You wouldn’t expect it, but the word “huntress” is actually quite polarizing in the world of hunting.
By definition, a huntress is a woman who hunts.
In actuality—it’s not that simple. Some women are so absolutely put off by the word, you’d think it means something completely different. When researching reasons why women hate the word, I found a lot of people saying they’re not “that kind of girl.”
Of course, I had to dig deeper to find out what made someone “that kind of girl.” It appears the term refers to women who are perceived as high-maintenance, want rhinestones on their pink camo, a cute gun to tote around, and is more concerned about how they look than shooting an animal.
To me, that definition stems from people letting their preconceived notions make the word far more loaded than it truly is. Not to mention putting limitations on what they believe females can do.
As a little girl, I always thought hunting was for boys. I personally didn’t know any females who hunted so it never crossed my mind as something a girl could do. I imagine I would’ve had more of an interest in hunting had I stumbled upon an issue of my dad’s Field and Stream magazine featuring a woman on the cover and the word huntress.
The word huntress can give girls something to identify with. I could be a huntress if I went with my dad and brothers? Awesome! Sign me up!
It’s great that female hunter Eva Shockey got the May 2014 cover of Field and Stream, only the second woman to do so (the first being Queen Elizabeth in 1976). I don’t doubt that her being featured has helped more women pursue an interest in hunting.
We, as women hunters, are a small group at 11% of all hunters. It doesn’t make sense to me how one word can divide this already small group even further.
To me, a huntress is a badass female who has no problem working hard and getting dirty all for the love of the hunt. I think of no negative connotations when I see the word.
It also seems some women associate the word with the love of the color pink. Another thing that never crossed my mind. I personally hate the color pink with a passion, but that’s a whole other topic and post about the ludicrous assumption all women love pink clothing.
I don’t understand why being a huntress is hard for some women to embrace. Being a huntress does not diminish your hunting capabilities. It does, however, set you apart from the group by letting people know you’re female. For example, if my blog was called Country Hunter, you’d likely assume I was male.
Do I think of myself as a hunter? Of course. But I take pride in identifying myself as a huntress. I don’t expect special treatment or to be looked at differently because I’m a woman. I love hunting and want it to be known I’m a woman in the male dominated world of hunting.
The word is what you make it. I hope to make it a word that embodies a strong woman with a passion for hunting and the outdoors.
I think it’s important that as women, a small group in the hunting world, we stick together and support one another. Tearing someone down for a word they use to describe themselves doesn’t make you any better of a hunter. To assume everyone who calls themselves a huntress is a high-maintenance hunter is incredibly closed minded.
At the end of the day, by definition, all females who hunt are huntresses. It doesn’t matter what color camo someone likes wearing or how they want to look in the field. What matters is that women are out there doing something they love, and everyone should be able to support that.
Do you like or hate the word huntress? Vote below and share why you feel the way you do!