The more I see of men the more I like dogs, as witty old Madame de Stael famously put it - and she knew the very top dogs of her time.

Just watch dogs greeting each other and you'll see human behaviour.

They quickly establish, in this order, who last had the more interesting meal, the sex of the other dog, and who's going to be on top, because there always has to be a top dog and a self-abasing bottom dog who's prepared to lie on its back and have the other pretend to tear its throat out.

Often that dog is cute and cuddly. Sound familiar?


I wince at these mute dialogues, seeing in them the traditional role of many women around alpha males.

I'm all for the #MeToo consciousness-raising exercise currently on the Internet, in which women admit to bad sexual experiences they've had, but suspect that there is still much to learn about ourselves as animals.

There seems to be a kind of ingrained subservience in some women, a perhaps reluctant willingness to just give in in the face of smug, self-loving males who suck all the oxygen out of a room.

We mentally shrink ourselves back into something smaller and more limited, because we know we'll never get a word in edgewise or, being female, be listened to if we succeed in some feeble half-baked way at getting a point across. But we don't like it. We just go through the subservient motions.

There is a term for one male workplace behaviour, the pelvic tilt, a display so blatant the male might as well be a dog, often involving one or both legs hooked over the sides of a chair so their gonads stare you brashly in the face.

I've seen this accompanied by finger-clicking to a young assistant to get her to fetch a file a couple of feet away.

There's a coded dominance in after-lunch odour too, when alpha males reek of garlic and wine, suggesting they can afford expensive restaurant meals known as "business lunches" while you eat your peanut butter sandwiches at your desk.

Wise women know this is preferable to being invited along to those prestige lunches in order to be groped or "invited upstairs".


The current run of old men being called to account for alpha behaviour runs so true to form that women all recognise it.

In the dog world, age makes you arthritic and slow, which you may be sure applies to Fox News's lecherous Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly, and the heinous Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein if they would only admit it.

Stripped of money and power they would be seen for what they are, old and unattractive men, but they've been top dogs so long they act like impotence is a foreign country, and women are panting to lie down for them and wag their fluffy tails.

They're doglike in that there is no more to their idea of a sexual encounter than a whiff of perfume and a body. Women, being more complex, don't enjoy it, feel demeaned, and they just don't get why.

It's all about money, because money is power, and powerful dogs (not necessarily pedigrees) always end up on top, these grubby forays echoing the way dogs - and cats - mark their territory with pee.

There may be younger, more pleasant men around the office, but the old dog's piddle blocks them out.

Fox News's The O'Reilly Factor brought in US $147.13 million in advertising to the network last year, we're told this week, so you get why the Murdoch executives wanted to keep him on.

Money counts for more than good manners in that world. It can buy any whining woman off, while men without it go to jail for less.

On a lighter note, anger being a waste of time, the appointment of 93-year-old Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe as a United Nations goodwill ambassador is almost as good a joke as Donald Trump becoming President of the United States.

China is reportedly a friend of the old dictator, and Russian hackers have been credited with creating Trump's election victory by spreading fake facts about his opponent. This is how modern wars are fought.

I like Jacinda Ardern's relentless positivity in the face of this tired and grubby world, then.

It's refreshing. I'm hoping the local alphas will sit when they're told to, and don't strain too hard on the leash.