Attack of the 50-foot MILF

andrea@mail.altsexcolumn.com
Dear Andrea:
I initially missed the hot-for-friend’s-mother definition of MILF, and was introduced to the phrase, sweetly, by a former lover. He wasn’t trying to separate the fuckable mothers from the nonfuckable, or fetishizing fecundity. Since we were both middle-aged, he wasn’t designating me a MILF based on the understanding of it that you and the writer of “Still Hot” hold [“Milfbone,” 11/18/09]. He simply meant that my being a mother was one of the things he found attractive about me — he is a devoted father — and that he wanted to fuck me. When you are covered with spit-up or finger paint, when most of your social events involve the PTA, it’s nice to know you’re still hot — maybe even hot because, rather than in spite of, your momitude.
His use of MILF made me feel attractive and desirable. It told me I was still sexy. Indeed, it implied that part of my appeal was my maturity: not the maternal qualities in an icky, “I want to suckle your milk-filled breasts” way, but that he preferred me to young ’uns and to the big-boobed brainless bimbos. “I think Stacy’s mom is way hotter than her teenage daughter; I’d rather F her, because, while society says I should de facto be more attracted to the young girl, I’m more into the woman my own age.” I doubt very much that I’m hot to a 14-year-old. But I might want to be to his dad.
So although I understand your discomfort with the acronym and the letter- writer’s outrage, I have a fondness for the term. When you are a mother, you’re different from when you weren’t a mother — not better or worse, but changed. If someone wants to F you, for whatever reason, you are by definition, a M he-or-she would L to F.
Finally, I don’t dismiss the power of words or names. I instruct young people not to use terms like “wife-beater.” I find it incredibly offensive to equate a still-libidinous woman over 40 with a predator, especially since she is simultaneously the object of contempt and ridicule. I get how insulting it is to be objectified and demeaned through language. And I am aware of the implicit sexism and cultural disregard for — -if not downright fear of — women’s sexuality. But.
Does everything have to be so complicated? Can we stop looking for reasons to be outraged?
Love,
Glad 2B
Dear B:
Certainly! But I don’t think “Still Hot” was outraged as much as she was puzzled and maybe made a little irritable by trying to figure out if she still rated as an attractive woman or only, now that she had a kid, as one of the scarce-enough-to-be-worth-a-special-coinage exceptions to a perceived rule (moms are not sexy). For myself, I at least hope I don’t go around wasting my outrage on silly examples of what I’m going to term “folk demographics,” terms spawned by popular culture to describe human phenomena of current cultural interest. Children dying for lack of health care? Outrage. New(ish) and offensive ways to categorize women by perceived attractiveness, not too different from the old ways? Annoyance. And by the way, I pretty much ceded you the column this week and think highly of you, but I was reading along, nodding happily, when I stumbled over “big-boobed brainless bimbo” and landed — thud — wondering how “B-B B B” is any less misogynist than “cougar.” It isn’t, of course. That sort of casual disparagement of other women is so pervasive it’s invisible, and so unquestioned we (all) do it ourselves without even noticing. But we could put “quit that” on our New Year’s resolution lists.
This whole subject reminds me of the time the first friend of ours to get pregnant (we are late bloomers) found herself wailing, hormonally, something like “I don’t want to be attractive just to the sort of people who would want you to know that they find pregnant women attractive!” Likewise, many an older woman could find herself lamenting being attractive only to the sort of men who would want you to know that they find older women attractive. One wants to be found attractive. One does not wish to be exoticized or, God forbid, humored.
I appreciate your spin on the phrase, and am glad you had the enviable experience of being found sexy for being exactly who you are. I don’t think MILF can be redeemed, though.
I recently read on one of the feminist blogs a post attempting to reframe the misogynist use of “douche” as invective (“Ew! It’s for vaginas!”). “Douches are bad for your ladybits,” reasoned the writer (more or less), “so it’s not anti-woman to call a smarmy, self-satisfied jerk a ‘douche.’ It’s pro-woman! Because douches are bad!”
Nice try, I thought. But calling a dude a douche is still pretty sexist. As for the fact that I also think it’s hilarious, well, please don’t be outraged!
Love,
Andrea