Beware the cougars! With their nasty big pointy teeth, they will pounce and steal your man! And you will be helpless in the face of their evil, backstabbing ways. At least, that’s the premise behind Cosmo‘s ridiculous “A Cougar Stole My Man!” piece. Oh, of course we all know about Cosmo‘s track record of anti-feminism, so this article may not come as a shock; nonetheless, it still rankles. This qualifies as woman-on-woman (or girl-on-girl) crime, specifically framed as “young hot sex kittens victimized by cradle-robbing sluts!” The whole magazine, of course, is geared at young women (when’s the last time it had a cover subject over the age of 35?), so it’s no surprise that in an age where people love talking about those omnipresent “cougars”, Cosmo has to step in and share the tales of Pretty Young Things who were victimized by the grasping, greedy talons of these old(er) women. Case in point:
[A] 46- year-old permatan blond named Erica, was a coworker of his mom’s. She seemed a little cold, but I thought maybe she just looked that way since her Botoxed face rarely registered expression.
Oh, SNAP! It’s not only that she’s 18 years older than Prince Charming, but she also is apparently unattractive enough to need a permatan and Botox! Because all cougars are gross without a little help, amirite? The most disturbing aspect of all this? The guys are painted as being blameless victims. It’s all the other woman’s fault. Isn’t it always? The boys can’t help themselves.
“A couple weeks later, I ran into Tyson at the store where he worked. After a few minutes of awkward conversation, a middle-aged woman walked up and joined in. From the wrinkles on her face, I figured she was his mom, so I politely said, ‘Hi, Mrs. Greenfield, it’s nice finally to meet you!’ I could tell by the mortified look on her face that she was not his mama. Tyson replied, ‘Angie, this is my girlfriend, Carol.’ In my mind, we hadn’t even officially broken up! How could he go for this woman? I was so torn up that I walked right out of the store and threw up in the parking lot.”
Ignoring the fact that the name Tyson is an inexplicable turn-off to me (it’s just one of those names, like Kevin, that gives me a baaaaad feeling), again we have the fact that — gasp! — the evil cougar has wrinkles! And this time she has the temerity to avoid Botoxing them, thus subjecting unwitting bystanders to a hideous sight. I have to wonder if the puking in the parking lot was due to the fact that she had been dumped for an older woman rather than the fact that Tyson does seem dickish. Again, let’s focus on the woman and not the man.
It goes on and on. I think our dear readers get the idea. Bits like “I felt a little bad for her because she had caked on so much makeup to look younger” and “she was 47 — what could she have over me?” are sprinkled throughout the piece. Of course, this lovely misogyny is directed at the younger women as well. What would Cosmo be without having it both way at the expense of women?
“[Older women] don’t insecurely grill a man about what he was up to last night.” And cougars don’t create drama, says Ilona Paris, author of Hot Cougar Sex.
So buck up and correct those faults, ladies! Again: IT’S NEVER THE MAN, IT’S ALWAYS YOU! Especially when “while you’re downing beers, remember that somewhere, a cougar is downward dogging her way to a slammin’ body.” Because that’s the only way you’ll keep your wayward dude in your stealthy snare. Wow. Anti-feminism at it’s
best worst. Now I’ll ease my anger by searching for Hot Cougar Sex. I think I can find it on the National Geographic channel.