Monday, July 28, 2008

The word "Cougar" -- Hot Topic 3

I’ve been home now for just over 24 hours. Since my return, I have made a trip to the chiropractor, trained, recovered my lost passport (yes I lost and found my passport), chatted with friends, laughed and capped off the day with quality internet time. What did we do before the internet???

My home page is set to aol, so before I log into my account I take a moment to see what the new stories for the day are. This evening, as the various stories flashed across the screen, one disappointingly caught my attention “Mario Bello Joins the Cougar Club.” How is this among the hottest news for the day? Ironically, I just blogged on age and sport, but can’t help resisting the need to discuss this irritating word Cougar.

For those of you who don’t know what a “Cougar” is, it is a term referring to an older woman, (usually in her 40s, 50s or 60s) who sexually pursues younger men (usually in their 20s and 30s). Obviously, I have a huge problem with this term. It’s kind of derogative, if you ask me.

Now, while I have dated younger men, it actually is not my personal preference. But, that’s me. (I also like anchovies on pizza and room temperature water, but that's me again.)

I see no problem with a women or a man choosing to date someone younger. However, I do feel the word “Cougar” in reference to a woman is offensive, degrading and a sexist word. Since, when is it acceptable to refer to females with disparaging terms? And what makes this word more offensive is that it seems to be in vogue.

Men have been chasing, dating and marrying younger women for years, but socially it is deemed to be acceptable and okay. Yet, a woman who pursues this same path is a woman on the prowl – hunting for the young victim man. How is it socially acceptable in this day and age to refer to a woman as a Cougar?

I can’t tell you the number of 40s, 50s or 60s year olds who have tried to talk to me and to what word do I have to refer to these men. Is it possible that they are equally interested in me because of my difference in age? Should I then call them mid-life crisis men? That’s pretty offensive and also not appropriate. How about we just refer to someone who prefers a younger person to their actual given name? Everyone is allowed to have preferences and should not be stigmatized and/or stereotyped by it.

Free to love whom ever,

1 comment:

Jackie Edwards said...

Nicole, you're batting three for three so far!! I've enjoyed all of your hot topics, not that I'm surprised. Maybe you can have another career in column writing when you're done jumping over tall buildings or bars or whatever:)