The Male Sexism of the Label “Crazy Cat Lady”

Crazy cat lady
Crazy cat lady stereotype.
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There is male sexism behind the label “crazy cat lady”. Sexism from the male of the human species is endemic throughout the planet. It almost happens in a subconscious way. It appears to be in the DNA of the male. No doubt females are also sexist towards males but there is also no doubt that far more men engage in sexism than women. It keeps women in their place.

The label “crazy cat lady” is patronising and degrading. It implies that you have got to be a bit crazy to look after several cats or more and that it is always women who do this. The truth of the matter is that nearly all these ladies are decent people who are sensitive to the plight of unwanted cats.

I believe it’s time that this sort of sexism was dealt with and eliminated. It won’t happen because, as stated above, it is hardwired into the DNA of men.

What got me thinking about this was a recent study not associated with the domestic cat. It concerns how scientists with PhD qualifications referred to each other during academic presentations.

When women introduced men they use the man’s professional title (“Dr”) 95% of the time. When men introduced women, the figure was 49%. So a woman would say, “This is Dr John Smith” while a man would say, “This is Julia Smith” even though she had a PhD.

The research was published in the Journal of Women’s Health. It appears that when this issue was mentioned to men the response was they “don’t know what you’re talking about”.

They just do it subconsciously without realising it. Dr Marcia Ko, who worked on the research paper, said that it was an example of the sort of biases that could make life harder for women academics.

“When you introduce people in this way repeatedly, you can further gender discrimination. You invalidate their credibility.”

Of course you have to agree with that. Labelling women who like cats and who live with lots of cats “crazy cat ladies” is a way of invalidating their credibility. It is gender discrimination. It is making women who are sensitive towards the welfare of cats appear irrational and stupid.

If a man looked after lots of cats they would not be labelled in the same way. They might in fact be labelled as gay. Or if they were known not to be gay they’d be regarded as sensitive – a positive trait to many women. But to label men who like cats as gay would also be discrimination and a way of trying to invalidate their credibility.

It’s all about male sexism and it comes primarily, I would say, from the male of the species who likes to hunt and kill animals.

5 thoughts on “The Male Sexism of the Label “Crazy Cat Lady””

  1. I have loved cats since I was a small child. I have often been called a crazy cat lady (I only have one indoor kitty), because I am older, and black. And you know the stereotype: black people don’t like cats.

  2. I, too am tired of the phrase. I have disliked the simpsons from the first and don’t care to watch it. I take in cats that have been dumped in the desert and ferals that come to my home looking for a handout. I find homes for the domestic kitties, thanks to my vet who has adopted out the dumped kitties to good homes. I have 2 dumped kitties who have been so traumatized, that I will never put them through anything again. The four really feral ferals also will remain with me and live out their lives with love and care.

  3. The answer to this is simple. This is why they see humans as “invasive species vermin” and not the true and realistic other way around.

  4. I agree Michael, and I’ve been sick of The Simpson’s treatment of cats and their stereotypical crazy cat lady on their cartoon. People are notoriously given to think in black and white terms to invalidate, denigrate or villain-ize others. Whatever shortcut is readily available, whatever makes it easy to do so, they’ll do. People are lazy and don’t want to think what might motivate another to do or not do something, it’s just easier to hate and denigrate. The only unfair or sick conclusion my neighbors haven’t used against me is that I’m a crazy cat lady, but only because I’m a man, supposedly. No doubt some have suspected I’m not even human.

    On a different note, (tip of the day): clean behind your coffee maker screen (what looks like a shower head) where hot water drips on the coffee, usually held in by one screw. I just did and was horrified by whatever was growing there, even more than my neighbors.

  5. Thank goodness my husband supports equal rights. I can’t say for certain that we’d be a couple if he didn’t leave his ego on the shelf now and then.
    We both Love our cats. Eva


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