For the animal behavior sense of this word see Catfight (animal behavior).

Catfight is a term for an altercation between two women, typically involving scratching, hair-pulling, and shirt-shredding as opposed to punching or wrestling. It can also be used to describe two human females insulting each other verbally or being otherwise nasty to each other. The many ways that women compare themselves to other women and compete with each other are also referred to as catfighting (or cattiness). Catfights are different from other kinds of fights involving women because they usually involve competition between two or more women, usually over men.

Catfighting has recently been on the rise in several fields of entertainment. The appeal of a catfight was facetiously explained by Jerry Seinfeld, as "Men think if women are grabbing and clawing at each other there's a chance they might somehow, you know... kiss." Catfights have been featured in cartoons, movies, and beer television commercials, frequently ending with the participants missing articles of clothing.

In the 1970s, interest in catfighting led to the popularity of the women in prison films and roller derby. The current boom in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) women's wrestling is, in part, an offshoot of the catfighting craze.


Catfight is a word formed from the two words cat and fight, and means a fight between cats. It is first recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary as the title and subject of a 1824 mock heroic poem by Ebenezer Mack. It is first recorded as being used to describe a fight between women in 1854, the word cat being long established slang for a spiteful person, particularly a woman.

In popular culture

TV, cinema and music

Soap operas frequently incorporate catfights into their storylines; the series of altercations between Krystle Carrington (Linda Evans) and Alexis Colby (Joan Collins) on the 1980s primetime soap Dynasty are perhaps the most famous. Their best-known encounter occurred in 1983, when the Krystle and Alexis both ended up falling into a lily pond.

Catfights, both real and staged, have become a hallmark of The Jerry Springer Show, a television talk show.

Catfights (along with lesbianism) are often commonly depicted in exploitation films, particularly those which fall under the Women in prison sub-genre.

Miller Lite's racy Catfight commercial in 2002 greatly raised the profile of catfights in recent pop culture. The careers of both actresses in the original commercial, Kitana Baker and Tanya Ballinger, took off as a result of their exposure. The commercial shows an argument between the duo which escalates into a shoving match into a pool while ripping each other's clothes off and ends with them wrestling in a trough filled with concrete. It was derided by many as sexist while defended by Miller executives as "a lighthearted spoof of guys' fantasies."

In movies, Undercover Brother featured a catfight, between Denise Richards and Aunjanue Ellis, that was both titillating and a parody of titillation. Two Days In The Valley also featured a catfight between Teri Hatcher and Charlize Theron. Other examples include Raquel Welch's catfights in Kansas City Bomber and One Million Years B.C. Also the gypsy catfight in the "James Bond" film, From Russia With Love is considered a classic among catfight fans..

In song, catfights have been commemorated in "Girl Fight Tonight!" (1987) by Julie Brown, "Cat Fight" (1999) by Dance Hall Crashers, and "Girlfight" (2005) by Brooke Valentine.

Catfights are a popular subject of Youtube and other online videos.

Commercial catfights

There are several distributors of catfight videos on DVD or as downloads from the Internet. Most of these videos feature women who are topless or completely nude. The fights are carried out in improvised boxing rings, outdoors, in gyms or in apartments. Just like Foxy boxing these catfights appear to be more for erotic entertainment than real fights. Techniques of beating and kicking that can cause pain to the opponent are often merely faked and not really carried out. Sometimes it is the goal of the fight to rip the clothing off the opponent or to rip off the last garment (the slip or thong). For nude catfighting sometimes the participants cover their bodies with baby oil.

Websites like produce videos that feature scantily clad women in catfights. California Wildcats, Joan Wise Productions, and Double Trouble Wrestling, are other catfight/female fighting companies that specialize in matches between sexy women.

Jeanne "Hollywood" Bassone (Formerly of GLOW Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), Lisa Comshaw ('Tori Sinclair'), Belinda Belle, and porn stars like Devon Michaels, Tanya Danielle, Tylene Buck, Krystal Summers, Blake Mitchell, Kaylynn, Lexi Lamour and Kiana Dior are some of the women that fight each other on video. Bondage models like Diana Knight and Stacy Burke have also fought for videos.

Use of dirty talk is standard fare in catfighting videos. Calling each other "bitch", "whore", "slut" and "skank" is common vernacular in catfight videos. The ripping off of clothes and lingerie usually gives way to the twisting of nipples, grabbing of breasts, and pulling of pubic hair. Some catfights turn into sexfights when the two combatants try to dominate each other sexually by forcibly kissing each other and then having agressive sex. Typical catfighting/sexfighting scenes involve lots of hard body-to-body contact with slapping and grabbing of breasts and pubic hair. Another popular catfight move is to 'facesit' the other woman and force her to lick her.

Newsworthy catfights

Two cheerleaders for the Carolina Panthers, Renee Thomas and Angela Keathley, were the top entertainment story of November 6, 2005, when they engaged in an altercation with patrons who were annoyed at how long the two were occupying a bathroom stall in a bar in Tampa, Florida. The titillating trifecta of catfighting, cheerleaders, and the hint of lesbianism guaranteed maximum media exposure.

In June 2004, Bijou Phillips attacked Playboy Playmate Nicole Marie Lenz in a Los Angeles nightclub. The catfight was broken up by actor Matthew Perry.

Another minor celebrity who achieved 15 minutes of fame as a result of a catfight is Danielle House, a former Miss Canada International (1996) who was convicted for assaulting her ex-boyfriend's girlfriend in a bar. After serving her sentence, House became Playboy's Playmate of the Month for December, 1997.


External links

See also

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