Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Enough is enough


I declined to make any snarky comment when I heard a whisper of some new little show on a TV station called TV Land (what is this station by the way?) The show is called "Cougar" and it is only one of the recent examples of capitalizing on a social phenomenon that spotlights 40- something women pursuing 20- something men. The network press included a fascinating tidbit that the 40 year old "star" (loosely defined) is “sure to break all the stereotypes people hold about who ‘cougars’ are.” Unless you can do something to change the overall opinion of "SILLY", I doubt any stereotypes will be evaporated. But this is not a show I will watch, recommend, or discuss again so why comment, right? Commenting only inclinates relevance, yes?

And then last week, I heard Courtney Cox is not only starring in a show show on ABC this fall called "Cougar Town" but she is also the Executive Producer so the onus of "You have got to be kidding" lies quite heavily on her shoulders. So far, it has been highly criticized (of course it has because the premise is ridiculous) but the reasons it is being criticized indicate the script is littered with explicit language, gratuitous references to kinky sex, overabundance of the f-word, and sex with boys as young as 15. Really, Monica Geller? Weren't you on another bad show that was cancelled early called Dirt because the script, dialogue, and premise were so poor? Not learning from mistakes?

I find the use of the word "cougar" to describe sexually active women in their 40's with a penchant for college boys to be trite and overused. I can't imagine these shows or any of the future variations of such theme being entertaining or interesting.

OH, and I think I saw both of these shows the first time they were released under the name "THE GRADUATE."


And since "cougar" is a new slang term, when did this slang term expand to mean sexually active 40-something women who like cleavage, very little intellectual conversation, an abundance of tanning, all with a voracious appetite for the pool boy? Coo coo ka choo Mrs. Robinson, at least you had class. And even Stella, getting her groove back, did it the good old-fashioned way: met a young rascal, got her swerve on, and didn't have to post it to Facebook.

So some 40 year old women like Zac Efron, or that other kid from the Gossip show. Good for them. Why is their a special name for this?

A friend of mine in his last year of medical residency (and 29) told me a few months ago that he had some quality "getting to know you (biblically)" time with one of his mother's friends. I wouldn't call that "Cougar-ish". I would call that "someone will be injured when his Mom discovers this tiny piece of information." I think Cougar-time loses some of its mystique and intrigue for her when it lands on her son's nether region, yes?

Why would any woman actually call herself a "cougar" and laugh about it? Like cougar is a euphemism for "sophisticated" or "savvy". It is neither. The act of being interested in someone two decades your junior isn't novel, just ask Hef (Hugh Hefner) and about 100 other well known men.

Use "cougar" all you want if you can determine a way it can be presented just a touch less desperate. Let's not tart it up for all the calmer, more refined, and more discrete ladies. Can it not be a normal social paradigm that some women like younger men? Can we just leave it at that? Do we have to take it to a predatory level? Or shall we cease with the use of the word cougar that is frankly to the point of ad naseum?

Saturday Night Live does a skit called Cougar Den for a reason. If you think being called a Cougar is your ticket out of mid-life crisis, perhaps watch the clip. And next time you are trolling down at Panama Beach in your tube top, this clip is but a tiny window of what the world is seeing.

2 comments:

The Peach Tart said...

Thanks for writing this piece. I hate the term cougar also and feel it's demeaning. The love of my life is 8 years younger than me but that was not intentional....he was who I fell in love with.

Laura said...

You have some very good points, but in all honesty if I ever do it again, (still married btw) I would go for a younger man. Probably not young enough to be my son though. As for the title cougar, not sure if I like it or not... and I do get a laugh over the SNL skit.