Dismal Science: Economist Defeated by Slang, Zoology

Economics professor Nancy Folbre had an idea about how Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman have been able to fuck younger men succeed in business and now in politics without necessarily boosting the overall economic fortunes of women. It is, she explained on the New York Times’ Economix Blog, “Cougar Capitalism” :

The term cougar is usually applied to older women who seduce younger men, but generalizes to all mature women who beat men at their own game.

Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina fit this definition pretty well.

Hear them roar.

Maybe among economists, “cougar” has become a term of praise for successful older women. That Diane Sawyer! She’s a real news-cougar! Maybe people will start praising successful younger women as “sluts,” too.

But if “cougar” somehow does transform itself from a sexual insult to a term of praise, you still won’t hear them roar. Unlike lions and tigers, the cougar, Puma concolor, has a fully ossified and inflexible hyoid , which makes roaring impossible.