What I hate is the never-ending cutesy-pie conflation of the two. Patent and Trademark Office as a trademark of Salon Media Group Inc. And even though women are making extravagant efforts to reclaim it as empowering, it remains offensive and dehumanizing on almost every level, as Daily Show senior women's issues commentator Kristin Schaal illustrated in in which she had an animal handler carry a grown woman to the news desk, Jack Hanna style, so that Jon Stewart could examine her up close: Do you want to hold her, Jon? There are people who seem to find the cougar thing liberating. When Cher used to date Rob Camilletti, I think they called him a boy toy, and they called her Cher. Original Cougar author Valerie Gibson has claimed that the term was coined as derogatory no shit! But of all the things that men do that women might reasonably wish to do as well -- pee standing up, win admiration for sleeping with multiple partners, earn a dollar for every 78 cents, be president -- isn't this one thing we could have just walked away from without regret? Fast-advancing fertility technology means that they are also stretching their childbearing years, sometimes by more than a decade.
And in what, for my money, was the only interesting moment of the whole show, an unemployed 23-year-old self-described Southern gentleman came on to the cougar thusly: How would you like to try an Australian kiss? There are also self-proclaimed , women who are apparently just smart, sexy, independent. When Susan Sarandon had two children with Tim Robbins, who is 12 years her junior and with whom she has lived for the past 20 years, I don't think they called them anything except not married. Sure, maybe some taboos are beginning to lift. When they make their first impressions on the cougar -- some spouting poetry and wielding guitars -- they tell her things like, It is my privilege to share one of my first legal drinks with you and I want to be your pool boy. That's not progress, and it's not a step forward for women. Maybe we could have let men enjoy their dubious and often unfairly earned reputations as bimbo hunters without deciding that we needed to emulate them, bimbo for bimbo.
Although, as Emily Nussbaum pointed out in her New York magazine piece, Do Cougars Have the Smartest Kids? Associated Press articles: Copyright © 2016 The Associated Press. . Active, aggressive female sexuality is always talked about as feral, often feline. At last, science has produced the case for cougars. Cougars, as we portray and celebrate them, are mimicking the midlife crisis-penis-car-crippling-insecurity version of mature masculinity.
Cougars are not out to imitate that Charlie Chaplin-Tony Randall-Larry King late fatherhood model of masculinity. And in the premiere episode of The Cougar, which is unapologetically modeled on every Bachelor variant ever produced, 40-year-old real estate agent Stacey Anderson and host Vivica Fox practically hurt themselves in their efforts to demonstrate just how empowering the term is. As the show starts, Stacey turns the gender knife a little deeper, reminding the audience that women hit their sexual prime in their late 30s, men in their late teens: I'm in my prime, they're in their prime, so not only is that connection outside the bedroom, it's inside the bedroom as well! It's impossible to tell, until we get closer to the specimen, whether she has any interest in doing the fucking herself. And while in some ways these changes only fuel wrongheaded ideas about what a sexually active and appealing female looks like -- no gray hairs or laugh lines, the everlasting ability to reproduce -- they simultaneously help to erode long-held though by now quite dusty beliefs about women losing their mojo as they age. So is the acknowledgment that many women are not on the dating market looking for money, support or babies, but for sexual companionship and fun. I hate the concept of cougars. But this -- the idea of the 45-year-old woman seeking out the 21-year-old man for fun and fertilization -- is not at the core of the cougar craze.
Four years later we are still awash in knee-slapping, claw-bearing, never-gets-old cougar mania! When these women say they're looking for someone uncomplicated, who doesn't want to settle down, they're parroting men like Jack Nicholson's character in Something's Gotta Give, who tells Diane Keaton's character that he dates young women because he likes to travel light, with women who don't threaten or challenge him or even really engage him. Nussbaum writes, tongue-in-cheek, that the most intelligent children must be the outcome of 45-year-old career women inseminated by their 21-year-old personal trainers. When it's older, apparently, it develops sharper claws and teeth. But the term caught fire in 2005, fueled by the marriage that year of then-42-year-old Demi Moore to then-27-year-old Ashton Kutcher. As The Cougar roars at us with faux go-girl verve, If men can do it, so can women! There is a recurring Saturday Night Live skit called Cougar Den -- which always seems to star Cameron Diaz, whether or not she's the host -- in which hilariously menopausal but libidinous women act like ninnies in pursuit of Zac Efron, the Jonas Brothers and youth itself.
Most women I know of childbearing age have been pursued by men two and three decades older than they, guys who have lived uncommitted lives into their 40s, or 50s, or 60s, or who have had a previous relationship end midlife but who now want to settle down and have a family. How sad and backward that we have to give it a nickname, animalize it as if it's outside the boundaries of civilized human behavior, make it a trend, pretend that Demi Moore invented it. Sadly, for those women who wish we could put off childbearing into our 40s or 50s, it doesn't make biological sense to wait a few decades and then find a young stud to knock us up. Reproduction of material from any Salon pages without written permission is strictly prohibited. Communication of the fact that women have sexual motors that run far into their retirement years is of course valuable. This does not mean that I hate the solitary wild cat who feasts on deer, elk and sometimes armadillos, in regions across North and South America. But turning those revelations into mindless characterizations of va-va-voom youth seekers who wear too-tight animal prints and talk like children about stalking men as prey is not important, valuable or empowering in any way.
Sweet, hot congress with dudes you were so glad you never had to deal with again after graduation! I hate the new show The Cougar. That's just a lady with kids who men want to fuck. We're told that Stacey's dating experiences have led her to believe that men her age and older live under the pressure of a 'ticking clock,' which dampens their spontaneity and zest for life. They are out to imitate something quite a bit more questionable. The independent film Cougar Hunting, a comedy about young men chasing older women, was prevented from shooting at the Aspen courthouse because it was deemed too racy. Stacey, who we learn was married on her 16th birthday, is the mother of four children, at least one of whom seems to be older than some of the men she's shacked up with on The Cougar. These ladies, like Stacey Anderson, want the mindless young men with whom they have little hope of actually connecting intellectually or emotionally, the kind of boys parodied on 30 Rock, when Liz Lemon dated a 20-year-old and had to buy him video games and a leather bracelet and he lived with him mom, who looked just like Liz.
Kind of like a French kiss, but down under. They are trying to be the dudes who are half-reviled and half-heroic in the American imagination, the ones who ditch their longtime partners for uncomplicated trophy sylphs who supposedly won't argue with them about either U. A variety of aesthetic advances -- from fashion to Botox to, as Nora Ephron has suggested, hair dye -- allow women to expand the period of their lives in which they can look the way we expect them to look when we consider them appropriately sexual. In truth, it happens less often to older women and younger men, because even with changing technology, women have limits on their fertility. They are sometimes the same age, sometimes not. The enthusiasm for the Wild Kingdom analogy is a sign of how strange and hysterically funny the idea of energetic female sexual desire is -- whether it's in the form of 34-year-old Drew Barrymore, who has cheerily referred to herself as a pre-cougar or puma because she's dated men a couple of years younger than her, or 50-year-old Madonna, who recently dated 20-year-old Jesus Luz.
Evidence that they can keep up begins with their arrival on some kind of frat party bus, where they are shown swigging beers and saying things like, I can't wait to meet this cougar! The only mates these guys consider are women who might sometimes be half their age, because, like that old Woody Allen joke, they need the eggs. Enthusiasm for the word cougars as applied to women, and not simply to high school football teams or John Mellencamp, seems to have begun around the millennium, with the 2001 publication of Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men, by Valerie Gibson. Is it possible that Stacey -- and all the other women who embrace the term cougar -- don't know that, on some level, they're being laughed at? Nor does it mean that I hate women who have sex with younger men. So because the men her age have a ticking clock and she no longer does, she tries to fulfill her romantic dreams by moving in with 20 men under 30, the kinds of guys who can keep up with her. This was early on, in the introduction, when I wondered if perhaps she didn't want to have kids. That would be a true novelty on television: the eroticization and marketing of a childless woman who wishes to remain so.