Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Woof!: British Divorcee Marries her Loyal Dog

Proving that truth is stranger than fiction, woman marries dog as 200 people look on.

47-year-old British divorcee Amanda Rodgers married her female Jack Russell terrier, Sheba, in a ceremony in Croatia, and the couple are now making rounds on the British talk show circuit. Two hundred people attended the overseas ceremony, reported the New York Daily News. It is unclear whether the well-wishers were merely curiosity-seekers or whether they truly believed that Ms. Rodgers (and the dog) had found their respective soulmates.

In proposing marriage to Sheba, Ms. Rodgers followed the traditional custom of going down on one knee. "I could tell by her tail wagging that she said 'yes,'" explained Ms. Rodgers. (For more on how to ascertain the consent of non-humans to marriage proposals, see my earlier article on the subject here.)

Ms. Rodgers married a man 20 years ago, but the marriage only lasted a few months. Although Sheba and Ms. Rodgers shared a kiss on their wedding day, men still have a limited role to play in Ms. Rodgers' life as long as Sheba gives her consent. "Men don't come anywhere near the bedroom unless she [Sheba] agrees... One time I made a man sleep in the dog bed for a whole week," remarked Ms. Rodgers. Some might say that takes the saying "sleeping in the doghouse" a bit far. But by and large, Ms. Rodgers is "fed up of men."

What can we say to all this? As popular Catholic theologian Chris West commented several years ago under similar circumstances when a woman married a dolphin:
Our pornified world has turned a large number of men into beasts — wolves with one-track minds, and women are the prey. If I was a woman and I had a choice between a wolf and a dolphin, I’d choose the dolphin, too.
But according to the Bible, continued West, out of all the animals in the Garden of Eden, there was no helper fit for man. And so woman was created. "It’s impossible to speak, even analogously, of the inner life of animals. ...It’s because of our inner life that we have the capacity to marry," postulated West.

Few comments on the current situation of woman-marries-dog rise to the intellectual level of West's analysis. Most people have reacted with horror or shock, but some thought we should just let sleeping dogs lie, so to speak. One person commenting on the March 11 article in the Mirror stated:
"As long as she is happy and the dog is looked after who gives a tiny rats [sic] behind!! With all the dog attacks and animal cruelty in the news it's good to know there are people out there who care and look after their pets even if it is in a wacky way."
This commenter's attitude was not shared by the Humane Society of Fairfax County, North Carolina, which last year tipped off the police after discovering that a man had filmed his wife having sex with a pet German Shepherd and posted the video on the Internet. The couple was charged with bestiality and disseminating obscene materials, and the police seized the pets, taking them to an animal shelter.

Some saw the wedding ceremony between Ms. Rodgers and Sheba as a natural extension of allowing same-sex marriage. From comments on the New York Daily News website:
"Well, guess those anti-gay marriage folks were right after all."
"Hey, they love each other, who are we to say that they shouldn't be married ... where have I heard that argument before? ....hmmmm" 
But perhaps the most poignant reaction was from YouTube video artist Ravishing Rick Rude, whose videos are dedicated to the principle of MGTOW, or Men Going Their Own Way. According to the Urban Dictionary of slang, the MGTOW movement asserts that: "as a man I will not surrender my will to the social expectations of women and society, because both have become hostile against masculinity." For Rick, Ms. Rodgers' marriage to Sheba is "a Victory that proves marriage is completely pathetic and not worth men's time." If this is what the future holds in store, "you're going to see a lot of marriages not happening," opined Rick. "This is its own hell."

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  1. As I recall; over-zealous folks were dismissed as neurotics when they said that "Gay-Marriage" might encourage beastiality and other less mentionable unions. Apparently not that far-fetched after all. The unspoken question is ' Would this civil-union be legal if it was not consummated?'

    1. Interesting point about consummation -- that's a legal wrinkle I hadn't thought of! I'm not sure this mock marriage even rises to the level of a civil union, though. Despite the ceremony being performed, it wasn't recognized by any government.