What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear this word, COUGAR? 

For most people, they automatically think of an older woman desperately, having sexual relationship with a younger male. Hmmm… does that mean all older women who pursue a relationship with a younger man is a cougar?  I think not….

Women over 40 aren’t necessarily looking for a quick roll in the hay with some young stud!!  There are 40 and older women looking for a serious, long term relationship, even if it is with someone younger than themselves. I am wondering why it is still okay for an older man to date or even marry a younger woman? You don’t hear people calling him a cougar; in fact, there no terms used to describe an older man with a younger woman.  So why is it acceptable to label a woman with such a sexist and derogatory word as cougar?

Instead, the younger woman is labeled a gold digger or sugar baby. No one seems to question the fact that the older man may be going through a midlife crisis or perhaps he actually prefers falling in love with someone younger than him.  People are more concerned about labeling the woman and the drama behind it.

According to the article written by Sara Conrad from The Florida Time Union Jacksonville.com, she stated that “the relationship of an older woman and a younger man (in) the U.S. has become obsessed with calling woman cougars and that popular culture is capitalizing on the slang.”  Within Ms. Conrad’s article, several women stated how this labeling created negativity from others and placed pressure on the relationship as well as creating stress.

This I agree with from my own personal experience. I am 51 years old and I was in a 12-year relationship with a man 15 years younger with me. I am not a cougar. I truly fall in love with him. He preferred being with an older woman. He often told me what he loved about me was my maturity, intelligence and knows exactly what I want out of live. I did not bring drama to the table like most younger girls did. We never expected for our loves one and circle of friends to label me with age discrimination. We even had plans to marry, but our relationship didn’t last because of the stress and pressure of our age difference. His family did not accept me because of my age, his friends excluded me and didn’t want me to join them on outings.  Before long, my boyfriend and I started having arguments because of this age exclusion. He accused me being jealous, told me numerous times to ignore the slang words. I accused him of abandonment and not having my back. It got messy and we parted.

My question is why we are using slang words to describe someone without knowing the person?  The word cougars should be used to empower woman. Woman over 40 are living a life that is “fabulous: (it is) not the end of sex, love or earning. It can be the time that you go for all your dreams and goals. You do not have to wait for a man or anyone to say it’s ok….” (quote from Franklin in article from Sara Conrad)

I believe that a cougar is a woman over 40 who has her shit together! She is intelligence, mature, independent, strong, and seeking a life that she can build with her partner. She is empowered. She doesn’t need a man in her life but wants to share her life with a man. Age should not be a barrier. Age doesn’t define a person’s character or personality. Age does not depict how a person live their lives.

We shouldn’t use slang words or any sexist words to describe any person, especially towards our love ones.  Stop and think… what would you do if your daughter, wife, sister or mother told you someone just called them one of the many sexists and derogatory words used to describe women?