You’ve probably never heard the term "cheetah," but that’s okay—no one else had, either, until New York Observer reporter Spencer Morgan coined the slur last December. A cheetah, according to Morgan’s trend piece "Rrrowl! Beware Cougar’s Young Niece, The Cheetah," is a thirtysomething single woman who’s "discovered that getting a man [is] no longer as easy as it once was." Her biological clock is ticking and her desperation for a real relationship is getting more pathetic—and, to Morgan and the cronies he quotes in the story, more comical.
If you’re wondering why a leading New York City newspaper published a bogus piece of "news" about women past their prime, the answer is simple: The Observer was using the Sexist Media Stunt, a now-classic bit of media bait, to draw in readers and revenue.