Cougars Aren’t Getting A Fair Shake

Sexy-couple Cougars aren't getting a fair shake. When it comes to social disapproval, woman who love a much younger man face discrimination as intense as that encountered by interracial and same-sex couples. Just ask any cougar.

Though Demi Moore's marriage to Ashton Kutcher, 15 years her junior, may have opened some minds, woman in relationships with more than a 10-year age gap face frequent public scorn, in the form of disapproving stares and really stupid, insensitive comments.  Women in The Real Cougar Woman Club, my online community, tell me how they are often mistaken for their partner's mother.  Ouch!  I can't think of anything worse than that - can you? 

Social disapproval can doom a budding romance because partners have fewer opportunities to "invest" in the relationship. Just as a woman dating outside her race may feel uncomfortable bringing her boyfriend home, so-called "May-December" couples tend to receive less support for their unions than other couples do.

Women bear the brunt of society's reproach. Younger women are seen as gold diggers, while older women are scorned for trying to hang on to their youth.  

When are we going to support the people we care about and stop using these crazy labels?


One thought on “Cougars Aren’t Getting A Fair Shake

  1. Many would say that the cougar phenomenon originally was discovered in the Graduate, yet it took Hollywood over 30 years to go to the well again and explore the possibilities. I believe the movie that kick started the interest of an older woman, younger man relationship was the comedy American Pie. Stiffler's mom indeed, but soon afterward a relationship that had everyone thinking they were being punk'd flourished; Ashton and Demi. The interest in that relationship legitimized the possibility that people where more open minded about such a relationship.

    Though there are some of us who try to have genuine relationships, many have used the cougar phenomenon purely for sex. The population on various cougar sites has grown, however it seems to be filled with a bunch of anxious, horny guys and very few actual cougars.
    Sex sells and the thrust of the mainstream cougar image has been surrounded with the fantasies element that comes with the once taboo younger man, older woman relationship. The cougar has recently been "cashed in" by Hollywood and they are milking it for what it's worth. The comedic portrayals of cougars have been exaggerated into stereotypes, making them out to be sex crazed women without substance living off the ex's money (SNL's Cougar Den skit, straight to DVD movie Cougar Club).
    Even the reality shows (TV Land's The Cougar and E!'s The Real Housewives of [insert city here]) have exploited the cougar image, turning it into something it's not.
    Everyone I've spoken hated The Cougar show claiming that the contestants chosen where immature and the cougar had no drawing appeal that made her stand out; some debated if she could even be considered a true cougar. The show failed because it tried to pass itself off as a Bachelor clone but turned into being more like Rock of Love.
    Yet with the new cougar projects on the horizon featuring women as Michelle Pfeiffer, Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, we will see if Hollywood shows that there is more to the cougar lifestyle than just sex. My hope is that women feel a little bit more comfortable dating a younger guy. In the past many of the women I talked to wanted to date a younger guy but the social norms prevented them. Hollywood has a track record of making people comfortable into adopting issues (race, gender equality, sexual preferences) into the mainstream day of life.

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