If you caught the Puppy Bowl during Super Bowl weekend, you might have noticed something cute but kind of troubling when you think about it: The football players were dogs, while the cheerleaders were cats. This is one of several manifestations of the assumption that women are like cats while men, on the other hand, are like dogs. This stereotype is equally evident in expressions such as “men are such dogs.” The Google search bar itself has picked up on this widespread cultural notion: When you type in “women are like,” the first suggestion you will get based on previous searches is “cats.” Where does this bizarre association between genders and house pets come from really, and is there any truth behind it?
If you go ahead and take a look at online relationship self-help forums, you can see the reasons we tend to associate dogs with men and cats with women spelled out. Like dogs, relationship coach Corey Wayne wrote on the site Understanding Relationships, “men are very logic and reason oriented. If you want them to do something you must give them step-by-step instructions. They usually are not good at reading between the lines to figure out what a woman is really trying to say to them.” Or, take it from the MRA group Return of Kings: “Cats are manipulative, prodigal creatures. … Cats know how to insinuate themselves into your affection, even if they are useless creatures.”
Aside from being disturbingly misogynistic, these comparisons are nothing but outdated, offensive stereotypes. Here are a few reasons that women are not, in fact, just like cats:
1. Women Aren’t Difficult To Please
2. Women Don’t Need To Be Taken Care Of
3. Women Aren’t Fixated On Shiny Objects
4. Women Aren’t Impulsive
5. Women Aren’t Inherently Vain
6. Women Don’t Have Paws
Even if you disagree with all the above claims, this one is indisputable. You cannot be exactly like a cat unless you have paws, and women obviouslty, don’t have paws. Women also don’t have tails or whiskers, which would make them rather inadequate house pets. If you’re looking for a feline companion, no one in the world would dare to suggest adopting a woman. There really is no substitute or equal for a good old four-pawed, whiskered cat. But then again, if you’ve been going around teaching people how to pick up women based on the assumption that they’re similar to felines, then you probably don’t deserve the affections of a cat or a woman.