Heather Conn Blogs

spoutin’ about by the sea

When a tree falls in the forest, does anybody fear? »« Oliver and the Northern Gateway hearings: arrogance trumps democratic process

Utah needs to keep cougar

I usually support politically correct language but the recent decision by a Utah school district to forego the use of “cougar” as a mascot is too much. The district, based in Salt Lake City, thought that using a cougar mascot for a new high school would suggest unwanted connotations with the word’s other meaning: a forty-something woman who sleeps with younger men. Is there some adult projection going on here?

At least three schools in Utah, including Brigham Young University, already use a cougar as a mascot. If conservative Mormons find this acceptable, why can’t it work for a high school? Instead, the district has chosen the bland, more abstract term “Chargers.”

A concrete word like “cougar” carries far more evocative weight and cachet than “charger.” By not using “cougar,” the district is denying teens the opportunity to use the power and symbolism of a sleek and powerful hunter. What’s next? Will stories for young children no longer have a fairy godmother, because “fairy” is a derogatory term for a gay male?

Meanwhile, are there any cougars (the non-human kind) left in Utah?



January 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm
  • January 24, 2012 at 4:13 pmDave

    If they wanted to accurately project the school spirit perhaps Cowards would have been more appropriate.

  • January 23, 2012 at 5:11 pmelsewhere

    That is hilarious! (Maybe Mormons just aren’t aware of female cougars, only the male ones?)

    We have to hope that the humble gopher doesn’t take on salacious gendered connotations.

Leave a Reply