Never Ask a Woman Her Age

Never ask a woman her age or weight.  Is that still a rule?  It’s hard to tell.  It would be hard for me to tell, as I’m asked my age almost monthly.  The shocked look people have when I tell them I am 28 is also unpleasant.  And unnecessary.

As an old rule of etiquette forgotten by many, I wonder how necessary it is to teach again. Some young women look young, and do not need to be told this by others.  In social situations, at networking events, while on vacation – I will be asked how old I am.  I’ve even heard wait staff and bar tenders apologize after carding me.

Yes, in a group of friends, I realize it is not unusual for such questions to come up.  But a stranger has no reason to ask – what difference does it make to them?  We all know it is taboo to ask someone say, in their 50s or older their age.  And yet, young women are asked on a regular basis.  Is there a cut off age we were never made aware of?  Will it stop when I’m 30 or 35?  Older?  How about when I look 35?  I’ve heard a million times, someday I will I appreciate it.  I’ve been told this since I was 24.  I am wondering how long people will keep telling me this – and if it will create a similar resentment the age question creates now.

In trying to figure out where people are on this, I found everyone has a different opinion, and takes the topic a different way, depending on how/if/when they have been presented with such questions.  So what do you think?  Is it okay to ask now, or just to a certain select age range?  I say better not to ask.  If someone is willing to offer up her age, so be it.  Please don’t ask though.  The odds of being wrong in your estimate of someone’s age are too great!

Why do men become more distinguished with age, and women are told they need eye creams and special facemasks to hide or minimize lines? Asking men has never been an issue.  Doesn’t it seem odd that someone would randomly ask a man they just met how old they are?  Funny, that’s odd, but asking a woman – well sure!  Ask away!  Not everyone finds it a compliment to be told they look like they could be in high school.  Actually I don’t know anyone out of college who would appreciate that.

What searching for answers to this question did lead me to was this: lying about age.  Is this still done?  What purpose does it serve?  Lying about your age seems like something let to made for TV movies, chick lit, and Sex and the City.  And as we have all learned from these movies, books, and the women of Sex and the City, lying never works – the truth comes out.  Either speak the truth or say nothing at all. Own you age or don’t answer.  And to those who ask – please stop.

Originally appeared on Fem2.0


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