swoftiesI’ve always hated the word “cougar.” Not because I don’t adore large cats but because of the additional category of derogatory that women have since been saddled with in the English language. As if women didn’t have enough afflictions of the written word to deal with, from every iteration of the term “slut” to the new array of condescending mommy terms like “helicopter mom.” Well, prepare for another one to add to the list because apparently “swofties” is where we’re going in 2012 — that’s single women in their 50s who do more than continue “a life of babysitting and bingo.”

The Daily Mail, who we shouldn’t cut any slack for despite their flagrant efforts in cementing this type of absurdity, writes:

Ladies, if you’ve turned 50 and are more likely to pick up a pair of leopard-print leggings than a twin-set and pearls, it seems you are not alone.

Mature divorced women are dressing more provocatively than they did in  their teens to attract the opposite sex, research suggests.

Dubbed Swofties – single women over fifty – they are following the example set by celebrities such as Carol Vorderman and Nancy Dell’Olio, both 51.
These ‘flirtatious fiftysomethings’ are likely to be wearing designer clothes, drinking champagne cocktails and going to music festivals.

Apparently the online retailer isme.com discovered that a fifth of women in their 50s are “wearing sexier outfits than when they were younger.” Clearly then, a new trendy terminology, that is both mocking these women and distinguishing them like some sort of bizarre subset of the human species, is in order.

Divorce rates with baby boomers may very well be on the rise here in the states, thereby contributing to an uptick in single older women. But the need to degrade them into one-dimensional flirts who like designer purses and champagne cocktails is something a divorced male in his 50s will never know. That’s because the incessant labeling of women, defined by everything from their parenting styles to their ages, is a privilege we usually and culturally reserve for the ladies.

So enjoy another champagne cocktail swoftie and try not to stumble on the cougars, yummy mummies, MILFs, hipster moms, and tiger moms on your way out.

(photo: ostill/ Shutterstock)