Catfight is a term for an altercation between two women, typically involving scratching, slapping, hair-pulling, and shirt-shredding as opposed to punching or wrestling. However, the term is not exclusively used to indicate a fight between women, and many formal definitions do not invoke gender. Instead, it refers to any "vociferous fight."  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. Catfight is a term also used on occasion to describe a political campaign between two women candidates.
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 term catfight was 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 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 featured two beautiful women discussing why they liked Miller Lite. One (the blonde Ballinger) preferred Great Taste and the other (the brunette Baker) preferred Less Filling. The two women proceeded to fight and strip each other in a fountain, then wrestling in a mud pit. An uncensored version of the ad ended in the two women kissing. It was derided by many as sexist while defended by Miller executives as "a lighthearted spoof of guys' fantasies." The women later made a cameo appearance in a spoof version of the ad made for iFilm featuring two large men having a "catfight".
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 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., as well as the gypsy catfight in the James Bond film, From Russia With Love.
The fight between Alena Johnson and Sabine Sun in the 1973 film Le guerriere dal seno nudo (a.k.a. War Goddess and The Amazons), is a classic example of the eroticism involved in movie catfights. The film begins with the blonde Antiope (played by Johnson) and brunette Oreitheia (played by Sun) in a topless wrestling match to crown the new Queen of the Amazons. Before the match, the women remove their robes and are covered in oil by servants as they stare at each other from a distance. The match involves full nelsons, a test of strength and a headscissors, with the women rolling around to try and gain an advantage. As this happens, the drums playing over the scene get faster and faster.
Antiope is victorious, and a theme throughout the film is Oreitheia's hatred for Antiope and her desire to be the Queen. This leads to a second fight later in the film, with both women brawling in the nude in Antiope's bedroom. The scene begins with Antiope being awoken by the sound of thunder - naturally she is sleeping naked, and sees the shadow of Oreitheia through her curtains. Oreitheia's plan to kill Antiope in her sleep with a sword is foiled, and the two have a stand-off with weapons. Antiope then says "No, we'll settle this the way we did when we were children - with our bare hands". The two discard their weapons and undress, and Oreitheia lunges at Antiope. They throw each other around the room and trade punches, with Antiope being flung across the bed and having her head bashed against the wall several times. As this takes place, the thunder booms and flashes of lightning light up the room. They have another test of strength before rolling around on the floor - their bodies remain extremely close during this part of the fight, as the two women exchange the top position. After a long struggle, Antiope ceases to resist and the two women embrace and kiss.
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.
Wrestling announcer Joey Styles is known for shrieking "Catfight!" whenever two females begin brawling. The exclamation has become one of his trademarks.
 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.
Jeanne "Hollywood" Bassone, Lisa Comshaw ('Tori Sinclair'), Belinda Belle, and porn stars like Devon Michaels, Tanya Danielle, Tylene Buck, Krystal Summers, Blake Mitchell, Kaylynn, Lexi Lamour and Kianna 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 aggressive 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.
Competitive submission catfights consist of two girls, usually dressed in bikinis or sportswear, who line up and fight until one gives. This is usually a submission wrestling format with hairpulling and choking. These fights can get quite aggressive and heated, but are more of a sport that a fantasy fight. These fights rarely end in serious injury.
Japanese catfight & pro-style wrestling productions.
 Equivalent terms
Scragfight has the same or similar meaning to Catfight in Australia and New Zealand.
 See also
- Tanenbaum, Leora: Catfight: Women and Competition
- Brieger, Carsten: Wrestling-Girls und Bistrowagen. Mit einem Nachruf auf die Mitropa (German)
- Gloria G. Brame, William D. Brame, Jon Jacobs: „Different Loving“ - The world of sexual dominance and submission with a chapter on the Pin&submission fight (“Erotic Combat and Gender Heroics“).
 External links
- Understanding the Catfight Fetish Part 1