Cover Photo: Scene from "Batman Returns" , DC/Warner Bros.
Scene from "Batman Returns" , DC/Warner Bros.

What Catwoman Taught Me About Sexuality and Power

Wearing the catsuit and embodying Pfeiffer’s slinkiness as best I could in my awkward, skinny body, I understood for the first time that I could be a sexual being, not just a sexual object.

ThisisFallen Women, a monthly column by Lilly Dancyger on women coded as villains in pop culture, the power in their badness, and how they shaped fans for good.

Batman Returns

Batman ReturnsReturns beautiful

Returns

I had a poster of Pfeiffer as Catwoman on my wall growing up, above my bed, her steely gaze protecting me from nightmares and intruders.

wasn’t

Batman Returns

Lilly Dancyger is the Memoir Editor at Narratively, a Contributing Editor at Catapult, and Assistant Books Editor at Barrelhouse. She's also the editor of BURN IT DOWN, an anthology of essays about women's anger, forthcoming from Seal Press. Her personal essays have appeared in Psychology Today, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and more. Her students and private editing clients have published work in prestigious publications, including Rolling Stone, The Guardian, New York Magazine, and Longreads. You can read Lilly’s work here, and follow her on Twitter here.