Calling Cougars, Crones and Women of a Certain Age
WHOA! Network Co-founder
What do you call women who aren’t young anymore but are not yet old? (Not Mom or Ma’am; I mean as a group.)
I started wondering about this when Lynn and I created WHOA! a few months ago. Our premise is that women should be honored MORE as we age, not less; and we couldn’t decide what words would best describe our community.
For a large segment of women over 50, none of the word fit: not just our age but the age we’re living in. I think it’s time to change the words to fit the changes in us.
Women are living longer and stronger, we’re active, vital, productive way into our sixties and seventies and beyond.
So midlife doesn’t quite cut it.
The icons of this age range – Hillary Clinton, Meryl Streep, Oprah – are chronologically well past “midlife”, but all are certainly still in the middle of things. How would you categorize their stage of life?
Crones? Way too grim. Way too Grimm.
And don’t get me started on being called seniors. (Although I’m not above getting a senior discount at the movies.)
Women of a Certain Age?
Urban dictionary says this is an ironically polite term for a woman who does not want her actual age known.
So maybe it should really be women of uncertain age?
The origin of this quaint phrase was femmes d’une certaine age. Being French it originally had a sexual connotation: describing older women who (presumably graciously and gracefully) initiate younger men into sexual activity.
Don’t we have a modern spin on that now, in English?
Maybe we all should be called cougars?
Before you diss or dismiss this, think about it:
Cougars are part of the cat family, cats have nine lives. Not a bad metaphor for women who reinvent their lives so often.
Plus, cougar has a strong powerful connotation, which is how many women feel at this time of life. I’d love the words that categorize us to reflect that.
Why not think up our own?
WOWs (acronym for Women of Wisdom)
Golden Girls (GG’s for short? )
I can practically hear the groans at that last one.
So how about some of your thoughts? Please comment below or submit at ideas@WHOAnetwork.com
We can’t wait to hear your ideas!