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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

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"Stifler's mom" (Jennifer Coolidge) gets the "MILF" tag in "American Pie."
"Stifler's mom" (Jennifer Coolidge) gets the "MILF" tag in "American Pie."

First "cougar," now "MILF"

Last week, I posted an article about "cougars," which is a term for older women who date much younger men. I struggled while writing that piece, because part of me finds the label to be sexist and unfair. But, in the end, I was satisfied with the outcome of the piece.

I spent so much thinking about the term "cougar," that I started contemplating another pop culture descriptor that mushroomed over the past few years: MILF. (Either you know what this is an acronym for, or you're going to have to Google it on your own.)

"MILF" is used in multiple porn Web sites, but last spring the acronym made its way onto network television when an episode of "30 Rock" was centered on a fictitious reality television show called "MILF Island."

I really didn't dig the word at first. Like "cougar," I found it to be somewhat derogatory. I mean, I see the humor in it, especially when it was used in "American Pie," but it's not a term I would use.

And then last week, I got "MILF'd."

Here's what happened: I was riding my bike with my son on a trailer bike connected to mine. We were a few blocks from my house, tooling down a street with a few 20-year-old guys playing Frisbee in the street. They stepped aside to let us whiz by, and once we passed, I heard one of them say, "MILF."

Without skipping a beat, I dinged my bell -- twice! -- and started chuckling, fully expecting to hear my kid ask, "Mom, what does 'MILF' mean?" (Luckily, he didn't.)

But I thought about the comment the rest of the night, and realized, a little shamefully, that I was flattered by it.

Maybe it's because, in my mom life, I rarely feel sexy. Sure, I can still bust out the clothes at the back of the closet and pull it off for a night, but when I'm in mama mode, mostly I feel like a human snot rag that vaguely resembles a sleepy 30-something in last season's jeans.

So, despite its negative connotations, "MILF" at least acknowledges a mom as a sexual person, which is something we're rarely recognized as, unless we're publicly breastfeeding.

Intellectually, I think the "MILF" concept is stupid, but in reality, hearing it was surprisingly inoffensive.

Talkbacks

joe | Aug. 14, 2009 at 11:31 a.m. (report)

Since women are longing to be looked at as sex objects again, why don't we bring back ass-pinching too?

This double standard of "treat me sexy when I want it, but treat me with respect when I want that instead" is BS. If you women ever wonder why guys never seem to do the right thing, it's because you keep changing the rules on us. For example, a woman will wear a low-cut blouse and then complain when guys pay attention to her cleavage. BUT, if guys don't pay attention to her when she shows off her body, we're berated for not 'paying attention to a woman's need to be desired'.

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scruffy | Sept. 7, 2008 at 1:03 p.m. (report)

35829 Labels are discriminatory, sexist and unfair. Is it ok to be called black, white, fat, thin or a "mother I'd like to f*&k"....sorry don't think so. There are better ways to describe the person we are or the person we strive to be. By the way I look great for my age, or so I have been told. I appreciate that, but I think we are all average. What really counts in life is the kindness and respect we show each other each and every day. Sorry to burst your narcisstic bubble.

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college_dave | Sept. 4, 2008 at 10:09 p.m. (report)

36224 And now "V.P.ILF"!!!!!!!

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Steveo | Sept. 4, 2008 at 7:09 a.m. (report)

What about DILF's?

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MilwaukeeMaestro | Sept. 4, 2008 at 12:08 a.m. (report)

34475 Fair enough buck. You are right that it doesn't need to be hard news. It was just presented as a real issue, but I see your point.

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