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While the World Burns, the Internet Debates Garfield’s Gender

garfield odie dancing

Here’s one of those genuine internet mysteries that I know keeps me up at night: so just what is Garfield’s gender?

Apparently there was a pretty big debate going on last week that got so heated, Wikipedia had to temporarily lock editing privileges for the Garfield page. The debate comes after a discussion that was featured over two years ago between creator Jim Davies and the Mental Floss blog. The article was titled, “20 Things You Might Not Know About Garfield,” and Davies was quoted as saying, “Garfield is very universal. By virtue of being a cat, really, he’s not really male or female or any particular race or nationality, young or old.”

This quote scanned fine, apparently, for over two years, right up until last week, when, according to the Washington Post, satirist Virgil Texas dug up the quote and put it right back in the public eye.

And so, the internet being the internet, a, uh… healthy debate emerged, with the Heat Street blog arguing that “cultural marxists” are “turning one of pop culture’s most iconic men into a gender fluid abomination.” I kid you not. The post reads too much like satire to really take seriously, but… I mean, come on. The internet has debated and found many less worthwhile hills to die on, so to speak.

I guess, though the Washington Post just had to have an answer, so Davis had this to say, definitively:

Garfield is male. He has a girlfriend, Arlene.

Well, there you go, then.

(image via screencap)

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.