Why are conservative men so afraid of “cat ladies”?

“How many of these women who are mobilizing against the overturning of the Roe V. Wade ruling are overeducated and unloved millennials, sadly returning home from the protests for a solitary dinner, reheated in the microwave, in company of their cats and no match on Bumble?”

This tricky tweet is by US House of Representatives Matt Gaetz. Which is not the only one to have used this image since JD Vance, bestselling author who has just been nominated Republican Party candidate for senator from Ohio, used it at least twice in 2021.

“Our country is effectively ruled, through the Democrats and the big business oligarchy, by a bunch of childless cat ladies, unhappy in their lives because of the choices they’ve made, who therefore want to make the rest of the unhappy country too”, he told Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson.

What are they afraid of, asks journalist Sarah Jones?

Used in anti-feminist imagery

In fact, she observes, the “cat lady” (catwoman, which can also mean cat woman) is “an old stereotype based on stupid beliefs about single women and feminists. Associated with women and the ‘domestic sphere’, cats were used in anti-feminist imagery ‘to portray suffragettes as idiotic, childish, unfit for political life’, according to The Society Pages”, a University of Minnesota resource bank.

This figure is indeed enough to scare conservative men:

“The cat woman traditionally has no man. His needs and habits are not dictated by a spouse or children. She can form her own opinions and she is free to do what she wants, which means she has time to deal with politics.”

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