Feminist Scholar Examines Genitals of 10,000 Dogs for Canine ‘Rape Culture’ Study

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A women’s studies researcher says she examined the genitals of 10,000 dogs for her study on canine “rape culture” this month.

The journal Gender, Place, and Culture, is a monthly peer-reviewed publication that focuses on issues of feminist geography. In 2015, it was ranked the thirteenth most influential women’s studies academic journal in the world.

This year, the journal published an unusual piece by researcher Helen Wilson about “rape culture” in “urban dog parks.” The article, titled “Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon,” astonishingly argues that female dogs suffer oppression at the paws of male dogs and that humans are indifferent to violence between dogs.

In what must have been an attempt to reach peak academic absurdity, Wilson says that she examined the genitals of almost 10,000 dogs during her observational study into canine “rape culture.”

“The usual caveats of observational research also apply here,” Wilson wrote. “While I closely and respectfully examined the genitals of slightly fewer than ten thousand dogs, being careful not to cause alarm and moving away if any dog appeared uncomfortable, there is some relevant margin of error concerning my observations about their gender in some instances.”

In a subsection of the piece entitled “oppression of dogs,” Wilson highlighted that male owners were far more likely to call their male dogs “buddy” than were female owners.

“Male human companions referred to their male dogs as ‘buddy’ 97% more often than did female human companions (4426 documented examples of a male human companion calling his male dog ‘buddy’ versus 2247 documented uses by female companions of male dogs), who often just called the dog by his name,” Wilson wrote.

The crutch of Wilson’s research, which seems beyond parody, was her ability to draw a thin connection between male-female oppression in dogs and gender discrimination in humans.

Female dogs are relatively oppressed as a class compared with male dogs; male dogs who discharge their sexual urges on other male dogs or on humans rather than females are disproportionately subject to physical punishment; and female dogs are intentionally subjected to real and ever-looming threats of canine rape. The parallels to human societies under feminist and queer theories are clear, especially within analogous human spaces in which straight, white, and/or male dominance is the norm.


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