Some people seem to confuse women with felines: cougar, cat or kitten. What does this tell us about gender in the twenty-first century? Cats have traditionally been seen as feminine, referred to as “she” even though as mammals there must be male cats too. Perhaps their grace, their demure nature can be seen as a form of a compliment to female humans. But many of the connections are less than flattering. Arguments and fights between women have a special term: catfights.

Let us check the following definitions:
Cougar: the term refers to any female who has a male partner much younger than herself, regardless of age or age difference.
Kitten: Kitten is a woman who has an older men as a partner, in this case the man is called sugar-daddy.

I’m not sure where this new term, cougar, for women who date younger men came from, but it is interesting on many levels. First, men who date younger women are not usually described as predators unless the woman is under eighteen. Calling women cougars also implies that at their age they need to pursue men.

Demi Moore marries a man fifteen years her junior, and voila, she is a cougar. George Clooney dates a woman seventeen years younger, and he is just George Clooney.

Worse in Lebanon, a woman marries a few years younger man, and she is the talk of the town, a man marries a much younger girl and he is a hero. Bravo 3leh, BATAL…!!! Older men with younger partners are just thought of as lucky or entitled, especially if they have wealth and power.

An older man dates or marries a younger girl for any of the valid or not valid following reasons: she is easily impressed by his success and money, her lack of experience makes her not able to see his weaknesses, he thinks she brings him back the youth he lost, sexually and physically, she is more fertile etc.

Let’s compare a single man and a single woman in their early forties, in the 21st century:
The man: has a great career and beautiful car .Could still be looking good with some gray hair, or could have a bald head, hairy body and a belly.

The woman has a great career and a beautiful car. Still pretty, few wrinkles if none, beautiful colored hair, and a gorgeous shape. Quick reminder, it is the 21st century, women don’ age, they mature!!

Choosing a partner is very personal, no one has the right to judge others about the choice they make. We should respect people’s decisions as long as they don’t hurt anyone.

I believe there are no fixed rules in love, relationships and marriages, as long as true love exists between the partners. When honesty and good faith are present, age will be the least risky gap that could exist in a couple. The problem is usually not the age difference, but it is other differences like educational, financial, social and sometimes religious.

An example of a great Lebanese lady who defied all social obstacles is our great singer, the Legend SABAH, THE Sabbouha who proudly married younger men. Did she do any wrong? She can only judge herself. For us she is a great artist who deserves all respect.

Still a long way to eliminate all kind of discrimination against women, and age is not the primary cause to defend. Women of my country has been beaten and killed by their spouse, with little attention from government , women are not chosen for high rank jobs, women are not very welcome in politics etc.

Finally, cougars, cats, and kittens are not people. Using these terms dehumanizes women, even if it does so unintentionally. So let’s call a woman by her name or her title, without any tags as cougar or kitten.