09.08.2008  BY EM & LO
Debbie Nigro, a blogger at divorced women's hang-out FirstWivesWorld.com, is sick and tired of being called a cougar. It's not that she's a stranger to the appeals of the younger man--far from it, in fact--she just hates what the moniker has come to mean: "The word 'cougar' just makes it sound like older women are pouncing on innocent young men, when truthfully we are 'treating them' to the experience of wisdom and an occasional expensive dinner. Neither side in this romantic pairing initially embarks innocently and without agenda." Just look up "cougar" on UrbanDictionary.com to see what she means: phrases like "overly surgically altered wind tunnel victim" and "an absolute sad and bloated old horn-meister" are enough to drive any older woman to the nunnery. Or the bottle.

Oh, let's be honest here, you don't even have to venture out to UrbanDictionary.com. You can start right here, with yours truly. We once wrote that "cougar hook-ups often make us feel kind of sad inside." And in New York magazine last year, we said that good moms are MILFs and bad moms are cougars. In other words, Demi Moore is a MILF but Dina Lohan is just a speckly old cougar, as Gawker so memorably put it. Or MILFs are sexy librarians and cougars are mutton dressed as lamb. Consider us put in our place: We are the original cougar haters, and we are sorry for it. ...

Ms. Nigro is right: the cougars deserve something better. After all, not every older woman on the make goes clubbing or dons leopard-print clothing. That's why she launched a contest to come up with a new designation for all the Mrs. Robinsons of the world. Except that "Mrs. Robinson" won't work either--she was the ultimate pouncer in leopard-print clothing.  And "MILF" just makes us think of American Pie, which is no classier. We wish we could help out, to make amends for all our snide cougar remarks of the past, but we're drawing a blank. "Teacher"? Save that for the role-playing later on. "Ma'am"? It works as a term of endearment, but not as a label. What conveys the experience, the confidence, the bank account, and the wisdom of the older seductress? "Professional"? Oh wait, no, never mind. "Palin"? We don't think so. "Demi"? That just makes the cougars seem like wannabes. Would somebody please help Ms. Nigro so we can rest easy tonight?

[via New York Post]


Alan said:

We refer to men who are attracted to younger women as "men." Why not refer to women who are attracted to younger men as "women."

Arkadiy said:

That's because older men are attractive. Older women are not.

Debbie Nigro said:

Hey There em and lo....Thanks so much for giving such space and thought to my commentary on wanting a new word to replace 'cougar'. I loved it -and loved your style of writing. Fun!
Of course I really loved it because you guys are on my side. LOL The name of your site by the way is fabulous...
Debbie Nigro
Founding Partner/Chief Executive Girlfriend FirstWivesWorld.com


word to Alan, and thanks.

(marrying my man - 25 years' difference in our ages -- in April)


I am an older woman, and I also hate the word cougar and what it connotes. I like Alan's suggestion. Here's my alternative for what to call an older woman who likes men of all ages: Sexy lady.

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