For decades womxn have felt unrepresented by liberal feminism and its lack of intersectionality. In her new book, Cats Are Trash: But Maybe Feminists Are Too, Majella Mark seeks to entertain, encourage and educate readers on the history and potentiality of feminism.
Feminism is a term that has lived through waves of embrace and disgust. Past mishaps have led to distrust among women, which has led to segregated activism, which continues the brokenness of our efforts to gain gender equality. With the lack of intersectionality over the years we possessed Womanism, Trans Feminism, Equity Feminism and Radical Feminism among others. Gender Equality is the goal presented, but within the movement very few feel properly represented or that their vulnerabilities are being seriously fought for.
One of the most detrimental setbacks of the Women’s Movement is our inaction because of pride, fear or ignorance. We have taken the idea of the feminist identity to a very granular defensive level instead of executing intersectionality. Today in the US over half of the female population identify as feminist, but many don’t know what that actually entails. The 2020 US election resulted in Kamala Harris becoming our first female VP, but the votes that got her elected showcase the divide we still have among self-identifying women. 53% of the white female vote went to Trump despite the Women’s Marches, the increase in female representation in congress and the blatant disrespect the 45th president constantly displayed. Obviously there is something these women saw in Trump that made them feel heard – or they just like being second to men. So, besides the pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests and Zoom exhaustion, we now continue the election cycle of shock, fake shock, disappointment and straight anger over the sabotage the feminist movement has experienced.
2020 was also the year of simplistic amusements. During quarantine, I began to observe my cats Gin Whisky and Bourbon with an analytical lens. I simply noted how they behaved with each other, with me and visitors. I realized my two cats had very different approaches to getting through the day, but also found a way to get along despite their cat fights and hissing matches. Gin Whisky is older, quiet, affectionate, and moody. Bourbon is young, cautious, detached and also moody. Something they have in common is their lack of shame, their freeing nature to get your attention with their screams, their clear boundaries with consent and their use of cuteness to get what they want. They are hedonists who remind their “owners” that they choose to be around them. I’m impressed with their confidence, undoubting demand for their pleasure and their ‘Big Pussy Energy’ that dominates a room. I think feminists should follow suit as we continue the battle for equality; we should be unapologetic in our feminine and masculine nature. After observing Gin and Whiskey, I decided to write a ridiculous book with my findings that I know will help a feminist get motivated to fight for justice – or at least makes them laugh.
Cats Are Trash Human Beings is a fun adult picture pop-up book teaching basic human rights concepts and highlighting well deserving activists and their accomplishments. This book is now up for pre-order with bonuses such as the Cats Are Trash Human Beings tote bag and online webinars. Feminism in particular has become a triggering subject for all genders and creating a book that brings some perspective using the fun analogy of cat behavior is a great way to ease people into having the necessary discussions about gender equality and overall Women’s Rights.
Feminism has had some wins in the last couple of years, but we have an opportunity to be better. Susan B Anthony left Black women behind because of the Suffrage Movement’s stagnant progression. Shirley Chisholm did not get the support she needed from the Women’s Movement when she was running for US president in 1972 and Anita Hill was pretty much on her own facing Clarence Thomas in court in 1991. There have been missed opportunities to be great and stand in solidarity with one another. There have been moments that have left a bad taste in many advocates mouths, but with this new year we can start again and be better. So of course to help, I created a silly book that can make us laugh, but teach us a thing or two about what it means to be in the fight for equality.
Pre-Order your copy of the quirky pop up book Cats Are Trash Human Beings: What I Learned About Feminism Through My Cats today! The campaign is on Publishizer for less than 4 days.
About Majella Mark
Majella Mark is a researcher and artist who has created pieces for many art exhibitions including Tiny Pricks and Visual Aids. She has also conducted numerous social justice workshops such as “The Wakanda Workshop”, which addresses racial inequalities using Marvel’s Black Panther as a cultural reference and the “Pvssy Plate Painting Party” to address gender inequalities and the objectification of the female body inspired by Judy Chicago’s art piece, The Dinner Party. Majella is involved with many organisations, including Support Creativity, Black Women’s BluePrint and others. She is also head of data for Womanly Magazine and Womanly Health. With her sister Sherrie Mark she founded the creative house Met God, She’s Black that consists of a podcast, online community, events, art activism and collaborations. Follow Majella on Twitter @MajellaMark and Instagram @majellamark