“Humane Society of the United States chief executive Wayne Pacelle resigned Friday amid sexual harassment complaints and a backlash by major donors. The announcement of Pacelle’s departure comes one day after the charity’s board voted to retain the chief executive, and two hours after the board chairman dismissed the allegations against him as lacking ‘credible evidence.'” —The Washington Post, February 2, 2018

On behalf of the entire board of directors here at the Humane Society, I’d like to take this opportunity to say to our female clientele:

What’s wrong, girl? What’s with all the commotion? Has someone been hurt?

Yes. Someone has been hurt. And that someone is men. Bad girl! Bad!

Please don’t misunderstand — your story deserves to be heard. It’s an important story. So very, very important. And now is the time when every man must sit, and stay, and resist the urge to roll over or play dead, because now is the time to listen to that story.

But what if that story is based on nothing more than circumstantial evidence? Just because more than one lassie accuses a man of sexual harassment or sexual assault doesn’t mean those two dozen or so accusers didn’t get together for a “Champagne brunch” last fall and make up an elaborate lie overflowing with stomach-churningly specific details, many of which can still be corroborated by friends, family, and colleagues decades later, just to bring down a successful man. Be honest — boys aren’t the only ones who can cry wolf, are they, girl?

Whoa, girl, whoa! What’s gotten into you? Down, girl! Down! Lie down!

On second thought don’t lie down, since doing so could suggest coercion of a sexual nature on the board’s part — but also because we fully support you standing up for your rights, of course. As previously stated, now is the time for listening, which we look forward to doing just as soon as we’re finished telling our side of the story.

Look, girl, look! Look how compassionate and empathetic we’re being!

It’s true that we live in a dog-eat-dog world, but only if we allow it to be. Wouldn’t you rather eat a dog biscuit instead? For the record, the board did not just offer you a treat, so there’s no need to bite the hand that feeds, either literally or on social media, where there are no leash laws. But if anyone at the Humane Society ever did offer you a treat and told you to keep it a secret “or else,” please accept our sincerest apologies.

Nevertheless, it’s unwise to rush to judgment and give someone’s reputation a black eye simply because that someone’s ex-wife has photographic evidence of a black eye he allegedly gave her. “Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” tweeted our nation’s top dog, President Donald Trump, on February 10, adding, “There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”

In other words, drop that lawsuit, girl! Drop it! (The board would have added “[sic]” after the president’s misspelling of “people’s,” but we didn’t want to run the risk of any of our clients mistaking it for “Sic ‘im!”)

However, the fact of the matter is that while some men say they’re elephants and some identify as donkeys, all of us, whether we care to admit it or not, are dogs. Ideally we’d all be lovable and loyal, like Snoopy, or at least dumb but well-meaning, like Marmaduke, or even clinically depressed but not making a big deal about it, like Droopy, but unfortunately there are far too many vicious, destructive Cujos in the mix.

None of us would be alive if it weren’t for the female of the species, but we’re often too busy chasing cars, and the power and money that affords us better cars, to realize it. Therefore when we abuse the power we’ve gained by marking territory that was never up for grabs to begin with, it stands to reason that the proper response should be “Keep your stinking paws off me, you damn, dirty man-ape.”

What’s the humane thing to do? Neuter every man in power? Remake the ending of Old Yeller with Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Larry Nassar on the receiving end of Travis’s rifle? Take immediate steps to ensure that the gender pay gap goes the way of the dodo? Those are all rhetorical questions, just to be clear. Just spitballing. No need to make them “trending topics.” But if you’d like to change the subject to why it’s so difficult for American gun owners to receive access to first-rate mental-health services, you have the board’s blessing.

Now shake, girl! Shake hands! You can do it! Shake hands!

Good girl.

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About the Author

Robert Cass

Robert Cass lives in Chicago. For Popdose he's written under the Sugar Water, Bootleg City, and Box Office Flashback banners and collaborated on the series 'Face Time with Jeff Giles and Mike Heyliger.

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