Cougarism: More Social Than Sexual
What is the BIG DEAL about older women dating younger men?
Recently, I spoke to Susan McBride, author of The Cougar Club by email. After reading this delightful escapade about three best friends exploring the “cougar trend” in their 40s, I decided to email the author and express my pleasure over the book.
Surprisingly, Ms. McBride returned my email within an hour. A self-described cougar married to a younger man, Ms. McBride’s fictional characters, like herself, made some good arguments for exploring alternative relationships between older women and younger men.
Even though cougar news is being reported widely in social media, these days, it isn’t exactly “new news."
Gone are the sleazy, predatory portrayals of older women seducing young men as in The Graduate. The cougar terminology may be new, but the dating trend is not new. Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves created cinematic magic with their portrayal of a vivacious, mature woman writer dating a young male doctor in the movie, Something’s Gotta Give. Their relationship was beautiful, refreshing and believable by mature women viewers. It was an epiphany for many women needing a nudge to explore unconventional, dating options.
McBride isn’t the first author to write about cougarism.
Jane Ganahl’s nonfiction book, Single Woman of a Certain Age is about the mature woman’s midlife crisis and dating. Many women over 40 find themselves single, divorced, changing careers, and re-establishing themselves socially and financially. Independence and financial security create many new scenarios for single, mature women. Dating younger men is only one aspect of the mature woman’s midlife re-awakening. After all, it’s only a crisis if it’s not manageable, right ladies?Continued on the next page