There’s a video of a mongoose making the rounds on Twitter. Maybe you’ve seen it? It shows a mongoose fighting off a bunch of lions, clipped from some footage shot in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve by wildlife photographer Jérôme Guillaumot in 2011, per National Geographic.
A lot of people on my feed are praising the ferocious feliform, but frankly? I’m disgusted. This video isn’t cute. It’s not fun or relatable. Spare me your “it me,” your “big mood,” your “when…” You might as well just come out as a raging enabler. For when I watch that minute and 24 seconds, all I see is a misogynist. I see a man yelling at women. I see a man intimidated by women’s power, a man who feels threatened by the space a group of women unapologetically take up and also their sharp claws and teeth.
You might think it’s ridiculous to anthropomorphize a bunch of animals and project my own personal understanding of human sexual power dynamics onto them, but remember: Humans are animals. So, in that sense, we’ve already anthropomorphized ourselves. No one is a human—not even humans! So how is it any different to project that constructed ideal of humanity onto some non-human creatures? As RuPaul says, perhaps, “If you can’t anthropomorphize yourself, how in the hell are you gonna anthropomorphize someone else?” Surely the reverse is true.
You also might be wondering why I’m reading the mongoose as a male attacker and the lions as women defending themselves. That’s easy: The video he/hims the little mongoose, and everyone knows girl lions don’t have manes. Except for the girl lions who do have manes. (Those lions are also girls.)
But let’s just say these girl lions are actually boy lions who don’t have manes for some reason. Maybe they’re teens. Maybe they just don’t have them! The point is that the boy mongoose can still be misogynistic at a bunch of boy lions. Homophobia is an expression of misogyny, many have argued. I don’t remember who off the top of my head, but just trust me! I know what I am talking about. Ergo, the mongoose is anti-woman, because I’m talking about the mongoose being anti-woman and, as I have already established beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know what I’m talking about. The mongoose is bad, Q.E.D.