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.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.