The other day I was talking to a rather attractive, post-50-year-old woman in a bar when I referred to her as a “cougar”. To say she didn’t appreciate it is an understatement.
“I am not a cougar, you idiot!” she exclaimed. “A cougar is not a nice thing to call any woman and if I was a little more intoxicated, I’d slap you so hard your ears would ring!”
Wow. That was the wrong thing to say. This woman had come at me like a very angry, rabid—cougar. I was surprised by her negative reaction because I thought I was giving her a compliment. I was trying to tell her that she was good-looking and probably capable to attracting young men into her lair. She explained that a cougar was a female who preyed on men much younger than herself and that she considered it a derogatory and sexist remark.
Oh well, I learn something new about the opposite sex every day, I thought. Chalk this one up and file it away under "just another thing I can't say to a woman."
When I told my fiancée what had happened, she had the same reaction (after interrogating me about why I was talking to a hot woman in a bar)
“What were you thinking?” she queried, with a look on her face that always stops me in my tracks. “Don’t be calling women cougars, you slob!”
Ouch! Obviously older ladies don’t like the new “C” word.
So, I did a little research and this is what I found:
First, I went to Wikipedia and saw this definition:
Cougar – an older woman, usually in her 40s or older, who usually sexually pursues men in their 20s and 30s.The term has been used in (American) TV series, advertising and film. The 2007 film Cougar Club was dedicated to the subject.
Then I started Googling all over the Internet to learn more. I found out that cougars have been around a long time. So much so, that there are now cougar dating sites (www.gocougar.com), cougar chat rooms, cougar social clubs and even cougar clothing lines. Cougar hookups that last more than one drunken night are called “age gap relationships” and terms like “cradle robber” and “baby snatcher” are now considered boorish.
So, now I know. No more calling women cougars. And no more talking to 50ish women in bars. That is, not if I still want to get married to my 46-year-old fiancée in May!