Dogs may be man’s best friend but they’re really all about equality
By Leslie Phelan
It’s a little bit funny how in the year 2016, to say “all dogs are feminists” can be seen as a radical statement. Even as I type, I can hear opposing voices grumble, “Your dog wishes you’d shave your legs.”
Well, my legs are silky smooth and since we’re on the subject, all my gardens are kept on fleek as well. But imaginary dialogues aside, the point is that somewhere along the line, ‘Feminism’ fell into some bad PR and we are all the worse for it, including our dogs.
This connection may not be obvious at first, but stay with me and I’ll explain. Feminism = Equality. Silly stuff, really… it’s basically just the thinking that all people should be unfettered by traditional gender roles and assignations. It’s an equality movement, only called Feminism because at this point in our collective evolution, the feminine energies need to rise so that the world may know balance.
Let’s pretend for a moment that we are all just energy. Imagine we are just swirling bits of cosmic dust, attracting and repelling in the grand universal tango, with the objective to reach heavenly harmony. Masculine energy is passionate and wild, but turns violent and irrational when left unchecked, giving rise to the machismo. Feminine energy is gracious and wise, but seeks grounding in masculine reason, and is made fruitful only under its affection and protection. Both energies need each other to vibe in harmony, and all that modern Feminism seeks to do is uncover the strength to be found in this resonance, for the sake of all people, and all Earthlings.
When feminists stand up for Women’s Rights, they’re saying they want to be equal contributors, equal earners, and equal shot-callers. They just want to be equally valued, and equally respected, no more, no less. So how do our dogs fit into all of this? Because for starters, being a friend or parent to a dog is neither a traditionally ‘pink’ nor ‘blue’ undertaking, but an equal-opportunity experience no matter which way, in the myriad of ways, that one might identify. Pup baths, dog walks, and even sidewalk poops are firmly equal-opportunity, while baby baths, baby strolls and diaper duty are still more often considered ‘pink’ jobs. In recent decades, we’ve seen big changes to this viewpoint…could it be the beloved mutts in our lives are helping us to usher in the new paradigm of equality?
Dogs (and all animals, really) are de-facto feminists because their rights, like women’s rights, are constantly being challenged. Crimes against animals don’t even come close to holding the same gravity as crimes against people, even though both actions spring from the same damaged part of the collective ego that says one group, by narrow standards, holds more value than others. Puppy mills still exist even though we are aware of them and their unsafe, unsanitary practices, because the majority of humans still view animals as property, exploitable for profit. Up until quite recently, it was generally accepted that one had to be a harsh leader in order to train our dogs into submission. It is eerie how similarly women are viewed and treated in some regions of the world, too.
Dogs are feminists because they see the Goddess in every girl. Whichever way the fickle, unrealistic, media-driven beauty standard happens to be leaning at any given moment in time, healthy girls are being told they aren’t beautiful enough. This can leave a lasting impression on their self-esteem, holding them back from stepping into their power. It is during our precious teen years that we begin to transition into the woman we will be, whether a dainty flower or an ass-kickin’ tomboy or any combination of both, and during that crucial time, we need loving eyes to look upon us and see past gender, color, and imperfections, and just love us for who we are. Our dogs are always quick with a kiss, no matter how we look, and to remind us that life exists beyond the everyday dramas and insecurities of growing up.
All dogs stand for women’s rights because, whether they’re sentient to the notion or not, all dogs want to live in a world where everyone, male and female, respect each other and no one is afraid. Dogs suffer when their people live in fear. It goes without saying that dogs love walks, and would love for their guardians to be able to get some exercise with them at any time of night or day, wearing a skirt or tight clothing if they so wish, never fearing that someone may attack them or bring them harm.
Some people assert that feminists are man-haters, but it’s just not true: feminism prizes men who are strong and self-respecting enough to see a partner as an equal. These men view dating and partnership like big game hunting, their cross-hairs fixed on women in touch with their inner lioness. Feminists aren’t a bunch of plain women who reject the notion of dressing up and looking pretty; on the contrary, the movement supports a woman’s right to choose how they want to dress, whether girly OR casual OR androgynous, without having their looks be their only defining feature.
Basically, Feminism is the radical idea that we should all treat each other the way our dogs treat us: with love and acceptance, like we are capable of great things no matter who or what we are, and like we are beautiful, even when we feel anything but. And so I’ll say it one more time: all dogs are feminists, because a dog sees eye-to-eye with the underdog.
Because of this, yes, they are man’s best friend… but perhaps they might mean even more to a woman.