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British mummy blogger and travel blogger

MILF or Cougar – why do women have to be either?

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a woman over a certain age (35) who is also a mum and vaguely attractive will at some point get called a ‘MILF’ by teenagers, known to her or otherwise. While a woman in her mid-to-late 40s and over will be labelled a ‘cougar’ if she so much as looks at a man in his 20s, or simply anyone younger than her.

Cougar_TownOf course there aren’t any similar labels for men – at least, none as offensive as ‘cougar’, which indicates some sort of predatory behaviour (this is, I think, one of the reasons I can’t stand the programme ‘Cougar Town.’ That and the fact it’s not very funny.)

The worst a man is likely to be called is a ‘silver fox.’ A younger man who likes older women is a ‘cub’ – which implies something cute and vulnerable, presumably because he’ll be taken advantage of by the ‘cougar’. *sigh*

17-againMy mum (81) loved Heath Ledger, bless her, and was devastated when he died at the age of 28. But she isn’t, obviously, a cougar. And personally, I find Zac Efron (25) and Robert Pattinson (26) rather watchable. Does that make me a cougar? Or simply red-blooded?

Where does it come from, this need to compartmentalise women according to their attractiveness and sexuality? As I’ve said before on this blog, feminism to me is about women being in control (and that includes being control of their sexuality) – but these labels don’t imply women are in control. They only objectify us and demean us. Perhaps it’s that mums and women in their 40s (and older) aren’t ‘supposed’ to be sexual beings, and some people just can’t handle it. I’ll leave that with you.

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