Jan 20 2006

Mississippi Sports Writer Explains The Ladies

“Seems like every time you turn around outdoors there’s a woman in sight. ”

I curled a cynical lip at this sublimely patronizing article in a Mississippi newspaper describing a new breed of lady who courageously withdraws from the safety of her natural habitat (her house) to go fishing. This startling “new” woman is “dirty and wild.”

To explain the mystifying phenomenon of the dirty wild outdoorswoman’s sudden ubiquity to what is apparently an audience of baffled male readers, the daringly progressive author summarizes the history of the women’s movement thusly:

“After generations of running households, females found out they were capable of competing with men at work and of putting up a tent, backing a boat trailer or cooking gourmet meals over an open fire. Many even learned to gut and cut their own meat and ignored animals that clawed and howled during the night.”

Our author is enlightened. He doesn’t object to babes in the woods. In fact, he urges chivalry on his readers.

“Give them a chance. If you meet a woman in camo, be friendly and ask if she needs help. Consider not raping her.”


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  1. Chris Clarke

    It would seem this article was secretly written by a woman:

    “Women hunters and bow hunters are the two growth markets of hunting. Since there are 55 million of us of working age, we are a market outdoor companies cannot afford to ignore.”

    It’s one thing if y’all want to hunt and fish, But invading the traditionally male domain of cliche-ridden, insipid hook and bullet writing? That’s going too far.

  2. tisha/shoefreak

    OH GAWD.

    I was camping/fishing/etc. by myself when I was so young, I was practically spawn. And I’m probably the most femme femme lurking on this site today. The only thing I “lacked” was brute strength. But guess what? NOTHING I ever encountered while outdoors ever required it.

  3. Julia

    I don’t get this outdoorness. I like the outdoors, hiking is fun, as long as I go back to a comfy bed at night. To me, a hotel without roomservice is a rough and I want to rough it.

    However, if the patriarchy is keeping women from killing small animals, sitting in the dirt, and sleeping on the ground, I think I’ll have to visit the woods on my next vacation just to piss the men off.

    Then again…maybe I’ll leave that to the wild women and just give them emotional support by blogging from my comfy chair.

  4. kactus

    Chris, you’re onto something there. When I re-read the linked article I found the line “Since there are 55 million of us of working age, we are a market outdoor companies cannot afford to ignore.”

    The thing I object to the most is the characterization of women hunting and fishing as a relatively new, women’s lib type of thing. I don’t know bout you all, but my mom could wield a mean shotgun. If she had to go shoot a squirrel for dinner she would do it. Or if she had to go into the yard, calmly break a chicken’s neck, gut it, clean it, and fry it, she would do that too. And this was in the 50s. I’m also pretty sure, if I remember my history right, that frontier women and Native women and pretty much lots of classes of women throughout history have had to have basic hunting and cleaning and skinning skills.

    Maybe the only “new” part of it is women participating in hunting as recreation/sport.

  5. kactus

    Oh, and this part of the article caught my eye too: “Dragging a 180-pound buck out of the woods is hard, doing it when the buck weighs almost twice as much as the hunter is almost impossible.”

    Is she really suggesting there are oodles of 90 lb women out there hunting? I know some 90 lb girls, but few women. But I’m nitpicking. She did say “almost”, after all.

  6. Twisty

    I submit that the “55 million” line was added by a female editor.

  7. sunny in texas

    i’ve always thought it would be fun to take up bowhunting. but it looks to be just one more expensive hobby. and here i thought motorcycling was getting pricey.

  8. AndiF

    I’m a little new this having been hiking and camping only since 1961 but I’ve never needed to clutter up a perfectly great experience by killing something. Perhaps what is really new is that women are starting to believe, like many men do, that you can’t spend time outdoors without having an excuse to do so. If the result is going to be spending hours semi-immobile on a tree stand, maybe this is yet another time when women might be better off not trying to be equal with men. A good hike to a great place to eat lunch has always been enough reason for me.

  9. Clare

    “If you meet a woman in camo, be friendly and ask if she needs help.”

    When I meet a woman in camo, I assume that she can probably kill me in 14 different ways using only a twig and without breaking a sweat. Asking if she needs help doesn’t even cross my mind. Crossing the street sometimes crosses my mind, though…

    “Consider not raping her.”

    Now this is just good sound advice for all gentlemen! CONSIDER not raping. I mean, after considering it, you may still do it because, by gosh, you are an outdoorsman, a hunter, a killer of beasts and conqueror of nature! Just consider, it though. You never know what tiny bit of humanity might have creeped into your wee blood thirsty brain while you were sitting up in that deer blind drinking beer and engaging in manly pursuits that women can’t understand!

    (If I was a guy, I would be ripshit pissed after reading a stupid article like this one because it just makes men look dumb, violent and ignorant.)

  10. Steph

    Funny when hunting and fishing etc are leisure then women are invading male territory. When women are doing it to provide food then it’s their womanly obligation.

    And those women better not have any fun while tramping about in the bush, nosiree.

  11. manxome

    We’re not going to stop until Gander Mountain starts selling lacy pink camos!

  12. Mimi

    Another great post, Twisty!

    I think you added, “Consider not raping her” to enhance your interpretation of the article and to wind us up, n’est pas?

    You’ve been busy today! I got angry: this piece, I got sick: Chicken-fried steak and disgusted by the educated airhead. I blame the partriarchy!! Consider your job well done.

    I’m lurking using Explorer since it’s the only sanctioned browser at work. I just can’t wait all day to see what’s happening on IBTP via Firefox at home. Will you please forgive me?

  13. Mimi

    Oh, I forgot to mention that your taco banner works fine on Explorer since sometime earlier this week, I think.

    You also have gotten rid of the “Brian’s thread” error message but you probably already know that.

  14. Liz

    Wait, didn’t these guys who fish in the wilderness ever see Deliverance? I like the woods just fine, me, but if I was a man? Ha! You’d never catch me dead out there. Damn fools are just asking for it.

  15. thebewilderness

    I think I read the same sub text in the article.
    There are so many women out in the woods these days it is no longer safe for men to hunt them down and rape them out there. They might get caught by a woman, with a gun.
    Thelma and Louise all over their ass.

  16. Ms Kate

    How about “consider not raping her … because her daddy and her brothers and her mother hunt too”.

    I used to go out hunting with my father. I used my mother’s .22, the rifle she had since she was about 15 years old. That was 1956 folks! In 1958 she took down two deer with a single bullet from that gun!

    puh … leeeze!

  17. Nebris

    I like my women ‘dirty and wild’.


  18. jenofiniquity

    kactus, I too come from a line of dirty, wildwomen who worked (in dirty and dangerous industrial jobs), gutted fish, killed chickens, dressed deer and scared off burglars with a shotgun. All of this from the late 1800s in pioneer-type situations through WWII make-do through today. And I like being dirty and wild myself – it’s much more fun than not climbing that tree because you might break a nail.

  19. jc.

    Isn`t it sad that the men(and women) who are demographically most likely to be apalled by “women in the wild” are probably most likely to be the direct descendants of the women who trudged over the prairies barefoot and pregnant, plowed the acres around their sod houses whilst the men folk were off getting killed in patriarchal conflicts like the civil war and who regularily slaughtered, without a second thought, many a critter for dinner, all this not only not in the safety of the four walls of “home” but quite often without the help of any menfolk. You would think that the descendants of such capable, strong and realistic women wouldn`t so easily embrace the ridiculous middle class myths or fundementalist cave paintings of “femininity”.
    I personally have never even had the problem of considering raping any person I meet let alone not raping them. What the hell was that all about?

  20. Twisty

    I personally have never even had the problem of considering raping any person I meet let alone not raping them. What the hell was that all about?


  21. kactus

    jenofiniquity, I wouldn’t exactly call my mom a dirty wildwoman; she was, however, very strong and determined to survive in some not-very-nice circumstances.

  22. jc.


  23. Rana

    Heh. I’ve been an outdoorsy female since I was a baby in a backpack.

    Just because they can’t see us doesn’t mean we don’t/didn’t exist…

  1. Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » “Dirty and Wild: the New Outdoor Woman”

    […] Via I Blame The Patriarchy. […]

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