It is said that once a fictional character enters the public imagination, its author ceases to have control over its meaning, how it is perceived, and the arrangement of skin and flaps that dangles–or doesn’t–between its legs.
Well that’s certainly the case with beloved cartoon cat Garfield, who has been the subject of great internet controversy for the past week. Basically, Garfield’s creator Jim Davis made a super airy-fairy statement about Garfield belonging to the masses, and thus having no true gender.
Did you hear that? No true gender.
Well tumblr certainly heard it, and it didn’t take very long for the goodly news to spread across the land. Of course the theory had its detractors, but that didn’t matter. Davis had spoken: A gender neutral Garfield was canon. SJWs everywhere rejoiced, for they could now officially claim another as their own. And so they did:
FACT: Garfield has no gender. This. Is. Canon. pic.twitter.com/umm4OmeeVx
— Virgil Texas (@virgiltexas) February 24, 2017
But alas, it was not to be. Davis quickly clarified Garfield’s true gender (male) citing the fact of his girlfriend, Arlette, as proof.
Gosh, Jim. Heteronormative much?