Women Have An Internalized Fear Of Men, And That Needs To Change
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Women Have An Internalized Fear Of Men, And That Needs To Change

"Cat Person" gives a very honest view of modern dating and the fears women have concerning the men that enter their lives.

73
Women Have An Internalized Fear Of Men, And That Needs To Change
Pexels

The short story “Cat Person” was written by Kristen Roupenian and published by The New Yorker on December 11, 2017. This story immediately went viral and received vast amounts of praise as well as backlash. Roupenian’s story centered around a young woman named Margot who meets a man named Robert during her shift at a movie theater. She becomes interested in the older man after chatting with him for some time and eventually agrees to go on a date with him.

After a mediocre date and bad sex, Margot slowly distances herself from Robert until her friend breaks it off for her completely through text. Written in Margot’s point of view, we can understand her thought process through their relationship. “Cat Person” gives a very honest view of modern dating and the fears women have concerning the men that enter their lives.

The story compares Margot’s ideas of Robert before they meet during the texting phase of their relationship, with the actual Robert that she meets on their date. During the texting phase, Margot and Robert’s conversations revolved mainly around jokes and “little updates about their days” instead of personal interests. Without any knowledge of who Robert is or how he acts on a day-to-day basis, Margot is left creating a fantasy version of him that she ends up falling for, in her mind. It wasn’t until she got into his car that she realized his actual personality did not match the description she created which can be seen in the line, “On the drive, he was quieter than she’d expected, and he didn’t look at her very much.”

This realization led Margot to think Robert is a complete stranger that can easily overpower her if he wanted to. Her thoughts were so obvious that he had to assure her that he would not murder her. The thought Margot had in this scenario reflect that of many girls in the world. The advancement of technology has given us many opportunities to get to know each other through instant messaging, yet it’s actually become harder to communicate with other people through those same means because it is also easier to pretend to be someone you are not when you are not face-to-face with the other person. Margot also does this by letting Robert believe she is a “film-snob,” which he continues to believe to the end of the story.

The theme of consensual and non-consensual sex comes into play after Robert buys Margot alcohol. Margot starts to think about what it would be like to have sex with Robert and lets him know she is interested. He later declares that she is drunk and refuses to kiss her but she insists that she isn't. Margot changes her mind after seeing Robert shirtless as well as his bed frame-less mattress and deciding she is not attracted to him. What turns this experience into a discussion of consensual and non-consensual sex is the fact that Margot became afraid to tell Robert that she was no longer interested because “the thought of what it would take to stop what she had started was overwhelming; it would require an amount of tact and gentleness that she felt was impossible to summon.”

Margot felt that she was required to continue because of her fear that he would either force her or try to hurt her, so she took preliminary action by attempting to drink herself into submission. At first, Margot gave consent. However, when she decided she didn’t want to continue she did not tell him and forced herself to continue. This non-consensual act was not enforced by Robert, but by the internalized notion that women owe men after a date or a man’s ego is more important than a woman’s desire. After she went home, Margot “told herself that she owed him at least some kind of breakup message,” further implying that she possesses that internalized conviction.

Roupenian successfully represented the mindset of a 20-year-old sophomore in college by the way Margot handled writing out her breakup message to Robert. She typed and erased multiple different versions of the message just to continue the relationship because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings. The fear Margot has regarding the way she should speak to him is justified when you read the last few lines in the story where Robert displays a mix of emotions, then finally ends by calling her a “whore.”

The drastic changes in disposition within Robert’s messages show what could have happened if Margot had rejected him in person. Many women have to deal with the fear that a man in their life can suddenly change their attitudes completely and decide to hurt them because of something women say, or don’t say.

Margot was a naive and egotistical 20-year-old who didn’t know how to handle a situation she wasn’t familiar with, and Robert was a 34-year-old man who felt pleased that a young woman had shown interest in him. Both of these characters had their faults, however, at the end of the story, the reader is dictated to choose who they will sympathize with. Since Robert becomes angry and calls Margot a “whore” in the end, many side with her. Robert’s actions at the end of the story are an example of why women have an internalized fear of men, and often sacrifice their own happiness to assure their safety.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

309
8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List
Unsplash.com

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Fall Weather Must-Haves

Put away the swim suits and your favorite high-waisted shorts!

993

The transitional months of fall can cause some fashion headaches as you try to figure out what clothing to keep in your closet. With limited amount of college living space and the ever-unpredictable Nebraska weather, sometimes it’s difficult to know what should be taking up that precious closet space as you transition into winter. As you pack away those tanks and shorts for the chilly months ahead, get your closet ready with a few Fall must-haves. 

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Take a look at the articles driving big conversations on Odyssey.

2847
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/video/we-are-rollins-odyssey
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/video/we-are-rollins-odyssey

At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Holidays With A Small Family

I wouldn't trade what we have for the world.

5160
Matt Johnsn

When I was a kid I always went to my grandparents house whenever we celebrated any sort of holiday. We were a decently sized family and it was always a blessing to be in their house and surrounded by love during the holiday season. However, that all changed when my grandfather passed away and my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The family then began to drift apart and life went on, and we ended up all celebrating our own holidays with other family members.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Safe Spaces Or Regressive Spaces?

Turns out shielding yourself from ideas can be detrimental to your ability to learn

3886
www.semipartisansam.com

College is a place for people who want to learn. That is the primary function of any academic institution. Its purpose is not to coddle us, nor should the community always be in agreement with us. We are supposed to surround ourselves with a variety of viewpoints that challenge us to learn, not the same repetitive points of view that make us happy.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments