Better a MILF or a cougar?

First aired on Q (23/01/13)

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Tina Fey, Heidi Klum -- they're two women who frequently pop to mind when it comes to famous MILFs. It's an acronym, popularized by the teen movie American Pie, and later the pornography industry, that stands for Mother I'd Like to F... Well, you get the idea.

But for one radio listener on the West Coast, B.C. Premier Christy Clark made the cut. So, nearing the end of 2012, on behalf of a curious listener, a radio DJ asked the premier: What does it feel like to be a MILF? "I take that as a compliment," she famously responded. "Better a MILF than a cougar."

Recently Q's Jian Ghomeshi spoke to two women on opposing sides of the MILF debate and asked them: is the word a compliment or an insult?

Jessica Porter, author of the MILF Diet, whole-heartedly believes in the term, seeing it as a revolutionary word that combines a woman's maternity and sexuality. "The f-word is vulgar. But MILF is not used in a demeaning or derogatory way. You don't say, 'Oh, that stupid MILF,'" she said. "It's always said with appreciation. It's simply an appreciation of sexual desire."

She wants women to co-opt the word, because accepting a reunion of maternity and sexuality can be very empowering for women.
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Mommy blogger Danielle Smith, who recently turned 40 and has on occasion experienced being called a MILF by younger men, says she wishes society could find a different word to describe an older, attractive woman.

MILF is an insult, she says, because "what you're saying is a woman is a mom, but I guess she's still worthy, and I don't think there is a but there ... I don't think they're mutually exclusive." She doesn't want younger men to see her as an attractive mother who is deemed good enough for a one-night stand.

"That's not attractive. That's not embracing my sexuality. That's not beautiful," said Smith.

Despite their different opinions, the two women found common ground on one point: they both believe the DJ in the Clark interview should not have been fired.

If Clark had responded negatively, it would have been a different story, both women said.

"Why can't she be allowed to define it her way?" asked Porter.



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