Don't call me a cougar or I'll kill you. Srsly. I don't know who cooked up this word--- but I hate it. It is a hatred that has flowered, grown, matured like a really fine wine. Cougar. MEEOW. I tried to own it, but secretly I didn't like it--- even though most of my lovers were at least ten years younger. Yet, little by little, the word gained momentum in popular culture.
Think of Samantha's character in Sex and the City. Oh you go girl, fucking all those young guys. Then, suddenly the cougar movement became a tsunami. People called me a cougar. I laughed uneasily. I know it was meant as a compliment. But it didn't feel that way. Here's what I now believe about it;
On the Surface, It's All Good
It signifies: I'm sexy, I'm older. I'm smart. See above. Furthermore, I'm autonomous. I don't need a man to complete me or pay my rent. I can buy my own diamonds, thank you. It means that I am schooled in all things erotic--- give a mean blowjob, perform a strip show, buy a vibrator, all without blushing.
But Many Things Lurk Beneath the Surface:
The subtext is offensive. The original meaning is a large powerful cat. They are hunters. They are carnivorous. They prowl, they corner, they pounce. They are dangerous. They have sharp teeth and claws. Hell they might even kill you. So now I'm a pussy with teeth?
Don't Take My Word For It
From Urban Dictionary, I proffer their definition:
"The cougar can frequently be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, watching, waiting..."
Subtext: Still offensive
Words are powerful. Let's make sure we, women, write our own definitions for our own damn selves. Nobody said a word when Picasso fathered a child at 95. Nobody called him a cougar. Men have been dating younger women since the beginning of time. We have yet to coin a term for this phenomenon. But when women do it --- and it enters the zeitgeist, it becomes, in its subtext, a term of derision.
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