Do Women Secretly Love to Be Called MILFs?

Reactions to MILF Diet book.

If the Twitter Diet isn’t working for you, or your fingers are tired from all that tweeting, maybe you should try the MILF Diet.

Yes. It’s a real thing. Or at least, author Jessica Porter, a macrobiotic chef, cooking instructor and hypnotist (I’m not sure how that last title fits in either), wants us to believe so.

About five years ago, she had another book, The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics, so I guess the “hip chick” label got old, or maybe there’s no hip chicks left to educate on macrobiotics, so now it’s time to educate MILFs, or rather, MILF wanna-be’s.

In the blurb on Amazon, Porter assures us that we can “fulfill [true] our potential for … MILFiness,” and gives us these tips: “It’s best to avoid refined sugars, processed foods, dairy, and meat. But it’s not as scary as it sounds.”

I am still frightened.

Anyone who knows me knows that I curse like a sailor, or a truck driver, or some other profession that is not mine but has that reputation. The F-bomb doesn’t upset me; if it’s the best word choice for the situation and context, use it. But Porter has co-opted a politically incorrect acronym, and is using it to both play on women’s insecurities and to encourage her form of “personal growth.” (I absolutely had to go with air quotes there.) She also has way too much fun making up different words that riff on MILF, like MILFy, MILFiness, etc.

My friend Tracy says the tag line, “It’s simple: You are what you eat,” should say instead: “It’s simple: You are only as good as who wants to fuck you.” None of us are afraid to admit that we’d like to be considered sexually attractive, but this term rankles lots of women; there’s something simply too passive in it.

Being called a cougar or a MILF implies much the same thing—a woman who is sexually attractive to a younger man or men—but cougars do the hunting and are in control, while MILFs just hope they get laid. MILF also connotes the assumption that most mothers are no longer sexually attractive, while whether or not a cougar has bred is not an issue. But then again, maybe our use of cougar denotes a certain desperation; it’s so hard to pick a label, isn’t it?

I first heard the term at least a half dozen years ago and was so stunned I forgot to be offended. I had a huge problem with it on many levels when Sarah Palin was constantly in the media (or the period I remember as “the dark, angry and frightening days”). I had nothing but vitriol for that woman and couldn’t believe she was assumed to speak for me on anything in any way. So I hated that I was offended for her when everyone was talking about what a MILF she was.

Porter’s promises are big. She tells us we’ll “learn why seaweed makes your skin dewy while keeping your hair strong and lustrous, and discover how to harness peak physical energy and mental clarity from whole grains … the MILF Diet is simple, delicious, and totally lifechanging.”

I’m wondering what happens to a man who might follow this diet?

Porter claims she is “surprised by all the pushback about the title: “I expected many individuals to reject it, but I didn’t expect to not be able to get media coverage because of it. We’ve pitched it to lots of television shows, and it’s amazing how many have balked at the title.” In the same interview, she goes on to mention one show, Access Hollywood, who canceled her appearance after Standards and Practices found out about the book’s title.

To defend herself, Porter both tells us things we already know, and attempts to illustrate how smart she is. She says, “You see, I believe (and I’m going to get all Women’s Studies classes here) that the term ‘MILF’ actually reunites two very important parts of a woman—our maternity (we love, we care, we give), and our sexuality (we make love, we desire, and yes, we sometimes “f**k” and want to be “f**ked”).”

Does Porter know that MILF has a category of porn all its own, and has for decades?

She tells us, “Women are whole! We want to pack a school lunch AND have a quickie!”

I’m so glad she let us know that. I have often wondered how people have more than one kid.

Though the term itself has been around so long now, been used on major networks during prime time, it’s just too fully charged for a diet book. While we don’t know if the term itself can make Porter’s or anyone else’s career, apparently tossing the term around can get you fired. In Vancoucer last month, DJ Justin Wilcomes asked B.C Premier Christy Clark what it was like to be a MILF during a live on-air interview. He was fired and had to publicly apologize to her, even though she answered, “You know, I take that as a compliment … you know, it’s one of those things.”

I don’t know if things are that different in Vancouver, or if words are just complicated things, but Clark also said, “Better a MILF than a cougar.”