Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cougars: empowered females or yet another double standard?

I first heard this expression from a friend who was horrified to discover that she was, in fact, a "cougar," which she defined as a single woman in her late 30's. I didn't think much of it, but the term seems to keep popping up.

The more I hear the term the more I dislike it. I didn't watch Age of Love but I believe they are pitting "cougars" against "kittens". I'm horrified. First of all, why are women (and their private lady parts) always cats? Becausee men are dogs? I dunno. I just hope the kitten thing doesn't stick.

Sitting down to write this entry, I decided to Google "cougar" and came across the Urban Cougar, a site that celebrates, or "owns" the term. From their site:

urbancougar: it's not a stigma, it's a sophisticated species of female who seeks the pleasure of younger males. She avoids the entanglements of a "relationship," in favor of the freedom of the hunt.

She has overcome the taboos related to her sexual identity, embraced her true self, and now lives her life to its fullest. Always one for adventure, she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to get it!

This website is a celebration of the urbancougar lifestyle, the women who embody it, and the prey who love them for it!

The idea of owning a negative stereotype has never worked for me. This site may embrace the term, but I have never heard men refer to a cougar in a positive away, unless you consider an easy one night stand to be positive.

Here is one definition from Urban Dictionary,
A 35+ year old female who is on the "hunt" for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male. The cougar can frequently be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, propped up against a swanky bar in San Francisco (or other cities)waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path. "Man is cougar's number one prey"

I hate this. I am so tired of women being subjected to tired stereotypes. Really tired of it. Women are slinky, stealthy, on the hunt, trying to ensnare a man. Sheeesh.

I hate to bring up George Clooney yet again, but why are men certified bachelors, and women cougars? Why do we need a name at all?



Blogger Matt said...

Erin Torneo...came across your name while surfing the web. Seven. Matt Sevarino.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Devin said...

How about "puma?" It's a cool word to say and looks like it might describe a stuffed animal's private business. I'm not hot on cougar because it was my school mascot, which just translates as loud, tired and full of chemical inebriates to me. How about "advanced predator?"

Being generalized/marginalized in an magazine/blogazine article is never much comfort. If you want to avoid easy classification you have to head way way out there. But then you just make everyone around you uncomfortable, and that's not sexy. If you're not sexy, why go on living? That's the word from Raytown, anyway.

5:00 PM  

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