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(http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/why-theyre-dissing-dion/celine-dion/)When Celine Dion gave birth to twins on the 23rd of October at age 42, it hardly seemed like news.

These days, 42 seems to be the new 32 and—despite the fact that Celine and her husband Rene faced challenges getting pregnant again—it’s hard to work up a frisson about someone giving birth so young.

Aside from an A-list celebrity, the only “older” mother likely to make journalists respond with anything more than an indifferent yawn, is one that breaks the current world heavyweight title for the oldest, which I believe currently rides at 70 with a grand dame I’ve nicknamed Elephant Mom (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/?p=1973).

However, that doesn’t stop the rabble from making their usual attack on maternal age—which shows that we are not quite yet out of the Dark Ages in our understanding of the evolution of modern motherhood.

A little tour of the comments sections (http://www NULL.usmagazine NULL.com/momsbabies/news/celine-dions-husband-we-were-crying-when-twins-were-born-20102510) on a few of the online news features was like watching the creatures crawling from the word work.

“I personally believe that Celine is way too old to be a “new” mom”, said one reader. “And think about it, Rene is going to be 78 when his children are only 10 years old.”

Nothing new in the granny-mom bashing—there’s a well-known, but informal, ageist movement against later-life motherhood around the globe.

But it was interesting to see Celine’s 68-year-old, “old man” come under fire. The biggest cannon they could wheel from out behind the barn had to do with life expectancy—that in a decade or so, he’d be an octogenarian (and possibly a dead) dad.

It shows that knowledge of the research documenting the risks to children from old men’s sperm has yet to percolate down to the masses.

Rene’s impending demise from old age is only the half of it. Studies have shown (http://parenting NULL.blogs NULL.nytimes NULL.com/2009/04/03/your-old-man/?scp=1&sq=men%20reproductive%20sperm%20schizophrenia&st=cse) that sperm from older men means rising incidence of autism, schizophrenia, and lower IQ in their children.

Do I fault Rene for daring to have children in the ripe autumn of his life? No. He’s just doing what old men have been doing—with impunity—since time began.

But I do feel compelled to continue to bring to light the double standard about parental age as it relates to mothers versus fathers.

Is Dion narcissistic and selfish for having the twins at 42? With the new average life expectancy for North American women riding high at around 80, it’s becoming a push to think so.

The burning question, however, relates to her “old man”.

If Elephant Mom (Rajo Devi Lohan (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/?p=1973)) could come under severe international censure for having a child at 70—her family’s only heir after decades of trying—why is there only a feeble, bleating complaint in the comments section of an American celebrity rag when a man of the same age does it?

Where’s the “grab your torch and pitchforks!” outcry from the medical establishment and health journalists?

Well, I suppose, it’s all in the way you look at it. Should Rene pass on when his children are young, I’m certain Celine’s “heart will go on” (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=PKS5DwSC0fo) for both of them.

Notes for this blog:

Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/) (www.flowerpowermom.com (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/)), where she blogs regularly about later life motherhood.

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