Andie MacDowell thinks the word 'cougar' is ''offensive''.

The 'Magic Mike XXL' actress believes the word - which is used as slang to describe a woman who likes romancing much younger men - is just ''another way to disempower women''.

She said: ''I find it offensive. There's this notion that as men get older they become more handsome, so therefore they can have younger women, but there is no reality to that obviously - it's just another way to disempower women.

''[Women] have been disempowered for so long and I think that it's finally our time. And if we want to date a guy that's 20 years younger than we are then we definitely have that same right, just like any man does. I dare any 57-year-old man to tell me that he looks younger than me.''

The star has, instead, insisted a connection is far more important than the age gap between the couple.

She added to PEOPLE magazine: ''The thing of it is that people are people and age is just a number.

''It all depends on how you connect with someone, how you relate to someone, so why demean either one of us? Why should we do that to disempower either one of us?''