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Do You Find the Cougar Concept Offensive?

Unless you live under a rock, you know that "cougar" is a term for an older woman who likes to "prey" on younger men. While it can be used in a derogatory way, some older women are reclaiming the term as a way to express their virility.

On the show The Cougar, a seemingly empowered 40-year-old Stacy has her pick of the litter of men half her age, who are all competing for her attention. And on Newsweek's online magazine this week, one writer also embraces her cougar status when explaining why cougars love American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert. She writes:

I can't stop thinking about him. And neither can any of my cougar-aged friends. We love Adam, truly, madly, deeply, in a kind of weirdly Mrs. Robinson sexual way.

Since the article is about older women's lust for a younger man, I'm not that surprised the writer uses the term cougar. But I've definitely heard the word used to label older women expressing sexuality as aggressive, desperate, predators of men. And of course, I can't think of a term to describe older men who go after younger women — I believe we just call them. . . men.

Do you find the term cougar empowering, offensive, or just plain descriptive?


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