It may seem like the world has gone barking mad with the steady stream of sexual harassment scandals, but we’d always thought certain pockets of society were safe—until now. It turns out that even the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is a big, bad sexist mess.
Yes, the Westminster Dog Show officially has 99 problems and their treatment of “bitches” is one. Ahead of this year’s competition on February 12, Reuters did the hard-hitting reporting on dog shows we never knew we needed and found out that yes, there is a glass ceiling for female dogs. As they explain, male dogs have won Westminster almost twice as often as female dogs.
“Female dogs, known in pure-bred circles as “bitches,” have snared Best in Show at Westminster 39 times since the award was first given in 1907,” they reported. “Males, known simply as “dogs,” have been victorious 71 times, almost twice as often.”
Woof. Why is the dog-eat-dog world of competitive Kennel Club shows so sexist? It has a lot to do with childbirth. According to one Kimberly Calvacca, a professional handler and breeder from Westbury, New York, “A dog’s peak age for competition is 3 to 5 years old, which also happens to be prime breeding age for females.”
Welcome to 2018, where even our dog shows are exposed for the sexist messes they are.