Yes, men are Dogs!
“On relationships and morality…”
One can’t deny, dogs are believed to be devoid of any sense of morality. Dogs are sexually polygamous in nature and have no pair bonding. If we look at wolves, males and females often form a strong social bond and wolves are mostly monogamous. While other animals do mate for life, dogs will continue to mate with multiple partners for the rest of their lives.
A monogamous relationship is defined by having a single partner at a time and that type of a relationship consists of only two parties. In many countries, the law mostly recognises monogamous marriages while at the same time adultery might not be illegal in those countries, giving way to situations of ‘de facto’ polygamy. This allows people to still have non-official spouses outside of the law but without directly infringing upon the statutes of the law.
The human mating system is mostly classified as monogamous, with the cultural practice of polygamy still prevailing all around the world. The most commonly accepted form of polygamy being “polygyny”, which is a practice that allows men to marry two or more wives at the same time.
It is important to note that there are more polygamous societies than monogamous societies in the world. Polygamy is more prevalent in Africa than on any other continent. It is also notably practised in many Muslim-majority countries where the Islamic law or Sharia is a religious law which forms a large part of the Islamic tradition allowing polygyny.
While, for many reasons, polygamy is regarded as bad, people who practise monogamy end up engaging in serial monogamy. Serial monogamy refers to remarriage after divorce or death of a partner from a monogamous marriage. In the same vein, it can also refer to moving on with a new partner after a failed monogamous relationship. A Danish scholar, Miriam K. Zeitzen, argues that serial monogamy creates a series of household formations that continue to be bound by shared paternity and income. Ms Zeitzen asserts that serial monogamy creates a new kind of relative with the prefix Ex. For example, the Ex-wife remains an active part of her ‘Ex-husband’s’ life as they may still be bound together legally through the payment of alimony, child support and even by joint custody. This also further creates an ‘extended family’. One ends up having ‘Ex-In-laws’ on top of an Ex-partner. Serial monogamous dating relationships also create all kinds of relatives, when one constantly moves on from one lover to another. It is therefore common cause that we all form multiple attachments in different forms as we move along in life as human beings.
Monogamy is viewed by many as the morally accepted form of union but Friedrich Engels postulated that compulsory monogamy as enforced by the Christian faith and as instituted in marriage laws in many countries could only lead to increased prostitution and general immorality.
However the prevalent marriage laws that legally support monogamy seek to ensure that men and women have equal rights in marriages. Women’s rights activists argue that a monogamous marriage minimises conflicts arising from property ownership and inheritance. They argue that polygamous marriages may promote gender inequality. Monogamous marriages are widely believed to reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (S.T.Ds) and they are also believed to foster good intimacy while promoting conjugal rights between husband and wife.
It is the general notion there is more pair bonding, commitment, undivided attention, peace and happiness in monogamous marriages as opposed to a polygamous setup. Women’s rights activists also argue that children thrive well in peaceful and healthy environments provided by monogamous marriages. The general fear in polygamous marriages is that spouses may not accept children from other spouses married to their husband. Trust, dignity, honour and love are believed to be most apparent in monogamous setups because both parents will always be available for their kids and also for each other as partners. Sufficiently providing for the needs of the family is also deemed easy in monogamous marriages.
The Church and all who believe in monogamous relationships strongly contend that polygamy is just a ‘politically correct’ excuse to cheat on one’s partner. Polygamous people around the world maintain that humans are polygamous by nature. Therefore, it is the reason why most people in monogamous relationships practise social monogamy but are not ‘sexually monogamous’. Cases of divorces and breakups are always on the rise in monogamous relationships (leading to serial monogamy) due to issues of disloyalty or infidelity. Researchers argue that individuals in monogamous relationships tend to cheat more on their partners than those in polygamous setups. Studies say ‘serial monogamy’ breeds more promiscuity and therefore it seriously exposes couples to sexually transmitted diseases.
Polygamous people also state that humans are jealous by nature and jealousy issues will always be a present feature in romantic relationships due to the fact that humans are unable to maintain sexual monogamy. Tensions will always be found in any type of a romantic or family setup depending on the personalities of the parties involved. Polygamists say that polygamy lowers the risk of getting bored in a marriage and they suggest that it lowers the incentive to cheat in a marriage. The concept of one ‘soul-mate’ for everyone is viewed as flawed and that is why people in monogamous relationships tend to cheat a lot.
“Men are dogs!”
I had to give an insightful background on how humans are divided along the lines of monogamy and polygamy before examining why and how the derogatory insult “Men are dogs” came to hold so much water over the years. This old adage line “Men are dogs” has been used to describe the moral behaviour of the male gender since time immemorial and even men are starting to believe that about themselves.
People have come naturally to associate dogs with sexual immorality. They are believed to have an insatiable appetite for sex and they can hump anything that moves. Dogs are generally regarded as ‘destructive’ because they tear up furniture and dig up holes in yards. They generally make a mess!
Dogs are thought to be irresponsible, unreliable, untrustworthy, disrespectful, stupid, flirty, filthy and disgusting in nature. All these bad qualities have been associated with men as a male gender for centuries. Men are presumed just to run off on instinct, just as dogs do, without thinking a lot about how they feel or about the consequences of their actions. In contrast, women tend to really rationalise every feeling, every emotion and every action. Women are viewed as emotional beings naturally, whereas men are just impulsive.
Women have suffered sexual harassment, assault and rape at the hands of men since the birth of the world. Women have endured inequality, pain and all different kinds of injustices throughout time. Arguably, it has always been a man behind the suffering and the prejudicial treatment of women in our societies. As such, bad men with deplorable and vile behaviour inevitably earned the entire male gender a bad name.
Personally to me, as a man, the phrase “Men are dogs” has always been a descriptive insult and it naturally used to put me in a defensive mode. Once a woman said that to anyone while I was close enough to hear it, I would defend my gender with a passion so fierce and murderous. It would incense me to a point of madness to have myself and the rest of my gender be likened to dogs. I would argue that people who are immoral are just immoral regardless of their gender affiliation or identity.
My argument has always been that both male and female genders can be equally immoral. It always ‘takes two to tango’ and therefore it is not fair to blame only one gender to a point of insulting the rest of it. Men and women enjoy equal opportunities to cheat.
There is a study that actually argues that men only cheat because they think their beautiful partners, who are constantly been chased by better men, are inevitably bound to cheat also. Most men are naturally insecure and their inability to communicate those insecurities naturally drives them to cheat in order to prove to themselves that they are still worthy. Yes it is stupid, but men as egoistical beings will always refrain from communicating their insecurities because women will naturally view them as weak. Therefore, cheating will somehow validate their worthiness and it will prove that they’ve still got it. I agree, it is very stupid and it will sound like a ridiculous excuse but sometimes it is as simple as that.
Likening men to dogs based on the fact that dogs mate with multiple partners has always been flawed for me. Women who might not mate with multiple men at a time will ultimately sleep with each man they fall for while practising ‘serial social monogamy’. Relationships fail all the time and the next romantic relationship one gets into will almost always be an intimate relationship. At the end of the day our body count as individuals will always keep rising.
In recent times, sexual victimisation by women is now more common than previously known. When people close their eyes to picture a rapist, more often than not, it will always be a man that pops up in their mind and this bias belies the truth on the ground. Men nowadays are much more likely to be victims of sexual abuse. This alone proves that violence of any sort is not particular to any gender. Both genders are capable of committing sexual and violent crimes.
Every human being has the power to distinguish between right and wrong. Both genders have the capability to be good and to be bad based on their individual qualities inherent in them. Men were brought up to be tough and the world has always expected men to be strong enough to withstand anything. This does not mean that men do not suffer heartbreaks, violence and any other kind of injustice.
“Men don’t cry!” That is another trait that the world expects to find in men. The world needs to understand that men are also emotional beings who are made of flesh and blood. If you cut them, they will surely bleed. This is evidenced by the ever-rising cases of men who commit suicide after being cheated on. Men break just as much as women do!
I could go on to draw comparisons between dogs and women but I will not continue this culture of discrimination and gender stereotyping. I would rather stick to comparing both genders as human beings. We are not perfect, we are fallible and our flaws spell the beauty of our human kind. Our weaknesses make everything around us, whether good or bad, real.
Yes, MEN are dogs! I say MEN in bold letters to make reference to the entire human race in general. If we are to associate all outrageous behavioural traits with dogs, then both genders are culpable and they both are capable of exhibiting such appalling behaviour at any point in time. Let us all condemn bad behaviour without bias and without associating it to any particular gender. Bad is bad and evil knows no gender!
I also think it is not fair to dogs to show them such disregard! Dogs have such wonderful attributes that can be likened to men. Dogs are loyal and intelligent. These beautiful animals have been known to be men’s best friend and have been known to offer incredible companionship to men for ages. Dogs are affectionate and they love unconditionally. Dogs have no hidden agenda. It takes a lots of abuse to strip dogs of their good qualities. Dogs possess a simple mindset and they appreciate simple things in life. They are also empathic and they can tell when you are not ok. Dogs are protective in nature and they are also easy to groom. These are some of the best characteristics of dogs that we tend to ignore as human beings when making inferences like “Men are dogs”.
I think if we were all dogs just for a day, the world would be a better place. Let’s celebrate each other as human beings and let’s all learn to appreciate all the good people out there. Dogs are good animals and I believe we have a thing or two to learn from them!
McDennias Moyo, is a political scientist and an educationist who has an enquiring mind that seeks to understand problems that people face in their day to day lives. He is a young Zimbabwean politician, a poet, a writer and an influencer who believes in the power of knowledge and of sharing ideas. His poetry and his writing are influenced by his life experiences and the experiences of those around him. He writes about love, pain, loss and social injustices among other themes. He has two previously published poetry books on Amazon with the first entitled My Everyday Valentine and the second book is entitled My Prickly Heart. He is currently working on his third poetry book entitled Screams and another philosophy book entitled Part of my Thoughts.