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Sunday, October 26, 2014

On a Hot Tin Roof

In her short-lived comic book series, the Cat repeatedly faced male opponents who underestimated her capabilities specifically because she was a woman. In the Cat Scratches letters column, readers commented on the feminist themes within the series, and the portrayal of the title character. Here is one letter published in The Cat #4 (June 1973).

Dear Stan,

THE CLAWS OF THE CAT was well-written, well-drawn, well-inked, well-lettered, and well-colored. So what am I writing about? I'm writing about a comic mag that is good, but is flawed and will be ruined by Women's Lib sayings.

Equal pay for equal work is fair and just, and it's the right way. But all that stuff about "male chauvinist pigs" and women being "sex objects" is a lotta (CENSORED). Anyway, what's wrong with being a sex object?

Bryan Newman

Here was the editorial reply:

Apparently, Bryan, you've never been whistled and leered at on a street corner. Or had a sensitive extremity pinched in an elevator car. Or been treated with disdain because you dared show some grain of intelligence. Or been refused a job because you might become pregnant.

But those are the things that are wrong with being a "sex object". And the whole point is … people shouldn't be treated as any kind of object! We don't consume human beings the way we do noodle soup. Or at least … we're not supposed to Think of it.

Meanwhile, we're glad you're enthusiastic about the CLAWS OF THE CAT. And, while we do plan to soft-pedal the rhetoric (and let the plots make our point instead), we felt we had to answer your query directly.

Till next ish: purr softly … and carry a big stick!

The Cat #4, however, was the last issue of the series. The character next appeared in Giant-Size Creatures #1, when she transformed into Tigra.

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