I’m sat in my class at college doodling on a scrap piece of lined paper and falling in and out of educational conciousness when I hear something disturbing. My male classmates thought it best to choose our Media lesson to discuss who’s mum was a Cougar! In my horror I spun round to see them all sniggering in the corner like adolescent perverts. I was not impressed. When did it suddenly become okay to use this word normally used to describe large wild cats, for older women?
Cougar originated recently when more and more mature women found themselves wearing figure hugging dresses and Stilettos and scouting out younger men at various clubs, pubs and parties. So, when did that oh so creative term suddenly trickle down into the meaning for older women all together? A well dressed woman walking down the street nearing her 50’s will pass a group of hormone flooded boys and suddenly will mark her with the dreaded title of Cougar or MILF if she really pushes their pre-puberty buttons.
However, me being the 17-year-old that I am, my perspective is a little different to the ‘Cougars’ of the world. Some of these women thrive on such titles, and if they feel that the attention they’re receiving is satisfactory then more power to them, but from what I’ve witnessed attention is not the issue, it’s the blatant lack of respect.
As women we have been put through our paces linguistically, emotionally and in some cases physically. A man who enjoys the company of multiple women of all ages and the perks of our sexuality is congratulated, he’s a ‘Pimp’, ‘Player’ or at best ‘Bachelor’ but a woman in similar positions will find themselves frowned upon and treated as a ‘Slag’, ‘Whore’ or at worst ‘Prostitute’. The term Cougar is no better. To label an older woman in a relationship with a younger man as a Cougar devalues it. It cheapens the love and affection they share by putting full concentration on the number gap hanging between them.
For centuries women have been constantly put down and ridiculed for how they dress, speak, act and think , but now we have evolved as a society, our opinions have changed and our voices can be heard as loudly as our male counterparts. Yet, this term seems to attempt to wrap up this same prejudice in a more sexual and socially acceptable way and it’s becoming more and more frequent. The question is, is this something that will escalate over time and with the growing number of women happily welcoming the word ‘Cougar’ is there any point?
All we can do is hope that this Cougar soon becomes extinct.