I am stunned. When I published my post yesterday, I anticipated a few lukewarm responses, mostly in the vein of telling me I am projecting too much. I did not expect the enthusiastic and in-depth comments you all shared! Who knew one could combine dogs and gender politics so successfully? It’s so cool that I am not the only one interested in this stuff! I fully intend on responding to every comment but because I wasn’t expecting such a large amount of solid feedback, I published on a day I would be stuck working late. But I will get to it, I promise!
To clarify a little, my question wasn’t asking whether gender is a real thing. We are all familiar with the standard stereotypes. Most of us probably feel like we don’t quite fit into these molds but we have been socialized from such a young age to believe them anyway. As mentioned by a few of people, people who are transgendered are the largest victims of this. According to gender norms, men are supposed to like cooking outdoors, shooting things with guns, and wearing flannel. (Obviously I am simplifying) Some believe these traits are hard-wired into the male brain. However, it is clearly possible to be born a male and prefer shoe shopping, taking care of babies, and wearing pink. Unfortunately, at least in the Western world, we humans seem to find it impossible to live without these gender rules, regardless of how arbitrary they are.
Someone asked a question in the comments about the origins of pink being a feminine colour. There are a number of sources on this subject and it’s hard to place the exact time humans made the switch from the traditional blue to pink. It seems to have been a decision made by children’s clothing companies. There is a short article on Jezebel that explains it a little. But when you examine the history, the idea girls are born preferring pink is nothing short of ridiculous.
But, of course, I digress. This is a dog blog. I’ve never had to remind myself of that before.
The question I was mostly concerned with yesterday was whether you think dogs have their own set of gender rules. Do dogs get weirded out if a male of the species likes to play “girly” games? Considering how much similar expectations have screwed us up, I truly hope not.
Yesterday, many of you brought up breed differences, which is something I didn’t even consider. It’s a fascinating concept that males and females of a specific breed could seem to behave in very different ways. It is possible to breed females differently than males? Genetically, what could create this? I did read a study a long time ago – that I am too lazy to find for you now – that found spayed female German Shepherd dogs tended to be more aggressive than un-spayed females of the breed. Whereas it was the opposite for males. I don’t know if the study has any merit but it does show the idea cannot be completely dismissed.
In my own observations, Shiva is not traditionally very ladylike. She drools, begs for food, and would rather run and sniff than interact with others. She has no manners, is not very considerate, and if I fall she is more interested in the treats sliding from my pocket than my safety. She is selfish, likes to hunt, and doesn’t care one iota about her appearance. Shiva is not one for cuddling except on her own terms. If she was human, she would not perform her gender very well. But perhaps in dog world, this is typical female behaviour.
I guess we’ll never know.
Tomorrow I promise to return to my normal blogging fare. I have been lazy (see above) about getting last weekend’s fun match video edited and ready for public viewing. But unless the world comes to an end I intend on sharing it in my next post. Thank you very much for putting up with my inner musings for the past few days! You have given me so much to think about.