Monday, December 5, 2011

Cat Fights

We have all heard of the term cat fight, and usually associate it as a fight between two women. Methods involved in fighting include scratching, slapping, hair-pulling and shirt-shredding (according to Wikipedia). Obviously, the superheroines we have studied in class have never resorted to this form of fighting, but I thought it was interesting to bring up how society links women and violence.

Cat fights are supposedly the way real women fight- we resort to cheap tactics and can't throw a good punch. Men are ashamed if called "you fight like a girl." It hurts to see that society continues to label women as physically incapable of harming someone or protecting themselves. Women are still labeled as weak and unable to fight- the media might recognize male boxers but few will report on female boxers.

Furthermore, there has been huge exploitation on this idea of "cat fighting." Many cat fighting videos have surfaced, as men apparently find it amusing to see women fight this way. There are sexual undertones hinting towards lesbianism in these commercialized cat fights. I find it disgusting how cat fighting has defined the fighting power of women- we are all not weaklings, and we don't necessarily fight in that way. The exploitation of cat fights has further tainted the strength of females- two females fighting are seen as a joke and now carry sexual undertones. I think this idea of women fighting as "cat fights" has significantly contributed to the idea that superheroines can only fight other women and not men.


  1. Although I do agree with your point that the term "cat-fight" can be degrading, it is untrue that none of the superheroes in our class have used some of these techniques. When Buffy first meets the other slayer Kendra, they get in a fight where Buffy tells her, "Don't make me do the chick fight thing" and then digs her nails into Kendra's arm. Buffy isn't kept from using "cat-fight" techniques when they are useful but it obviously isn't all that she uses. I don't know if it is a good or bad thing that she uses them her- whether it shows her resourcefulness or just gives women a bad name.

  2. I had never thought about cat fights in this way before. I have always heard the term "catty" to refer to women who are being aggressive and sometimes rude. It all goes back to how women are compared to men. When men fight we call them fights but when women fight we call them cat fights because they use words and actions while men just use actions. A man calling another man a "b*tch" or a "Slut" won't do anything but if a woman called another woman that then it would result in a verbal fight followed by some hair pulling because most women don't punch each other in the face like men would.


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