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 a contributing editor and columnist at Catapult, and assistant editor at Barrelhouse Books. She's the editor of Burn it Down, a critically acclaimed anthology of essays on women's anger from Seal Press; and the author of Negative Space, a reported and illustrated memoir selected by Carmen Maria Machado as a winner of the 2019 Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards, forthcoming in 2021. Lilly's writing has been published by Longreads, The Rumpus, The Washington Post, Glamour, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and more. Find her on Twitter here.