Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4119
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4127
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This paper provides a Bakhtinian reading of Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person” in order to register the status of dialogue pertaining to questions of sexual coercion and consent in the wake of the #metoo movement. I identify two prominent discourses in the short story: feminist critiques of domination (perspectives that account for structural imbalances that tend to put men in a hierarchy above women) and sex-positive feminism (a worldview that promotes female sexual agency). These two discourses, this paper argues, are relevant to understanding why a collapse of dialogue ensues in the narrative. I then use “Cat Person” to propose a way of contemplating the contemporary media landscape as a generator of failed dialogue.


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