A few weeks back, Australian Channel 7 announced they were cancelling the TV show Cougar Town. Seemingly, it seems the Aussies were not buying into the cougar phenomenon. Around the same time, another Australian TV news show ran a feature on Cougars. The report featured Germaine Greer, the supposed feminist fatale, who waxed lyrical under the mistaken belief that dating younger men is merely a brokering of sex for money.
But it’s what followed next that really grabbed my attention. An article in the Australian Herald Sun: Let us prey – deliver us from cougars immediately followed, and, just a few days later, over on Irish men’s website, JOE, was an article entitled: Are Cougar Women just Desperate Old Bags?
The authors of both features were women.
Now, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I have no beef with that. I just wonder what it is in these women that makes them feel the need to deride and chide their fellow females, purely on the age of the men they are choosing to form relationships with.
O’Brien fails to see the possibility that women who choose to take care of themselves are doing so, not simply to bag a younger man, but because they feel good about themselves and wish to continue feeling good about themselves. She also fails to recognise that many relationships with younger men are just as serious and committed as her own.
Tully, on the other hand, sounds like a woman seriously under threat. She cites anyone over 40 as ‘old’ – and seems to be labouring under the impression that we all teeter around with our (allegedly sagging) breasts hanging out, in order to snare the younger men that love us. Of course, I shall now be watching and waiting to ensure that as soon as she does turn 40 – (I’ll be waiting a while, granted, but with maturity comes patience) - that she’s clad from neck to ankle in crimpelene, as will befit a woman of her age.
To be fair to Tully, I remember being her age and thinking similar thoughts. Approaching my mid-twenties, my first long term relationship ended and a few months later, my ex began dating his best friend’s mother. Besides all the drama that caused in our social circle at the time (which I’m sure I’ll revisit at some point), I simply couldn’t for one minute see how he could go from being with me, to being with a woman twice my age. But I kept my thoughts to myself. Because it simply wasn’t my business.
I understand that not all women like the same kind of men (or women). But I don’t feel the need to criticise those who choose older, same age, same sex or younger partners. It’s their choice, just as finding a (younger) man who loves me, who, despite what others think, who I know will grow old with me, was my choice.
Put the claws away, ladies. We didn’t fight so long and so hard for equality with men only to be told by fellow women who we should and should not form relationships with.