At 46 years old, Kate Beckinsale is a woman who often dates younger men. She’s also a woman who has zero interest in entertaining “ridiculous” and blatantly sexist double standards about any age disparities in her love life. She makes as much perfectly clear in her June cover interview with Women’s Health UK. Her pointed (not to mention 100 percent valid) observations on the subject land at a salient time, too — she’s currently quarantining with 22-year-old Canadian musician boyfriend Goody Grace.
Although Beckinsale has dated younger men before, it wasn’t until her high-profile relationship with SNL’s Pete Davidson that her romantic interests really came under scrutiny. She takes issue with this, though, noting that men get a pass. “I witness men constantly doing whatever they like — whether that’s in relationships, or deciding to buy a motorbike, and getting a tattoo,” she told Women’s Health. UK. “It has not been interpreted as ‘Why hasn’t he had more children?’ or ‘Is he ever going to decide to become a parent?’ or ‘Why has he had so many girlfriends.’”
Although astoundingly sexist, women are all too often held to a different standard. “It can feel like a little bit of a political act to be a woman over 32 who is having any fun at all. And by that, I don’t mean doing drugs and drinking and partying — because I never am — but being goofy, and going out, and not going ‘Omigod I’m going to sit home and anticipate menopause while crocheting,’” she lamented. “Unless you’re doing that, it somehow seems to be risqué, which is just kind of ridiculous to me.”
And, c’mon, she’s got a point. For whatever reason, people tend to view sexuality as a hard line for women. Once they reach a certain age, they’re expected to sort of quietly fade into the background and only date men of a certain age (an age deemed appropriately older). But why shouldn’t Beckinsale enjoy herself? She’s never looked better or felt freer. Her 20-year-old daughter, Lily, now lives in Manhattan. And Beckinsale is a healthy, vibrant, and, yes, sexual woman. She can and should date whomever she wants.
“You do get some freedom,” Beckinsale said, not only of being a quote-unquote empty-nester but also of life after 11 years of marriage to director Len Wiseman.
“Being married is kind of easy, but the living-with-the-person thing is a lot. I also think that for women especially — and this is generalizing — but I think it’s common for us to mentally subjugate our needs to whoever else is in the room. So if you’ve got a husband, a boyfriend, kids, or parents, it’s so easy to come in with an idea of what you’d like to do, and then end up going, ‘Oh no, no, no, it’s fine.’ And it’s quite nice to not always have to negotiate that.”
Ultimately, Beckinsale doesn’t understand the fuss surrounding who she chooses to spend her time with personally. “If everyone’s shitting on you, it can make you kind of ugh for a minute — especially if there’s really nothing wrong,” she told the magazine. “If you’re strangling a squirrel or hurting someone, I get it, but living one’s life in a reasonably respectful manner shouldn’t invite anyone to get too excited.”
Before you go, click here to see all the celebrity marriages you probably forgot about.