52-year-old Madonna is now dating a 24-year-old French dancer by the name of Brahim Zaibat. Her previous relationship, with 23-year-old Jesus Luz, fizzled out earlier this year. Though many have speculated before, you now know for sure what this means — everyone and their mom are now referring to Madonna as a cougar. My …
… thoughts? Good for her. Really. Also, I think she’s pretty amazing. She’s talented, interesting, and beautiful in an overly-muscular, slightly frightening kind of way. Bottom line? Who the hell cares if she’s dating a pretty 20-something-er?
Truthfully, I have issues with the term cougar. First of there is that ugly double standard. Men that date younger women in our culture are championed. Women? Eh. Not so much. When women date young guys, it’s generally seen as a joke, or worse – tragic – thus the invention of the ever so insulting term ‘cougar.’
The term cougar was coined in the 1990s by a hockey player, believe it or not. Pavel Bure started using the word while playing for the Canucks in Vancouver, BC, Canada, to refer to the numerous … older ladies at local bars that would hit on to him.
Cougar became a pop culture phrase thanks largely to the tongue-in-cheek book Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men, written by Valerie Gibson in 2002.
Since that time, cougar has taken on various meanings. Some see the cougar as a sad desperate older woman clinging on to her youth, while others use the term to describe a powerful and sophisticated woman with a thing for fine young things. However you spin it, though, cougar still comes across as a derogatory term to many of those who hear it.
What do you guys think? Do you think it’s acceptable and, generally, in no way offensive? Do you find Madonna’s relationship with a 24-year-old creepy or acceptable? How would you feel if someone called you a cougar in your ‘older’ age?