“Catcalling” refers to the traumatizing experience of verbal abuse and sexual innuendos that
men often throw at women walking by. However, it is one of many terms that associates felines with femininity, and its playful sounding name does not reflect the true fear one can experience when being catcalled. Here, a woman gives catcalling a new meaning as she literally calls an army of cats to back her up as she walks down a sketchy city street.
“Grow a Pair” is an emasculating term that promotes toxic masculinity. It also implies that one’s genitalia is equal to their strength and masculinity, which is harmful and exclusive to trans and nonbinary folks. In this illustration, a young man is portrayed gently tending to a pear tree, or literally growing a pear. He has rejected the expectations of toxic masculinity in favor of the nurturing, stereotypically feminine hobby of gardening, showing there is strength in being gentle and caring.
“Smile more!” is a phrase often thrown at women by men, and is a lot more aggravating and disrespectful than people realize. Women do not exist to please men, and are not obligated to be kind to them especially if these men are harassing them. This illustration puts a sarcastic take on this phrase, depicting a woman baring an irritable, aggressive “grin” of sharp teeth that is more of a snarl than a smile toward a group of disrespectful men, proving that women “smiling” more often becomes women having to bare their fangs in order to defend themselves from unwanted advances.
A “Catfight” is a fight between two women, and is yet another example of misogynist slang associating women with cats. Media often glorifies the “catfight” trope and the notion of pitting women against each other for the sake of pettiness and entertainment. Here, women help
another during a fight, showing that it’s important to support other women rather than pit them against one another.
“Who Wears the Pants?” is a phrase that implies that the masculine person in a relationship is the one who holds power, and connects that power through clothing and the gender roles that clothing often promote. However, the gender roles that clothing plays have changed historically, and in the end, clothes don’t have a gender. Here, a gallery portrays people of different genders wearing all sorts of clothing, regardless of the gender that piece of clothing is traditionally associated with.
“Man Up” is another phrase that promotes toxic masculinity. Here, it is subverted as a group of guys help their friend up and out from a dark place full of the monstrous, physical manifestations of different aspects of toxic masculinity, such as aggression and repressed emotions.
“It’s a _____!” shows the ridiculousness of giving colour a gender and forcing that upon children
at a young age. Here, a baby paints their room new colours (taken from the trans and
nonbinary flags) to show that the gender (and colours) you are assigned at birth aren’t
necessarily who you are.
Just Girly Things” juxtaposes stereotypically “girly” activities (slumber parties, playing with
dolls) with darker, creepier activities to show how “girly” things are often wrongfully dismissed
as silly and wholesome
“Cougars and Silver Foxes” explores how a slang term for an older woman has a negative
connotation while a slang term for an older man has a more positive one. There is an obvious
double standard in these two animalistic slang terms, and it is both interesting and concerning
to realize the difference in connotation between the two. Here, a cougar finds herself cornered
by hunting dogs while a pack of silver foxes gleefully gets away.
“Not So Nice Guys” depicts the uncomfortable position women often find themselves in when a
male friend feels obligated to be in a romantic relationship with her beyond an established