Sara Ramirez
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Pussy Galore-ious: Catwoman's Queer Appeal Through the Ages

Catwomen

Catwoman (née Selina Kyle) clawed her way out of the closet as a "canon bisexual" this week, but the felonious feline has always been something of a queer icon. What little baby gay didn't dream of being Julie Newmar, or Eartha Kitt, or Michelle Pfeiffer — the only women truly fit to be called Catwoman?

Julie
Eartha

Roar

There was a boy in my second grade class who bragged about being the Pfeiffer Catwoman for Halloween. Just throwing it in my face. Naturally, my first reaction was jealousy followed almost immediately (since I was already reading at an 8th grade level) by shade. "Boy, that kid is gay," I thought to myself. I wanted that costume, dammit. 

 

Pfeiffer

And could you blame seven year old me? Michelle Pfeiffer was giving life in Batman Returns — part dominatrix, part Charlie Chaplin, all crazy.

whip
Chaplin
Michelle

There's nothing like a beautiful, unhinged lady with a whip and a bold lip to really properly enfatuate a young boy. Plus she got to kick ass, take names and lick whomever she wanted. I like to think it served as a roadmap for adulthood. 

Lick

It's an epic performance and Pfeiffer skips away with the movie, yet where was the Oscar? 

skip

 

 

Kitt

While Pfeiffer's Catwoman was dark and comedic, Eartha Kitt's (from the iconically campy '60s tv show starring Adam West) had the subtlety — and ocassionally the wardrobe — of a drag queen.

Kitt Dress
fan

Pussy Wagon

Even The Joker's like, Miss Thing — tone it down. 

Further cementing her drag credentials, Eartha dropped more cheap pussy puns than a Lesbian Cat Lady Comedian Convention in the Catskills.

pun 1

pun 2

Also of note, as a lady of color, Kitt broke down a few walls and deserves more than a few snaps for portraying a sexy seductress in the racially charged years of 1967 and 1968, thus kicking open the door for Halle Berry — who subsequently closed and bolted that door shut.

 

Newmar

Still, West and Kitt shied away from any interracial canoodling — that was Star Trek's frontier — but West and orignal Catwoman, Julie Newmar, were giving off a very Ross and Rachel, will-they-or-won't-they vibe.

Cat and Bat

CatBat

Though, let's be real — they won't. Because Catwoman's purring up the wrong tree. She tries throwing herself at Batman, but his thoughts wander to the one true love of his life.

Kill Robin

If Julie Newmar's not doing it for ya, it's a lost cause. I mean, try to describe her and not use the word "statuesque."

catbooty

It's no wonder three queens road tripped across America to be crowned by her. Meanwhile, I'm not fully convinced Catwoman wasn't having an affair with her own ward, Pussycat, played by the late Lesley Gore

Pussycat

It's their sapphic party and Robin will cry if he wants to.

So with all due respect to Miss Vida Boheme, Julie Newmar is not the only Catwoman. Rather, Newmar, Eartha Kitt and Michelle Pfeiffer are the Holy Trinity of campy Catwomen who best represent the undeniably queer appeal of this quirky comic book heroine...purrrrrr-fectly.

Les Fabian Brathwaite, drag princess: P-to-the-R-to-the-IN-to-the-CESS.

Tags: Popnography

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