Here in Australia, we’re not that big on differences. Those differences often become the punchline. Sarah has an unconventional look, which by Aussie standard means she deserves some “good-humoured” ribbing. I admit my first thought upon seeing her visage was “Holy eyebrows, who told her that was okay?” But this post is not about that, It’s not here to body snark on her cosmetic tattoos, nor the fact that she loves heels so much she’s trying to patent the “Hunner” (that’s a Heel + runner in one). Part of me wants to, but I know that it’s mean and it’s also unnecessary, especially when I know nothing about her but a few clips on TV (this is what being a grown up is about, I think). No, I’m here to discuss the name she’s been tagged with, “The Cougar”. I kind of get the feeling from the explanation of James and Sarah’s relationship on the Amazing Race’s webpage and this advertisement, they’re a little obsessed with their ages. “JAMES IS 23” it says, “Sarah is…. (dun dun dunnn) 32” *gasp* *pearl clutch* THAT’S 9 WHOLE YEARS. However, we don’t just go ahead and say we think it’s wrong or it’s odd. So we do what’s considered socially acceptable in our society, we laugh at her and label her a Cougar. Secretly thinking that the younger man, who admitted to being friends with Sarah before the relationship, is caught up in her matronly clutches. What else can Sarah do but laugh along like a “good sport” as we shame her. So what’s our problem? If it was an older man/younger woman situation would it be as much of a joke? often in that case, the man often evades target while the woman gets labeled a gold-digger. He may get the more widely accepted ‘Sugar daddy’ and a pat on the back for being such a stud. What of a relationship with 2 men? I believe ‘Twink’ and ‘Daddy’ may have been bandied around at one time or another but it seems to be far less of an issue in the queer community.
Why do we find it so uncomfortable that a woman might appreciate the company of a younger man? Does Sarah deserve to be the butt of our jokes because of that? or because her looks are unconventional? Not from what I’ve seen but must be missing something. Maybe I just don’t get the ‘joke’.