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Friday, January 31, 2014

It's a white thing

After writing the previous post about Jane Goodall, and musing on the obviously maternal nature of the affection she felt toward the chimpanzees, it occurred to me that lavishing affection on one's pets is largely the province of white women.

You see a lot of them out walking their dogs, cleaning up after them, and in general treating them as if they're their own offspring.

You almost never see a black, Asian, or Hispanic woman out walking a dog. You just don't.

You do see some young black men with dogs, but these tend to be extensions of their machismo (pit bulls and the like) rather than pets they can dote on. White men tend to have more macho dogs than white women, but not as overwhelmingly so as black men. I can't recall ever having seen an Asian man out walking a dog.

Draw your own conclusions.

(By the way, this isn't a post about Asians eating dogs; it's about maternal instinct.)

15 comments:

Oscar Madrid said...

Craig, your country is not the entire world, something a lot of Americans seem to ignore. In my country (south of yours) you see Mexican women walking dogs and taking care of them as if they were their children.
Think again about that.

bluffcreek1967 said...

John, I've noticed the same thing (and I've written about it too!). When I worked on patrol in both black ghetto's and Mexican barrios, I can't ever recall seeing blacks or Hispanics walking their dogs, picking up their poop, or constantly fussing about them like white people do - never! Many of the dogs I witnessed were aggressive, living in squalor, and poorly cared for.

I'm not saying that no blacks or Hispanics properly care for their animals, but only that it never seemed to be to the same degree that whites generally do.

I admire that whites take good care of their animals, but I think a lot of it has went to extremes. Much of it, I think, is just affluent whites with too much time and money on their hands.

I swear, an entire animal cult has emerged in the U.S. At work, I see one computer screen after another with pictures of their dogs, cats and horses and hardly any of their families.

John Craig said...

Oscar Madrid --
True enough, I'm just noting what I've observed in my country.

Ambrose --
Whites in general seem to have a more free-floating maternal instinct, which seems to be applied to creatures other than their own offspring more frequently. It may be their downfall.

Anonymous said...

I think this is because most white people grew up with pets. Blacks had less income to waste on pets before the 90s. They were also less likely to live in the suburbs, where it was easier to have pets.

Today many more blacks live in the suburbs, but they did not grow up with dogs, so they are less likely to want them when they are older

John Craig said...

Anon --
It's true, money is a factor. But that doesn't really explain the Asian-white difference.

Anonymous said...

http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2007-08-05/the-pet-economy

John Craig said...

Anon --
Thank you for that. I'd heard of neuticles before, they certainly seem crazy to me. And all that other ridiculous stuff, like a pearl necklace for your dog? Those are definitely crazy-white-people things, and it's not purely a function of economic status, either.

Steven said...

Dogs are a big thing in Japan as you may know. This article says: "Many Japanese women like Horikoshi prefer pets to parenthood."

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jun/08/why-japan-prefers-pets-to-parenthood

I am a white male and I kind of dote on my dog. I don't know how rare I am but I know a lot of guys have dogs and walk their dogs, some machismo enhancing, many just family pets. I reckon guys love their dogs.

Anyway, I just wanted to say I've been reading a lot of your articles and I think they're really good. I'm enjoying reading them a lot.





Steven said...

oh by the way, men may love their dogs and even cuddle them (guilty) but when it comes to doting some women are off the fucking charts. They really think the dog is basically a baby.

Those women are very maternal and sensitive. That's just their nature, perhaps.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Thank you very much.

Actually, I hadn't been aware that dogs had gotten so big in Japan. (I haven't been there since 1968). I was just basing the post on what I'd seen here in the States.

John Craig said...

Steven (in response to your second comment) --
Yes, absolutely. I give our dog ear massages all the time. But I never talk to him like he's human, and it would never occur to me to fuss over him and attribute human characteristics to him, or to talk baby talk to him. (All of which I've seen many women do to their dogs.)

I suppose the breed has something to do with it. Certain "cute" breeds, especially the smaller ones, must spark the maternal instinct more. I can't imagine anyone, even a woman, talking baby talk to a bandog.

Anonymous said...

My daughter and I had a first - when we were in a parking lot this afternoon, getting ready to drive to another store, we saw a young guy next to us holding a cute, small dog in his arms. Apparently, he and the woman he was shopping with, included a dog in their shopping experience. This dog had a stroller like contraption to sit in. I told my daughter that this is the first time that I recall seeing anyone take their dog Christmas shopping. The fact that the dog had a stroller to sit in was different. When it comes to pets, some pets are definitely part of the family, there to share in family shopping experiences.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
You have to wonder about what the dog itself actually thinks of all this. And does he appreciate the stroller, or would he rather get out and scamper around, like a regular dog.

Anonymous said...

I would think that a dog would prefer being just a regular mutt. The young man seemed to be shopping with his mother (my guess) and I was thinking that his mother had taken the dog on their shopping trip. The stroller like contraption resembled a baby carrier. It was the first time seeing such a contraption. I questioned whether the young man felt kind of foolish shopping with the dog, having it sit/lie in a baby like carrier. I felt like they treated the dog like it was a baby. There's a first time for everything, I guess.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
They're undoubtedly nice people, if a little fruity.