Having a Pet- Gender Neutral?

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It seems that everyone has a pet these days- dog, cat, horse, even a fish. Because of this, I think pets are gender neutral. There is no gender discrimination when it comes to the love of a pet. I see men and women who care for their puppies as if they were the own children. If you take a walk around a neighborhood you would see both men and women walking their dogs. You would find cats with owners of both genders. Fish are one of the easiest pets to take care of and a fish bowl can sit as easily on a man’s desk as it can a woman’s. In general, there seems to be no gender bias towards the idea of having a pet, and in the eyes of the pet there seems to be no gender bias as well. Pets have a sense of protection and love when it comes for their owners. Dogs bark at strangers that walk in the door and then run in circles when their owner walks in. No matter what gender they are, a pet loves them just the same.

However, if you take a deeper look into the stereotypes that come with particular pets you may be able to see some slight bias towards men or women. In particular, cats. Often times femininity can be associated with cats, especially when people mention “crazy cat ladies”. Cats are in the homes of men and women a like, however, it may seem more normal for a girl to be obsessed with cats than it would be for a man.

Everyone is bias in some ways when it comes to gender norms but living in an athletic world tends to help brake these views for me. When someone thinks of baggy sweatpants and t-shirts, often times they are trying to describe a male. However, being an athlete, my teammates and I basically live in sweats. Because of this view I try to be more open about how I initially react or associate someone to a particular gender based on their clothes. Sometimes this can be hard when it comes to a persons particular features and I have caught myself second guessing a persons gender. I usually feel immediately sorry for assuming one way or another, and although I may not have said anything out loud, I regret even making the assumption in the first place. It can be hard for someone to break gender norms and facing the people that judge you at first glance makes it harder, which is what I try to avoid.

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