Don’t Gender your Pets

You may think it is of no importance whether you gender your pets but why would you do such a thing to such an important member of your life? Pets cannot speak for themselves. They cannot tell you that they are being misgendered. It’s important not to make assumptions about what gender your animal is based off of its sex.

Sex and gender are separate things and are in no way intertwined. The sex of your pet is irrelevant. The only time you need to concern yourself with the sex of your pet is when you spay or neuter it (and this begs the question of whether or not we should perform operations on our pets without their consent). Animals can have diverse genders just like humans, and they can have diverse sexualities also. Sexuality and gender are separate issues also but as an example of how animals can be incredibly diverse, there are in fact gay animals and even animals capable of changing their sex.

If you love and care for your pet it is important not to misgender them. Try to give them a gender-neutral name instead and calling them gender neutral pronouns like they and them. You may be thinking “why is this important? This is just an animal?” Well it is important because typically pets are more important to their owners than just “animals.” Also, it’s an important way to practice getting rid of gender norms all together.

Gender is a spectrum. We need to get used to using gender neutral terms so that we never make incorrect assumptions about a person or animal. It’s important not to commit microaggressions whenever possible. Avoid gendering your pet because it’s not fair to the animal. It’s also an excellent way of preparing yourself to view the world differently. Just because you see someone who looks stereotypically male or female doesn’t mean that they are. Everyone is probably somewhere in between male and female and perhaps something else altogether so it’s really important to not make assumptions about the people and animals you come across.

If you take my advice you are one step closer to being a more open-minded and safe human being.

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Christie

Hi my name is Christie and I am passionate about feminist values and the feminist movement. We need to stand up and have our voices heard! I am here for my fellow feminist warriors. Want to contact me directly? Shoot me an email at: christinesmith@medusamagazine.com. Warning, trolls WILL be ignored.