Yesterday on The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, known for her irrational right-wing paranoia, said that the reason older women tend to become lesbians is because men their age go after younger women. She also claims that many of these women are more interested in companionship than sex and they feel drawn to other women because they feel there is a mutual understanding of the female experience. Whoopi felt that this was somewhat true, as she feels women would be better at sex because they know each others’ bodies best.
However, Joy Behar disagreed with Hasselbeck saying that, “being gay is not just holding hands and walking through the tulips.” While some have argued that Hasselbeck was dissing lesbians, I think that there is some truth in what she says, to a certain extent.
The famous writer Susan Sontag, who had a long relationship with photographer Annie Liebowitz said that although she was bisexual, she dated women almost exclusively after she turned 45, since men no longer found her attractive. This seems to be a common theme, as many women tend to get divorced after their children move out of the house and their husbands see little reason to stay married. Where I would disagree with Hasselbeck is that women don’t desire sex in the way I think she means. While perhaps their libidos are not quite as high at 45 plus as they were in their 20s and 30s, many women certainly want intimate relationships and would not settle for celibacy with their partners. I also feel that many women who grew up in a more sexually rigid time period now feel that it is culturally acceptable for them to explore other aspects of their sexuality. Indeed, another side of this coin that serves to prove Hasselbeck wrong is the cougar trend, where older women are behaving just like there male counterparts and going after younger partners themselves. Thus, while Hasselbeck was not totally wrong, she came off sounding more bigoted than ignorant (which is sometimes just as bad), thus she may get some extra flack from those looking to make a bigger story out of this than it really is.