Friday, 31 July 2009

Women and Guns

Ilana Mercer quotes Sarah Palin appreciatively:
"Hollywood needs to know: We eat therefore we hunt."
While I agree with what this quip is supposed to convey, (as I perceive it), namely that meat does NOT come out of the deep freeze and that we, as a society, have to kill to eat, there are several things that can be (and ARE) said about it. One of them is that animals ought not to be killed for fun and that farm animals is all we need to supply us with meat. Wildlife numbers, members of that faction argue, can be controlled by professionals. Of course, the stench of the Puritan surrounding this statement, who will sniff out if anybody anywhere on the globe has fun and will try to stop it at once, is overpowering. I just quoted it to show that we do NOT have to hunt to eat and that Palin's statement stripped to its bones, catchy as it may be, is simply wrong.

Of course, everybody who knows the first things about animals and wildlife will prefer game to meat from domestic animals, for both, animal welfare and reasons of edibility. Wildlife had had a good life in its natural surroundings when it finally meets its maker. It doesn't know what has hit it, it hasn't been raised on "hygienic" concrete floor, hip to hip with other poor critters, without a look at the blue sky ever, possibly even in the dark, fed with doubtful, chemically "enhanced" food. It isn't beaten into a butchery where it will be forced to smell the fear and the blood of all the animals slaughtered before. I'll gladly grant the guns their fun in exchange for providing me with meat that is not like that. Hey, I even know a farmer/butcher who shoots his free-ranging beef in the field, so that they'll never know what hit them. Meet from animals that haven't experienced stress before they died tastes better as well, a simple matter of chemistry.

I realize that German shooting and American hunting are very different. While I'm known to be a scourge of my own people, and while the eternal and spiritual values Germans tend to foist on that sport (ooops... of course it's no sport, it's a semi-sacred endeavour to better the world) go sometimes seriously on my nerves, at least our pork chops aren't tormented to death over a longish period of time and we don't see a point in chasing a terrified tame animal within a manageable enclosure while blowing holes into it. If that makes us leftist pinko commies or treehuggers -- so be it.

But I digress. The question I'd like to answer is: Now we know that "we", the members of a post-modern society, do indeed NOT "need" to hunt to eat meat, does a hunting woman really convey the proper image for a traditional, conservative society? Ilana Mercer seems to think so:
Palin is a terrific specimen of a woman. Would that there were more disciplined, gun-toting, hunting, energetic local leaders like this lady in my state. She’s not a philosopher or a thinker; but she should be the Gold Standard for the all-American archetype of a woman (and not the vacuous California toothy booby bimbo).
And while I largely agree with her assessment of Palin's good qualities, I once again challenge Palin's qualities to represent truly conservative and traditional values. It may be a matter of taste, but I don't think that the demonstrative wearing of weapons for other purposes than self-defense, befits a woman. I don't think, either, that women, on a large scale, can handle the responsibility that comes with it, and while it is the height of hypocrisy to revile Palin because she kills wildlife but not her unborn child, it is not very wise to promote a gun-toting Palin as a female role model fit for emulation.

Did you watch "El Dorado"? It can be seen, I think, as somewhat emblematic for women and guns. Where does the trouble come from? From a gun-toting, irresponsible girl who refuses to listen to her father. (I wonder whether they wore jeans that looked as if the wearer had been poured into them and such carefully dishevelled manes in the old West, but that's beside the point here.) And nothing will outline the nature of feminism better than her quip: "They haven't gotten around shooting women yet," when a man offers to escort her in a town highly charged with hostility. So it is alright for HER to tote a gun (and shooting men in the process) while she takes it for granted that no man will shoot her. Sheer and undiluted feminism. American men, you've brought it all upon yourselves!

If you look at the scene where that girl "Joey" comes to the prison with her sister-in-law whose husband has just beed kidnapped by the bad guys, the difference between a woman carrying a gun in self-defense and one who does it aggressively becomes quite obvious. There is nothing boastful, warchick-y about the other woman. She just does what she has to do.

I shoot as well, although I haven't killed anything yet, I am the holder of a shooting license, to be precise. Shooting in Germany is a largely all-male affair and I have yet to meet a woman who complains about it. I like to attend the annual general meeting of the regional guns' association because I and another woman of my age are usually the only ones present and among the youngest attendees to boot. I can't think in a hurry about any other venue where that would be the case. I know quite a few women who have, like myself, undergone the lengthy and expensive process to acquire a shooting license and who will reply, when asked why they have done it, to help their husbands, or to be licensed to lead dogs at gundog trials. I know very few who actually enjoy the stalking and killing bit. Not that I blame those who do, it just doesn't seem to be the norm and I think that tells its own story.

So this German challenges the lippy American "war chick" and "gun toting women" culture as something that may be very American but can in no way be called "conservative".

Like Sarah Palin, really!


Grim said...

Palin is a very masculine women in a lot of ways. She ended up with more of the male urge to hunt and kill instincts than most women have. Historically most of the good female leaders have more masculine than the average women. It gives me hope that she might be a decent leader despite her quitter and whining.

I would much rather have a bull dyke as a leader rather than a normal feelings centered female type.

I think a little hunting will always be in men's blood, but hunting tame animals is again to shooting dogs for sport, it's down right evil.

Alphadominance said...

I'm sure in Germany wildlife is in much more short supply given limited wild spaces, so view this through the filter of an American, but I respect those who hunt or even raise and butcher their own meat far more than the simpering fools who love to eat it but can't think about where it comes from. I say if you are going to eat meat you should have the gumption to slaughter and clean your own animal at least once in your life. I do agree that hunting for sport alone is less respectable. The closer a hunter gets to the animal and the more skill required in hunting, the more I respect them. A man who bowhunts, or boarhunts with a spear is far more the man than one who as you said chases a domesticated deer around a paddock before blasting it. Not a sporting chap him. If he runs an elk down in the woods with a spear and a knife and takes it down he's a real man.

The_Editrix said...

My intention was not to compare different styles of hunting (shooting) but to deliver one of my petty minor barbs usually directed at Americans. Indeed environment and wildlife are totally different.

But however, I can relate to neither, the German "spiritual" experience, nor the American macho style. What point is there in slaughtering an animal as gorily as possible, exposing oneself to maximum danger in the process? For MEAT, for heaven's sake! What has meat-winning to do with gumption? A quick shot from a wide-range rifle with the appropriate calibre kills with more effectiveness and much less stress for man and beast, if one is an adequate shot, that is.

If one is an adrenaline-addict, or if one sees it as a (desirable) throwback to some ancient rite of passage ritual: fine. But that has nothing to do with meat anymore.

But I am really out of my depths here. My main point was that women better keep their hands off weapons, save for delf-defense, so I better keep my trap shut about male rituals.

Alligator said...

Being the barbarian that I am I'll make a comment about hunting. I always enjoyed it and it was a way to get outdoors and get closer to nature. Hunting often incorporated camping and the fees and taxes associated with it funded the bulk of wildlife conservation programs. As I've gotten older though, killing something has become less important. However, except for a brief stupid spell when I was a teenager, whatever I shot I ate.

By the way, my first date with my future wife was squirrel hunting. She was also a better mechanic than I'll ever hope to be having grown up on the farm. However, she cleans up real nice and is feminine in all ways. So we could identify very much with Sarah Palin.

Would Sarah Palin be a good national leader? I don't know. A person can have good values and good judgment but not necessarily translate into being a strong leader. But we clearly have plenty of national leaders who were schooled and groomed for leadership all their lives and they've made a shambles out of everything they've touched.

Is Palin being finished in politics as some pundits proclaim? Then why does the media still go after her and work so diligently to discredit her? Fear. Fear of who she is and what she represents. She like my wife is the antithesis of the feminist model espoused by Western academics and elites.

Besides, we think deer, and turkey and are tasty in their own right. Heaven knows we have an almost endless supply in this country as the front end of mine and my neighbors' autos will attest. Someone has to thin them out.

Alligator said...

The Editrix said
"So this German challenges the lippy American "war chick" and "gun toting women" culture as something that may be very American but can in no way be called "conservative"."

But there is not a liberal or left leaning woman in the country who will tote a gun or support any war. Europeans have a very different perspective of gun issues than Americans. Maybe gun-toting is not a conservative principle per se, but it is almost a litmus test here. When I encounter someone who is "gunophobic" (You OWN guns? You SHOOT animals? You barbarian!) invariably I find that they are supporting almost every other liberal and left wing cause right down the line without fail.

The_Editrix said...

'gator, I wish I could come over to give the dogs even a brief whiff of that freedom!

As for my "conservative women" challenge, you make an interesting point, but I think (and hope) I can refute it.

To conclude from the fact that there is no liberal or left leaning woman who will tote a gun, that gun-toting for women is a conservative principle is fallacious (I think). There is gun toting and there is gun toting.

You say: "Europeans have a very different perspective of gun issues than Americans."

That is true, but it didn't play a role regarding my argument. I share almost 1:1 the American perspective.

You say: "Maybe gun-toting is not a conservative principle per se, but it is almost a litmus test here."

It should be anywhwere. The freeedom of a society can ge measured by its members' right to wear arms.

You say: "When I encounter someone who is "gunophobic" (You OWN guns? You SHOOT animals? You barbarian!) invariably I find that they are supporting almost every other liberal and left wing cause right down the line without fail."

EXACTLY the same here.

But disapproving of women toting guns aggressively does not mean that I want the right to wear guns taken from them. I think the pictures in the entry to which we are replying make my point.

You see, every man in the Internet has a nine-inch-dick and no woman weighs more than 60 kilo. We all know the "refained" ladies who are in all probability very common in real life, and we have the lippy "war chicks" who are even more probably bored and boring housewifes past middleage. (Naughty Chicken's ex-contributor "Cao" would be a case in point. Remember?) The "war-chick" un-culture is closely linked to (my theory) the sexual and personal inadequacy of the collective American male. You've become so downtrodden that you've actually started to LIKE ballbreakers and "conservative" women like Coulter have made the "kitten with claws" a hugely marketable item.

A conservative "War chick" would have been unthinkable pre-feminism. Some woman always went hunting, I suppose that's as old as mankind, but they weren't ostentatious, aggressive, about it. It was a matter of everyday life. What do YOU make of a moniker in an online forum like "she who drives tanks"? What is that supposed to convey?