I did not grow up with pets. My girlfriend grew up with two dogs and multiple cats. Guess what, everyone? I now own a cat.
Believe it or not, when I got the cat I had no preconceived notion that it was socially awkward for a man to own a cat. I soon found out the stigma associated with men who own cats. A girl said to me, “It’s just weird. They just don’t fit right. Men should own a dog or something.”
After I heard this, I began to ponder. Why is it weird for a man to own a cat? Do women have a biological disposition to cats? What makes a male cat owner seem so strange to us?
I believe there is no reason why a grown man cannot have a feline companion and still be every bit as manly as he was before.
People associate cats with femininity for a couple reasons. Cats are considered smaller and more graceful, like we expect women to be. Some even associate the words feline and female as being from the same origin. So far I cannot find any connection with the word feline and female besides the first two letters.
Even if, in our culture, cats are rightly associated with women, why is it considered weaker for a man to own cat?
You cannot play fetch with a cat. You cannot take a cat for a walk.
However, there are other enjoyments one gets from feline company. They don’t bark at the door. They don’t have to be taken out for walks or to use the bathroom. Some may disagree with me, but I feel that owning a cat is less work than owning a dog.
Men, in our culture, are associated with laziness and underachieving. Look at the current gap between women and men attending college and enrolling in honor societies. Maybe men should own more cats if the masculine nature is to be upheld.
This may sound like a lonely soul desperately hanging on to a thread of masculinity to save his face, but I honestly feel like there are many gender roles in our culture that we cannot explain through reason.
I am not claiming that gender roles in our society are always a bad thing. I am only suggesting that sometimes our assumptions about what men and women are supposed to be, are many a time, unjustified.