Raise your hand if you're a single man who owns a cat.
In response to a Seattle Times article about the preponderance of feline ownership among the women of Portland, my distinguished colleague Megan Burbank, arts editor of our sister paper The Purrtland Mercury, called on the single ladies of our southern neighbor to adopt more cats in order to increase their lead in this race. According to the Neilsen stats the Times cited, Portland boasts .6 percent more "cat ladies" than Seattle.
In my response to her call, I questioned the veracity of the Nielsen tally, accused Burbank of using her position as section editor at a journal of cultural record to launch a scare campaign, and asked the single women of Seattle to consider adopting a furball.
Burbank fired back yesterday, discrediting my scrutiny of the Nielsen numbers and alleging that my description of her article's rhetorical position was "baseless."
We had and continue to have many disagreements on this issue (I maintain my suspicions regarding the survey, for instance), but, as Burbank points out, we do agree one thing: the goddamn patriarchy bears the lion's share of responsibility for stigmatizing cat ownership among women. (Why did't Nielsen count up the number of single dudes with cats? etc.) Right on.
But THEN she suggests that Portland may have a greater percentage of cat-owning single men than Seattle does. She may be right. She's probably wrong. But we need some data. There's only one way to get it. Let's bring some hard numbers to the table in the form of a Slog poll.