Garfield Gender Debate

Garfield Gender Debate

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Updated Oct 07, 2020 at 05:45AM EDT by ohmyjosh.

Added Mar 02, 2017 at 11:27PM EST by Brad.

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Garfield Gender Debate refers to the heated online discussion surrounding the gender of the American cartoon character Garfield, which was brought into question by American podcaster Virgil Texas in late February 2017.


On February 23rd, 2017, Virgil Texas[2] tweeted a message declaring that Garfield is gender-neutral, citing Garfield creator Jim Davis' description of his character from an interview article published by Mental Floss[1] in 2014. Shortly after, Texas tweeted a screenshot[3] of Garfield's Wikipedia page[4] which he had edited and updated to list its gender as "none." Within the first week, Texas' tweets garnered more than 1,800 retweets and 5,800 likes in aggregate.

Virgil Texas @virgiltexas FACT: Garfield has no gender. This. Is. Canon. mental_floss "Dealing with eating and sleeping, being a cat, Garfield is very universal. By virtue of being a cat, really, he's not really male or female or any particular race or nationality, young or old. It Virgil Texas @virgiltexas I have updated the Garfield Wikipedia entry to reflect this fact. Information Species Gender Family Tabby cat Nonel ] Jon Arbuckle (owner) Sonja (mother) Raoul (brother)


Over the next 72 hours, Virgil Texas' tweets set off an edit war on Garfield's Wikipedia page among the fans of the cartoon series and supporters of the genderless canon, leading to a lengthy and heated debate over the character's gender identity, with some participants citing original cartoon strips to make their case for and against the gender-neutral identity of Garfield.


By February 27th, the Wikipedia page had been temporarily placed on lock due to "edit warring / content dispute," though the debate quickly continued after the lock expired in the coming days. Between February 24th and March 3rd, more than 40 edits were logged by various contributors on the site.

。 (cur l prev) ⓔ 08:15, 3 March 2017 Koavf (talk l contribs) m . . (12,079 bytes) (+4). . (fixed dashes using a script) . ur l prev)ⓔ 00:54,3 Mar h 2017 Hipp 43 (talk l contribs) (12,075 bytes)(+7) (c (cur I prev) 21:20, 2 March 2017 J73364 (talk I contribs). . (11,608 bytes) (-567). (Tags: Mobile edit, Mobile web edit) (cur I prev) 21:11, 2 March 2017 J73364 (talk I contribs).. (12,175 bytes) (+3). (Tags: Mobile edit, Mobile web edit) (cur I prev)15:53, 2 March 2017 Milowent (talk I contribs) m.. (12,172 bytes) (+6).. (l checked the paramaters under Template : nfobox character; and 'significant other (curl prev)O 17:28, 1 March 2017 Staecker (talkl contribs).. (12,166 bytes) (-351)..(+Fictional biography: obviously not (cur l prev) O 17:21, 1 March 2017 78.26 (talk I contribs) - . (12,517 bytes) (+131). . (Adding fpp-protected》 (TW)) is available- better to use that than "spouse" for Arlene) m. . (12,386 bytes) (Q) (cur I prev) 17:15, 1 March 2017 (talk) . . (12,386 bytes) (+3) . (cur I prev) 17:06, 1 March 2017 (talk) . 12,386 bytes) (+1) curlprev)o 1624, 1 March 2017 Whicks 12 (talkl comrin) (1236 byes) (35-tipy)y (cur I prev)O 13:42, 1 March 2017 DumbBOT (talk I contribs) .. (12,034 bytes) (-52). (removing a protection template from a non-protected page (info)) (cur I prev)13:17, 26 February 2017 Laser brain (talk I contribs).. (12,086 bytes) (+52) (Adding flpp-dispute) (TW)) (cur I prev)O 13:17,26 February 2017 Laser brain (talk I contribs) m (12,034 bytes) (O).. (Protected "Garfield (character)": Edit warring /content dispute (IEdit-Require administrator access] (expires 13:17, 1 March 2017 (UTO) (cur I prev) 05:22, 26 February 2017 (talk) (1 2,099 bytes) (+33).. (Updated to reflect Garfield's self-identified religion) curl prev○ 22:54 25 February 2017 2600:1:92d6:28 b759da57:82e 90 a talk (12,066bytes) +17 Fixedtegen erfel Characters efer to a maledon ur eighth rato sa ghis Thed lti m sta en after r Mbil edio we edit enn es (cur I prev) O 22:35, 25 February 2017 Tompop888 (talk I contribs) m(11,892 bytes) (+424). (Reverted edits by (talk): Failure to cite a reliable source (HG) (3.1.22) (Tag: Huggle) (cur prev) 22:34, 25 February 2017 (tal) (11,468 bytes) (-424) (garfield is genderiess) (Tag: references removed) (cur I prev)o 22:17,25 February 2017 (talk) (11,892 bytes) (-174). (Reverted sex to male and provided references to show that Garfield has been referred to by male pronouns and nouns (e.g. "boy") from the beginning of the strip.) (12066 bytes) (+599) (The ra (cur l prev)O20:28, 25 February 2017 2601:647:4001:b528.1878:b0a:3124:837b (talk) (11,467 bytes) (-599).. (Undid revision 767330182 by David "The Milk" Milkberg (talk) Bad source. Out of context quote,) (Tag: references removed) (cur l prev) 07:14,25 February 2017 David "The Milk" Milkberg (talk I contribs) .. (12,066 bytes) (+599 (Undid revision 767276914 by (talk) Please properly source your claims.,) (cur I prev)23:33 24 February 2017 (talk) (11,467 bytes) (-599) .. (Bad source. Out of context quote,) (Tags: Mobile edi, Mobile web edit, references removed) (cur I prev) O 23:13, 24 February 2017 (talk) (12,066 bytes) (+599). . (Reverting to properly sourced version) (curl prev) 21:19, 24 February 2017 (talk).(11,467 bytes) (o).. (fixing Inaccurate gender) (Tag: Visual edit) (cur I prev)o 2102, 24 February 2017 Home Lander (talk I contribs) m (11,467 bytes) (o) .. (Reverted editis by (talk): Failure to cite a reliable source (HG) (3.1.22) (Tag: Hugle) . (cur I prev) 21:02, 24 February 2017 (talk) 11,467 bytes) (0) (cur l prev) O 20:03, 24 February 2017 2a02:8084:6180:5380:d402:049d:5430:663f (talk)(11,467 bytes) (O) (cur l prev)O 18:51, 24 February 2017 WPancake (talk I contribs) . (11,467 bytes) (-599). (Undid revision 767116996 by Cyrus noto3at bulaga (talk) I is a male cat. The idea that he's genderless" is being POv-pushed by a popular Twitter user) (cur I prev)O 01:44, 24 February 2017 Cyrus noto3at bulaga (talk I contribs) (12,066 bytes) (+599). (Reverted1 edit by (talk): It is a cat. (TW) (cur l prev) 01:43,24 February 2017 (talk) (11,467 bytes) (-599).. (Undid revsio61171 by David "The Milk Milkberg (talk) (Tag: references removed) (cur I prev)O 01:02, 24 February 2017 David "The Milk" Milkberg (talk I contribs) . . (12,066 bytes) (+599) . (Fixed Gender)

Jim Davis' Response

On February 28th, Jim Davis issued a statement to The Washington Post and New York Daily News clarifying that Garfield is a male and his statement from the Mental Floss interview had been taken out of context.

“Garfield is male,” Davis told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “He has a girlfriend, Arlene.”
“I’ve always said that I wanted to work with animals because they're not perceived as being any particular gender, race, age or ethnicity,” the cartoonist said. “In that sense, the humor could be enjoyed by a broader demographic.”

Media Coverage

Throughout the week, the online debate on Garfield's gender was picked up by the Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Mashable, New York Magazine and AV Club, among many others. On March 1st, Twitter wiki bot @congress_edits tweeted that the Garfield Wikipedia article has been edited anonymously from U.S. House of Representatives, which garnered more than 1,000 retweets and 1,500 likes.

congress-edits @congressedits Garfield Wikipedia article edited anonymously from US House of Representatives RETWEETSLIKES 1,074 1,521 12:23 PM-1 Mar 2017

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