Pussy Power: The Real Champions of the Feminist Movement

Artwork by Juliette Baxter

It can’t be denied that in 2018, the internet has played a monumental role in shaping feminism. While some of my peers may argue that Beyoncé and Malala Yousafzai are the true faces of Fourth Wave Feminism, I’d argue that, actually, the true champions of today’s feminist movement are the viral cats of the internet.

Not only do these ferocious felines encompass so much of contemporary feminist struggle, they also demonstrate the intrinsic pussy power energy of the feminist movement in more ways than one.

Polite Cat

Let’s look at Polite Cat. With her glassy eyes and cat lips artificially edited into a mild smile, Polite Cat truly embodies what it feels like to have a conversation with a mansplainer; that typical self-important PPE student talking authoritatively about something that he knows more about than you, by virtue of being a man. You see, Hillary didn’t lose the election because she was a woman, it was because of her emails, Benghazi, her overall vibe. The hollow smile of Polite Cat is the perfect embodiment of every woman who has unfortunately been on the receiving end of an insecure man’s rants.

Maru

Our second feminist feline is Maru the Cat, well known for her ability to squeeze herself into any box, no matter how small. While impressive, watching Maru repeatedly try to squeeze herself into containers too-small for her invokes the watcher to ponder why Maru feels compelled to do so. Is it the overwhelming societal standards for females to be palatable and thus, containable? Is it a metaphor for the narrow and suffocating constraints of gender that society forces every individual into? Is it simply a representation of how beauty standards demand women to fit into impossibly small clothing with no other alternative? Regardless of the reason, Maru is, truly, a representation of where we’ve all been before.

OMGcat

Next up, we have OMG Cat. The pure shock on this cat’s face represents how it feels when you finally hear some good feminist news amongst the steaming dumpster that is current affairs in 2018. This could include, for instance, Jacinda Arden returning to her role as Prime Minister six weeks after giving birth to her daughter. OMG Cat also represents how it feels when you find a male ally that actually cares about feminism in a way that is not part of his softboy agenda. In this day and age, we all wish we could always feel a little more like OMG Cat.

Half cat

Our fourth feline is Half Cat, a visual representation of what it feels like when you’re walking in public and desperate not be recognised by people you know. As we’ve all experienced, being an activist can be tiring. There are some days when you just have zero spoons left for socialising (because you’ve used all of them up campaigning for feminism) and the last thing you want is have a conversation about your latest impending assessment over the $1.80 avocados at Coles. However, because you live in Canberra, bumping into someone you know is basically inevitable. Even so, you will still try to avoid this by turning into Half Cat and hustling your way through your grocery list.

jumpcat

Our penultimate feminist feline icons are all the cats out there who are thoroughly shocked by cucumbers. Besides the obvious joke about pussies and phallic objects, cats being shook by cucumbers truly represents how it feels to be unpleasantly surprised by a catcall (ha), or a creepy guy eyeing you on the train, or the realisation of the impending pressure of a patriarchal society shaping how you and all your female and non-binary friends live your lives. If only we could ninja-jump away from it as easily as these cats do from vegetables.

grump

And finally, Grumpy Cat. With her surly frown and wrinkled brow, Grumpy Cat is truly an accurate representation of how all female and non-binary pals feel on the inside when faced with the reality of our current society. Grumpy Cat encapsulates our response to a plethora of questions. Why are sanitary items still treated as luxury goods and taxed as such? Why are females still unfairly tasked with invisible work and emotional labour in the workplace, while being paid less than their male counterparts? Why are bras so goddamn expensive? While these questions plague us and turn our inner feminist selves into Grumpy Cat, on the outside, we can only plaster the enigmatic, done-with-life smile of Polite Cat and continue the good fight of feminism.

So next time you roll your eyes at the fifth cat meme of the day on your Facebook newsfeed, just remember that these girls tagging their friends could really be utilising one of modern society’s greatest social tools to further the feminist cause.