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Cat Person by Kristen Roupenian Short Story Discussion Questions

Cat Person by Kristen Roupenian Short Story Discussion Questions

Question Description

This week’s readings continue our theme of love and intimacy in the media by dealing directly with the topic of sex. Our first reading is Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person,” a short story that went viral when it was published in 2017. (Read more about Roupenian and the viral story here: (Links to an external site.))

Thursday’s reading is about another controversial article that appeared in the New York Times in 2018, about how porn has become sex education for Generation Z.

Because of the sensitive nature of this week’s readings, you have two choices for your discussion posts this week. You may either answer the questions below per normal OR you may instead write a response to the essay prompt below, which should be written in complete sentences and may either be posted here


  1. Why is the story entitled “Cat Person?”
  2. How would you describe the power relations between Robert and Margot?
  3. How do text messages shape self-representation in romantic relationships?


  1. What role does the idea of “realism” play in the how the students think about pornography?
  2. Do you agree with the idea that pornography has become a form of sex education for young people? If so, should schools have programs like the one identified in the Jones piece? Why or why not?


  1. Comment on the role of gender and gender relations in each piece. Would you say the gender relations are productive or unproductive? Realistic or unrealistic? Why do you think the way you do?
  2. What do the articles teach you about the role of media in shaping sexual scripts?
  3. How do the articles reflect changing norms about sex in the internet age?
  4. Make a connection between at least one of these articles and something else we have read for this unit (since 3/24).(these article I will post blow)

Reading list from 3/24:

3/31’s reading:

Quarmby, “Disabled and Fighting for a Sex Life”

Moore, “What It’s Really Like to Tinder Date When You’re Disabled”

Burke, “How Dating Works When You’re Living with Blindness”

4/2’s reading:

Shadel, “A queer user’s guide to the wild and terrifying world of LGBTQ dating apps”

Ohara, “Looking for love on Tinder? Lesbians must first swipe past a parade of straight men”

Riotta, “Tinder still banning transgender people despite pledge of inclusivity”

3/24: In attachment files

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