They say the TV shows, films and events are showing off a powerful female sexuality. For example, few would bat an eye at a dating show featuring a man picking from women much younger than himself. Cougars, perhaps, are simply claiming the sexual high ground from the sex that has traditionally held it.
Author Valerie Gibson, who has written a book called Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men , has defended the term as an example of liberation: "A cougar is the new breed of single, older woman — confident, sophisticated, desirable, and sexy. She knows exactly what she wants. What she wants is younger men and lots of great sex. What she doesn't want is children, cohabitation or commitment.
Former magazine editor Bonnie Fuller joined the debate, declaring: "It's official. Age is irrelevant… when it comes to women and beauty, that is. Of course, cougars have long existed. Some high-profile celebrity couplings may have helped to inspire the acceptance of the word. Foremost among them is the marriage between Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, who appear happily wed despite Moore being 16 years older than her spouse.
Adding to the spice is the fact that the union is often reported as being one of the most stable and happy in Hollywood. But elsewhere cougars are facing a backlash. The real tipping point for critics appears to be Cougar Town. Late last week, in the wake of the first episode of Cox's new show, several leading women critics decided to speak out against the label.
They called it a backward step for women's rights and said the type of feminism that it represented was based on what men think of women, not what women might think of themselves. So it should come as no surprise that Jules [Cox's character] will search for self-esteem in frequent sex and the proof that she is still 'hot'," seethed Wall Street Journal writer Nancy Dewolf Smith.
Such a slamming was mild compared to that dished out by Judith Warner, the New York Times columnist who writes the newspaper's Domestic Disturbances blog. It's ridiculous and belittling. So very pitiful. British commentators have also joined the debate. Kathryn Flett, the Observer 's television critic and star of the BBC's Grumpy Old Women , said the problem was the label itself: "The term cougar is horrible — it is demeaning. It is the whole predatory, feline, sexual thing.
Moreover, it was hardly empowering for women to see the phenomenon played out on screen by glamorous celebrities who had little in common with a typical fortysomething, she said. It is drama, it is escapism. But the trend did exist, she added. It is always writ large and cartoonish, but nevertheless it has emerged from a genuine phenomenon.
I can tell you that there are a lot of single women — for the sake of argument, in their 40s — having relationships with younger men. And if the phenomenon is a reality in the US, then psychologists say it is sure to be thriving here as well. If an older woman showed him a few tricks they could experience the same level of intensity. Shuttleworth argued that another reason young men and women sometimes sought older partners was that they were leaving home and wanted a paternal or maternal figure.
That could result in problems, however, when they reached their mid or late 20s and decided they wanted a playmate instead, he added: "The danger in any relationship is that we change in our needs. Others agreed, including Warner, who said it was not just Cougar Town that had made her angry. She pointed out that the TV and movie industry championing the wave of cougar-themed shows and movies was overwhelmingly male-dominated. The image of the cougar, she argued, was more a product of an adolescent sexual fantasy among male studio executives than anything to do with women themselves.
I'm sure we can generate better fantasies for ourselves," she concluded. Home Dictionary Meanings Cougar. Filters 0. A woman, especially one over 30, who romantically pursues or attracts younger men. An older, typically middle-aged, woman who dates or aggressively pursues much younger men.
The definition of a cougar is an older woman who dates much younger men. A cougar is defined as a large powerful tan colored cat with a slender body and long tail. An example of cougar is a mountain lion. A large powerful wild cat Puma concolor syn. Felis concolor chiefly of mountainous regions of the Americas, having an unmarked tawny body and a long tail. A large, powerful, tawny cat Puma concolor with a long, slender body and a long tail; puma; mountain lion: it was once found widely from Canada to Patagonia but is now an endangered species.
A mountain lion; Puma concolor.
There are definitely some ageist and sexist connotations to the term, so let's take a look at what it's been used to refer to and how it's evolved over time. In the United States, "puma" has been used as slang for a cougar minus ten years; she is defined as a woman in her 30s who prefers dating younger men. Hollywood celebrity Jennifer Aniston has long been associated with the term due to her relationships with younger men, most notably John Mayer nine years younger.
Demi Moore , in an interview with W magazine in March at age 47 , expressed her displeasure with the cougar label and said, "I'd prefer to be called a puma," referring to her now defunct marriage to Ashton Kutcher who is 16 years younger than Moore.
Despite Moore's attempt to use the terms interchangeably, a puma is widely regarded as a woman under 40 who prefers younger men while the cougar label is applied to women in their 40s and 50s who seek out younger male companions who are at least 10 years younger and often half their age. While May-December romances involving older men with younger women are par for the course, there is often a double standard when it comes to older women dating younger men, even when those women are just in their 30s, hence the development of terms like "puma" to call negative attention to it.
For example, actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler caught a lot of public flak when she announced her engagement. Sigler was 31 and her beau was The use of slang terms to box people - particularly women - into stereotypes based on age and romantic partners is somewhat dated, but it continues to pervade culture at some level. Courtney Cox is the model every sitcom star prays works out for them with the cable success of Cougar Town.
Harry has been focused on ' cougar ' websites for women seeking toyboys, The Sun says. A large dull-red scar on the right jaw and another across the left cheek added the final touches to this countenance of a cougar. The skin of both the jaguar and cougar are easily penetrated even with the arrows of the Indians. The cougar is easily tamed, and rendered nearly as familiar as domestic animals. One bright morning, while he was at his camp-fire, the tame cougar gave a low, growling warning. The cougar did not have great difficulty in following, though it was evident he did not like such traveling.
Save This Word! See synonyms for cougar on Thesaurus. Also called mountain lion , panther , puma. Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
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