Friday, December 18, 2009
It is interesting, really, dead interesting, to my dilettantin' mind that "tadpole" didn't catch on, but "cougar" did, by way of describing the sexual dynamic between younger men and older women. In abstracted ways it makes sense (plus the tadpole image isn't particularly evocative), but it also seems terribly revealing about frightened attitudes toward female sexuality. The most popular definitions on urbandictionary.com are filled with lines like: "The cougar can frequently be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, propped up against a swanky bar . . . waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path" and "It is not uncommon for the same Cougar to attack (sleep with) many different men in the same group of friends." There are other definitions there that are more complimentary (whatever)--with references to confidence, looks, financial status, emotional maturity--but the general impression gained is of predatory sexuality: "End state, she will be going for the kill, just like you." Cripes.