Yes, Michaela, it should be how you act that counts, but in the 1960s and 1970s there was a lot of discrimination based on how you looked. If you were white and had a beard, as my friend was, you found it at as hard to rent a decent place to live as blacks did, and often harder because society was frowning on racial discrimination but not other kinds.
I had to think a bit about whether to answer your question. It isn't something that I would normally talk about, but I guess that it won't hurt after this many decades.
I'm in my 60s. The Hawaiian woman who told me the story was born in the 1910s. She was raised by her grandmother, who, as I said, was pure Hawaiian. The grandmother was probably born in the 1870s or maybe 1880s. At that time the story was common knowledge, at least to pure Hawaiians, and Hawaiian history was still being passed down orally from generation to generation.
When I was young sexual relations between young men and older women had not yet been criminalized. Boys often had their first sexual experience with an older woman, but very few ever talked about it. In the 1960s, when the book "In Praise of Older Women" was published, I returned a copy I had just read to the person I had borrowed it from. We were in a room with about 10 other young men present; most of us were in our 20s. In the ensuing discussion we discovered that everone in the room (except for the one virgin) had had his first sexual experience with an older woman, but until then no one in the room had ever met anyone else who had admitted to having such an experience.
The Hawaiian lady told me many stories, some of which I have since learned aren't supposed to be told to non-Hawaiians. This came from a Hawaiian friend who is involved with preserving the Hawaiian culture. He expressed considerable surprise to find out that I had been told why Captain Cooke had been killed on his third visit to Hawaii and said that I must have known the lady who told me very well. I don't think that this story was in that catagory; those that are I don't talk about now that I know that her pillow talk was indiscrete.
You might have liked her. Once, when a university public performance hall administrator claimed that I was bothering the performers when I was taking pictures for the university annual she asked him who had the authority to fire him and how his predecessor had lost his job. He left without another word. During the intermission she insisted that we go backstage and she asked the head of the group if I had disturbed them. The answer was that because the stage lighting included lights at the stage floor level at the front of the stage they had not been able to see me taking pictures. The administrator was present when she asked the question. I took pictures at events there after that and never saw him again.