G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Here’s my leap stemming from a post by Heartiste on SWPL pit bull rescuers: the desire to rescue dangerous dogs is the desire to control something chaotic; it is a very feminine desire; it is rooted in guilt. When speaking of the prototypical SWPL, Heartiste did use the feminized pronoun. Purposely or not, this bears significance inasmuch as SWPLism and other SWPL-like tendencies derive from such feminine pangs.
The desire to care for, repair, and to fix is a feminine quality; it stands to reason that taming something with a greater capacity for destruction is a challenge to that desire. Besides dogs, thug love is one manifestation of this – the most extreme version of which is the curious adoration some women express for death row inmates and violent men of all degrees of institutionalization. Dangerous dogs are more acceptable for clean SWPL chicks to try to fix.
While it is true that the boards of directors of non-profits are often heavily filled by women, it is still interesting that all five executive positions of Pit Bull Rescue Central – a national organization – are filled by women. Another rescue organization is led by a woman and most of its volunteers are women. Six of seven officers of this group are women. This site was clearly designed with women in mind. All four of the officers of this group are women. This despite the fact that many men are dog-lovers and are also more likely to be the owners of pit bulls in the first place, for good or bad. This reminds me of Brangelina: it is my sneaking suspicion that if it were up to Pitt, he and Jolie would have only their biologicals, but Jolie wants to save the world and has taken orphans under her lanky, elbowy wing.
What does this feminine drive tell us? Do women view prisoners and disturbed men as animals or orphans that need to be saved?
Women are apt to feel more guilt than men so it would make sense that the various forms of ‘privilege guilt’ would prove most effective when used on them. Guilt-driven activist causes are mostly begun by women and move through feminine channels. It is also true that of both sexes women tend to take on caregiving roles. There are many motivations for this, and guilt figures prominently.
While pit bulls and prisoners are interesting examples of this guilt mechanism, I wonder how that translates to society at large. If guilt acts on women easier than it does on men, will we not, as a society, have a larger pile of guilt acting upon us as women gain political and economic power? In general, we’ll take on more guilt and enact policies to assuage that larger collectived guilt complex. For the people for whom guilt is a problem, this is all well and good, but for the people who do not feel guilt, this will seem like a waste of time. A battle between the sexes will brew, perhaps between a feminized political party and a masculinized one.
Food for thought: reading on women and their love of another animal, the horse, opens up some other possibilities. I assume that someone somewhere has written on the sexual undertones of women and horses, and certainly plenty of jokes have been made. The energy of the horse must literally be harnessed, and whereas men utilize horses as tools (though certainly there is a love for this tool), women adore horses more personally. They seem drawn to the horse’s power and are enraptured by its chaotic potential. Does this apply to large dogs and violent men as well?