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Thread: Cat Person

  1. #1
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Cat Person

    An avid reader of the New Yorker ( ) sent me this link to a short story that has gone viral. I was astonished that this type of interaction resonated, first of all, with an author who could put it into words like this, and second of all, with so many readers. Have you read it? If you have (or you decide to read it now), what do you think of it?

    I am realizing that the angle that many women are picking up is that of consent and its ambiguity. However, that's not what most struck me in the story. It was the prototype that this man represents. Hyper-sensitive, insecure, opaque, attracted to vulnerability and low-self-esteem, distrustful of female sexuality, misogynistic, and vindictive.

    But see for yourself:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2.../11/cat-person
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

  2. #2
    Noble Asshole Horatio's Avatar
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    Didn't make it past the third paragraph. Rambling and trivial both stylistically and contentually.

  3. #3
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    An avid reader of the New Yorker ( ) sent me this link to a short story that has gone viral. I was astonished that this type of interaction resonated, first of all, with an author who could put it into words like this, and second of all, with so many readers. Have you read it? If you have (or you decide to read it now), what do you think of it?

    I am realizing that the angle that many women are picking up is that of consent and its ambiguity. However, that's not what most struck me in the story. It was the prototype that this man represents. Hyper-sensitive, insecure, opaque, attracted to vulnerability and low-self-esteem, distrustful of female sexuality, misogynistic, and vindictive.

    But see for yourself:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2.../11/cat-person
    There is no ambiguity. She consented because she was excited by how much power his desperation and loneliness gave her over him. Then she became disgusted with the actual sex and was too ashamed and afraid of the truth to even be honest enough to break it off. I'm not surprised that it resonates with a lot of people.

  4. #4
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio View Post
    Didn't make it past the third paragraph. Rambling and trivial both stylistically and contentually.
    Well, it is describing the experience of a 20-year old and how she processes this interaction. Nevertheless, I think there isn't really an age limit for the constant labor she feels she has to perform to placate this guy's emotions. I think this is what so many women could relate to when they read it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

  5. #5
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pensive_pilgrim View Post
    She consented
    I agree. That's why this angle puzzled me at first. But I don't think the point is that she didn't explicitly consent; I think the point is what she felt obligated to do because this is what is expected of women.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

  6. #6
    malarkey oxyjen's Avatar
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    I started reading it but couldn't finish. The interactions were so painfully uncomfortable, so the author was successful at striking a certain emotional tone.

    Madrigal pinned down all the psychological traits which made the male figure insufferable. Those types need to be dropped like a hot potato, so the submissiveness of the female character to continually progress with the night despite the fact she, like the reader, is uncomfortable annoys me as well. Women do not need to tolerate bad behavior. It doesn't matter if the situation is ambiguous--if you start disliking your date, end it and move on.

  7. #7
    Noble Asshole Horatio's Avatar
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    Update: Have now read/skimmed it.

    Conclusions:

    1) One of the worst short stories ever scribbled in the history of the written word.

    2) People are fucking gross inside and out.

    3) 98% chance that this read will turn you asexual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    I agree. That's why this angle puzzled me at first. But I don't think the point is that she didn't explicitly consent; I think the point is what she felt obligated to do because this is what is expected of women.
    If this is what women go through on dates, then a lot of things start to make sense. That must be atrocious, bloody hell.

    To be fair, it isn't that men don't get those twinges of disgust; it's just that they're probably easier to ignore with testosterone levels being ten times higher than women's.

  8. #8
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio View Post
    Update: Have now read/skimmed it.

    Conclusions:

    1) One of the worst short stories ever scribbled in the history of the written word.

    2) People are fucking gross inside and out.

    3) 98% chance that this read will turn you asexual.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

  9. #9
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    I agree. That's why this angle puzzled me at first. But I don't think the point is that she didn't explicitly consent; I think the point is what she felt obligated to do because this is what is expected of women.
    I don't think that's a woman-specific thing. In general, if you meet someone new in public and suggest you go somewhere private for a specific activity, and then after they agree and you both go there, if you change your mind at that point it's gonna be really awkward and the other person might understandably be upset. And sex amplifies anything awkward.

    I only skimmed to be fair but it seemed like the woman here was clearly initiating and driving the whole interaction. When a guy convinces a woman to sleep with him, then avoids her and doesn't return her calls, then writes about how her body is ugly and she's bad at sex and clingy, everybody calls the guy an asshole. Right? Well I think the woman in this story is an asshole.

  10. #10
    creator kari's Avatar
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    Can someone provide a cliff notes I got 5 mins before work starts
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