When people critique relationships with age differences, I suspect they’re concerned not about the effects of the patriarchy, but about young women expressing agency.

Yep, nailed it! Liberal prudish concern about age differences (as long as both are above the age of majority) is 99.5% concern about expressed female agency and 0.5% about harm protection. Also, most liberals, especially American ones, are very, very prudish indeed.

I have no idea about anything that happens on that show, but there’s also an element — mostly from women, I might add — of competition protection.

Strangely, it’s not just worry about younger women, though that is certainly a lot of it. When I was dating a woman considerably older than me in the 1990s, I got a whole ration of shit from women about how terrible that was. So did a friend of mine was who was doing the same thing.

There’s a seven year difference between me and my partner, but I look much younger than I am, so most people don’t notice. But even that I suspect would be out of bounds if most people were able to detect it without examining our driver’s licenses.

America is the most prudish of the Western countries, by a country mile.