Culture

Meet the Creator of Confused Cats Against Feminism

The man behind the hilarious blog mocking Women Against Feminism believes humor is the best defense.

Photo Credit: http://confusedcatsagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/

After mounting frustration with the Women Against Feminism blog and Facebook page, which feature women holding signs declaring “I don’t need feminism” followed by what could only be described as complete nonsense, David Futrelle decided that it was only appropriate to spoof the project.

Last Thursday, inspired by a blog post by Jenny Lawson about the project’s absurdity, Futrelle, a freelance writer and blogger, came up with the Tumblr Confused Cats Against Feminism. The blog features photos of cats and their ludicrous reasons for “not needing feminism”—hilarious catharsis for a community of feminists.

“I was frustrated with reading through the Women Against blog and seeing all these denunciations of feminism that don’t really have anything to do with what feminism is about,” Futrelle said. “Somehow it just seemed right to do a parody reaction to that that involved cats because cats are the ultimate representation of being clueless and self-absorbed and not particularly embarrassed to be clueless and self-absorbed.”

Confused Cats Against Feminism is an offshoot of Futrelle’s blog We Hunted the Mammoth: The New Misogyny, where he mocks sexism. Futrelle said he stumbled into this work after constantly getting into arguments with men’s rights activists on Reddit.

“I thought that they were misguided and if I could argue with them rationally on some of these points that I could convince them that they were misguided,” Futrelle said. 

So he set up a blog to refute their arguments. But after reading more men’s rights blogs, he realized his thoughts about their motivations were all wrong.

“They weren’t just misguided, they were ideologues,” he said. “It was really driven not out of a concern for this or that issue that affects men, but it was driven really out of hatred of women.”

Futrelle said he thinks some of the women featured on the Women Against Feminism blog are buying into some of the men’s rights arguments. Others, he thinks, wrongly believe feminists are trying to gain women special privileges they themselves don’t need.

While no one will ever know all the motivations and backgrounds of these women, Futrelle said what is certain is that feminists are tired of trying to explain what feminism is, especially to a crowd that remains willfully ignorant on the issue. That’s part of the reason he’s turned to humor as a response to sexism.

“Whether they’re these angry guys or the women on the Women Against Feminism page, humor kind of says, ‘Look your arguments are not worth debating because they’re based on your own imaginary version of feminism,’” he said. “It’s not worth sort of going down the rabbit hole and trying to argue with them on all these points because they simply are reacting to something imaginary in their head that’s not real feminism. And the men’s rights movement right now is trying very hard to gain a certain amount of respectability and legitimacy. And so you say, look, your arguments are so far from legitimate that the best way to rebut them is with a picture of a cat and a silly caption."

So are these people hopeless?

“They often seem to be,” Futrelle said. “But I think there are a lot of people who sort of glom on to some of these ideas who you know are open to reconsidering them and a lot of them do end up reconsidering them. I think for some people it’s a phase.”

Futrelle said he’s run across a lot of people who have changed their minds on feminism, and some people who read his blog say it’s helped set the record straight.

Confused Cats Against Feminism will hopefully play a role in making people think twice about the irrationality of Women Against Feminism. The blog is going viral, and Futrelle has received hundreds of submissions.

He said, “I think probably the number of Confused Cats Against Feminism is going to outnumber the Women Against Feminism many times.”

Alyssa Figueroa is an associate editor at AlterNet.