Honestly what I absolutely detest is a derogatory name given to a women/group of women at a certain age/stage of their lives.
For example, how many here hate the dreaded word “bridezilla”? I do. it’s def not me and is a way to say something nasty about a woman getting married. Cougar? I see the same negative connotation to that also. As if we’re not supposed to be attractive past a certain age, behave as though we’re from decades gone by, and live a life of celibacy and choose to do as Bridget Jones said in her movie “live as a spinster” for the rest of our lives if we’re not married by 35 or something silly like that. In years’ past “Old maid” was another negative name given to unmarried women over 30 also. There is even a card game called that and the object of the game is not to “get the Old Maid”.
Why not have names for guys who are out there single after 40? I know my Fiance is in his early 40’s, is George Clooney hot (even with his salt and pepper goatee), and has a wicked brain to match his outside, but nobody has ever said one thing about him or any of his friends (he has 2 single, attractive, professional guy friends over 40 btw). But me?
I have had very old fashioned patients who asked me my age and marital status say “wow, why aren’t you married yet? You should be married by now.”
I told them I am divorced. And I get a pause. Then they look at me sometimes and wonder. I don’t add in information people don’t need access to and usually say nothing after that. As if that in itself is a bad thing. Nevermind I am a person, with a heart, who endured a husband who cheated and didn’t really want to have to start her life over as a single mom at 33.
Look, I remember the whole “Harper Valley PTA” thing when I was a very small child. I remembered hearing my own mom call a divorced mom of one of my friends “Oh her? She’s the prez of the harper valley pta don’t ya know?” So this kind of negative connotation about the older single (or divorced) woman (or mom) has been going on a long time.
Here’s the movie poster and the object of a small towns’ fascination from back in the 70’s with a would be “cougar”:
I am kind of sensitive to the “cougar” thing because I was treated quite negatively at the subdivison I used to live in 3 years ago. I was the only single woman in my section of the neighborhood and the moms who lived there (mostly stay at home moms) thought apparently divorce was catching. Or a disease. Little did any of them know I didn’t want to be a single mom, and never had planned on it. At the neighborhood swimming pool one summer, you would have thought the atomic bomb dropped when I went swimming with my child and wore a bikini. I mean, I was treated like “lock up your men ladies, we have a cougar here!”. I actually overheard one (rather frumpy imho) mom say to another nearby “that’s the single mom who lives on X cove”. It hurt to be honest. It was as if I was not allowed to be attractive, be a mom, and be single past the age of 30 living amongst other married people. Or if I was a catalyst for home-wrecking in general, in some bizarre way.
The the cougar thing does not really bother men at all (according to T), and that it’s basically woman-created and a way to be insulting to other women. A way to put down attractive single women who are past 30. So I don’t use the “c” word. Or a way to explain an attraction a younger man has for a woman a bit older than him. (which was also explained by T).
Why propegate a stereotype that puts women down? Why? I don’t get it. If you call me a cougar, you’ll get an earful.