Question: “What is a man’s best friend?”
Answer: “Dog.”

In a few years, this answer may no longer be the correct one. According to an article published in the New York Times earlier in October (click here to read), a growing number of men are bucking the stereotype and unabashedly forging alliances with cats. It looks like the man-dog connection has been an oppressive force limiting the full development of masculine identity. In addition, it has been a source of unnecessary bravado and machismo, a turn off to many women. Commenting on men who own cats, Ms. Daza observes: “They make the best boyfriends because they’re totally cool with staying home and watching a movie. Straight men with cats seem to be really secure and stable. They don’t need to be running around the park and proving their masculinity like the dog guys.”

Who kn
ew? Is this a case of open rebellion against societal expectations, against a “law of masculinity”? Or is this simply about giving cats their due respect? Do real men eat quiche, too?

This article struck me as a bit trivial and and made me laugh a bit. But then it got me thinking about the different things in which I anchor my identity, the standards I use to judge myself and others. I am glad that the Gospel tells me exactly who I am (not as good as I think!) and that Jesus extends redemption (a new identity!) regardless. Whew!

On that note: As much as I think cats are fine house pets, I think I’m comfortable being a dog kind of guy.