Confused Cats Against Feminism has gone viral, as the Internet kids say.
In less than a week, my humble Tumblr blog has picked up more than 12,000 followers on Tumblr and has generated nearly 20,000 “notes.” It’s been featured in two dozen well-known publications so far, ranging from Jezebel to Cosmopolitan to Le Monde (yes, the Le Monde), and on who knows how many lesser-known sites. It was discussed on The Reid Report on MSNBC. And my assorted inboxes are swelling with literally hundreds of submissions.
So why — other than KITTIES — has the blog struck such a chord?
I wrote out some thoughts on the blog’s origin and its appeal for a Huffington Post writer; unfortunately she got them too late to use in her piece, so I thought I’d share a slightly reworked version of them here:
Obviously, the main inspiration for the blog was frustration with the Women Against Feminism page, and the media coverage of it that seemed to suggest that a couple dozen women holding up antifeminist signs meant that feminism was dead, or at least in crisis. This seemed to me a silly conclusion to draw, especially considering that most of the siigns weren’t so much a reaction to feminism itself as to a caricature of it.
But this is rather typical. I deal with antifeminists — most of them men — every day on We Hunted the Mammoth, and it’s kind of amazing how few of them know even the slightest bit about what feminism really is. They’re battling the feminist bogeywoman in their own heads.
In a way, they’re like anti-Semites whose supposed knowledge about Jewish people comes from reading “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a phony document concocted not by any actual Elders of Zion (there are no such people) but by other anti-Semites.
Anyway, what really crystallized it for me was reading this post by Jenny Lawson on the Blogess, a hilarious little rant about the ridiculousness of the Women Against Feminism signs, in which she imagined putting up her own blog with people holding baffling signs like “I don’t need air because LOTS OF IT IS FARTS. I’M NOT BREATHING FARTS. YOU BREATHE FARTS.”
And then something clicked. There was probably a cat sitting on me at the time, so naturally I thought of doing a blog involving cats. To be honest, though, I’ll use any excuse to post pictures of cats.
So why are so many people connecting with this blog in such a big way? Obviously, people on the internet love cats, and posting pictures of them.
But more seriously, I think the blog has tapped into the frustration that feminists feel, not only because of the straw-feminist-bashing women of the Women Against Feminism blog, but from years of arguing with Men’s Rights Activists and other antifeminists who seem to be everywhere online (they’re not actually an enormous group, just a loud one), and who stubbornly refuse to learn even the most basic facts about feminism as it really exists in the world.
There’s no point in actually arguing with these guys (and gals), because they’re living in their own world, which overlaps only slightly with the real world. Mocking them with cat pics seems more appropriate than trying to convince them, say, that women in America really do deserve the right to vote even though they’re not required to fill out a meaningless form with Selective Service registering them for a military draft that is about as likely to return as Ham and Bananas Hollandaise or Tuna and Jell-o Pie.
Men’s Rights Activists — and all the other assholes of their ilk — want to be taken seriously. But they don’t deserve to be taken seriously. What they deserve is laughter.
As I told Rebecca Cohen of Mother Jones:
Men’s rights activists have a quote that’s supposedly from Gandhi that they like to recite constantly: ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. As they see it, they’ve gotten to the point where people are fighting them. I’d like to knock them back to the point where people are laughing at them.
And with the help of hundreds of feminists and their kitties, not to mention you all here, I think that’s just what we’re doing.
So here are some links to the media coverage of Confused Cats Against Feminism so far. I’ve marked the longer articles with asterisks; those with two asterisks include quotes from me.
Huffington Post* (UK)
Huffington Post *(US)
Marie Claire (AUS)
Foreign language coverage:
Le Monde (France)
Corriere della Sera (Italy)
With the exception of the piece on The Hollywood Gossip, which is a bit confused about the Confused Cats, all this coverage has been glowingly positive. The only negative media mention I’ve found comes in a National Review piece about Women Against Feminism. Frankly, I’d be a bit alarmed if the National Review were to have anything but a negative reaction to the blog.
Thanks for explaining all that to us Gellatmeister. We’ve never heard those points of view before and will give them serious consideration.Please follow up with suggestions on how we can sort ourselves out.
No seriously just shut up. We’ve heard it all before.What amuses us is that people like you actually believe you’re the first person to explain it to us and you’re going to blow our minds or something.
By the way you could have saved yourself a lot of writing by replacing the first half of the 4th paragraph with ‘David’s a mangina’ and seriously are you really saying a blog with cats is demeaning to some women.
Gellato for brains thinks more than one person runs the blog. He also seems to think intersectionality isn’t discussed here all the time.
Breaking news! Feminists not a hivemind! More at 11.
Whatever problem one may have with the actions of the actual movement/people – if you are against feminism as an ideology, you damn well are against women. And against equality, liberty and basic human decency. If you are against feminism that means you are for inequal rights and duties, inequal standings in societies, for being restricted by gender roles, for having your life laid out for you at birth simply based on what’s between your legs…
Really, there is no excuse to be against feminism as an ideology.
“It’s rather ironic that your blog is set up on Tumblr, where a lot of those feminists are harboured” like fugitives or seals.
“The problem is that this website is
ranrun by mencats who identify themselves as feminists, ”
Wow, damn, who’d’ve thought! KITTIES EVERYWHERE.
It’s rather ironic that your blog is set up on Tumblr, where a lot of those feminists are harboured.
Why is it ironic? No really, why is it ironic? Do you just mean ‘appropriate,’ ‘funny,’ ‘predictable’? Come on dude, I know irony has basically lost all meaning, but…
The problem is that this website is ran by men who identify themselves as feminists,
I know the joke is we’re all David, but come now, he truly is only one man.
That National Review piece is the worst kind of anti-feminism imo: didn’t really dig into feminism (of course) but acting like they did, deying women’s issues BUT still pretending to care about their “problems” (“human” problems they say) but doing nothing apart from hating the only movement that gives them a voice. Really?
citing K. Roiphe “These feminists are endorsing their own utopian vision of sexual relations: sex without struggle, sex without power, sex without persuasion, sex without pursuit” (Seems like someone is just a defeatist heteronormative person. Feminists do hate the fact the role of the one seeking power/pursuing and the role of the object are always the same…)
+ “Remaking sex into something it isn’t — a consumerist transaction that is fundamentally the same for both parties — doesn’t address the horror of rape” (you mean challenging thousands years of sexuality constructed on patriarchal values? well, YES PLEASE)
+ “Feminism won’t solve rape or domestic abuse or misogyny because it doesn’t address the actual cause of these problems”
Oh yeah sorry, “a failure to respect women is, in fact, a failure to respect all humans as equally human”… yeah right, women are just humans, let’s ignore genders and sexism when it’s convenient and delete misogyny from the dictionnary.
Of course those people KNOW the solutions to everyone’s problems, they’re just keeping it secret while shitting on every movement ever! Because “humans”!
This is actually really creepy upon closer inspection. She literally says that we should never expect to have a society in which coercion and objectification don’t play fundamental roles in sexual activity.
And then of course she believes that rape culture doesn’t exist.
I wanted to put in another plug for Susan Faludi’s book “Backlash.” It is a bit depressing how much of it is still timely after nearly as quarter-century, but the book is full of delicious snark about misogyny and misogynists. What she does to George Gilder should not be missed.
I must re-read Backlash. I’m also depressed that The Beauty Myth is still relevant.
Change can be so glacial.
As a proud feminist I have got to say that I love this! 😀
Roiphe is a piece of work. She wrote (in the latter eighties) that date rape was a null-concept, it was just bad sex, and the takeaway lesson was that one should learn to not have bad sex.
It was a about 150 pages of drivel which boiled down to that (and the, “we just called it bad sex” was the specific passage I recall). It lacked the vitriol of other backlash pioneers, and her being a woman gave it a veneer of validity, which she’s been riding ever since.
The problem, of course, is that she didn’t ask, “what was bad” and why one “had regrets in the morning”. No, she just said that was what people did and it couldn’t be changed. Expecting affirmative consent was a waste of time, drink, heat of the moment etc.
It looked superficially decent, because it didn’t have any obvious (to me at the time, I might not think so now) blame attached to women having sex. But she dismissed out of hand (which I did catch) the idea that date rape was a real concern.
(Looks at the turd Gellatocrap left on the rug, and at email David was sent.)
Hey, /b/ or whoever is behind this particular new attempt at trolling, you realize that we can tell a. that you’re not feminists, b. that you’re actually anti-feminist, and c. exactly what it is that you’re trying to do with this crap, right?
(Sighs) Intelligent trolling really is a lost art. This new crop of wannabe “we will divide your movement from within and destroy it, mwhah hah hah” provocateurs suck at it.
They haven’t even got the moustache-twirling down. This younger generation of cartoon villains just doesn’t have what it takes.
It’s just so obvious, and yet the expect people to fall for it. I mean damn, if you’re going to pretend not to be a misogynistic ass-monkey then at least try to pretend you don’t think women are idiots.
Aha, so if they’re provocateurs, it’s confused cats against feminism!
I probably shouldn’t be helping them out, but this thing where they always go all “radical feminism is extra super racist!”? Um, dudes, you realize that there have pretty much always been more WOC involved in radical feminism than all the other feminist submovements combined? If there’s any part of the Second Wave that wasn’t even close to 100% white, it was the radfem part.
Wow, tough audience tonight for puns. 🙁
::waves from back row::
I got it, I got it!
More power to all feminist, am a proud one here. Thanks for sharing this and I’m loving it. 😀