Women, Dogs, and People

July 29, 2007

Today a woman died. But this is not what the Yucca is here to report. Rather, the Yucca noticed the way in which the BBC presents the news. The title is: “Woman and dog killed in collision”.

bbc1.jpg

The dog is given pretty much equal status as the woman (apart from the fact that the two are not ordered alphabetically): normally, the title would have said something like “Woman killed in collision” and then they would have mentioned, in the article, that the woman had been killed while walking her dog. And that yes, by the way, for the animal lovers out there, the dog had died too. In a similar way in which they could have reported that a woman had been run over while listening to her iPod. And that, yes, for the iGeeks out there, the iPod was fucked beyond repair. Animals as objects, the usual.

But this time the BBC has chosen to put the dog up there with the woman. My feminist self suggests me that, had it been a man rather than a woman, the title would have probably not mentioned the dog… but that’s another story: women as animals, animals as objects, women as objects. The usual.

This is probably just a bored Sunday evening editor taking the liberty of a lifetime. But thanks anyway: the Yucca takes notice of another of those puny subterranean shifts that will, one day, amount to emancipation.

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7 Responses to “Women, Dogs, and People”

  1. Alasdair Says:

    Perhaps it has less to do with the objectification of women and more to do with the elevation of dogs to be almost on par with people.

    It’s interesting to consider individuals behaviour in relation to animals within our society, with so many people being detached from their food source the association of animals being ‘below’ people has been muddied as they become more ‘possession and pet’ than ‘pet and dinner’.

    I would suspect though that the editor is a dog owner though, rather than objectifying women in any (even a subconcious) way …

  2. yucca Says:

    hi Alasdair,

    thanks for that. it picks up on something important that i left out: the difference between animalirights-vegetarianism and pet-loving.

    i agree with you: that pet dogs are elevated to the status of people or almost-people or semi-people is no big news.

    many dog-owners love their dog more than they love most human beings, but still eat meat on a regular basis.

    the issue is the emancipation of animals, not the emancipation of only pets, which would be just another form of discrimination

    about women: that was little more than a joke

  3. Dave Says:

    So are you saying that all animals are equal?

    Do you treat all insects with the same regard with which you treat all mammals?

  4. yucca Says:

    no, Dave, I’m not saying that

    I am saying that the morally relevant difference is between persons, being with interests, and non-persons

    and that a lot of animals are, like most human beings, persons.

    i would say, for example, that both myself and a cow are persons because we suffer and have an interest in not suffering.

    but that insects, if they don’t have an interest in not suffering, are not.

    all animals who suffer are equal, in terms of the moral consideration that they deserve, to human beings

    actually, vegetarianism doesn’t even need the above statement. it can settle for something less: that all animals who suffer deserve moral considerations. and that the moral advantages that a human gets from eating meat aren’t equal to the suffering of animals (the latter in case one is a utilitarian)


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  6. james Says:

    i completly agree with Alasdair i read the original arugment and found it to have miss read the situation im glad that someone eles has the same point to make as me and did a better job than i ever would.

  7. james Says:

    sory to come back to this but if you go to http://www.lynnnews.co.uk there is a news paper article headed man and dog killed in hanstanton plunge.


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