Hunting and Manhood

6 Oct

This past week, I saw this article, and I wanted to pass it along.

“Big-Game Hunting is Not a Test of Manhood”

Hunting with Texas Jim Mitchell and friends in the Florida Everglades from Flickr via Wylio

© 1947 Florida Memory, Flickr | PD | via Wylio

The articles discusses how some people imagine big animal hunting as a man versus beast showdown.  Here are some points that the author makes:

  •  The author seems to say that there is a natural “adolescent fantasy of a connection between killing animals and manhood.”  Whether this man versus beast mentality is natural or produced by our culture, I am not sure; however, I believe it does exist for many boys.  One summer day, a friend and I found a huge gathering of snakes in a pit near our woods, and we spent the entire day waging war in order to bolster our sense of strength and courage.
  • The author also seems to believe that men need regular affirmation of their manhood. “But if you can’t find ways to confirm your manhood without killing animals, and if you can’t kill animals with Robert Wilson’s already faded sense of integrity, well, what have you got?”

I am not against hunting, but I agree with the author that it should not be driven by a need to attain manhood.

I believe that manhood is something many of us struggle with through our lives.  We ask ourselves if we have arrived.  We wonder if we are as strong, brave, and equal to other men, or even to our own father.  As a community, we must establish markers and images of manhood that are definable, attainable, and biblical.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to help emerging adults step forward into adulthood.

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