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Cougar Humor

June 22, 2009

Emily had a great post earlier which brought up the question of how (or whether) humor can be used to address issues. While the phenomenon of referring to older women who date younger men as “cougars” isn’t the most pressing issue, it is still a case where female sexuality is mocked or shamed, and women are dehumanized and reduced to merely sexual beings.

I have to admit that both these videos made me crack up, but I think they are a good illustration of how humor can reinforce cultural norms, and how it can counteract them.

From SNL: The “Cougar den”

From the Daily Show: Kristen Schaal on “Cougars”

From The Current: Sarah Haskins in Target Women: The Cougar

Womanist Musings on Cougars:

Judging and labelling is one of our favourite social pass times. Often, when it comes to women it involves an element of sustaining our patriarchal understanding of gender roles. To compare a woman to an animal because she is following her natural aging process, or because she actively seeks and enjoys sex is social discipline. We have this idea that a good femininity is eternally young and submissive. When women act in ways that are counter to this construction they are quickly stigmatized to maintain male privilege.

Do any of these videos get at this same biting critique?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sara permalink
    June 22, 2009 5:38 PM

    “Do you sleep in a beef dehydrator?”

    I actually loled, alone in my kitchen. Good job, Kristen Schaal.

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