My cat, Lucy, does not like men. She really doesn’t like anyone but me, but she tolerates women slightly better than she does men. I think the reason for her bias is pretty simple to understand. They way people interact with my cat is strongly divided along gender lines.
When women meet Lucy, and she hisses or growls at them, they conclude, “This cat does not want attention. Fair enough.” And then they tend to leave her alone unless she approaches them later on.
When men meet Lucy and get the same reaction, they unfailingly adopt one of two types of behavior. The most common is to become determined to befriend her, despite her obvious lack of interest. They talk to her, sit next to her, try to entice her with toys or treats, and attempt to pet her. Lucy’s response never changes. She hisses, growls, snarls, and eventually, when she’s had more than enough of this unwanted attention, she swipes at them and tries to draw blood. Her annoyance almost never deters men, even if they’ve been badly scratched, and they continue to try to win her over, sometimes for months or years. It does not work.
A second, though less frequent, response by men to Lucy’s hostility is to feel insulted and to respond in kind. These men will try to annoy or frighten her as revenge for her lack of appreciation for their attention. These men, who I do not like, will make loud noises, poke her with objects, or chase her. After all, the bitch deserves it for being so unfriendly.
Any of this sound familiar?