EWRT-1A: English Writing and Literature
Prof. V. Ross
Copyright © 1996 B. A. Collie Collier
Requisite Politically Correct Warning!
This paper should be read with tongue firmly in cheek! ;-)
A young woman is walking briskly down a street. A leering man mumbles something suggestive at her, lurching forward in her direction. Not slackening her pace, the woman makes strong eye-contact, then crisply barks, "NO! Sit!" Startled, the man blinks and pauses -- and by then the moment is past; the woman is out of reach and away. Sound silly? It is -- but I know from personal experience that it works. You too can project an aura of unshakable confidence -- because you know how to handle recalcitrant animals.
Today more than ever women are looking for ways to find self-reliance and self-empowerment. Clinics and classes abound that promise to show one the way to true confidence, or to help the emotionally damaged back from their ordeals. All of them seem to mostly rely on either some cheery inner self that will magically make everyone like you, or state that we should meet violence with violence.
These training methods miss the point, I believe. A lovely and self-confident smile will not deter a mugger, and it is an unpleasant truth that many men are stronger than many women. Furthermore, the best way to prevent violence to one's person is to avoid it before it has ever started.
There is also today a lamentably simplistic current belief that an excess of earnestness and a slavish dedication to lawsuits will overcome discord and gender inequities. This would be useful if it worked, but it seems merely to have produced a new breed of feminist: a dour, humorless, unimaginative individual eagerly sniffing out any perceived affront to their internalized personal code of political correctness. We seem to have cast aside a sense of humor in dealing with our current gender issues. True, many of them are not at all funny -- but many of the less horrific incidents seem to get blown up all out of proportion to the attention they really deserve. Thus, I'd like to present a modest proposal to deal with some of the lesser gender-related issues that face women today.
My solution is simple. I believe we should require mandatory animal training lessons for all female children. Several years of dealing with animals, especially large and intelligent ones like horses and dogs, will prepare them wonderfully for life in the real world. Consider the personal benefits alone: these young women will know how to confidently and productively handle creatures that are larger and stronger than they. With a background in out-thinking and careful manipulation of such creatures, any woman is ready to face down potential attempted sexual harassment from male co-workers, obnoxious male passers-by -- indeed any man is sure to fall prey to the firm yet gentle techniques of animal training.
This technique is not just some fly-by-night hypothesis. There is strong evidence that this technique works -- I myself am a glowing example of the success of such training methods. Men do not bother me, and I am approached only when I wish to be. My roommates, both male, are well-behaved and house-trained, although I'll never show them this paper. Well... maybe if I rolled it up and whacked them gently over the nose with it, as a gentle reminder...
Indeed, some of my best friends are men. Furthermore, other satisfied women who have had this kind of training assure me of similar results. They report higher levels of satisfaction with their lives, greater levels of confidence, glossier hair, higher libidos, and well-trained pets. Well... perhaps that was a little exaggerated -- but surely the benefits of my theory can clearly be seen by even the most cursory inspection.
Animal training in order to control men's behavior is not a new idea, of course. Subtle books have been written on the subject, and are there if only you know what to look for. As a single example to get you started, I cannot recommend any better a guide than Carol Lea Benjamin, author of Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog. One has only to exchange the word "man" for "dog," and one can immediately see the wonderful source Ms. Benjamin is to perplexed women everywhere. A single quote should suffice to demonstrate the applicability of her work and her enormous skill at man-handling:
The dog is a pack animal. This simple fact translates to a highly effective, dynamic approach to successful training. Your dog is strongly influenced by the social structure within its particular environment. Canine behavior patterns are governed by a whole series of imprinted responses -- many of which your dog learned from its mother. Because mother as teacher is so successful in Nature, it follows that a training regimen based on this natural learning will also succeed in an owner/dog relationship. ... Sensibly, easily your dog can be developed into a credit to you and your training -- a properly socialized member of your 'pack'.
As you can see, such useful books offer hope for all young women that are disappointed and confused in their relationships with the other gender. Like dogs or horses, men respond well and with relief to clear signals that indicate their position in the pecking order. It is up to women to firmly yet gently show men where they stand -- and sit.
Horse training books have just as many helpful hints as dog training books, and are in some ways even more applicable. Horses and men are both usually larger and stronger than women, but both are manageable with the application of a small piece of metal. In the case of horses it's a bit; in the case of men a wedding ring frequently works. However, sometimes (as with dogs) the substitution of paper is called for. Instead of metal coins, for example, use a rolled up newspaper, or take their check book. An added benefit of training in animal handling is that you also end up with well behaved pets. A friendly companion dog is a joy to have in the home, and horse-back riding, while requiring a heavy investment in the leather industry, leads to great personal gratification and enjoyment. One satisfied (and well-trained) young man was heard to comment on how well his girlfriend handled all those leather straps.
Such training is of course likely to be seen as a radical and dangerous idea by many, most notably confused men. The answer, of course, is to firmly yet gently tell them that it's for their own good, and that they'll get used to it -- eventually they'll be glad of it! In time we will have overcome all the bad effects of an unrestrained upbringing in a patriarchy, and men everywhere will begin behaving themselves. Imagine the joy for those poor men -- they'll no longer be stuck having to think up all those unimaginative sexual innuendoes, or having to worry constantly about their size and/or performance. Women, don't allow the initial reluctance of your prospective subjects to dissuade you. They simply don't realize that you have both your and their best interests at heart. Remember, firmness and gentleness are called for.
There will, of course, be those reactionary people who are not able to see past their own immediate aggrandizement -- men who believe they have some right to be obnoxious to women, women who feel that it's some silly male god's will that they accept such ill-mannered behavior from men. These women don't understand that the man has fooled them into accepting him as alpha in their social pack -- an unhealthy and unnatural state of affairs that leads to bad habits like biting and piddling on the carpet. However, even for these forlorn, confused, and hopeless women there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A strict, in-house training regimen is called for. All these women really need is to show men who's boss. Remember, men like to know where they stand. You just have to realize that they need and want guidance. Leather leashes, strong eye contact, firm tones, the occasional spanking, or a Colt .45 may be needed -- but when you are done, the results will be well worth all your effort.
Remember -- your training now will pay off in the long run, as your house fills up with courteous, well-mannered pets, men, and even (should you wish it) children. As more and more women apply these life-enhancing techniques, fewer and fewer feral men will remain. A day will come when the opening scenario of this paper will be inconceivable to anyone, man or woman. Take the first step -- do your part, and start learning animal training today! Go fetch!
Last Updated: Fri, August 1, 1997