Tuesday, November 23, 2010

When does a cat get the better of a man?

You know the old debate - which is better: dog or cat? It gives people something to talk about.

But there's also an interesting switcheroo that happens to men regarding felids and canids. Domestic dogs generally skew masculine and cats swing feminine. Thus the phenomenon of men expressing their masculinity with dogs and dog metaphors and women expressing their femininity with cats and cat metaphors.

But something happens to men's preference when we leave the domestic realms. Men leave dog behind for cat. While wolves and larger canines have of course seen their place in the field of machismo, they can't hold a bone to the big cat allegiance that captivates macho men from Vlad Putin to Mike Tyson to the late brothers, Uday and Qusay Hussein. I'll leave it to the psychologists and the gender studies professors to unscramble the meaning of this shift. I'm just pointing it out.

("A Cabin Boy to Barbary" by Walton Ford)


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