The Similarities Between Guys and Canine

Categories: Gender Roles

Dave Barry is the author of numerous publications, and was a columnist for the Miami Herald, from which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for a commentary he wrote. Amongst his pieces, a theme of humor surfaced primarily. Contrary to the title of this given selection “Guys vs. men”, this essay does not reflect the comparison of two types of males. The author stated, that such comparisons already exist extensively, and therefore does not need further study. However, articles on guys and guy hood are almost extinct in modern times.

So instead, the author compares men to other similar’ beings such as dogs and women (Barry,2003). Without a doubt, though, guys share more similarities with canines than women, which, to some degree, I would certainly have to agree with.

Although, such comparisons are certainly not the focus point, the article more so considers what men like and why they behave in the way that they do. Without reading that Barry was infatuated with humor based writings, one could easily assume he did not maintain his purpose of the article.

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Which was initially thought to be to persuade audiences that men are not accountable for their actions (Barry, 2003). However, after closer examination, one can conclude that the author was using sarcasm for all that was said in this short article. Men are more complex beings than they are described as throughout this article, and they certainly can control their impulses. Men are individual beings and do not need to fit the mold represented in this text.

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These are the emerging ideas, that underline the reality of thought produced by Barry in this clever and insightful piece.

Although, not all audiences may pick up on this sort of sarcasm, I feel that the article would be quite too irrational and illogical to take seriously. I mean seriously, how can one believe that all men do this, or all men do that. Personally, with being a man, I was quite offended by the degree of ignorance that was placed on such ideas. One of which was when Barry stated: “Because guys have never really grasped the Basic Human Moral Code, which I believe, was invented by women millions of years ago when all the guys were out engaging in some other activity, such as seeing who could burp the loudest (Barry, p.2, 2003). In this very statement, the author utilized logos as an appeal. As we know, this approach invokes logics into the argument. Anyone, with even half of a brain, knows that men and women alike are certainly capable of understanding morality and what is right and wrong. I feel that this statement, also reveals the humorous side of the authors character and writings as well. Which is shown in the statement made about burping. Because, you know, guys only care about manly things like gas and so forth.

Another, noteworthy comment I feel is necessary for understanding, is that men aren’t capable of understanding right and wrong, but dogs are? Dogs and guys were compared to each other numerous times throughout the selection. The author claimed that dogs feel remorse and guilt after doing something wrong, such as destroying the kitchen. So, if dogs can feel such emotions, and they are more similar to guys than women, can’t one simply assume that men are certainly capable of feeling the same way (Barry,2003). The author uses this sarcasm, to prove just the opposite of what he is claiming throughout the article.

However, one must closely read and analyze the words and humor to reach such conclusions. It took me two times of reading this selection, before picking up on such ideas. But once these realizations are made by audiences, the article not only becomes more enjoyable but quite interesting as well. The author isn’t allocating that guys actions and behaviors are inevitable because of biology and so forth, but society often allows such ideas to influence popular belief that they are. How man times have we all heard the phrase “boys will be boys”, but the author simply does not believe these ideas as reality, which can be verified by reading this article.

Another appeal was made, but this time to pathos rather than logos. As we know, pathos is concerned with emotion as a persuasive factor. Personally, the first time reading this, my emotions were through the roof. That is, however, before I realized the author was utilizing sarcasm throughout the story. I thought to myself, how can this man believe in his right mind that men are all the same. That men can cheat on their wives, and it is completely understandable because they cannot help but do so (Barry,2003). The author really plays with audience’s emotions, that is however, only being that someone disagrees with such stances. In my opinion, some macho men of modern times, simply would read these words, and feel secure about the harmful behaviors they possess. However, the good men like me, with a positive and caring upbringing would know that these instances are not true, and that despite popular belief, we as men can be of moral standing and don’t have difficulty showing feminine qualities.

I feel that this article, would increasingly appeal to woman’s emotions. Especially, towards the end, when Barry stated: “I’m not saying guys are scum. I’m saying that many guys who consider themselves to be committed to their marriages will stray if they are confronted with overwhelming temptation, defined as “virtually any temptation” (Barry, p.2,2003). I say this, because, women are constantly worrying that their men will cheat. That is, because men tend to be disloyal more than females do. Not to mention, that there are several publicized and media portrayals of men cheating on their women.

Although, to some degree I cannot disagree with this statement. Because, lets face it, men do cheat a lot when given even the slightest sign of interest from a woman. However, not all men cheat, just as not all women are faithful. It is simply a factor of the individual’s choice, and simply being a “man” does not give one the right to ruin the marriage, or hurt the woman either. Women who read this article, will more than likely become sadden, because, unlike most other points of this article, this last piece isn’t meant to be funny, and sarcasm isn’t really used. Given the opportunity, men will most likely cheat. Even if he has a beautiful and intelligent wife, men don’t use sex for love. Sex is just purely pleasure and will be convenient when his wife is away (Barry,2003).

This argument is somewhat tricky, as explained above. The author uses sarcasm in some areas, such as when he describes morals and dogs, but doesn’t in terms of explaining what guys enjoy and cheating. I feel the main purpose of this, is to convince audiences, while also showcasing societies views on such topics. In today’s times, men are often not held accountable for their decisions and behaviors. However, the author feel that it is time to change such visions, and show that not all men think/feel the same (Barry, 2003). Men and women can be mixed with commonalities of the opposite gender. Although, this was not as accepted in previous generations, we are in different times now. And with different times, the acceptance of such is certainly more popular than not. Although, to some degree, I feel that it is more acceptable for woman than it is men.

It is certainly acceptable for a man to cry and show emotions, every individual should feel comfortable and confident in their skin. Although, society will make men feel the opposite. But through reading this piece by Barry, I have realized a lot about myself. One of these clarifications made, was that it is completely okay for me to express my own emotions, and I should never ever feel guilty when doing so. I should be unique and be the person that I am, not what society tells me I should be. I also feel, that to a degree, men are conditioned to be this way. They are conditioned to like gadgets and computer programs, just as women are conditioned to like makeup and be stay at home moms. Although many do not fit such molds in modern times, we cannot expect these traditional roles to be completely tossed away (Barry,2003).

Within the lines of these texts, many realizations are set in order. By sarcasm, the author brings to awareness several ideas about manhood and the expectations that come with that title as well. However, many audiences may be offended by what is said. Audiences, that the author wanted to summon in this article would include men and women alike. For men to better understand themselves, and the person they desire to be, and for women to better understand men, but understanding that they aren’t all the same (Barry, 2003). By utilizing pathos and logos, the author does just that and showcases emotions and logic into such arguments. I have gained much insight as to who I am through reading these texts. I feel much more confident in my skin, and will begin to embrace the real me, the me that doesn’t live up to gender expectations, but strives to be a better person.


  1. Barry, Dave. “Guys vs. Men.” The Norton Sampler, Sixth Edition. Ed. Thomas Cooley. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2003. 246-251.

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The Similarities Between Guys and Canine. (2021, Sep 27). Retrieved from

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