The Corner

Older Women, Younger Men

Just a couple on the “cougar” phenomenon noted in my May Diary:

[1]  A couple of readers have noted that I neglected to mention Muhammad’s first wife, the wealthy merchant lady Khadija bint Khuwaylid. According to tradition, Khadija was 40 when they married, Muhammad 25 or 26. Since Khadija went on to bear the Prophet at least six children, the tradition has been questioned. If there is anything to it, though, this was surely the most momentous older woman / younger man match in history. Also according to tradition, she proposed to him. They seem to have been very happy together, at any rate by Karen Armstrong’s account:

Muhammad was a passionate man but he never took another, younger wife while he was married to Khadija …

No doubt the Islamophobes have a different view of the matter, and no doubt I shall hear about it.

[2]  Bernard Chapin has a guyish rant on the topic here, keyed on Valerie Gibson’s book Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men.

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