Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Killing wolves and the masculine identity

A few weeks back, we 'tweeted' a link to a list of people in Idaho who have killed wolves this year. We were just sent a similar list of Montana's wolf killers.

What strikes us is that nearly all of the names are male. There are a few exceptions, and a few that are ambiguous. But by and large, the wolf killers are men.

Perhaps this doesn't surprise you. It doesn't really surprise us either. But in that reaction is an assumption that bears deconstructing: Men kill.

Seems like saving wolves and other species might take more than political will, legal muscle, and building reverence for nature. It might take reconstructing core notions of masculinity as well. We should turn our collective revulsion at sport-killing into a collective rejection of outdated notions of 'manliness.'

Undoing the damage of distorted gender roles is at least as important as saving wolves. In fact, it might just be part of it.


howlingforjustice said...

I think you are on to something here and wolves are paying a very high price for it.

Eric said...


Anonymous said...

Sorry guys, but men have failed miserably at "reverence for the planet" and things seem to be getting worse rather than better. I know not all of you are responsible, but still, it's time for women to take over.

Too bad the only women that get to the top are the ones that knuckle under and take on the masculine attitude towards the world. The feminine within all of us is repressed and ridiculed by society: nurturing, compassion, emotions, empathy.

I used to have hope that things would change, but for almost 50 years I have seen nothing but growing contempt for the natural world that supports us and our fellow beings on this planet.