There's a double standard when it comes to the age gap in relationships on soap but....read more here--->>
The Young and the Restless has stirred up a ton of fan response over the potential coupling of Traci Abbott (Beth Maitland) and Cane Ashby (Daniel Goddard).
As for any new soap opera couple, there is always a mixed bag of opinions. Some fans will love the idea while others hate it. But what stands out among the general commentary is the idea that Traci is "too old" for Cane. The "too old" description got us thinking about the double-standard that comes along with age gap relationships in soap operas.
Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) and Laura Webber (Genie Francis) are arguably the most iconic couple in Daytime Television. And although the couple has faced their share of backlash over the years, Luke was sixteen years older than Laura wasn't really one of them.
In fact, many fan-favorite pairings have ten or more years between them making the idea of an older man and a younger woman being a couple familiar and almost customary. Couples like: Mac & Rachel from Another World, Dusty & Lucy from As The World Turns, Sonny & Brenda from General Hospital, Steffy & Bill and Caroline & Ridge from Bold and the Beautiful. The latter whose characters had a thirty-year age difference. couples were widely accepted despite their ages.
But as art and life often imitate each other, when you flip the script from the "norm" you will get vastly different results. When a soap decides to pair an older female character with a younger male the outcry of "this is weird" or "she is too old for him" is loud. And the portrayal of these couples on-screen doesn't do much to stop the stigma around the idea either. Many times the older female as desperate for attention or as a "cougar." The story of Jackie (Lesley-Anne Down) and Owen Knight (Brandon ) from Bold and the Beautiful being a clear example of this. When the mature fashion mogul entered into a relationship with the younger Owen heads on and off-screen. The show played into the "cougar" fantasy deeper than any other show by having Jackie pose with an actual cougar for a photo shoot which almost led to her being mauled by the animal. Really guys? Really?
In spite of the fact that most of the female-led May-December relationships aren't treated the same as their male-led counterparts, there are always some exceptions to the rules. There have been a few cases where the relationships are given the writing and respect that . General Hospital's Olivia and Johnny who were short-lived but genuinely cared for each other. Crawford and Casey from As The World Turns who fought back against public opinion together. And Vanessa Chamberlain (Maeve ) and Matt Reardon (Kurt McKinney) from Guiding Light, whose relationship started off rocky due to Vanessa's insecurity and fear of scrutiny about their relationship. Eventually, the two were able to work out the issues that stemmed from their age difference and married for eleven years. A great feat for a soap couple.
The character of Traci Abbott is 56 compared to Cane Ashby who is 45. The two have a genuine relationship based on history and friendship that seems leading to more, and if age is just a number than why shouldn't they be a couple?
Does the "love who you want" idea only apply if the male is older than the female?! We know not everything in life or in soaps perfect, but we hope to see the stigma behind the older female and younger male relationship diminished.
What do you think about the double-standard for relationships on soaps?