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.