Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why I am not a "cougar"

I only recently learned that the term for a woman my age who pursues guys in their 20s is called a "cougar" - and there are many cougar-related web sites.

I certainly do like 20-something guys, although not exclusively. But more importantly, the term "cougar" belies the intense double-standard that our culture still holds dear. And you know the double-standard is still firmly in place because the term for a guy my age who pursues 20-something women is "a guy."

One of the fascinating aspects of running a playwrights group is that you get to hear what your members really think about things, and it's often quite revolting. I already blogged about the gender attitudes of members betrayed by their plays in my essay A Streetcar Named Biteme", and the retro beat goes on.

The most recent gender atrocity was perpetrated only a few weeks ago, wherein a member, whom I had previously thought was a pretty cool guy, since he's straight, but he wrote a really sensitive play about a gay couple, came up with a short play about a crazy old coot who gets the upper hand on an uppity bitch talent agent and a metrosexual. It was crystal clear to me that the subtext of the play was the author's deep-seated resentment that the rules of gender behavior are changing. The old coot was crazy-like-a-foxy-grampaw, while the metrosexual was thoroughly conceited and obnoxious, and cared about heirloom tomatoes. Crazy grampaw humiliates the bitch at the end, for preferring the metrosexual to him.

As if it wasn't torture enough sitting through this short play that went on for an eon, one of the actors, a friend of the author (and/or his sycophantic director), opined that we could all learn something from the play. I couldn't stop myself - I scoffed bitterly at the idea that anybody could learn anything from these cardboard cutouts.

The play's author stopped signing up for reading time after that and I think he's going to quit the group - which is fine with me, especially if he takes along with him his entourage - his numerology-believing, Mars/Venus gender-dichotomy-obsessed girlfriend and his sycophantic director, whom I discovered through Google is a hard-core rightwing Catholic and who, at least as of a few years ago, worked as a volunteer for an organization that tells homosexuals it's OK to be gay - AS LONG AS YOU DON'T HAVE THE GAY SEX.

But more to the main point of this blog post is the play I sat through a couple of months ago, written by a man fairly close to my age, about a New York lawyer who golfs down South with a bunch of good ole boys. She confesses to the good ole boys that she's such a big loser when it comes to men - why she even dated a man who was - gasp - HALF HER AGE!

Wow, what a big loser. And I don't even think the author for a moment understood why this pissed me off so much. It wasn't that the good ole boys thought she was a loser - she thought she was a loser. But the good ole boys didn't spend any time worrying that the girls at Hooters they loved so much were half their age.

So I will not accept the term "cougar" - it is utter bullshit. It's time the world got used to the fact that women like hot young men - we're called "women." The evolutionary psychologists are trying to hang on to the Mars/Venus myth for all they are worth, but every year that goes by proves them wronger than ever. Sooner or later they will shelve that tenet of their ideology too, along with the myth that men are "naturally" polygamous and women are "naturally" monogamous - a theory that was quietly retired when genetic testing began to reveal the fact that many children were not actually related to their mother's husband - although the ev-psychs covered their tracks by immediately turning it into a "women are looking for better genes" storyline.