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Thread: Read this short story and give your reaction

  1. #1
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Read this short story and give your reaction

    It's called "Cat Person": https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2.../11/cat-person

    It's from December 2017, and went viral, but I read it yesterday for the first time.

    It will take you about 10 minutes to read.

    It is notable due to the various, vastly different reactions to it, especially between men and women.

    Read it and post your true reaction/feelings regarding the story.

    BTW, it is fiction, so none of the events in the story ever occurred, nor are the characters real people.

    I will post my reaction later.

  2. #2
    she was a bitch and he was a loser
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  3. #3
    What strong opinions are there to have? Nobody here is really the bad guy. Robert comes off like kind of an asshole at first, but you soon learn that he's just insecure. You could criticize Margot for stringing him along, but it's understandable to feel too awkward after a certain point.

    Both of them are complicating everything by being nervous, deflecting with jokes, making wild assumptions and not being direct. About halfway through the story you just feel awful for both of them. The whole thing is kinda sad.

     
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  4. #4
    Oh, people think Robert's a rapist? loooool sigh

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Sanchez View Post
    Oh, people think Robert's a rapist? loooool sigh

    Really?

    I donít know where that would come from. That she drank a bit much?

    Zap pretty much nailed it. Heís an awkward nerd and her telling everyone and making a big production out of something she initiated makes her kind of a bitch.

  6. #6
    Shit like that happens all the time imo

    Other shit happens too

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Sanchez View Post
    Oh, people think Robert's a rapist? loooool sigh

    Really?

    I donít know where that would come from. That she drank a bit much?

    Zap pretty much nailed it. Heís an awkward nerd and her telling everyone and making a big production out of something she initiated makes her kind of a bitch.
    She's young and stupid the way young people are. Her retelling the story has her at her best light and he at his worst. People tend to do that to shift focus from their actions. It's easier to come out a hero that way. Also why it's actually hard to know what happened even if you hear both sides of "he said, she said" stories".

    Oh and for a 10 minute story that took ages. Slight possibility that i'm not in the target demographic.

  8. #8
    Diamond big dick's Avatar
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    I quit after ten minutes when I checked and realized I had another 20 to go.

    Did he fuck her?

  9. #9
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    I guess it's longer than 10 minutes. I read it while at Commerce last night, so I guess I didn't really keep track of time.

    Anyway, before I get to my opinion, the interesting thing about this story involves the extremely varied reactions depending upon the demographic reading it:

    Typical straight female: "OMG I can totally relate! I've been exactly in her position before! Yes! I thought I was the crazy one and was ashamed to admit it. But holy fuck, this is accurate, and I bet tons of women have had an experience exactly like this!"

    Typical straight male: "Looks to me like Robert had no game and no idea how to romance a woman. But that Margot chick was really shallow, led him on, couldn't make up her mind, sent mixed signals, and then was disgusted just because he bent down at an angle which made his belly look bigger? Fuck, I hope this isn't representative of how women think. Because if it is, it explains a lot regarding some chicks who seemed to be into me and just vanished."

    SJW male: "This is very eye-opening. It shows that us men have a long way to go regarding how we treat women, and how even when we think we are careful to get consent, maybe we are still making them uncomfortable. I really hope I've never been a 'Robert', and if I have, I apologize to any women I made uncomfortable!"

    Feminist: "Story perfectly illustrates the patriarchy and male privilege. Women are still under the impression that, at some point, they are obligated to have sex with their date, even if they don't really want it. They seem to believe they lack the ability to change their minds, either due to societal expectations or fear of violence. This situation was borderline rape, and the perpetrator didn't even realize it."

    SJW female: "It is hard to root for the Margot character because this is yet another tale of thin straight white young cisgender female angst. Why is this story getting so much attention? Where is the attention for similar pieces involving women of color, lesbians, overweight women, or transgender women? I am having trouble feeling any sympathy for a character who is already in such a position of privilege. Also WTF is with the fat shaming?"


    If you want to read the cringeworthy reactions of some SJW soy boys, go here: https://www.thecut.com/2017/12/8-men...at-person.html

  10. #10
    Gold Salty_Aus's Avatar
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    She flipflops all over the place, overthinks and reads too much into everything... neurotic.

    Sort of story you'd know it was fiction without being told it was.

  11. #11
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    So here's my take on it:

    First off, the ending was horrible.

    Absolutely horrible.

    It was like the author was intending for Margot to be the hero, Robert the villain, and then realized that she wrote the story in such a way to where certain people might exit the story with sympathy for Robert. Rather than doing a rewrite in order to convey a different message, the author probably decided, "You know what? I'll just have Robert step totally out of character at the end and abruptly become outwardly obsessive, crass, and vindictive. Let's see here... I'll write about 10 consecutive short-but-crazy texts from him for the story's ending... annnnnnnnnnnnnd.... done! Perfect! Now he's the villain for sure!

    I wasn't the only one to notice this. After I read the story and was highly disappointed by the lazy ending, I read other comments online (from both genders). Many were lamenting the way the author had to beat us over the head with "Robert really is a bad guy" narrative in the final 0.5% of the story.

    That aside, I found neither character to be likable, so the story was difficult for me to get through. I only forced myself because I had heard it went viral 16 months ago, and I wanted to understand what the fuss was all about.

    Robert was frustratingly clueless about women, but in an annoyingly self-assured sort of way. He wasn't the charming-but-awkward nerd who you'd root for to end up with the girl. As I read the story, I wondered where it was going to go. Robert was believable enough as a potential jerk to where I could see him raping Margot, but he also wasn't an obvious villain. Either way, he annoyed me and I didn't like him.

    Margot, however, was even worse. She led Robert on. She couldn't make her mind up about him, sometimes psyching herself out to be turned on and excited by him, and other times being repulsed by him. She was also incredibly shallow, completely losing her taste for him because he bent over awkwardly to grab something while naked, and his "fat hairy belly" suddenly looked ugly to her. Really? That's all it took? What's the message to men here -- that they better watch how they bend over while naked, or they lose their sex appeal forever? I would understand if this passage were written in order to make Margot look shallow, but instead it was written to validate real life shallow women and their "OMG he suddenly repulsed me" moments from their younger (and perhaps current) dating years.

    I would hope that women who see their past selves in Margot would take the attitude of, "Wow, this all rings a bell, I can't believe I was once this shallow and wishy-washy, but I'm glad I've grown as a person since then." Instead, it seems the character is sending a message of validation -- one of, "Oh, so all women do this, so I had nothing to feel guilty about."

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    So here's my take on it:

    First off, the ending was horrible.

    Absolutely horrible.

    It was like the author was intending for Margot to be the hero, Robert the villain, and then realized that she wrote the story in such a way to where certain people might exit the story with sympathy for Robert. Rather than doing a rewrite in order to convey a different message, the author probably decided, "You know what? I'll just have Robert step totally out of character at the end and abruptly become outwardly obsessive, crass, and vindictive. Let's see here... I'll write about 10 consecutive short-but-crazy texts from him for the story's ending... annnnnnnnnnnnnd.... done! Perfect! Now he's the villain for sure!

    I wasn't the only one to notice this. After I read the story and was highly disappointed by the lazy ending, I read other comments online (from both genders). Many were lamenting the way the author had to beat us over the head with "Robert really is a bad guy" narrative in the final 0.5% of the story.

    That aside, I found neither character to be likable, so the story was difficult for me to get through. I only forced myself because I had heard it went viral 16 months ago, and I wanted to understand what the fuss was all about.

    Robert was frustratingly clueless about women, but in an annoyingly self-assured sort of way. He wasn't the charming-but-awkward nerd who you'd root for to end up with the girl. As I read the story, I wondered where it was going to go. Robert was believable enough as a potential jerk to where I could see him raping Margot, but he also wasn't an obvious villain. Either way, he annoyed me and I didn't like him.

    Margot, however, was even worse. She led Robert on. She couldn't make her mind up about him, sometimes psyching herself out to be turned on and excited by him, and other times being repulsed by him. She was also incredibly shallow, completely losing her taste for him because he bent over awkwardly to grab something while naked, and his "fat hairy belly" suddenly looked ugly to her. Really? That's all it took? What's the message to men here -- that they better watch how they bend over while naked, or they lose their sex appeal forever? I would understand if this passage were written in order to make Margot look shallow, but instead it was written to validate real life shallow women and their "OMG he suddenly repulsed me" moments from their younger (and perhaps current) dating years.

    I would hope that women who see their past selves in Margot would take the attitude of, "Wow, this all rings a bell, I can't believe I was once this shallow and wishy-washy, but I'm glad I've grown as a person since then." Instead, it seems the character is sending a message of validation -- one of, "Oh, so all women do this, so I had nothing to feel guilty about."
    Good thing you aren't reading too much in to any of this, unlike the 5 caricature opinions you provided.

    It's a short story. The ending is lazy in the sense this wasn't a novel or novella. There's nothing out of the ordinary in the ending in context of the format.

    The writer is a woman in her late 30s. In all likelihood she hates young attractive women more than you do.

  13. #13
    100% Organic MumblesBadly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gimmick View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    So here's my take on it:

    First off, the ending was horrible.

    Absolutely horrible.

    It was like the author was intending for Margot to be the hero, Robert the villain, and then realized that she wrote the story in such a way to where certain people might exit the story with sympathy for Robert. Rather than doing a rewrite in order to convey a different message, the author probably decided, "You know what? I'll just have Robert step totally out of character at the end and abruptly become outwardly obsessive, crass, and vindictive. Let's see here... I'll write about 10 consecutive short-but-crazy texts from him for the story's ending... annnnnnnnnnnnnd.... done! Perfect! Now he's the villain for sure!

    I wasn't the only one to notice this. After I read the story and was highly disappointed by the lazy ending, I read other comments online (from both genders). Many were lamenting the way the author had to beat us over the head with "Robert really is a bad guy" narrative in the final 0.5% of the story.

    That aside, I found neither character to be likable, so the story was difficult for me to get through. I only forced myself because I had heard it went viral 16 months ago, and I wanted to understand what the fuss was all about.

    Robert was frustratingly clueless about women, but in an annoyingly self-assured sort of way. He wasn't the charming-but-awkward nerd who you'd root for to end up with the girl. As I read the story, I wondered where it was going to go. Robert was believable enough as a potential jerk to where I could see him raping Margot, but he also wasn't an obvious villain. Either way, he annoyed me and I didn't like him.

    Margot, however, was even worse. She led Robert on. She couldn't make her mind up about him, sometimes psyching herself out to be turned on and excited by him, and other times being repulsed by him. She was also incredibly shallow, completely losing her taste for him because he bent over awkwardly to grab something while naked, and his "fat hairy belly" suddenly looked ugly to her. Really? That's all it took? What's the message to men here -- that they better watch how they bend over while naked, or they lose their sex appeal forever? I would understand if this passage were written in order to make Margot look shallow, but instead it was written to validate real life shallow women and their "OMG he suddenly repulsed me" moments from their younger (and perhaps current) dating years.

    I would hope that women who see their past selves in Margot would take the attitude of, "Wow, this all rings a bell, I can't believe I was once this shallow and wishy-washy, but I'm glad I've grown as a person since then." Instead, it seems the character is sending a message of validation -- one of, "Oh, so all women do this, so I had nothing to feel guilty about."
    Good thing you aren't reading too much in to any of this, unlike the 5 caricature opinions you provided.

    It's a short story. The ending is lazy in the sense this wasn't a novel or novella. There's nothing out of the ordinary in the ending in context of the format.

    The writer is a woman in her late 30s. In all likelihood she hates young attractive women more than you do.
    More than likely, this fictional story is based in large part on her own personal experience when she was younger, and updated re the extensive use of texting for communication to be more relevant to modern readers.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by MumblesBadly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by gimmick View Post

    Good thing you aren't reading too much in to any of this, unlike the 5 caricature opinions you provided.

    It's a short story. The ending is lazy in the sense this wasn't a novel or novella. There's nothing out of the ordinary in the ending in context of the format.

    The writer is a woman in her late 30s. In all likelihood she hates young attractive women more than you do.
    More than likely, this fictional story is based in large part on her own personal experience when she was younger, and updated re the extensive use of texting for communication to be more relevant to modern readers.
    Doesn't read anything like it. Women rarely choose as their "avatar" a character that's only positive attribute is nice tits. Margot is likely someone she knew in some form but it's not the writer herself.

     
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  15. #15
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gimmick View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MumblesBadly View Post

    More than likely, this fictional story is based in large part on her own personal experience when she was younger, and updated re the extensive use of texting for communication to be more relevant to modern readers.
    Doesn't read anything like it. Women rarely choose as their "avatar" a character that's only positive attribute is nice tits. Margot is likely someone she knew in some form but it's not the writer herself.
    It's unclear if the writer made "Margot" a version of her younger self, or if it as a completely fictitious invention.

    I could believe it either way.

    She probably did at least have an experience of her own where she wanted to reject a man during the "late stage" of a date shortly before sex would normally happen, and felt uncomfortable doing so.

    She didn't seem to understand men very well. The Robert character was all over the place, and that ending was totally out of character. It was like she lifted it from dating site tales where some guys get inexplicably rude and obscene after getting turned down. Totally didn't fit with the rest of the story. Remember, one part of the story had Margot's roommate sending a blunt rejection via text to Robert (as Margot), and he responded very politely. Then, later, after seeing her at a bar with another guy and avoiding him, he still texted her politely. The ending was lazy writing, plain and simple. Plus the author just doesn't understand men.

    This is actually a common problem in fiction writing. Women sometimes have a hard time writing for male characters, and vice versa.

  16. #16
    Mad Neg Repper 1marley1's Avatar
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    You shouldnít have called her a whore Druff, that was mean.

     
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  17. #17
    Ainít no way that story takes 10 minutes to read. I stopped at the point where they were at the bar and he offered to buy her a vodka soda but she wanted a beer.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by gimmick View Post

    Doesn't read anything like it. Women rarely choose as their "avatar" a character that's only positive attribute is nice tits. Margot is likely someone she knew in some form but it's not the writer herself.
    It's unclear if the writer made "Margot" a version of her younger self, or if it as a completely fictitious invention.

    I could believe it either way.

    She probably did at least have an experience of her own where she wanted to reject a man during the "late stage" of a date shortly before sex would normally happen, and felt uncomfortable doing so.

    She didn't seem to understand men very well. The Robert character was all over the place, and that ending was totally out of character. It was like she lifted it from dating site tales where some guys get inexplicably rude and obscene after getting turned down. Totally didn't fit with the rest of the story. Remember, one part of the story had Margot's roommate sending a blunt rejection via text to Robert (as Margot), and he responded very politely. Then, later, after seeing her at a bar with another guy and avoiding him, he still texted her politely. The ending was lazy writing, plain and simple. Plus the author just doesn't understand men.

    This is actually a common problem in fiction writing. Women sometimes have a hard time writing for male characters, and vice versa.
    Robert character could be said to have been written as an insecure loser and for that lashing out (partially warranted) doesn't seem out of character or that his initial response to rejection would be polite. As resentment grew and he realized nothing could be saved after a night of drinking sending 10 texts doesn't seem out of place.

    She prefers writing fairly open ended characters and that might explain some of the appeal. I was mostly just bored.

    The clues to Margot not being her are in the lack of positive attributes and the way she is described. There are no real excuses provided for her actions. Not to say you can't have negative versions of yourself as characters, but they usually are made differently. Weirdly Robert resembles those more.

    I think the writer fairly explicitly has said Margot is not her, but parts of the story are based on real dates she had in her mid 30s. She now lives with a woman. In her 20s she volunteered for Peace Corps in Kenya.

    Oh yea and as non drinker i can guarantee that people make stupid decisions when they are drunk all the time. Like sleeping with people they aren't that attracted to and sending texts to exes/crushes.

  19. #19
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gimmick View Post
    I think the writer fairly explicitly has said Margot is not her, but parts of the story are based on real dates she had in her mid 30s. She now lives with a woman. In her 20s she volunteered for Peace Corps in Kenya.
    Interesting. I didn't bother to look up much about the writer. I googled her picture, and saw she was an average-looking white chick in her late 30s with short hair.

    Didn't know she turned out to be a lesbian. Guess that would explain why she had some dates where guys turned her off so easily.

  20. #20
    100% Organic MumblesBadly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by gimmick View Post
    I think the writer fairly explicitly has said Margot is not her, but parts of the story are based on real dates she had in her mid 30s. She now lives with a woman. In her 20s she volunteered for Peace Corps in Kenya.
    Interesting. I didn't bother to look up much about the writer. I googled her picture, and saw she was an average-looking white chick in her late 30s with short hair.

    Didn't know she turned out to be a lesbian. Guess that would explain why she had some dates where guys turned her off so easily.
    Speaking from personal experience in my younger and quite ignorant days, a lot of non-lesbian women are turned off by the heavy handed manual pawing, speedy position gymnastics, and crude verbalizations that sexually inexperienced men are fooled into thinking women find sexy by your run-of-the-mill porn flick.
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