Online Blog Project – Cougars: A 21st Century Phenomenon

With the recent breakup of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, its time to analyze the continuously emerging trend of older women dating younger men. Cougars, the term used to refer to these older women who prey on younger men, are cropping up all over in society. Because these relationships are reversing the social norm, they have created an enthusiastic reaction in recent culture. In 2009 a television show entitled “Cougar Town” aired and followed a recently divorced woman in her late forties who was trying to relive her 20’s by dating younger men. These women have also been seen prowling around on different movies and songs, as well as in the real-life examples of Hollywood’s hottest stars. The growing list of cougars in the entertainment business like
Susan Sarandon and Jonathan Bricklin (32 years difference)

or Guy Ritchie and Madonna, who are also now consequently divorced (10 year age difference)

have given a face to the phenomenon. Now, the ideas of the “typical” relationships have been challenged throughout and before the 21st century, mostly with Women’s Rights, Gay Rights, the advent of transgender surgeries, and so much more. How is it that “cougaring” still garners our shock and awe? We have seen women make enormous cultural strides and become powerful and independent members of society, but when it comes to heterosexual relationships we are surprised that a some women have chosen to fill the role of the older and wiser partner. I know that my first reaction is usually, “Yeah!! You go girl!!” because I, like most of society, see the cougar as primarily seeking this younger guy, or “boy toy”, for his sexual vigor. Other women are inspired by the cougar for taking care of herself, sexually despite social norms. This stereotype is reinforced by shows like “Cougartown” and by the divorces that always seem to end these relationships. Moore and Kutcher have had issues for a few years now with numerous accusations of infidelity on Kutcher’s part, but the Daily Mail has chosen to report this split with the headline “Proof You Can’t Hold Back the Years, Demi”. Before Susan Sarandon’s relationship with Bricklin, she went through a divorce with her first “boy toy”, Tim Robbins who was 12 years her junior. These divorces seem to show that the marriage was built heavily upon sexual satisfaction instead of a genuine commitment and love. The support for this assumption is robbing those of the respect due to two people in a relationship. Unless you were a part of their marriage, you have no clue why Kutcher and Moore got divorced, or why they decided to get together in the first place. By making it all about sexual satisfaction for the woman, we are denying the partners the possibility of just having been in love and not recognizing that for the first time in history, women are able to marry whoever they want due to their independent stability. Women have never been more powerful than this past decade and instead of focusing on the remarkable ability to choose whoever a woman wishes to enter into a relationship with, without fear of being left and helpless, we turn her into a jungle cat, stalking around for a sexually charged relationship with a young and feisty man.

Relationships, especially in our recent society, is viewed as a partnership between two people who love each other, and there is no reason for this to be different when it comes to women and men who love each other without concern for the difference in their age. After all, age is just a number.

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FW: Don’t Even Start!!

Ignorant people.

People who claim to be complete authorities on issues that they actually believe they have infinite knowledge about. One example, that just gets me completely spitting mad about, some arrogant girl or beefy guy who loudly proclaim, “Cheerleading’s not a sport.” Hmm okay so I guess you’re the end all and be all on the topic and no one’s gonna argue with you because you’re so confident you know what you’re talking about?? WRONG. I am going to argue with you even though I know it’s a waste of my time because you are clearly too pig headed to understand any of the rational (albeit vehement) argument I’m going to throw at you. You have never even attempted to cheerlead, a back tuck, a herkie, a lift, an ariel, a double back-handspring with a twist. You probably don’t even know what half of those words mean. You probably will never understand how painful it is to build up the amount of core muscle needed to perform half of a cheerleading routine. Plus you have to deal with all of the idiots out there who think that they know anything about your sport, those completely arrogant girls that beg for you to fall off the pyramid because, frankly, they’re jealous of your eight pack. Dealing with the boys who think that just because you’re required to wear (practically) spanx in order to perform all of your stunts, that you’re easy. I have so much respect for these ladies and it makes me crazy when people have the balls to try and strip these athletes of the hours of hard work by arrogantly asserting “UHHDUHHDUHH Cheerleadingss not a ssporrtt…..”

FW: Best Halloween Costume

My mom has never really been that creative. She knows her strengths and party planning or decorating just aren’t some of them. Because my mom’s aware of this, she always made sure that we had someone around who knew how to throw a great kids party, or how to sew a school play costume. I was always really jealous of my cousins because my aunt (my moms sister) was very creative and she’s a kindergarten teacher so she gets a lot of practice. One time my cousin was the night sky for halloween and another time she was a christmas tree. My cousin always thought of the concept so it wasn’t the most sophisticated halloween costumes, but the execution, my aunt’s job, was flawless. I learned young that if I wanted to compete with my cousins on halloween night, I’d have to take care of the costume myself. My seventh grade I was so proud of myself! My old babysitter handed down a Snow White costume. Now I know that this isn’t the most original idea but I seriously pulled this thing off. My hair was the perfect length and I had a red ribbon, I really got into the whole thing too, going around and singing to all the birds and cleaning up around the house. I even screamed when one health-conscious neighbor attempted to give me an apple instead of candy. I loved it.

 

FW: Corn Dog Movie

Why is it that the strangest movies are so addicting? I don’t have the answer but I have plenty of experience with just flicking through the channels before I go to bed and then BAM “Fight Club” is on and I’m up until 2 am red-eyed and clenching my pillow. Maybe some of the allure is that fact that I’ve never actually watched “Fight Club” all the way through before because I only ever watch it on TV. Its such a ground breaking movie that I’ll force myself to watch as much as possible, I’ll even watch all of the commercials just so that I won’t miss a second.

FW: The Most Stupid Thing I’ve Ever Done…

Honestly all I can do right now is think about how hungry I am. I haven’t really done anything obviously stupid, like get arrested or anything. I guess a stupid thing that I did (do) would be procrastinating… On everything except watching TV and movies. Those (sadly) take precedent in my life over homework, papers, studying for exams, handing in paperwork, calling my grandparents, basically everything that has a limited time frame will not get done until I finish this movie or the night before its due, whichever one comes first. This is an incredibly stupid thing that I do daily because, as most people know, that paper that you do the night before (morning of) will not print for you no matter how much you beg, plead or threaten. That paper’s gonna be late, which is highly inconvenient because you definitely needed those extra points in order to make your awful, caffeine-inspired creation passable. The most stupid part about procrastinating is that you are only ever hurting yourself. Its like a friend who seems so fun and exciting and cool! They inspire you to do all kinds of crazy awesome things that you’ve always wanted to do but you never had the guts. And then you end up spending the night in the police station because you got caught trespassing and skinny-dipping in the community pool. All of the really fun and “necessary” things that you do while you’re procrastinating, you can do later. While the actually important things may not be the most entertaining, you don’t always get a chance to redo.

FW: Elevator

Stuck in an elevator. With one other person. For a week. Definitely gonna be Anderson Cooper, in one of his tight black tees. But thats just my superficial reason! As a college student, I’ve found myself in a proverbial bubble. Yes, I know who got written up this week and which professor’s dog peed in the middle of class, but ask me who the most popular candidate from the GOP is and I’ve got nothing. Anderson would be all to happy to verse me on national and international current events that I’ve been shamefully oblivious of these past three weeks.We could have hours of intellectually stimulating conversation that would (hopefully) distract me from how hungry and thirsty I was. Because Anderson (by now we’d be on a first name basis) has traveled all over the world as a news correspondent, and not typically to five star hotels, he would have gather some helpful tips for surviving in an inclosed area for a week. When we had successfully covered world politics, we could move on to Rebecca Black and “Friday” which he had admitted to having had stuck in his head. And plus a man that gorgeous couldn’t possibly smell bad, even after a week in an elevator.

“I imagine a lot of people tune in simply to watch reporters get bitch-slapped by Mother Nature, and frankly, who can blame them?” -Anderson Cooper

FW: Hamilton’s Question #6

I have been shaped as a reader and speaker by my mother. She was an English Major in college and has always made it a priority for her children to understand proper grammatical english. We were so constantly corrected as children that it we developed good speaking and writing abilities. It even became so ingrained in us that I started to correct other people’s grammar when I heard something that didn’t quite sound right. This ability came in handy on the SAT’s and I’m so grateful for that. Another way my mom shaped me is by always encouraging us to read. We were brought to the library at least once a week, and we could take home as many books as we wanted. It was a nice time for us to be alone with shelfs of books. I was able to define myself by what kinds of books I liked. While I was reading I didn’t have to be bossed around by my sister. No one could tell me that what I was reading was “wrong” or “dumb”, I was reading for me. My mother was also a great role model. She had a great love of literature and we saw her read frequently. She loved to read with us and to us, helping us to explore new worlds and making it exciting for us. I still crawl in bed with my mom and make her read to me. She understood that if we shared her love of reading, we would be better writers. In college, I am consistantly grateful for the way my mother has shaped me as a reader, writer, and speaker.

FW: What I wanted to be when I grew up.

We grew up in a teeny tiny suburb of Philadelphia, and literally the only good radio station around was country music. But before you get ahead of me it was definitely not what you think. I’m not talking about Sugarland’s pop-y cute little love songs or the ever intellectually stimulating “She thinks my tractor’s sexxyyy!!!”, I mean Faith Hill, Jodi Messina, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson the great originals. Our hands-down, no-contest favorite was The Dixie Chicks. Our dedication may have been considered obsession by some, but that didn’t stop my older sister and me from singing every word to every song at the top of our lungs. (sorry but the video of me singing “Wide Open Spaces” when I was seven has been successfully destroyed) So consumed was I by the stories that this group told through their music (and continue to tell, the Chicks are still going strong!) that I had decided that when I grew up I was going to be one of them. I’m not quite sure how I figured this would be possible considering the age differential (and my lack of ability to play any instrument country worthy) but I didn’t care. While other kids were playing doctor, I was serenading my family with song after song, perfecting my southern twang. Also it was fate that I would fulfill this dream. After all my first name is the same as one member, and my middle name was another’s first name. I was  two members in one (with around negative .009% of the talent). And I had found my Natalie in my kindergarten class so we were gonna hit the road. I’m not quite sure when I grew out of that dream, but I wish that I could go back. I had had a goal (however impossible) and it was nice to have a focus in life. As a freshman in college you don’t necessarily have to choose your career, but its getting awfully close. I envy my peers, and my younger self, who have a passion for something and I can’t wait to find mine. It may not end up being a Dixie Chick but hopefully I’ll pursue a new dream with equal passion and energy as I did when I was in kindergarten.

 

 

 

 

Freshmen Nightmares

Ill tell you what freshmen dreams aren’t made of: 65 pages of Aristotle reading that’s what.

On a lighter note, my roommate, Sarah Feldman (stfeldman.wordpress.com) have re-sparked the age old debate

 VS.

                   

This blog will be formatted into two lists, one focusing all of the amazing perfections of the Backstreet Boys and another, much shorter list of the admirable but clearly lacking qualities of N’Synce

Stay tuned and be prepared to offer your feedback

FW: First CD

Back Street Boys; I didn’t care what anyone said, I was convinced I was going to marry A.J. As child of the 90’s, I just couldn’t help myself. Back Street Boys: Black and Blue was the only thing I asked for for my seventh birthday. I didn’t even have anything to play it on but I would sit in my room viscously memorizing every word of every song. I would beg my mom to play it every time we were in the car and I drove her so insane that she declared wednesday’s national Back Street Boy day. I was not allowed to breathe a word about Black and Blue unless it was a wednesday. One day my life changed forever. I got an old tape player that was handed down from my fifteen year old cousin and, with the new and amazing technological advances of my childhood, succeeded in burning my CD onto a tape. The rest was history. Day and night, you could not possibly separate me from my headphones and tape player. While I took a bath my family had to endure Black and Blue playing loudly from my tape deck, accompanied by my lively little girl soprano. Eventually I moved on to more advanced and sophisticated art  like Brittany Spears and Christina Agulera, but I still know every word of Black and Blue. And now that the Back Street Boys are on tour again, its time for me to renew my faith. Watch out college roommates!