Which is more alpha: a guy who posts on Reddit all day about how laws enforcing sexual consent are the equivalent of castration or the common housecat? The answer will not surprise you: it is cats who live beyond the reach of radical feminist propaganda.
To catch you up real quick: One of the internet’s most depressing dude subcultures is that of the “red pill” bro — a man who has “awoken,” à la Neo in The Matrix — to a stark reality at odds with a worldview he previously accepted without question. In their case, this entails the rejection of women’s rights and any critique of toxic masculinity; they claim victimhood in a society they condemn as hopelessly feminized, yearning for archaic styles of male dominance and control. In practical terms, this means sitting around complaining that dating is hard because not enough men die in wars anymore.
What has any of this to do with cats? Well, it turns out that other guys aren’t the only rivals for negging pick-up artists. Over at We Hunted the Mammoth (a blog exploring the web-enabled “New Misogyny” in evidence across various MRA, alt-right, and anti-feminist forums), they’ve identified a recurring anxiety: felines are acting the part that men should, receiving unreciprocated adulation while remaining aloof and independent, or even hostile to attempts at emotional bonding. “Have the personality of cats. Bitches love cats,” advised a enlightened man who goes by the username “poopin.” This strategy includes rules such as: “Demand affection when they are distracted with something important,” and “I prowl, it is what I do,” and, in general, setting the terms of affection or withholding it apart from select moments. To simplify the take: Cats are allowed to be selfish assholes, and their owners find it cute instead of resenting them.
This theory of conquest is hilarious because it misunderstands not only women but pet ownership. Yes, we are sometimes amused by our animals’ bad behavior, though by and large we see it as the cost of interspecies companionship — cats and dogs don’t speak our language, can’t follow every cue, and will never totally conform to the expectations we have of them. What’s more, a cat’s sense of prestige and power appeals because it is unfounded, a charming illusion — for all they pride themselves on self-sufficiency, a domesticated kitty tends to be deeply reliant on his owner. How typical of the male supremacist to identify with a creature that postures and preens at length yet occasionally needs a human’s help to extract its head from a box of tissues.
Still, the red-pill crowd is of two minds about cats. The species may present a compelling framework for earning a woman’s devotion without being nice or especially interested in her — of acquiring treats and toys with coldness. I wouldn’t be shocked if some men have fantasized about having a woman scoop their shit out of a litter tray. At the same time, cats represent both a barrier between them and women and a sign of irrevocable feminine decline. If a woman is surrounded by cats, they have lost sight of the traditional heterosexual priorities that obsess the reactionary misogynists, and they’re using the pets as surrogate children. They will misrepresent their own happiness in public before going home to “cry to their cats privately.” Eventually they will “wither away alone” or commit suicide because the animals cannot grant them the natural fulfillment of motherhood. Although “the vast majority of women do not want to be the crazy cat lady feminist,” they aim to trap you in boring conversations about those cats.
Then again, what if you read an academic paper that suggests cat owners are “easier to dominate” because they fall under the hormonal sway of a feline parasite? Perhaps cat-ladies are natural submissives ripe for the plucking, which happens to dovetail with the implicit assumption that male cat lovers are beta cucks who can’t assert themselves — except maybe those guys are actually leveraging their cats for sex? This is the bind that YouTube-addled reverse-sexism experts place themselves in — trapped between their underlying bias, anecdotal evidence, and the implications of the shock pseudoscience they bandy about as fact. At no point will they consider that cats are not a unified bloc, that their personalities range roughly as far as humans’ do, and so their interactions with people are highly individual. Put another way: cats are not stereotypes.
But the stereotype, the cliché, and the canard are all that resentful men have in their fight to make everyone adopt their descriptions of current culture. They divide their own gender into hyper-muscled douchebag “Chads” and sniveling “nice guy” celibates, and they can’t even figure out which side they’re supposed to be on. They find value and reward in following axioms like “All Women Are Like That,” or “AWALT,” which hardwire their generalizing attitudes into the jargon of the movement. When it comes to applying veterinary knowledge to the social dynamics of Homo sapiens, they might as well be out here claiming that “all dogs are boys and all cats are girls.” Curious how they never end up discussing the dire mating habits of the black widow spider or praying mantis.
Anyway, it looks like the red-pillers need more time to figure out exactly how they feel regarding cats — whether they’re an obstacle or archetypes, an indicator of prudishness or promiscuity in women. Ideally, we’d lock a bunch of these guys in a basement until they come to some agreement. Oh, and every 20 minutes or so, we slip another cat into the room with them. Who knows? It might turn them into a squad of social justice allies.