Ellen Mc Carthy: Well, as others have and will point out, cougars are lovely specimens of the animal world. _______________________ I totally agree.: That and MILF, please... MILF, though crude, has mostly positive connotations. (BTW -- loved your analysis that men probably want cats! And Sugar Daddy -- but only if it's a rich sexy single man. Humor is an appropriate means of dealing with almost all complex topics, but this term fails the humor test. Ellen Mc Carthy: We'll keep running the same story every day until the difference between cats and women is entirely clear. We just think "sexually confident woman over 40" is the perfect descriptor for such a person. As a guy I wonder why do women want to be proud of such a label? He said "There's a cougar on the bed." I said "Yeah, I think it's me." The word already sounded out-of-date as soon as I said it. Or is this another double standard where women are once again scornfully categorized based on totally subjective and ridiculous yet rigid criteria? Silver Fox, for example, or "Hugh Hefner." Monica Hesse: Cradle Robber comes to mind, though that's pretty gender-neutral. _______________________ A better reason: You missed a key point: "cougar" just isn't funny. I see sexism and I see agism from younger women who don't want their own thunder stolen. Ellen Mc Carthy: Nothing -- NOTHING -- is icky about a sexually confident woman over 40. C.: Doesn't the term "Cougar" imply a desperate predatory behavior? Somehow Dirty Old Woman just makes me think of a lonely cat lady. _______________________ The word is as dated as "groovy": My boyfriend and I were lying down the other night, and my cat started stealthily creeping up to the pillows. _______________________ Springfield, VA: Is there a comparable equivalent term for single sexy men of the same age? Ellen Mc Carthy: There are lots of comparable names for men, most of them flattering. What is so icky about a sexually confidant woman over 40? It did at the beginning until folks who don't like sexual confidence in older women started vilifying it and until jealous kittens jumped on the bandwagon.-- but we didn't think the cougar question would wait any longer. It's a fair point, but the background of this article came out of discussions among several of the ladies of Style, whose ages range from 20s to 50s. At last a confidant sexual woman is given the admiration society always gave confidant sexual men. Like "Emu." I would be okay with embracing "Emu." _______________________ Ellicott City, Md.: While this chat is an unexpected treat, in no way does it make up for Weingarten's dereliction of what little duty, if any, he has remaining. Though I'm not totally convinced he didn't submit the humor question. Younger women lecturing older women on these sorts of issues is far more annoying then the reverse.
Monica Hesse: Jeff Foxworthy, we see a branch-out opportunity for you! Ellen Mc Carthy: We're talking largely to the publishing and tv geniuses who've decided to cash in with books and shows centered on this Canadian-born-term-which-shall-no-longer-be-uttered. washingtonpost.com: Attn: All the Single Ladies of a Certain Age Sorry, should have put this up more prominently.
Perhaps it's the phonetics -- but now I can't see a sports team called the Cougars and not snicker a little. Ellen Mc Carthy: Right, we thought this would die on it's own, but it just hasn't, which is why we decided to step in. Monica Hesse: I'm okay with anyone anywhere being called a mountain goat. _______________________ Bowie, Md.: I read the dead-tree edition, so I know this discussion springs from an article, and it's not just you two deciding to have a chat.
_______________________ no cougars please: I prefer the term Lynx. _______________________ Tinseltown: Have you received any comment from Courtney Cox? But for the grace of my darling husband, at 39, I might be considered one, and I would just have to kill anyone who actually called me that! At last a self-confidant sexual woman is given a term that isn't based on scorn (insert any number of bad terms for loose women). I will debate many things, but standards of humor are not negotiable. Purely for humor reasons, and with no logical basis, we could have chosen much a much better word from the animal kingdom. And even though this is turning out surprisingly well, my biggest concern is the negative image older woman/younger man couples seem to generate. Monica Hesse: You mean..didn't know the term..you INTRODUCED it to him? _______________________ "Is it creepy when the genders are reversed? The only ickiness is when people decide that a sexually confident older woman is so unuuuusual that they need to invent a name to describe her. _______________________ DC: I enjoy both of your stuff, especially Ellen's, but today's was meh.
And I've heard DILF enough that there seems to be equal and balanced terminology. C.: Let's use the same terms as an older male hitting on younger women... Ellen Mc Carthy: Lecher doesn't get nearly enough use, does it? ) Ellen Mc Carthy: The term needed to die a long time ago. Monica Hesse: We've got to be reaching a tipping point...before it dies out completely, maybe it will have a life as an ironic term? _______________________ Reston, Va.: I think the term "cougar" is quite appropriate for any woman who is trying to date men 10+ years her junior. _______________________ Thank you for taking on this important issue...: I HATE the term cougar. _______________________ I am not one: since I'm married, but I find the term humerously empowering. Why can't we give her admiration as a Sexy Confident Woman, not a C&*%$r. If that particular species had some genetic quirk such that it was unusually common for older females to mate with younger males, then attitude would be, "Sorry ladies, we must all be able to laugh at ourselves and that is really funny." Instead, the use of cougar instead of, say, panther or puma is arbitrary and meaningless. _______________________ Accidental "cougar": He thought I was younger, I thought he was older. ) I had to explain the term "cougar" because he didn't know it. Granted, most of the significantly younger/older relationships I see are older man, younger woman, but I'm not a dirty old woman at 45! _______________________ Washington, DC: Could one of the reasons why the term "cougar" appears to be a relatively new trend because younger men/older women pairings have traditionally been more widely featured in popular culture, movies, and the media? That's what we've traditionally seen in media and pop culture... "No one hates older women more than younger women." What?? Monica Hesse: Nothing icky about a sexually confident older women.
_______________________ Ballston Dude: Are there women out there that are cougars and don't know it? Or is there a 'you might be a cougar if....' criteria list? I've never seen women referring to themselves that way. And then can someone tell me why this isn't done all the time automatically.
_______________________ DC: Could you give some examples of women who call themselves cougars? or a similar cable channel did a Cougar countdown, or something like that. I see how it could be perceived as derogatory -- others find it empowering. the TV show ("Cougartown") seems about 3 years too late... Oh -- and I'm 39 and have been told I am a male cougar more than once. But could one of your producers put up a link to the story, please?