Sexist Pet Costumes? – or The Unexamined Life is not Worth Leaving

While my dog and I discussed how he will dress for Halloween this year (alright, fine, I was doing most of the talking), this article came to my attention:

The article raises the question of pet costumes ‘offensively perpetuating traditional gender roles’. Whose roles would that be? The pets? (It is ironic that transvestites make great sport out of perpetuating these same gender norms. Don’t tell the dogs!)

The problem seems to be superfluous on a number of fronts. I couldn’t get my dog to take notice at all. (His opinion of modern journalism was explicit when getting house-trained.) But mention Pavlov and you will assuredly get a rise from him.

Of course, pets are not known for buying costumes for themselves. The people spending precious time worrying about this stuff fail to notice that the only choice of costumes available is human-style clothing. Bought by those who have too much disposable income. This is obviously more of a specie-ist issue than a sexist one.

A horse is a horse. Of course, of course.

Has anyone run up against the hideous sight of a cat dressing as a dog? Or vice versa? Hardly.

No self-respecting cat would be caught dead wearing anything suggesting a canine aesthetic. She would receive nothing but hisses as she strolled down the cat walk.

The story I’ve been told goes: that long ago, the primordial dog called the primordial cat a ‘pussy’. The cat, taking umbrage, responded with ‘skinny assed bitch’. Obviously, this was more about poor diction than true animosity.  But at this late date, this gross misunderstanding is impossible to resolve amicably.

What’s sauce for the goose…

I have never encountered any animal with a clouded sense of sexual identity. If they had, they kept it well closeted. These ‘evolved’ gender role concepts appear to be unfocused projections from their human owners.

Imagine taking your ‘animal companion’ to the vet only to be asked, “And what gender does Fido feel like today?” Take a look, Sherlock.

Is it only in America that feelings trump facts?

Leave it to the conceptually un-evolved (no wonder they are called ‘animals’) to take themselves completely at face value – how concrete!

A Dalmatian with a fire-hat? My God! What are you trying to do to the poor pooch?

Un-enlightened (but cute!) animals are incapable of populating their world with abstractions and projections. They are condemned to living life exactly as they are.  How dreary!

And yet they excel at living in the moment! (My dog is a Zen master!)

Dog biscuit micro-aggression.

Little do our ‘animal companions’ know that ever-meddling humans are bent on rescuing them from their ‘specie-ist’ human overlords. Animal rights activists want us to stop tormenting our furry friends with incessant anthropomorphizing.

But they also want animals to have rights without the attending responsibilities. Try collecting a tax from a tick. Or getting any pet to sign a contract, let alone read it.

One organism – one vote, and all that.

Is that a pendejo or merely a dangling participle?

The real problem appears to be one of language, you know, that pesky window through which we perceive the world.

I may be wrong but the Romance languages appear to have bypassed this confusion. Due to its strong gender distinctions, in Spanish one could have a very seductive conversation speaking only of inanimate objects. “The dish ran away with the spoon” might be provocative in Spanish. Or not.

Or, exposed from birth, to natural dualistic notions, perhaps the Spanish have better things to worry about than imposing an abstract fantasy onto gritty reality.

That English has few such gender distinctions may have led to the reputation that the English are ‘sexless’ and alternately, that Americans (those prurient Pilgrims), are obsessed with sex.

One could certainly conclude that about those busy bodies fretting about the “threat of sexist animal costumes”.

A cigar may be just a cigar.

If you read this far, I’ll save you the trouble of reading the initiating article. The crux is over the ‘female’ costumes costing more than the corresponding ‘male’ costumes.

So men, perceived as being less willing to spend on such frivolities are offered the incentive of a lower price. Thus providing an opportunity to put forth a positive (and cost conscious) masculine image.

(Oh no! Not that!)

And so the (marketing) tail wags the (adorable) dog.


4 thoughts on “Sexist Pet Costumes? – or The Unexamined Life is not Worth Leaving

  1. Like this, it’s very funny. See you tomorrow at 1.


    From: Storyography Reply-To: Storyography Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 1:35 PM To: Nick James Subject: [New post] Sexist Pet Costumes? – or The Unexamined Life is not Worth Leaving

    Storyography posted: “While my dog and I discussed how he will dress for Halloween this year (alright, fine, I was doing most of the talking), this article came to my attention:


  2. I LOVE this! This may well be my very favorite (& not just because it was my brilliant idea). You are a genius! A keen observer of human (& other) nature! I am so proud to be loved by & married to you! I left a comment on your blog.

    From: Storyography To: Sent: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 1:35 PM Subject: [New post] Sexist Pet Costumes? – or The Unexamined Life is not Worth Leaving #yiv9586310089 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9586310089 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9586310089 a.yiv9586310089primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9586310089 a.yiv9586310089primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9586310089 a.yiv9586310089primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9586310089 a.yiv9586310089primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9586310089 | Storyography posted: “While my dog and I discussed how he will dress for Halloween this year (alright, fine, I was doing most of the talking), this article came to my attention:” | |


  3. This is hilarious! I am laughing out loud! And so timely! How “pendejo” can we be? We believe we are so complex, while stumbling upon what is beyond obvious! Thank you for writing this! Would that it were required reading in all cultural competency classes!


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