WHO IS A 'COUGAR' - Is the term empowering or derogatory?
“An old woman who dates much younger men is called a COUGAR. An old man who dates much younger women is called RICH.”- Anonymous
Who can sense the blatant hypocrisy of this quote? Hello lovelies! As a platform built and working towards empowering women, liberating them to take on this world, we’d like to ask you a question- Is it okay to label women for their life choices?
In our patriarchal society, an older man marrying or dating a younger woman is generally considered normal. As an era, we’re continuously seeing changes and stereotypes being shackled. Shouldn’t we be more open-minded to accept change? Let’s not take away from the sanctity of a relationship, which is based on the foundation of true love, honesty and trust.
Well, if two individuals are head over heels in love with each other, then who are we to pass to judgements and ridicule them? Also, guys, at the risk of sounding super clichéd, but isn’t age just a number?
WHO IS A COUGAR: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ONE?
According to the English dictionary, “a cougar is an older woman who seeks a sexual relationship with a much younger man”. Today, although it even extends to long-term relationships.
Be it Samantha from the ‘Sex and the City’ or Courtney Cox from the prime-time television show, ‘Cougar Town’, sexual and dating pursuits of older women were portrayed through them. Equating them to animals, these younger men are called ‘cubs’. Now, now! If there is a colloquial term for an older woman-younger man relationship, why isn’t there one for the reverse approach?
Malaika Arora-Arjun Kapoor. Sushmita Sen-Rohman Shawl. Priyanka Chopra Jonas- Nick Jonas. Flag bearers of such relationships, isn’t it just so endearing to see these three men looking so lovingly and heartily at their better halves, making us go ‘awwww’ over their social media feeds? According to us, their love is for the keeps!
While these women epitomize poise, substance and power, it is their charming partners we laud for being so confident and uplifting. If this isn’t true love, than what is?
MISOGYNY GALORE - the very concept of calling a woman COUGAR is misogynist
As women, we all personally feel that this slang is incredulously derogatory. The social stigma surrounding the term ‘cougar’ is so prevalent that it is almost synonymous with being “desperately aggressive” or “clinging to youth”. Traditionally, males were seen as more dominant and powerful with greater financial resources at their disposal. Its role-reversal, however, is still frowned upon till date; a hard-hitting taboo.
In fact, the media portrayal of this situation doesn’t help either. Doesn’t it irk you as an independent, successful woman when your freedom to date a younger man is questioned and touted as a wild animal that is prowling, hunting or chasing younger, more inexperienced men? This has nothing to do with satisfying our physical needs, contrary to the popular notion where younger men are believed to be at their sexual peak which immensely satisfies the woman’s libido. Boy, aren’t we revolutionary!
With respect to our sexual appetite, the truth is younger men, too are incredibly fascinated by older women. It’s our fabulous species that is being pursued. And why shouldn’t we? We clearly have the looks, vigour and emotional sensibility to deserve the best catch for us. And, to all the younger men who develop meaningful, lifelong relationships in such an unconventional realm, all we’d like to say is kudos! It’s marvellous to see you stepping up and being real gentlemen- someone who listens, loves, provides (we women still appreciate bits of chivalry), shares his feelings and vulnerabilities and likes to be adventurous. No, we do not mean jumping out of airplanes or a cliff, but just being open to new things.
This extremely sexist and offensive term also objectifies a woman and how! Why are we discounting a woman’s jovial or youthful personality that may have clicked two souls together? Also, aren’t we deriding the men who are a part of these relationships? Clearly, they are more mature and above these misogynistic mind-sets.
But as smart, talented belles, it definitely is quite insulting to be labelled as ‘trophy wives’, “gold-digger” or a “sugar momma” (yes, we sense your disgust and disdain). What about the slang, “sugar daddy” you may add? Well, it is much more subdued as compared to its opposite expression. In fact, all these horrendous connotations denote ageism at its worse! Need we say more?
SMASH THE PATRIARCHY AND RESPECT INDIVIDUALS
To all the gorgeous boss women, you are capable, ah-mazing and deserve to be dazzling stars.Popular opinion has it that these “cougar relationships” may not last long, but what guarantee is given about the more normalised older man-younger woman dynamics? Compatibility is the key to any successful relationship.
While we hope the society seriously contemplates on their irreverent opinions, we’d like to state how an older woman should be considered.
- Age and Zest: Yes, she may be old, but she is not withering. Rather she is on fire, ripening personally and professionally with age like fine wine. She is so boisterous and energetic, that she may outdo you on your date nights. Younger men like to impress, while in this process they really do grow up and become more emotionally stable.
- Bold and Beautiful: Having aged gracefully, she is glowing with radiance. Who said one cannot be immaculately dressed and be extremely fit and ravishing if they are older? And a man, who respects that, is truly dapper in every sense. Meting out some refreshing change and playfulness, a woman surely feels younger at heart.
- Commitment: Sure, a pretty woman may not be seriously involved initially because she is committed to making herself happy. Perfect nails, well-kempt hair, best accessories and a positive aura, she is all about self-love. Both, younger and older men dig this self-confidence, attracting them to their authenticity.
- Full of Poise: Dynamic and Elegant. And much more! With an innate ability to command attention and stir energy into an environment, they’re passionate and supremely inspiring. Moreover, her life experience spills over socially as well, having dealt with countless people. More certain about themselves, they can give younger ladies a run for their money, when it comes to making their presence felt. And, perhaps, that’s what captures a man’s attention and voila he’s completely besotted.
- Success: When this unconventional association comes into play, and sparks fly, a woman may not be looking for someone to provide for her. More often, she is business-savvy, determined, ambitious and powerful. In fact, she will prove to be true supporter of her partner in achieving his goals.
To sign off, it’s time we normalise such relationships. If two people are happy what more does anyone want?