I don’t know why this label bothers me so much. Perhaps it's the range of not so complementary definitions that disturb me so greatly. You know, definitions such as:
Cougar - The term is commonly applied to women who are thirty or older and pursue younger men. - Wikipedia
Cougar - An older woman who is primarily attracted to and has sex with significantly younger men - About.com
Cougar - An older woman who frequents clubs in order to score with a much younger man. The cougar can be anyone from an overly surgically altered wind tunnel victim, to an absolute sad and bloated old horn-meister, to a real hottie or MILF. Cougars are gaining in popularity -- particularly the true hotties -- as young men find not only a sexual high, but many times a chick with her shit together. - Urban Dictionary
The Urban Dictionary definition I find particularly lovely. “MILF,” “sad and bloated old horn-meister,” “chick with her shit together!” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
But, hey, maybe I shouldn't feel offended, I mean, according to the Urban Dictionary cougars are gaining in popularity with "young men". WOW, lucky me! Now, on top of all the normal insecurities that come with aging, I can worry about being the prize winning goal of some misguided frat night out! Yay for me!
I have so many problems with the cougar label I barely know where to begin. First, 30 years does NOT constitute an "older woman!" Notice the age range of the guy isn't specifically mentioned in any of these definitions? That’s SOOO unfair!
My second issue is with the presumption that we women over 30 who have dated significantly younger men actually “pursue” them. When I became single again at the age of 35 most men my age were married. The only available men were “significantly” younger or “significantly” older than I was. I guess that means I could have been an adulterer, a cougar, or a gold digger.
Remind me again what men are called when they date significantly younger women? Oh yeah, they're called MEN!
That doesn’t seem quite fair, now does it? I think we need a catchy little nickname for men. Hmmm… maybe I should go out and find myself a LION? Sure a LION; a Lying, Immature, Obnoxious, Neanderthal.
Oh no, does that seem bitter or unfair? HA! Eat your heart out boys (or should I say Lions!). How do you like it?