Deer Hunting Season a Boon for…Strip Clubs
by Sarah Withrow King
The headline caught my eye: "Deer-hunting season 'huge' for strip club sales."
And no, it didn't mean people were buying up strip clubs in the midst of deer-hunting season and turning them into shelters for battered women.
It means that one strip club in Michigan does upwards of 30% of its yearly business in the two-week firearm hunting season, which just ended.
The women who work at the club are presented in the USA Today article as feeling pity for the lonely men who visit. Quotes from male customers tell a different story: "You go down the highway and you look at it and it's a little hole in the wall. You think it's a bunch of ugly, hick girls or whatever. But you come in here, there's some gorgeous women that actually know what they're doing." Note "women that" … not "women who" … not people, things.
Stalking animals by day. Dehumanizing women by night.
It shouldn't be a surprise that misogyny and animal abuse should find a welcome home in the same human person. Both are diseases of the "other." As Carol J. Adams says, "Our culture is structured to discourage us from recognizing that we are animals, that we are a part of nature, that we are all interconnected and interrelated." As a result of this disconnectedness, we can construct the kind of sick stories that allow us to justify domination and abuse.
My prayers are with the women and the deer of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. My prayers are with the lonely men, the angry men, and the men who know no other way. May they see the light of God and the possibility of a reconciled creation in one another. May we all pant after and be sated by the love of God.
"As the deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, Oh God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?" Psalm 42:1-2
Sarah Withrow King is the Deputy Director of the Sider Center and the author of two forthcoming books: Animals Are Not Ours (Wipf & Stock, 2016) and Vegangelical: How Caring for Animals Can Shape Your Faith (Zondervan, 2016).