The Cougar Double Standard

The magnet/pinback shown is available in my ETSY shop: smirkinggoddess

A lot’s been written about actress Demi Moore’s break-up breakdown lately. Such news is fodder for the market and online tabloids. Despite her natural beauty, talent and business smarts, it’s clear to me that an underlying disbelief and hostility towards a woman who falls in love with a younger man in today’s modern society is at risk for public humiliation. Well! mistress Demi should tatoo a scarlet “A” on her shoulder! Humph!

One can’t disturb this prejudicial tribe, the one that points out a wrinkle, a fashion faux pas or other disgustingly disturbing detail that will surely upend our daily lives if not immediately fixed. And if the issue fixed–especially if it’s a wrinkle– well then that’s frowned upon too. How dare she be perfect, and how dare she be imperfect.

Famous women should own a gene that freezes their age at 25. They’re not supposed to have baby spittle on their shoulder, sweat after a long jog or show up bare-faced in public. We demand they be more perfect than us, as it assures us that this kind of perfection does exist in this overwhelmingly imperfect world and then life feels well, a little better.

When Demi and Ashton married, I was curious, had America finally embraced the possibility that women could marry someone younger like men have done for years? To say the marriage didn’t work is wrong, as it’s clear they had a few successful years together because they had many shared passions. And Mr. Kutcher did love this woman, and she him. Is it the age difference that split them up? Not entirely, in fact no in my book.

I believe Ms. Moore’s angst and insecurities stemmed more from society and media labeling her a “cougar” and need to be forever 25, than her need to hold on to a younger man; and where did that stupid term come from? And what do we label all these men who marry decades younger women? Oh I know-how’s this-“GEEZER”. I also believe Ashton hadn’t sown his wild oats before he took the plunge into “we-hood”. Some people need to sow their wild oats-I wasn’t one of those people-but there are those who have to. I don’t get them and they don’t get me. I believe Demi could’ve ended up with another young man and the marriage would still be on. Fidelity is easier for some than others. We’re all made up of different stuff. How Ashton ended the marriage wasn’t right, but I believe he was so in love with Demi that it over-rode his judgment to consider if he was ready at the time for a long-term commitment.

But society won’t allow Ms. Moore to grieve privately and heal her soul. As one critic stated: “She went out partying with her daughter, she’s behaving like a 13-year old!”. Hmmm, what would this critic have said if Bruce Willis accompanied his daughter to a bar? And Mr. Willis married a decade-younger woman. In fact he’s older than his ex-wife. He’s a great guy, “I’m just sayin”.

I never enjoyed hanging out at bars, but did so with friends-of all ages when I was single-these watering holes are sometimes a necessary venue to meet people. I never felt comfortable dating younger men either, and didn’t. I looked younger than my years when single and this was an issue. I once hid in a bathroom at a party to avoid a decade younger guy who showed interest. I soon slipped out and left when I saw him bouncing on the backyard trampoline. I’m the kind of woman who prefers men in my age group-and that’s what I married. But that’s just me.

I also believe Ms. Moore is a good mother-actually I know-as a stand-in actress who worked with Ms. Moore on a movie once reported back to me on Demi’s sound and sensible character. This stand in actress didn’t mince words on another actress though. . .So let’s cut one of our sister’s a break. Let her heal, so she can find a love that works long-term for her, but only when she’s ready to accept it.

And let’s stop using the “Cougar” label-if we don’t crash down the double standard let’s find a label for older men marrying much younger women-how about: “Spotted Hyena”? As it’s laughable how absurd this double standard is.

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About suzanneurban

ABOUT MOI: I was born in San Francisco, California to highly intelligent parents, and my sister is pretty darn smart too. It's unclear if I inherited the smart genes. I graduated with a B.A. in Art from Marymount College Over a couple of decades, I illustrated and designed for newspapers, greeting card companies, in corporate graphic departments and publishing empires. I reside with my antique dealer husband and two house rabbits in a the third oldest home in Connecticut–(honest!-no ghosts-bummer). My husband will be joining ETSY with his own shop called: "VintageUrban" soon. ARTIST STATEMENT: I seek to amuse. When I come up with something more profound I'll put it in here. KUDOS: Over the years my work in various forms has been published in: NYTimes, DollWorld, Contemporary Doll Collector, Doll Castle News, SCBWI magazine, Color! magazine, Jane Green's Down to Earth Blog, Doll World, Scholastics, Westport Magazine, Mail Me Art, and more. In 2007 I was invited to do something for the State Capitol's Holiday Tree by Governor Rell. I chose to needle felt a bear ornament rather than hang from the tree myself. I named him "Nutmeg" as Connecticut is the "Nutmeg" state. ASSOCIATIONS: I'm the founder of ODACT-www.odact.org or Original Doll Artisans of Connecticut-we're on Facebook. I'm also a member of SCBWI-Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Licensing- my designs are finding favor with licensing clients my work will soon be seen on needlepoint canvases and gourmet ice cream labels. That's about it. Amusingly yours, Suzanne Search Engine Submission - AddMe
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2 Responses to The Cougar Double Standard

  1. Holly says:

    oh my, I just had to laugh at your reference to Demi having to wear a Scarlet Letter on her chest because she actually starred as Hester in the 1995 movie! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114345/
    Love your pin, and I say more power to Elspeth!

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