In case you were wondering why the world is paying attention to Tara Reid again, let me inform you that American Pie is back. I mean, this time it’s called American Reunion, but it’s the exact same shit, just a decade later.
The first American Pie movie came out when I was 14 years old. If I remember right, one of my friend’s older boyfriends got us tickets and took us to see the Rated-R flick. It was funny and inappropriate and everything a great teenage movie is. But even back then, I felt pretty uncomfortable about the concept of “Stifler’s mom.”
Look, I realize that crude humor isn’t exactly the standard for social mores. I know that the whole thing was a big joke, and a rather successful one. Jennifer Coolidge will be known as “Stifler’s Mom” for the rest of her life. Whether she likes it or not.
But Stifler’s mom did more than de-flower Finch. She started an entire trend of MILFs and cougars, mothers whose sexuality were used against them and older women who were seen as predators. That character made attractive mothers perverse and reinforced extreme double-standards when it comes to gender.
Let’s all face it, if Stifler’s mom had been Stifler’s dad, the joke wouldn’t have been funny. We would’ve been appalled if it was a middle-aged man sleeping with her teenager daughter’s friends. And every time it’s okay for a woman to do something, but not for a man, equality takes a hit. Even if it seems to work in our favor, those double standards are always harmful.
When we look back on the American Pie series, this character is a major component to our memories, even though she had relatively little screen time. “Stifler’s mom” and flutes really have the majority of the pop culture staying power from these films. And yet, what did she usher in?
She made attractive mothers look like predators. She made older women who embrace their sexuality seem inappropriate. This character did a disservice to women and she made their sexuality something to be used against them. To be honest, the term MILF still makes my skin crawl. And I think that ‘Stifler’s mom” was a big part in ushering in that phase of American culture.
I guess what I’m saying is that no matter how much I love seeing Alyson Hannigan and Jason Biggs together again, this movie didn’t just harm the reputation of warm apple pie. This character hurt women everywhere.
(Photo: Live For Films)