posted by: Kayla Coleman
December 9, 2010
Anything boys can do, girls can do better, right? Thanks to decades of Rosie the Riveter/Spice Girls/Gloria Steinem/Brandi Chastain-style role models and messages, we girls know that we can wear pants, play sports, run the board room, sprout chest hair (with the help of some hormones) and do virtually anything once thought of as purely for the boys. Including hunting.
This morning, National Public Radio’s Morning Edition featured a story on Magan Hebert, 15, of Wayne County, Mississippi — a babyfaced, ponytailed cheerleader who dreams not of becoming homecoming queen but of shooting and killing her first buck. Ah, to be a teenage girl again…when the ecstasy of first dates and an A on your history final was overshadowed only by the bliss of watching life drain from a once-spritely doe.
The objective of this story was to highlight that not all hunters are gruff, middle-aged men with beards and camouflage button-downs. Girls are taking up hunting, too! Yay for girl power! Ladies, forget burning your bras — grab yer guns!
NPR never questioned whether hunting was ethical or if this was a positive or negative trend for girls. It’s great that as a “tiny” and “quiet” girl, Magan would find a way to empower herself — but why couldn’t she find pride in the fact that she made the cheerleading team? Or got A’s in school? (Which the NPR report did state).
Magan’s parents — her dad is a hunter too — seem overwhelmed with joy and awe that their daughter wanted to hunt when she was in just 4th grade. Even before their son did! And she was “hooked” after she shot a doe in the shoulder. How precious that her parents, rather than teaching their daughter that life is valuable, to respect other creatures, or to find self-worth in herself and the fact that she is inherently valuable as a person and doesn’t need to arbitrarily kill animals to compete with macho guys at school, swell with pride that their ten-year-old was eager to see blood pour from a deer’s chest.