So I have a bone to pick with the English language, my friends. In the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, it’s normal that there are words to deride women for things men do where there are not words for said men who do the same. Normal doesn’t mean right or good or acceptable, so I’m gonna go ahead and throw a big ol’ WTF on this one:
WHY ISN’T THERE A MALE EQUIVALENT TERM FOR “COUGAR” ?
Let me elaborate. Old men have been pursuing and dating young women since the beginning of time. Presumably, women have maybe done the same, sometimes? According to my research (about 5 minutes on Google), the earliest use of “cougar” in this way dates back to Canada circa 1999. The word cougar can’t even vote, that’s how new it is!
However, we don’t have a word for old men dating PYTs, which has been around way longer, in my estimation. The reason this bothered me is because, sleek and strong and beautiful as they might be in the animal kingdom, cougars are predators. The implication is that older women have to trap or ensnare their “victims” – and don’t we also see old men who exclusively date young women as predatory?
You may be of the opinion that age ain’t nothin but a number, but there are serious power dynamics at play with the olds pursuing their far more youthful amours. An age gap of say, 10 years, might not matter so much when it’s 40 – 50, but it matters a huge amount when it’s 15 – 25. In many parts of the world, child brides are still a thing, and the lack of a term for these men can only normalize that, right?
Also, please don’t suggest Cat Daddy. It’s not the same. First of all, ew. Why are so many people insistent upon sexualizing the term daddy? It’s effing gross.
Anyway, here are some potential names for men who date young young women that I came up with just now:
PS – Urban Dictionary says that “rhino” is supposed to be the male equivalent of “cougar” but I’ve never heard anyone use that term and I’m pretty with it, so I didn’t consider it for this post. Add your own words in the comments!
Image Credit: Flickr