Wednesday, November 21, 2018

White Women at the Dog Shows

75 percent of AKC breeders, and 72 percent of AKC buyers, are women, almost all of them white.

Dog shows are not normal places, not even in the world of dogs.

While 71 percent of men age 18-44 own a dog (as compared to 60 percent of women of the same age), a 2002 report from the AKC Delegates Meeting reveals that 75 percent of AKC breeders, and 72 percent of AKC buyers, are women. This is a phenomenal gender bias, and it's about dog shows, not dogs.

As "Showsight" notes: "The lower the level of competition, the higher proportion of women. It’s not uncommon to see classes in most breeds made up entirely of woman."

And it's not just gender that skews; so too does race.

Whites are about 3 times more likely to own a dog than non-whites. Minorities at dog shows are phenomenally under-represented, while white woman are phenomenally over-represented.

While white women represent about 36 percent of the US population, white women represent twice that percentage of exhibitors at dog shows.

What's all this mean?

Well, at some level it means that if we are looking to end the breeding of diseased, deformed, and dysfunctional kennel club dogs, we need to think about the audience we need to be talking to, which is disproportionately white women.

What are their values, and why does canine health, function, and temperament rate so low that these attributes are still afforded ZERO points within the kennel club show structure? 

What is it about white women that seems to disproportionately attract them to a system of competitions where appearance and fake story are valued more than genuine canine health, canine work, and canine temperament?


LRM said...

It's hard to attribute this entirely to breed type or socioeconomic factors, when one encounters so many women handling dogs three times their size, and conformation shows seem to be overrun with folks who do nothing but complain about the increasing expense.

geonni banner said...

You don't suppose it has anything to do with holding women to arbitrary and freakish standards of beauty, despite its effect on their health, comfort or happiness.

I once knew a woman who had breast enlargement surgery, even though her breasts were EACH the size of her head. She was a stripper, and she said she couldn't get hired at any of the clubs where she had applied. The owners all said her breasts were too small...

She was already a freak on the order of a Bulldog or Pug. But that just wasn't enough.

I used to do fund-raising at Collie Specialty shows to obtain funds to support my Collie rescue efforts. All those women - usually overweight and otherwise unattractive were so obviously, desperately seeking the admiration they were unqualified to receive through their dogs. Very sad - for them and for the dogs.

PBurns said...

I think it may be a combination of things:

** Women who want to compete but have less places to do so;
** Women with hair dresser/beauty queen frustrations;
** Women with displaced maternal instincts (no children, grown children)
** #2 and #3 is why there are also a disproportionate number of gay men and women at dog shows

What's odd is that beauty shows are perhaps the least feminist thing in the world. That said, a LOT of women at dog shows are conservative republicans who make affirmatively reject the basic feminist tenet that women are more than the sum of their body parts.