So, at last count, it was three men and two women who'd prefer to be dogs, and six women and one man choosing to be cats. Two abstained, preferring to be fish and a horse, one anonymous wouldn't reveal their gender, and Feanor linked to a book instead of answering the question directly (typical math-lover behaviour).

Which confirms my hunch - that there's not much difference in the genders for those who would choose to be dogs, but cats would be overwhelmingly chosen just by females.

And while quite a bit of that would be due to the very nature of the creatures, it does raise the question whether it's also perhaps related to the subsconscious gender that we automatically associate with animals, which has been generated by language-associations.

I would be willing to bet that when most people think 'dogs', they think 'male'. Even though that's just the species, we still think of dogs and female dogs (we won't even go into why nobody but vets and dog-owners use the technically correct 'bitch'). Yes, we know that both genders exist (heck, you may even had several as pets), but most people will still instantly - for that brief moment before conscious thought kicks in - assume you're talking about a male dog when you do talk about one.

And the reverse applies to cats. You instinctively think cats and tom cats. If just the generic term is used, people will immediately associate with female overtones. Cats are so Egyptian goddesses. And Selina Kyle in all her sleek, snugly-leathered glory arching her....ahem. Right. But see?

And it's not just them - it's the animal kingdom in general. There is so much immediate association, and distinction, all because the names and the language was written up by men. All deer are female, except when they're does and stags. All sheep are female, unless they're ewes and rams. All tigers are male, all bears too - although lions and lionesses are unique, for some reason.

So, maybe it comes down to this (and yes, this is slightly far out) - that subsconsciously, equal numbers of men and women would choose to be born as males in another avatar, but men can't (won't) contemplate being born as women.

I could throw a lot of theories behind that too, but I suspect it's simply this - Men realise that they have it easier than women in this world, on so many counts (one word - periods), so they wouldn't want to change. The odd male who would consider it, would do so because they like a challenge. And most women hate men and their domineering entitled smug parochialism too much already to even contemplate being one of them. Ever.


On a minor note, I would also suggest that men are more antipathetic towards cats than women are to dogs because cats are more obviously female than dogs are male. By which I mean that it's easy to visually distinguish between male and female dogs, but not so easy to distinguish between male and female cats. Which enhances the male-female association.

Maybe I should've added a coda - If you're a woman and you choose to be a dog, which gender would you rather be?


Tabula Rasa said...

this could easily be tested using response latencies.

km said...

Face it, ??!, some of us are geeks for music, some for Math, but *this* is your grand obsession. I just know you are secretly breeding a super species of (male) felines that will soon take over our world.

Could the Goofy character in old Disney comics be a female? No sirree. The naive, mildly idiotic, good-natured creature *has* to be a male. (I will argue that there's no archetype for a female idiot in our literature and stories.)

If you're a woman and you choose to be a dog, which gender would you rather be?

Clever question, but I think "If you were a woman and I was a man" was a catchier title for a song.

Falstaff said...

You know there may something to this theory of yours. I personally don't think of cats as female, but this is largely because of T.S. Eliot (how can you not be a cat person after reading about Macavity?). Which may explain my outlier status.

Then again, it may just be that I've always wanted to be a woman.

blewgenes said...

would girlie men and gay dudes in general choose to be a cat and tomboys or lesbians a dog?

Cynic in Wonderland said...

if you extraploate this to include the cat family - say leopards and panthers, interesting the association is NOT female but male. I dont think either are male. Fox on the other hand, COULD be female. It could also be male - little ambivalence about that one.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

That COULD be because of jaguar or something like that tho. Hmmm.

??! said...

That only. Was just missing all the fancy testing names.

Okaaaay. You want to join my Paranoiacs Anonymous (what else would it be called) group?

See, that's my point. Ok you see it in a different way, and reach a different conclusion, but then you wouldn't be you if you didn't.

And that does seem interesting, no? If only to bring down the wrath of dozens of tired and irritable people on some gropy bugger on an Indian train.

I suspect not. Most gay people aren't gay because they don't like people of the opposite gender, but because they like those of their gender more. A lesbian is happy being a woman, and liking another woman - why would she want to switch?

And for those who do, gender-transfer operations are no longer just a myth.

Now I've always thought of foxes as male. Blame the Brer Rabbit series. And Reynard the fox.

FĂ«anor said...

Ah, but foxes are female in all of Slavic folk tales (wolves are male) and that's how I think of them. Remember 'cute fox'? Common, I hear, in the seventies. Or was it the eighties?