Percy Gibson chose life with Joan Collins over having children

By Nina Steele 

Percy Gibson and Joan CollinsPercy Gibson and Joan Collins have been married since February 2002. As this was Joan Collins’ 5th marriage, there was understandably a lot of scepticism about the marriage lasting. 15 years on, the couple is going strong. Just like Emmanuel Macron’s marriage to Brigitte Trogneux, the couple’s age gap (32 years) has come under intense scrutiny.

All the signs point to the fact that the public in general is still uneasy about older women marrying younger men. The double standard on this issue is quite striking, since society is quite happy to turn a blind eye to relationships in which the man is considerably older. Maybe the time has come to give relationships in which the woman is considerably older the same recognition. As for the issue of what would happen if Percy Gibson suddenly decided he wanted children, Joan Collins said the following in a 2013 Guardian article: “We talked it through and he didn’t want children”.

The hostile reception to this type of relationship says a lot about the inherent bias that still exists in society for relationships that do not convey the image we are all used to. I have to come clean and admit that I wasn’t always this open minded. I was raised in an African culture in which men marrying far younger women was and still is the norm. When I was growing up, a 13 year old girl in the village being made to marry a man in his 70s was common practice. Thankfully, pressure from outside is now forcing change.

In Western societies, older men marrying younger women is generally accepted, and it is fair to say that it’s also the case in the rest of the world. Since most societies (if not all) view having children as the foundation on which a marriage is built, the idea of a young man marrying a woman who is past her childbearing years, goes against everything we have been taught.

I am glad to have become more enlightened on this issue. It takes time to unlearn dogmas that have been instilled in us since childhood. If we believe that women should no longer be seen as second best to men, then that should be reflected in all aspects of life. It is time to confine this double standard to the dustbin of history. Women have as much right to date younger men. This double standard cannot continue to exist while at the same time we go on about gender equality. It just no longer makes sense.

Percy Gibson and Joan Collins

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