Catwoman: Gay to Straight in TDKR
If you saw The Dark Knight Rises and thought… hmmm… is Catwoman a lesbian? Is Nolan making a pun on the word “Pussy” and its’ relation to felines and Lesbians i.e. "Pussywoman"? Besides the obvious stereotype that she rides motorcycles and wears leather, I’m here to confirm your suspicions with a wonderfully insightful examination of phallic symbols, vaginal references, and good old fashion coitus. (which means SPOILERS if you haven't seen it yet).
Here’s the points of interest:
Batman emasculated? Sounds like a headline out of the National Inquirer, but it’s one of Catwoman’s key functions in the film. Here’s the bullet points:
· Catwoman steals Mother Wayne’s pearl necklace
(Wayne did not give her a “pearl necklace”, she took it taking all the sexuality out of the term and making it a simple necklace once again. Bruce saw his mother die at a time when if we believe Freud had a strong Oedipal thing going on, the necklace represents his strong bond with his mother. Catwoman teases him with the necklace on the dance floor until Bruce almost becomes a little boy saying, “Mine! MINE!”)
· Catwoman steals his car
Is Batman compensating for something with a ridiculous nice car? Maybe. Catwoman takes the car and Bruce Wayne is left being picked up from the party by Alfred like a child coming home from school.
· Kicks out his cane to escape
There’s nothing more phallic than a cane and by kicking it out Catwoman lays out the man who defeated the Joker. He lies there crumpled on the floor a broken man as she does a double back flip out the window. His wobbly limp cane is no match for her. She also isn’t a subservient to Batman the way that Rachel Dawes was, she’s her own woman not tied to powerful men like Harvey Dent or Bruce Wayne, instead she uses her sexuality to frustrate them and take what she wants, case and point with the Senator.
2. THE BETRAYAL
Catwoman delivers Batman to Bane, if we consider Batman to be an ultimate symbol of masculinity rich, white, supremely athletic, charitable, and smart enough to fix an autopilot that Lucius Fox couldn’t fix then Catwoman is essentially giving up on men. By God he’s Batman, who wouldn’t date Batman? And Catwoman gives him up in order to lead a free life with her woman friend at home without being hunted by Bane and his goons.
3. AFTER THE BETRAYAL
Catwoman and her friend (Jen played by Juno Temple) stand at a window. Jen stands behind Catwoman stroking her back in a very loving way and says something to the effect of, “I thought this was what you wanted, the storm you wanted has come.” The scene in its dark lighting has multiple homoerotic elements, but it’s clear that these two are in a relationship that is beyond friendship.
4. THE KISS FROM NOWHERE
Batman himself has possessed no real sexuality throughout the trilogy, sure he loves Rachel Dawes, but at no point are we given a passionate love scene. Even when he tries to embarrass her with the two playmates hanging off his arms, it’s simply that an act of revenge. The Dark Knight Rises actually possesses scenes of Batman intimacy with Marion Cotillard (Miranda), but they are limited to a rainy kiss with Christian Bale’s nipples more prominent than Kirsten’s Dunst in the original Spiderman, and then them lying naked by the fire.
Flashforward: The Kiss right before Batman’s nuclear detination flight. Catwoman lays a big smooch on him that was more surprising than the reveal of Miranda’s dark past. It had no place in this particular trilogy and was reminiscent of Arnold and Jamie Lee Curtis sharing a kiss as a nuclear bomb exploded in the background in True Lies. Up until this point I was convinced that Catwoman was lesbian lovers with her friend Jen, who we never hear from again. So what happened between 3 and 4 that caused Catwoman to switch teams?
3.5 The Sexual Conversion
When someone asks if Batman and Catwoman are dating, she responds, “He wishes,” in a tone suggesting that the very idea of this is never possible. But that’s what happens at the end the movie when Catwoman and Bruce dine together (by the way if your father figure, Alfred, sits across from you at a restaurant and thinks you’re dead, you should go over and say hi).
So how does Batwoman seduce the modern woman?
Batman is oft to mention to Catwoman, “There’s more to you than this,” every time Catwoman acts selfishly in trying to gain an erasure of her past in the form of the computer program “Clean Slate.”
However, after Batman returns from the grueling prison, he’s a new man back from the dead, and Catwoman admires this, he’s not who she thought he was, he's an even stronger man now. Batman convinces her to help him in exchange for the Clean Slate. He then shows her the vehicle she will be mounting: The Pod. The Pod looks like a large black dildo or a giant cock depending on who you ask.
Catwoman tries it out as she blasts a giant hole in sealed off tunnel so people can leave the city, she’s noticeably impressed with the fire power. Hmmm… would men consider a “blocked tunnel” a metaphor for a unreachable/unattainable vagina (that of a lesbian?)? And as she presses the right buttons on the pod, white missiles shoot out and penetrate the blockage… Nolan is literally hammering this home.
We think Catwoman’s going to leave, but of course she doesn’t, instead she takes the Pod for a test drive, enjoying how it maneuvers around corners and helps her escape death, and one could claim she’s riding it doggy style. By the end of her orgasmic ride on the Pod, which accounts for the most thrilling adventure of her life, despite the fact she was a jewel thief, she gives Batman that long kiss as if to say, “thank you" and "remind me to have sex with you later if this whole bomb thing works out."
It’s often said that Batman doesn’t have any superhero powers, but the fact of the matter is he has one, and it’s converting lesbians.
The Hollywood Defender