New yorker magazine article on online dating
In a literary establishment filled with stories about the subjectivity of straight white men, for young women, it’s validation on a huge scale: Yes, this what the world is like, and no, you’re not crazy.
For some readers, the fact that “Cat Person” centers on the subjectivity of a young woman made it inherently unliterary and unworthy.
The literary canon’s attempts to delve into women’s heads, meanwhile, tend to look like C. Lewis’s “Shoddy Lands,” in which a woman’s mental landscape is devoted entirely to her own grotesque body, and the absence of the male gaze in her head is a moral affront.Women’s short stories about their own interiority rarely make it into the literary canon at all.The trivializing of women’s stories also plays into one of the persistent oddities surrounding “Cat Person”; namely, the frequency with which readers have called it an “article” or an “essay” or generally treated it as a piece of nonfiction rather than as a short story.I guess for me-- I liked the interiority, how eerily true it felt.
I've read so much fiction about the "unknowability" of women and so little about the fearful unknowability of men...— Talia B Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) December 11, 2017 is what drives Margot to sleep with Robert at the very moment that she realizes she is really not all that attracted to him: “The thought of what it would take to stop what she had set in motion was overwhelming,” Roupenian writes. ” When Robert calls Margot a whore at the end of the story, it feels inevitable. Familiarity is what gives the story its aesthetic power.
So much of the criticism surrounding “Cat Person” is weighted by misogyny that the Twitter account Men React to Cat Person sprang into being to chronicle it all.