An Open Letter to the Writer Who Wrote the Open Letter to the Female Hat-Wearing Dog from “Go Dog, Go”
Look carefully at the pages of the book that feature the dog in question (which you’ve included in your article with zero regard for intellectual property rights or common decency): where, exactly, does it identify the hat-wearing dog as female?
I read your article to my 3-year-old because it seemed appropriate — necessary, even — to ruin his favorite book. And, yes, I do know that was your intention. Your disclaimer at the bottom… what a brilliant way to reason with the trolls. “I was going to flame this writer for taking a children’s book entirely too seriously but having read the entire article and the addendum at the bottom, I will do no such thing now that I understand her piece to have been satire. We shall all enjoy a laugh together and then plan a togetherness rally!” Like I said… brilliant.
So I dutifully read the article to my 3-year-old as all nonGod-fearing parents should and dutifully watched as his eyes dutifully filled with tears. I had my camera trained on him so that I could appropriately shame him on the internet and exploit his emotions for laughs… like our parents did for us.
“Reading this book makes me a masseuse?” he asked. What an adorable little rascal.
“The word you are thinking of is misogynist. I’ll remind your Kumon tutor to redo that lesson. Regardless, yes, son… because you enjoyed this book, you are.”
“But Dad,” he said (so full of emotion that he failed to remember the grammatical prohibition on beginning sentences with ‘but’), “The book never said that the dog identified as female. That is a label you and this author have thrust upon this lovely canine. Why? Because he or she likes hats? Because he or she is pink? Because he or she is a poodle? For shame, good father. It is you who is the masseuse. Not I.”
“Misogynist,” I corrected him.
If living on the internet has taught me anything this past year, it is that all of the wisdom and perspective required for making sense of the world is contained in the words of people who have spent less than half of their life actually uttering them. When my son adorably labeled you and I as ‘masseuses’, he could not have been more correct and no further analysis or thought is needed. We are wrong. You are wrong.
So while I had set out to ruin his favorite book, it turns out that my son ended up ruining my favorite article on the internet: yours. I now don’t know who to trust. Your rigged enforcement of gender norms, the gender binary, and heteronormativity leave me aghast as I look for age-appropriate blogs for my toddler to read. You are an embarassment to your gender (which I will make no assumptions about), race (which I will make no assumptions about), and nation (probably French). Please take your hate speech elsewhere. The internet has no place for you.
The sad thing is, that with the internet, Raquel’s work gets “published’. I can’t take back the time I read it.
My life is unbearably worse off for reading it and wasting precious seconds. I could have been trolling dating sites…..Report
We’ve entered the 3rd inception level of satire. #posttruthReport
Some people really have too much time on their hands and over think things.Report
(speaking of which, the page scans of GD,G are most likely fair use)
DECENCY FOR DOG RIGHTS!Report
Speaking of two rights and two lefts, are the dogs walking only on their hind legs, like humans, a form of cultural appropriation?
Or, is it a scathing indictment of the bipedalism normative social influence – the dogs feel they must conform, be ‘normal’, to get ahead in the world?
My only real objection to the TUV open letter is that she participates in the mocking of the dog that just wanted to ‘Checkers and Chill’. Nixon still looms large after all these years.Report
Four legs good, two legs BETTER!Report
Parody and satire is not supposed to be earnest though.Report
Who is being earnest?Report
Let me count the ways that I’m glad I don’t have to actually address that question.
…Okay, I’ve completely lost interest now.Report
The you don’t want to hear my rant on how Babar is just French colonial propaganda? Because it is.Report
Its colonial propaganda for some colonies but not all French colonies had elephants.
What do you think the point is exactly?Report
Well done. This was hilarious.Report
Do you know why there are so many woke 8 year olds out there?
They were conceived when Barack Obama announced that he was running for president.Report
(those kids already turned 9)Report
Okay… Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech was originally given on… what January 8th, 2008?
Yeah, that was the night that he lost New Hampshire.
So I checked http://www.mypregnancycalculators.com and figured out when someone conceived on Jan 8th would likely have been born.
And it said “October 15th.”
It’s the “Yes We Can” speech.Report
Will.I.Am’s “Yes We Can” video came out on February 2nd.
Which would have the date of November 9th.
If it went viral for a week, that’d be around the 9th through around the 16th or so.
I think we’re on to something here.Report
Also, why is everyone assuming the main character in the book, who keeps rejecting the red poodle, is *male*? Read those panels with the red poodle as male and the yellow hound (?) as female. They feel a bit different, don’t they?
Also, in that skiing panel, they’re about to have a horrible accident because red poodle has skied on top of yellow hound’s skis.Report
Also, not quite sure why those two dogs somehow skied to the top of a steep hill to have a conversation. While I don’t know a lot about skiing, climbing an an incline that appears to be over 70 degree is really hard without skis, especially when covered in snow, and it’s probably much harder *with* skis. Why did that they do that? (I guess maybe it become level just off page, but even so, it’s silly.)
And all this is going to result in a pretty nasty fall in a second.
Why isn’t anyone else worried about this?!
EDIT: I just realized the panel after that shows dogs partying in a tree, including, apparently, hovering. Perhaps this is a universe where the law of gravity does not apply, so there is not as much danger from this impending skiing accident as I thought.Report
THAT KID IS BACK ON THE ESCALATOR.Report
Honestly I don’t understand your objections. First, the word “misogyny” doesn’t appear in the article. Neither does “sexist.” The article is about body image, the need for approval, etc., particularly in a gendered context. In other words, this is an article by-and-for women. So if it didn’t “ring” with you, well how do you think I feel reading an article by-brodudes-for-brodudes?
For example, I lift weights. So I end up reading articles on T-Nation. Many of them have — shall we say — a rather male-focused perspective. I deal with this, although I do wish they centered women more.
Are you required to read the poodle as female? Well, I guess not. But it seems a plausible reading. I certainly do, based on the images I see. Likewise I read the other dog as male — which I guess reflects a certain “male as default” cultural program, not to mention a ton of heteronormativity. So fine. It is certainly useful to challenge this, but all the same, I suspect most readers will see these gendered cues the way I (and the author of the piece) did.
Which is to say, I often project myself and my experience into the material I read. Since most books/movies/etc. have a male protagonist, this means I notice female characters in a way that many of you do not. In any case, if the author does not specify, then many readings are possible. Your reading will reflect you.
“You don’t need a man, you don’t need male approval” remains an important message for many women. It is perhaps not such an important message for men. I don’t know. I really have no idea how to reach men on this topic. I realize that in an ideal world, all these rotten gendered power dynamics would not exist, but we do not live in an ideal world, so you get articles by-and-for-women about how to negotiate crappy dating sites and deadbeat men and shitty guys with sexist attitudes, all while trying to grasp as some bit of happiness. This article is such.
It probably won’t do much to help you kid negotiate sexism. But that wasn’t the point.Report
Both pieces are satire. This was meant to be a faux conversation, not a dressing down. There is nothing to dress down in the original letter unless you find her own satire a problem (which I don’t).Report
Yeah, I liked Raquel’s piece – and I share the exact same dislike for the hat-wearing approval-seeking poodle scenes.Report
Kazzy, this was pretty good work. I mean I wouldn’t want to get within twenty miles of any of it, but it was pretty funny. Thanks for putting it together.Report