Sunday, October 25, 2009

the cougar (not)

At ABC, Cougars are O.K., but Not Always, the headline for The  New York Times, Friday, October 16, 2009.  It seems the "hit" TV show of the same name will not accept advertising from It's a women's world.  The caption reads; A dating site that crosses generations. It caters to older women seeking younger men.  The TV show is about an older woman, Courtney Cox's character, dating younger men.  It seems like a match made in media heaven.  But ABC has said, "[we] did not accept the Cougar commercial based upon the fact that the Web site had not launched..."  Yet later when the website was live and fully functional, ABC still said, no. Buh-bye.

Wait.  Let me see if I understand this correctly:

As a stereotype, cougars, are welcome on television in all their glory.  A fantasy, a farce, a joke.  In real life, not so much.  Is it because the reality of it is still dangerous?  Or is it because the reality of it is still, on some level, disgusting distasteful?  I think both are true.  Just lurking below the surface of the word, is the 16th century--- height of the witch trials--- image of an old lascivious crone.  A disheveled old bitch who lived at the edge of town, who couldn't wait to stick her tongue into a young man's mouth.

Layer on the 21st century patina of  real women, the kind I see everyday, the kind of woman I am--- 40's, 50's, blond, brunette, red-head, stylish, highly educated, accomplished, powerful, vocal, verbal, physical.  And ladies and gentlemen; that spells Trouble, with a capital T.  Because we are not the Courtney Cox stereotype.  God forbid we should see older women through any other lens.  Because we are three dimensional.  Flesh and blood.  We are not about to eat you or fuck you.  We are about to trash the hierarchy.  And this is why we are dangerous.

So congratulations ABC, I award you the gold crown of hypocrisy.  Anna North at also has a great post on the 21st century cougar; alien or animal?


  1. Love it! The network wants to promote Cougars and yet ...... Thankfully I have avoided this program (I pay for HBO, Showtime, and Starz for a reason - I hate commercials!)