When one thinks of the Big Game Hunters, the name of John Henry Patterson, the British soldier who killed the Tsavo Man-Eater Lions of Kenya in December 1898, comes readily to mind. His exploits were portrayed in the excellent film THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS.
Bror von Blixen-Finecke was a colorful “white hunter” of the early 20th Century. This Swedish aristocrat was friends with Ernest Hemingway and Edward, Prince of Wales. His first wife, Karen Blixen, wrote the beautiful story OUT OF AFRICA in 1937 which was made into an awarding film in 1985.
Frederick Courteney Selous was a British officer and sportsman who was the inspiration for Sir Henry Rider Haggard’s Allan Quatermain. He was good friends with President Theodore Roosevelt of the USA.
The list could continue of the great white hunters of the past. They all were men who were appreciated by an admiring public, politicians and royals.
Now, a Miss Kendall Jones, a nineteen year old Texas university student, has entered the great white hunter world. Her entry has caused an outcry which could be heard to the moon and back if sound travelled through space.
Why such an outcry against a teenager, a woman? Perhaps, it lies in the societal mores of the past which color the present.
The depiction of the hulky caveman hunting for food is wrapped too much in the interiors of our societal consciousness. The man hunted and brought the trophies back to his woman to prepare the fur for clothing, the bones for cave use and hunting, and the meat for her man and children.
This domestic portrait of cave life has been romanticized depicting the man as the big hunter and the woman as the little cave wife. Perhaps, the truth is far different.
One has to keep in mind that human existence did not begin in a cave but a garden. After the exodus from paradise the coastal villages outnumbered cave dwellers.
Let us consider this scenario:
Many men hunker down into their “man cave” when sports like the World Cup or the Super Bowl are on. By the time the sporting event is over, the living room is such a mess a pig might find it abhorrent. The wife has other adjectives to describe the remains of the men’s nesting for hours on the sofa, chairs and carpets.
It would not surprise me if it was the cave wife who brought home the T-Rex sirloin from the mossy pond down from the cave. It was probably the cave wife who went to the freezer section of the supermarket of the day—located in the ice fields—and with a cave knife carved a hunk of wooly mammoth for Sunday dinner.
The cave men sat around the fire telling of their exploits as they picked fleas and other varmints from their animal hides and body hair. The cave wife is the one who did all the work.
No wonder Miss Jones is being viciously mauled. She does not fit the societal stereotype of what a teenage girl should be doing with her time or what a proper woman should be like.
She should not be “hunted” by social media and the press for her hobby, regardless of how one feels about what she does. Just leave her alone— she has suffered enough abuse, and perhaps in years to come she will look back on all of this and wonder about the world of 2014 and her actions and the reaction to her by certain segments of the public.
President Theodore Roosevelt:
“In hunting, the finding and killing of the game is after all but a part of the whole. The free, self-reliant, adventurous life, with its rugged and stalwart democracy; the wild surroundings, the grand beauty of the scenery, the chance to study the ways and habits of the woodland creatures—all these unite to give to the career of the wilderness hunter its peculiar charm. The chase is among the best of all national pastimes; it cultivates that vigorous manliness for the lack of which in a nation, as in an individual, the possession of no other qualities can possibly atone.” – http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/site/c.elKSIdOWIiJ8H/b.8344379/k.2B69/The_HUNTER.htm
Do I agree with hunting wild animals for sport? No, I do not.
To me it is senseless, and it is not sport. Hunting animals in their natural habitat with weapons is grossly overrated and in many ways brutal. Photography would be a better leisure time pursuit of the big game or small game.
G. D. Williams © 2014
John Henry Patterson
Bror von Blixen-Finecke
Frederick Courteney Selous
Sir Henry Rider Haggard
Miss Kendall Jones