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Dating site ad ban: Women shouldn't smear women with sandwiches

CougarLife.com is a dating site for older women to meet younger men. But Australia bans its ad for quite novel reasons.

Survival of the fittest?
CougarLife/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I am all for freedom of association.

Conventional wisdoms about relationships so often turn out to be unwise, so if older men wish to date younger women or vice versa, I wish them every fortune.

In Australia, however, certain apparatchiks seem averse to older women being portrayed as having more foxy and more moxie than their younger counterparts.

The nation's Advertising Standards Board has banned an ad for a dating site called CougarLife.com.

As its name rather implies, this is a site where younger men pursue older women. At least, I think it's that way around.

In order to make its point forcefully, it created an ad featuring Julia Ann, who happens to be a porn star.

As Australia's 9 News reports, it wasn't this fact that upset the bureaucrats.

It was that in the ad she strikes one younger woman with a (non-knuckle) sandwich and pushes another off a chair.

This hardly seems the stuff of controversy. I seem to remember a Miller Lite ad in which ladies were mud-wrestling. And surely just about every video game ad has soaring levels of violence.

Yet the board insisted that Julia Ann was just too aggressive. Its edict specifically mentions the sandwich in the face.

However, it also deemed offensive Julia Ann's retort to a younger woman who says, a tad disinterestedly, to her date: "Oh, so you're a computer geek."

The retort? "You fold sweaters for a living, honey."

In an additional comment that some might find brazen, the board said that the ad was "offensive in its suggestion that older women can take care of young men better than younger women could."

Well, let me tell you about the 22-year-old my engineer friend George met last week. He invited her to a concert. She accepted. Then she didn't reply to any of his witty and thoughtful texts.

The day before the concert, he suddenly got a text from her: "Hey, my friend's going to Bali. Can you look up some information for me?"

I wouldn't dream of suggesting that she represents every young woman on Earth, nor that even most young women fall short in caring qualities. Any more than I would suggest younger men are every woman's delight.

But to ban an ad on the basis that older women can't be seen to take on their younger counterparts seems a touch odd for a nation that takes such pride in sports as openly and gloriously violent as Aussie Rules Football.