Issa Rae Delivers “How Men Become Dogs”

by Evette Dionne

Men Become Doga

A television deal with ABC and Shonda Rhimes’ “Shondaland” production company hasn’t corrupted Issa Rae or her commitment to producing excellent Internet content. The awkward black girl continues to win with her curation of content on her YouTube channel as well the development and release of original programming, including “Ratchetpiece Theater” and her smash staple “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.”

Most of the web series Rae has created or lent support to have been centered on a woman protagonist, but she’s highlighting the plight of men in her latest collaboration. “How Men Become Dogs” tells the tragic, sexist tale of three “good” men who are simultaneously dumped their ungrateful girlfriends. To lick their wounds and re-center their ego, the friends employ a Steve Harvey-esque womanizer coach to  instruct them on how to dog women so they will be irresistible.

“How Men Become Dogs” is executive produced by Rae and Benoni Tagoe, but it was created and directed by Marc Cunningham, who also co-stars alongside up-and-coming actors Bechir Sylvain, Wayne Bowser, and Corey Gaddis.

I adore Issa Rae and respect her prowess as a content creator and curator, but I’m hesitant to embrace “How Men Become Dogs.” The first episode posits women as villains that strip men of their pride and their agency to make healthful relationship and sexual decisions. Women are highlighted as the biblical Eve biting the apple while the men are portrayed as victims in the relationships.

What do you think of the first episode of “How Men Become Dogs?”


  • Alex Ruuska

    I agree with your interpretation of the video’s rhetorical effects. For centuries the “Eve and the apple” theme has recurred in religious and psychological literature, and especially the media, reinforcing the idea that women are evil creatures whose primary function is to control men through sex. I am sure you are familiar with the concept of “hostile sexism,” and it’s troubling to see it no matter the form. But it’s especially harmful when presented through visual media because vision is the primary way in which we take in messages. I consider it a quasi-direct route to the unconscious, which incorporates ideas such as these into the frameworks with which we view the world and other people. Something that is simply an interpersonal disagreement can be attributed to the inherent evil of women under this view. Anyway, I agree!

  • J. Nicole of UrbanExpressive

    I know its only a web series, but the 1st thing that came to mind is how bad the acting is. I get it; its entertainment but I can’t see any of these scenarios actually happening. It seems as if so far its the men who are portrayed negatively; no backbone,broke and unable to defend himself. Yet they’re all oblivious to their short comings. The concept would be good if the events leading to the breakup were shortly summerized and each character had some depth. Maybe it’ll happen later on but I can’t say I’m inclined to find out.

  • shoSTOPPER

    men usually become dogs when a woman they really really love and care for ends up making a fool out them and treat them like crap – then they become dogs because they say never again because being nice got them no wherer

  • Humanista

    Not that that’s a good excuse. How healthy is it to approach dating as if every encounter will be grand? If that was the case, no one would date. Everyone would marry their first love.

    …Obviously, it’s common knowledge that doesn’t happen.

    Women tend to be able to pick up–with time–after heartbreak. Men need to learn to be just as emotionally resilient. It happens. People won’t always live up to expectations.

  • Kay

    I saw this and was giving it a bit of side eye. I have heard this trope thrown around so often and am sick of it. I’ve met men who’ve been emotionally abused or manipulated by a woman and then take out their rage and anger on the unsuspecting and innocent women that come after her. That’s not healthy, that’s pathological and damaging. I’ve gone down this road with some men I’ve dated in the past who use this as their defense, but will get angry if a woman DARED to “play,” them. Making others pay for someone else’s behavior is not only cruel, but keeps you from moving forward emotionally. And for any man reading, this little nugget of knowledge is not gender specific either. I’ve told my female friends to stop letting the mistakes of other men bleed into current relationships and move on. I’ve seen women take a few experiences and run with it, and then wonder why they haven’t found a good man, when they’ve made every good man they’ve met unjustly miserable because of some douche they dated in the past. This show is kinda glorifying this kind of behavior. I can’t say I like it.

  • Kay

    Okay, I get it. Being used and dumped hurts. But then you get up, dust yourself off and move on. It’s called GROWTH. And just because someone hurts you doesn’t give you the right to go out and hurt an innocent person that may actually give a damn about you. That seems counter productive to me. In fact, that’s like giving all your power to the person that hurt you in the first place. They’ve moved on and are living their lives, and here you are, still reliving what you had, over and over again. That’s no way to live. And besides, sometimes taking time to actually get over the hurt will allow you to think about YOUR faults and shortcomings so that you can have a successful relationship.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    all that talent and no knowledge….what a waste

  • K. Michel

    I think it’s funny and has potential. I’d love to see more episodes.

  • jazzyphile

    Might as well be a dog, for according to Clutch ladies “nice guys” are a fraud!

  • freebee33

    Hmm..I don’t know about this series, but I will give it another chance I guess bc I like Issas other work.. I don’t like how it makes the men look helpless and the women to be the root of all the problems though. I also notice that in real life and in this show, so called nice guys don’t go for nice girls as much as they go for women…like homegirl at the beggining of the episode with a bad weave walking through a park in heels and a bodycon dress (who does that?) Then they get mad when they get dumped and take it out on all women including the nice girls..smh

  • NobodyBusiness

    Why do men become dogs? Women of course. Right. Another fail.

  • Treece

    I love Awkward Black Girl. I really do. Ratchetpiece Theater is also quite funny. But this? I’m hoping that this is a parody of some kind….maybe? I couldn’t get through the first five minutes without my mouth gaping open at the foolishness. I mean the whole first exchange (with the picnic) was an extreme exaggeration. I get the point (that there are someone who chace after the whole “bad boy” persona), but I don’t know of any woman longs for a relationship where she can see clearly a dude threatening to slap his woman in the face.

    I don’t even think I buy the whole ” Good guys turn bad because of women” mantra. I think most “bad guys” turn bad early on when they learn how to be “men” from other bad guys. Being played by women may harden a man’s heart to love or cause them to have chip on thier shoulder. But so called “playas” and cheaters are that way because at some point when they were boys, the man or men in thier lives set that example for them. Either that, or they watched thier mama be treated that way by men (mama’s boyfriends or whaterever). Subscribing to the whole idea that somehow it’s all women’s fault that men behave badly is just another sexist tactic to subjugate women. Make them think it’s all their fault, then they’ll be more eager to please men and it’s easier to make them fall into position of submission.

  • black_feminist

    Agree 100%!!! Issa can’t be serious with this, right? I’m really hoping it’s satirical. That’s how I took it, and was able to find it funny – because it is utterly absurd to think that this is how men “become dogs”.

  • Treece

    Sorry for the typos….I meant “some women chase”….Lawd

  • Apple Pie

    Same thing can be said about women who once started out sweet and later on end up bitter. Men have been using and abusing kind women as well, so this is not a one way street. Most women use men because they themselves have been used. A pathetic, never ending cycle. All humans are capable of this and will most likely experience it. Like someone said above, just dust your shoulders off and keep it coming (hopefully to something better). Don’t try to place the blame on one specific group.

  • Apple Pie

    Lol I meant “Dust your shoulders off and keep it moving.”

  • Apple Pie

    I just finished watching this and I have to say that this is badly exaggerated and one sided. Most men (especially black males) do not act like this lol. They aren’t always the “nice guys”. These men are just the exeption, and do not represent all black men. Same way that the female cast doesn’t represent black women. Maybe the ratchett ones, but not the majority lol. This is so biased.

  • NuI

    I am completely disappointed by the comment section here. Regardless of how some of the women that commented feel this is an accurate story of how SOME good guys become dogs. Just like good women get dumped and trashed by men the same happens to good guys too. Where do we get off thinking that all women are innocent and all men and are villians. TRASHBAG WOMEN EXIST TOO!!!!! Get over yourselves and your bitterness of the men that left you and open your eyes too someone else’s story.

    Everytime we belittle someone’s experiences we stay close minded, ignorant, and alone. Wake up ladies….

  • Apple Pie

    The thing here is that most guys are simply picking up the wrong women. Of course some hoodrat, ratchett chick (no offense) isnt going to appreciate a nice picnic at the park. There are plenty of women who would though. It’s like women who date thugs and expect them to treat her right.

  • Fantastico

    I was kinda with you until that last sentence.

    “I think women also need to consider if a man’s doggy dog ways has a lot to do with women just over exposing themselves to men, getting hurt, then calling men dogs.”


  • Keshia

    Exactly!!! +1,000

  • Marketing Gimmicks

    I loved it! Very entertaining and I’ve seen each scenario played out in real life…I think all Beta Males crave to be Alphas…and it’s proven that women LOVE alpha males. A man who’s wrong and strong will always win over a man who spine is made out of noodle…

    I recommend a book called the Art of Seduction by Robert Greene. In many cases women and men tend to fall in love by rejection. When love is easy it isn’t a challenge and doesn’t have any spark or friction…in other words there’s nothing to work hard for…

    In reference to this video there are a lot of women who cheat on weak men, and take comfort in disrespecting broke men and those sensitive, creative, artsy types can be especially irritating because they could care less HOW food jumps in the fridge…

    Finding a man that you can truly respect…a man that can really show and prove…(I’m talking about drive, ambition, direction) is becoming a very difficult thing…many black men simply don’t know how to be men that women are attracted to.

  • Marketing Gimmicks

    BTW…all the men in this sketch comedy skit are very cute!!!!

  • freebee33

    @ Apple Pie, Exactly!

  • NuI

    Your missing the point. This web series is about showing the experiences of black men. You cannot speak for everyone and just because you don’t agree with the story doesn’t make it less true. You are entitled to your opinion but understand it’s just that not fact.

  • leelah

    The funny thing is that every dog I know is still single. Even the ones who got married are divorced or separated. The funniest thing about dogs is that they all think they’re the nice guy and that they’re not that bad, bragging about not being physical abusive with their low standard selves, because in their little minds all women just love the really really bad boys. But all their stories are outlandish, and disrespectful. I grab my beer and sit on the couch when my husband’s relatives, my two uncles, and friends come around and just laugh at the stuff they tried to get away with. See fate has a way of handling these dogs because all their loneliness is really getting them down. Some of them are reduced to obsessing over relationships way more than any woman. To all the old players at the club trying to mack on young girls that are way out of your average looking butt’s league, I salute you!

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