It’s not just OK to be a cat man, it’s worth celebrating. Cats and the men who love them are changing the way men see themselves and each other.
“For too long, there’s been a stereotype about cat guys,” reads the ‘about’ section of the It’s Okay to be a Cat Guy Facebook page. “Unmanly. More soft than rugged. More feminine than masculine.”
Brooklyn-based photographer David Williams is helping up end those out dated notions. His photo book, Men With Cats, “celebrates cat-owning men and the precious kitties who have stolen their hearts.”
Williams and others feline savvy males who identify themselves as cat men are featured in an article by ABC News online.
The article included another proud cat man, Myles Loughran, co-owner of Cat Cafe Melbourne, who spoke to ABC News.”There’s something about cats,” he said. “I feel they can give you that real dedication that a lot of animals can’t. And even though they can be a bit aloof, when they bond with you, there’s nothing like it.”
According to the ABC News article, “Loughran represents a burgeoning movement of men who are shaking off the tired stereotype that cat ownership is exclusively a feminine pastime and publicly embracing their affinity for kitties.”
Dr Heather Fraser, senior lecturer at Flinders University, is studying what she calls “feline masculinities” and the rise of cat men on social media.
“There are aspects of orthodox masculinity that get in the way of or prohibit … many men from being able to talk in the same kind of ways about their feelings about animals as women,” Dr Fraser told ABC News.
“So I think it’s quite an interesting cultural shift to see especially young men … taking on cat love and presenting it in ways [on social media] that challenge the stereotype that they’re effeminate.”