to prison or anything for any of this? I mean probably not because he’s a rich white dude but I just need to know

Button
Button
3 years ago

Can we talk about the pseudo-scientific, cargo cult use of graphs?

Like, he’s not even pretending to be presenting objective data. Does he think that using a graph gives it more weight, because graphs are ScIeNcEy?

Mabret (née Laugher at Bigots)
Mabret (née Laugher at Bigots)
3 years ago

Yup; same reason PragerU does it.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
3 years ago

@Butttercup Q. Skullpants:

MGTOW wine doesn’t pair at all. It prides itself on ruining the flavor of everything it encounters. Every vintage of Chateau de Unsolicited Dickpic is terrible. It’s salty, fermented from the grapes of wrath, and spending long amounts of time in the dark doesn’t improve it any.

Grapes of Wrath? Please, you flatter them. The best they can manage are Grapes of Peevishness¹, and what watery and insipid fruit they are.

¹ Your reference to unsolicited dickpics suggests the varietal is Peener? Naw! ?

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
3 years ago

OT: An interesting tidbit I came across today: the fanfiction site An Archive Of Our Own (AO3) is being nominated for a Hugo Award. I don’t read fanfic so I was only peripherally aware of AO3 but what I didn’t realise that it was developed by a team with a large number of women developers and has a well-thought-out and very configurable user interface. This Twitter thread has some of the background. Of course there has been the inevitable backlash and downplaying the achievement. ☹️

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
3 years ago

@Cat Mara:

Your reference to unsolicited dickpics suggests the varietal is Peener? Naw!

You really, really don’t want to see the label.

cornychips
cornychips
3 years ago

@lainy

No he doesnt get into a trouble. Its all “legal”. SeaOrg members sign a BILLION year (im not joking) contract of servitude. So its “voluntary”. When people get sent to the labor farms is legal bc they go of their own free will (but they are brainwashed). Its a cult. Its hideous. Its evil. Hes an evil man and they have a bazillions lawyers and a bazillion dollars so they get away with horrific acts.

If you get some free time and wanna go down the rabbit-hole, Scientology is a good one. Just google away and you’ll be amazed how evil it is; and Tom Cruise, who was awarded their highest medal of honor or some shit, knows exactly what is going on.

Katamount
Katamount
3 years ago

@Cat Mara

Sometimes I check out AO3 for the pervy stuff and there’s plenty of great stuff there in general. Creative folks be creative. 🙂

Malitia
Malitia
3 years ago

AO3 can generate RSS from your searches, which will only display fics you didn’t see before so old stuff or frequent updates won’t clutter your feed (it has a follow option for that).

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
3 years ago

@ Cat Mara:

I write fanfic, so I’ve been seeing us all asking “wait, does this mean we’re ALL Hugo-nominated writers now?” I expect the nomination is more for the concept/interface, but I’ll take it.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I highly recommend Leah Remini’s show for A&E about Scientology. She’s a former church member who escaped and dedicated herself to exposing them. Each episode covers a different subject and tells the stories of other former members. It’s some harrowing shit.

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Let me make an analogy. I don’t like spinach. So I don’t eat it. But apart from this a analogy, I cannot remember when I ever spoken about spinach.

But suppose, instead, that I did virtually nothing online except to post videos of how AWFUL spinach is and how GLAD I am I cannot ever seem to find get any spinach, no matter how hard I try.

What would THAT tell you about my “men not eating spinach” (MNES) movement?

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