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Woman the Hunter

Mary Zeiss Stange



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Beacon Press
01 September 2018
Over two million American women hunt. By taking up weapons for the explicit purpose of killing, they are shattering one of Western culture's oldest and most firmly entrenched taboos. The image of a woman 'armed and dangerous' is profoundly threatening to our collective psyche--and it is rejected by macho males and radical feminists alike.

Woman the Hunter juxtaposes unsettlingly beautiful accounts of the author's own experiences hunting deer, antelope, and elk with an argument that builds on the work of thinkers from Aldo Leopold to Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Exploring how women and men relate to nature and violence, Mary Zeiss Stange demonstrates how false assumptions about women and about hunting permeate contemporary thought. Her book is a profound critique of our society's evasion of issues that make us uncomfortable, and it culminates in a surprising claim- that only by appreciating the value of hunting can we come to understand what it means to be human.

Controversial and original, defying easy stereotypes,Woman the Hunter is sure to provoke strong reactions in almost every reader.
Imprint:   Beacon Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Edition:   New edition
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 155mm,  Spine: 13mm
Weight:   360g
ISBN:   9780807046395
ISBN 10:   0807046396
Pages:   264
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for Woman the Hunter

Mixing autobiographical reflection and scholarly analysis, a woman hunter examines the cultural history of hunting, brilliantly challenging fundamental assumptions about femininity, masculinity, and the relation of humans to the natural world. Noting the increase in women afield, Stange (Religion and Women's Studies/Skidmore Coll.) is less interested in explaining why they hunt than why more don't. She analyzes anthropological theories of hunting: The discredited Man the Hunter theory and its feminist opposite, Woman the Gatherer, are rightly criticized for perpetuating tired gender stereotypes and minimizing woman's historical role as predator. Stange examines the stubborn grip these theories hold on popular and academic imaginations and persuasively details the well-meaning but ultimately destructive way people anthropomorphize nature. Though she claims implications far broader than an argument with feminism, it's ecofeminism (which equates hunting with rape) with which she has the biggest bone to pick. Stange charges that ecofeminism romanticizes nature and casts women as victims, absolving them of culpability in environmental depredation, from the responsibility that all humans are up to our elbows in blood. Hunting, on the other hand, confronts the painful paradox of life itself: Some of us live because others die. This blood knowledge - a spiritual interconnectedness most often manifested as affection and respect for quarry - results in a sense of mutual obligation between people and nature that can't be bought at the grocery. One caveat: Stange's hypocritical stereotyping of men as macho males threatened by women hunters is troubling, considering many - herseff included - were introduced to the sport by fathers and husbands. Though the Field & Stream crowd might balk at extended forays into scholarly jargon and feminist theory, Stange grapples head-on with a central philosophical question largely unanswered by sporting literature: Why hunt? (Kirkus Reviews)

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