Take the daughter hunting?

I’ve been hunting my whole life. I started with rabbits in the Mojave desert and my dad. Eventually, he taught me how to hunt quail and deer as well. Since then, I’ve hunted pheasant (which I would like to try again in Montana), dove and ducks.

Since the early 90s, there has been a push in the sportsman world to make hunting “more accessible” to women, (whatever that means) and there is no reason to try to hash out all the red-pill oriented ways of approaching this. Not the point of this post. Suffice it say, I am not a fan of the “sassy-girl-who-wears-pink-cammo-and-can-shoot-better-and-keep-up-with-the-boys” lameness. I am not a “conservative” dad with a “bad ass” daughter who you can’t handle. We reject this whole-heartedly.

Whatever

However, my daughter, now 8, has for the first time in the lead up to deer hunting season (30SEP for archery here in Texas) asked me if she could sit with me in the stand. Truthfully, I was not prepared for this question, because it just never occurred to me. All this time, I have been waiting for my boys to get old enough and out of nowhere, she asks the question.

She has seen death around the farm. Its kind of part of the deal. I think she wants to be present for this part of the process of obtaining deer meat for reasons she can’t really articulate. And I think I am OK with that.

When I was a kid though, hunting was something me, my dad, my brothers, our male friends and uncles did. The women were never invited, nor did they even ask. We would be gone for several days, sitting around the campfire at night, talking about things in the way men only do when women aren’t around. It was a sacred space during an age where those spaces were getting smaller and smaller. And as we know, they are all gone now.

There has been some discussion recently in the manosphere re: what about the women on the frontier when the men weren’t around?

Got it. And this is probably the main reason I am entertaining this.

One of the very few shows we watch around here is “Alaska: The Last Frontier,” which is a “reality” show following an extended family of homesteaders living from season to season, for the most part off the land. It is basically my “heaven” to be honest. One of them, Atz Lee has recently been injured in a fall while hiking and cannot hunt–a necessity for their livilhood. So, his wife has been doing the hunting with a family friend.

The more realistic Atz and Jane Kilcher

The wife, Jane is clearly not as seasoned of a hunter, but she is out there doing it, with help. She does not appear to be trying to one-up her husband or invade the sacred space I mentioned. She speaks quite frankly about Atz Lees superior hunting, tracking and marksmanship. But if she doesn’t hunt, they don’t eat.

What say you, dads?

 

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24 thoughts on “Take the daughter hunting?

  1. Well, I have been hunting a couple of times, but not enough that it’s part of my life.

    I’ve taught both of my girls basic firearm safety, but my son is the one who enjoys shooting.

    The barbershop is 99% of the time a male only place, and my son and I enjoy our time spent there just talking with other men, the way men do when women aren’t around. It’s refreshing.

    I don’t have any profound advice. I think that were I in your shoes, I would take her. There’s a reasonably good chance that it’s something that will fade away, and if it doesn’t, well, I don’t have any advice about that.

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  2. I have 10 kids 6 daughters. All of the girls learn to shoot when they are old enough. I have given all of them the opportunity to hunt, one (the oldest) will sit in the deer blind but not shoot. The rest of them enjoy hunting. When we take family hunting trips the girls will hunt but they don’t take it as seriously as the boys. When my 16 year old daughter was in Kenya she was asked to kill the goat for supper and was happy to do so. The 2 daughters with kids hunt some but it is down their priority list as it should be. I think let her experience it as much as she wants to.

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  3. You let a lot of people into your life via your blog. It’s refreshing, and you probably have a large, mostly silent cheering team backing all your plays (you can file that under thanks for nothing). It makes men like me think we can weigh in where really we should fear to tread. The older you get, the more you feel the urge apparently, as the older men I work with can’t hardly be stopped from weighing in on most everything under the sun, and now it’s happening to me. But, you did ask.

    I’m a dad but not of daughters, so maybe this does not compute. She’s 8. Dad is a tremendously cool dude that she wants to hang out with. He likes to hunt, so she’ll hang there. If you were fishing, or riding a motorcycle, or building something in your wood shop, or whatever; same thing. Take it, man, and don’t look back. Into the bargain she will learn more about life and death, nature, killing, and that uncontrolled environments are nothing to fear. One day she won’t have much time for dear old dad.

    Making her into a trademarked SIW is a danger for some, but I wouldn’t think so for you.

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  4. None of my five daughters have shown the least bit of interest in hunting. My youngest daughter is only three, so if she does ask eventually, I’ll take her. Two of my daughters (11 and 3) asked me to take them fishing. They lost interest pretty quickly.

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  5. Our daughters are not different from other women. Sometimes they want to invade a man’s space just because. And if she likes to hunt, does that make the invasion ok?

    It’s not about whether girls can hunt. Girls can shoot guns, wear pants, spit, and grab their crotches, and learn to pick up guys. Boys can knit, too. Therefore we should take them to the knitting circle? We can make dresses that fit a boy. Should he wear them?

    Where can a man “reasonably” draw the line when the line is whatever daughter wants?

    Shouldn’t the question for a father be: What do I want for my daughter? Is that too oppressively patriarchal? Suppose a girl does not want to cook and clean: then what? She shouldn’t have to because why? What harm can be done hunting?

    Watch out! Because if we think of ourselves as primarily enablers and wish-granters of our children, then they will believe us. Worse: They will think that is God’s role, too.

    Exceptions can be made, but do you know the rule from which a thing is excepted? I think the rule is this: It’s my job to make sure my sons are taught to be men, and my women to be daughters. Likewise, I am to teach them to be husbands and wives, and to know the crafts thereof. That’s why they were born to me and not found in the wild to do whatever whim carries them away in the moment. Yet all the comments here (and everywhere) are about what children want; as if fathers are their slaves instead of their masters. So the question is: What do you want for your daughter?

    By the way, The is America and the Alaskan TV show is a red herring. I mean: They’re on TV. No one will starve. She hunts because she wants to, and propagandized as necessary. It’s just more Feminist virtue-signaling.

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  6. I like the hard core commentary Cane Caldo provides, it always makes me think.

    That’s legit about the danger of becoming an enabler and wish granter for children, and probably a big part of how we got into our current predicament. It doesn’t change my opinion about taking advantage of a young kid’s willingness and desire to be around the dad though. It’s a good time to teach them and to enjoy them. Sometimes it is tedious, and having them along is like having anti-help if you’re trying to accomplish something; but this window of opportunity closes faster than most men think. Bypass too many opportunities and it becomes regret later.

    Little kids and little animals behave alike in this regard. Everyone wants to be around the top dog. It’s natural. Call it part of the created order of things. The top dog, or lion, or hippo, or what have you (I’ve seen a lot of animal documentaries); tolerates the proximity and bumbling approaches for awhile then snorts them away. Is an 8 year old girl an early version of a woman wanting to invade a man’s space, or is she just a little kid that is looking for chances to be around the boss? I truly don’t know because I raised no girls.

    I’m checking back on this thread because I really am curious how it shakes out, and what the results were either way it goes.

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  7. I didn’t think it necessary to explain to this audience that I’m training my sons to be men, husbands and fathers, and my daughters to be women, wives and mothers. Nor did I think it necessary to explain that occasionally granting a child’s request doesn’t make a father a slave to his children.

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  8. @LP

    I am glad that you like my commentary, but I am confounded that I cannot seem to effectively communicate that a decision-making rubric based on warm fuzzies–ours or our children’s–is a bad idea. I know that I have not done so because you wrote:

    It doesn’t change my opinion about taking advantage of a young kid’s willingness and desire to be around the dad though. It’s a good time to teach them and to enjoy them. Sometimes it is tedious, and having them along is like having anti-help if you’re trying to accomplish something; but this window of opportunity closes faster than most men think. Bypass too many opportunities and it becomes regret later.

    Who wants to bet that Adam felt this same compulsion when presented with the fruit? “I better take advantage of this moment she wants to spend with me, lest I make her angry.”

    Sometimes a father has to make choices that his children do not agree with, or which they do not understand. He does it because it is the right decision, based on sound judgment, and in accordance with the overall worldview he desires for his children to learn. Yet the judgment of every comment–with the exception of Pukeko–is predicated not on what is good, but rather on the basis of what the child wants moment to moment, what affections the father can harvest, and what the child is capable of. This is a TERRIBLE way to raise children even if you get the affection you desire. Can such a father expect his children to stick with the church when a child’s view is that authority is there to affirm his or her whims on the basis of his or her desire and physical capabilities operating with modern technology?

    We don’t spear hunt wild boars anymore. Scott can take his daughter deer hunting or not; it’s not a big deal either way in-and-of-itself. Technology can be leveraged is such as way that young boys are capable of it. Our grandmothers regularly killed and processed livestock so it’s not a question of a sexed-based squeamishness, either.

    The question is: On what basis can a father practice authority (discriminating judgment) over his daughters? It’s obvious that Scott (and others) wants his sons to hunt for reasons beyond their current capabilities and desires. In fact I would bet money that Scott and others work to impart and foster certain desires on their sons…and to discourage others. Why shouldn’t he practice such discrimination with his daughters?

    I ask again: A boy can wear a dress and still perform the great majority of things a contemporary man does on a daily basis; drive a truck, operate a PC, shuffle papers, take out the trash, etc. If he wants to wear a dress and sit in the knitting circle with his mother, why shouldn’t he? And on what grounds?

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  9. @Cane Caldo: ” It’s my job to make sure my sons are taught to be men, and my women to be daughters.”

    If you have to teach someone to “be” something, then that thing can legitimately be called a social construct. One does not need to be taught to be a male, because that is biological. Why, then, does one need to be taught to be a “man” (a gender)? Because much of gender IS a social construct, regardless of the claims in the manosphere that it is not.

    If it has to be taught, if it doesn’t occur naturally, then it is a thing constructed by the society in which the person exists. A social construct.

    Now, if Cane had said, “teach my sons how to do the things that men do” – that would be another matter entirely. Because the inclination to do things can exist – because biology – but that doesn’t mean that such things will be done well. So teaching by example, and practice, have a place. But I’m focusing on this distinction: teaching sons how to “be” men and teaching sons how to “do” well the things that men do – because biology – are two different animals.

    But still – the things that men are expected to be and do, things that are taught by example, do differ among societies. Men kiss each other in parts of Europe and the middle east. A natural impulse, or something their society teaches them to do? You gonna teach your sons to kiss other men? That’s what men do, right? Well, in that society, but not in this one. Oh – so men don’t all behave the same just because a man is a biological creation?

    So the meme still holds to some extent: if you have to be taught to “be” it (rather than taught how to “do” it), if “being” it doesn’t come naturally, then it is a social construct. And then the folks who talk about social constructs have a valid point.

    So – in the same vein – who do you want your daughter to be? It is not written in stone; it varies from society to society in the same manner as my example about men kissing other men does.

    And then, there is the AT approach: if God wanted us to eat meat, he would have given Adam and Eve rifles in the garden. Since he didn’t, that means we are supposed to be vegans. That was tongue in cheek, but this isn’t: both sons and daughters would benefit from being taught how to hunt and find edible vegetation in the wild. There may come a time when they need that knowledge – up to and including the fact that one day folks won’t be able to buy or sell without the mark of the beast. How, then, will they eat if they don’t know how to find food in the wild?

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  10. @Oscar

    I didn’t think it necessary to explain to this audience that I’m training my sons to be men, husbands and fathers, and my daughters to be women, wives and mothers. Nor did I think it necessary to explain that occasionally granting a child’s request doesn’t make a father a slave to his children.

    I think explanation in general terms is absolutely necessary. I think it is obvious that for generations we have lied to ourselves–and are lying to ourselves–about what we do and why; so much so that we don’t know how to identify or correct individual instances of dangerous permissiveness when we find them. That goes triple for women.

    I know you, and I know Scott. I like you both, and if I have anything to say about it we will be even better friends when we are old. It is not in question to my mind whether or not you or Scott are trying to do good. Nor am I the example of how it is done right. In fact, for the most part, I just asked questions.

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  11. @ CC: “Sometimes a father has to make choices that his children do not agree with, or which they do not understand.” Yes, of course.

    @CC: “Yet the judgment of every comment … is predicated not on what is good, but rather on the basis of what the child wants moment to moment, what affections the father can harvest, and what the child is capable of. This is a TERRIBLE way to raise children even if you get the affection you desire.”

    In the proper context, that is also true. But why do you think it is an important issue in the context of this particular thread and Scott’s original post? Good parenting involves an appropriate mixture of doing what the child wants in the moment (because the activity is appropriate) and saying “no” (because the activity is not appropriate). I’d be very surprised if those posting here, including Scott, did not know that. The admonition to “be there” for your child because the opportunity for doing that is soon gone forever” is a useful admonition. That is the focus of this discussion. Becoming slave to a child’s whims is not the focus of this discussion, except where you make it so.

    @CC: “Can such a father expect his children to stick with the church when …”. A child will stick with the church only if God calls him to it, not because his earthly father calls him to it. Jesus said that the only way to God was through him. And then said that no one would come to him except that God the Father draws them. The truth of those statements takes most control out of the parents hands once the child reaches the age of accountability.

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  12. @RichardP

    You asked:

    But why do you think it is an important issue in the context of this particular thread and Scott’s original post?

    Here is why. It’s from the OP.

    When I was a kid though, hunting was something me, my dad, my brothers, our male friends and uncles did. The women were never invited, nor did they even ask. We would be gone for several days, sitting around the campfire at night, talking about things in the way men only do when women aren’t around. It was a sacred space during an age where those spaces were getting smaller and smaller. And as we know, they are all gone now.

    There is an implicit assumption that “things just changed” between the time Scott was a kid, and now; as if Scott’s very recent ancestors dealt with a different kind of women. I think that is false. I believe that the reason the women were never invited to go hunting, and never asked, is because the men had made a decision to make that a place and time wholly set apart for men. Not only was it a place to include men, but they decisively excluded women. They probably did not write a rule of inclusion of men and exclusion of women into a document, or hold an official council. It was explained and enforced through a long series arbitrary decisions which–we must admit–resulted in a much more stable and fruitful cleft of men and women.

    This isn’t about hunting. It’s about how we make judgments, and what we should expect to teach from the accumulation of those judgments. You called them “social constructs”. I see what you mean, though I reject the basis of the very idea of social constructs as something which are distinct from biology. It’s called tradition. Traditions are not always good, but when they are we don’t always understand the distinct specifics about a good tradition that make it good as a whole. But we can judge the fruit. In this specific case the fruit is sacred male space: Do you (or Scott or anybody) want to have a sacred male space? If the answer is no, then there is nothing to consider except why such a man would mourn its loss. If the answer is yes, then we would be wise to examine how other men achieved male spaces…and female spaces, for that matter. They should have those, too.

    So, again, in an effort to make clear what is often obscured by desires, I ask, of anybody: A boy can wear a dress and still perform the great majority of things a contemporary man does on a daily basis; drive a truck, operate a PC, shuffle papers, take out the trash, etc. If he wants to wear a dress and sit in the knitting circle with his mother, why shouldn’t he? And on what grounds?

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  13. In the post “Day with the Boys”, Scott wrote:

    And my personal favorites, the Vietnam era chink plane and a WWII ssssexxxxx bomber with exactly the right message about women painted on the side

    What exact message would that be? Should we paint a Speedo’d man on the side of a bomber? It would be trivially simple to do. Paint is cheap, and if it is someone’s wish, why not? Are there are codified rules against it? If so, why shouldn’t those rules be changed to accept that times and women have changed?

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  14. @CC,

    Again, I do appreciate your direct approach to topics. If you want a good plan or product, you have to have an effective murder board.

    I cannot seem to effectively communicate that a decision-making rubric based on warm fuzzies–ours or our children’s–is a bad idea.

    You may be effectively communicating with many people reading this thread, and I’m coming along more slowly. I’m having some problems conveying my own meaning, which I think has more substance to it than merely generating feelings or satisfying children’s desires; but that is all you’re seeing so I haven’t done it well. I should just defer to RichardP, who is explaining a flip side to the argument better than I am.

    Nevertheless, I do understand your admonition about danger in all this, and am reviewing my own past actions which probably often had a basis in your comment – There is an implicit assumption that “things just changed” between the time Scott was a kid, and now; as if Scott’s very recent ancestors dealt with a different kind of women.

    In backwards order of appearance:

    If he wants to wear a dress and sit in the knitting circle with his mother, why shouldn’t he? And on what grounds? Because he will become a pussy, a loser in life, and an embarrassment to his family and the entire line of his people. But you knew that.

    Do you (or Scott or anybody) want to have a sacred male space? I do. I see that that doesn’t mean the same thing to everybody.

    Why shouldn’t he practice such discrimination with his daughters? He should. I figured he was thinking exactly this in light of future plans to live in the semi-outback, and weighing his options, going so far as to ask other dads what they thought. He may decide to leave her behind. I believe this is where I went awry in my own comments, making it look like hunting is definitely the way to go, when I mean to say capitalize on the access you have to the child to do good for it and enjoy it as that time is short.

    On what basis can a father practice authority (discriminating judgment) over his daughters? He’s on a mission from God.

    Yet the judgment of every comment–with the exception of Pukeko–is predicated not on what is good, but rather on the basis of what the child wants moment to moment, what affections the father can harvest, and what the child is capable of. This is a TERRIBLE way to raise children even if you get the affection you desire.

    I get it, but I don’t get it. The child wants to be around the father. I’m thinking that is good. It is quite normal and I would think to be encouraged. Now he can impart (hunting aside, pick anything) values and knowledge to the child from a completely reliable source, namely himself, and assess progress in person. He is building capability into the kid. No one is saying whatever the child wants, moment to moment, or at least I don’t mean to have implied that. That is terrible, but hard to imagine it is the model followed by men reading here.

    You’re not letting the child hang with you to get affection from it. You already have all that, it’s why the child wants to hang with you.

    That was verbose.

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  15. Lost Patrol-

    anti-help

    My God. This has been the single most frustrating thing about my role as a father, and it is mostly because I have had my children late. (My oldest was born when I was 37). I am very set in my ways, and impatient about it.

    Just yesterday, I took the oldest boy (4) out for another sit down fox hunt. He sits next to me for about 5 minutes and starts talking too loud. Then he has to pee. I have to set the shotgun down, lift him over the fence behind us, send him inside to go to the bathroom. Making too much noise all along the way. He comes back out to the fence, I have to lift him back over to sit with me, the entire time my back is turned to the meadow with the foxes in it. Never saw the thing, and I don’t know if noisy anti-helper was the cause. I must pray regularly for the patience it takes in these situations. It does not come naturally to me.

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  16. On the matter of “social construct” vs “natural male/female behavior/traits.”

    That is a very productive discussion, and I have felt the same was as Cane for a long time, but have not really articulated it well. They are not discreet, dichotomous variables in my opinion.

    I would like to think that I can make a distinction between hunting with my sons and hunting with my daughter(s) (one on the way) in a meaningful way. But I am not sure it won’t be lost on them.

    The difference being, “OK sweetheart, I took you out. You saw what it is like. Now me and the boys are going to plan our big Caribou hunt in Alaska.” The former is utilitarian, the latter is masculine experiential.

    But to get into the weeds even further, it should be noted that the particular daughter in question is very squeamish about these things. Just last night there was a pretty mild scene in a movie we had on and she hid her face in the couch cushions until we told her it was OK to look. When we go to Walmart, she purposely avoids the “taxidermies” (the sporting goods section that has mounts) because they freak her out. My suspicion is, if she comes out and sits in the stand with me, and we harvest a deer, once we walk up to it and she sees the brutality of it, that will be the last time she wants to do it.

    Of course, I can’t count on that, but I know my kids pretty well.

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  17. I must pray regularly for the patience it takes in these situations. It does not come naturally to me.

    Whenever my father was around and could start to see me losing the bubble, he would say “hey, they’re just little bitty kids”, emphasis on the little bitty. I found this ironic given that I remember his patience level with me hovering somewhere around zero.

    The former is utilitarian, the latter is masculine experiential.

    This succinctly conveys the idea I could not well articulate with my previous essays.

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  18. @LP

    You may be effectively communicating with many people reading this thread, and I’m coming along more slowly.

    No, I don’t think it’s just you. I think the questions that I’m asking are so far outside the culture that they seem absurd or frightening to most even in the Men’s Sphere.

    Because he will become a pussy, a loser in life, and an embarrassment to his family and the entire line of his people. But you knew that.

    Exactly. So what happens to a daughter if you let her do mannish things?

    I think that if we respond to that question with “Well, that’s different. There’s a spectrum here of activities, and girls are different…” and so forth, then we haven’t really dealt with the question.

    @Scott

    I would like to think that I can make a distinction between hunting with my sons and hunting with my daughter(s) (one on the way) in a meaningful way. But I am not sure it won’t be lost on them.

    The difference being, “OK sweetheart, I took you out. You saw what it is like. Now me and the boys are going to plan our big Caribou hunt in Alaska.” The former is utilitarian, the latter is masculine experiential.

    I understood it to be the case that your childhood hunting trips were normal occurrences; that they were not specifically experiential endeavors, but mundane (I do not mean boring) moments of life that accepted and upheld sex differences. Should it be the case that all the mundane events of life must be open to both sexes? Is appropriate to do when spending less than $5,000 on a hunting vacation?

    I don’t want to piss you (or LP, or Oscar, or anybody) off, but I am convinced that if a man wants his sons to enjoy exclusively male spaces and times, then he must set them now in a way which will seem arbitrary and even unfair to his modern and permissive self who just wants to be loved by his little girl.

    And he needs to learn to be fine with his decisions as just and good; despite his feelings, or the feelings of others. He needs to accept that sometimes he must just say, “Nope, sorry honey, but that is a man’s business. It’s not because you might get hurt, or because you’re incapable, or because you’ll be frightened. It’s simply that you aren’t a man.” This will need to be done at relatively mundane times and events if he is to teach his children to respect and honor each sex, without rancor, according to their different natures.

    We have tried the other way, and now females are on submarines, on the front lines, in football locker rooms, and everywhere. These pressures are still out there in the world, and will sometimes effect our children, and we’ll have to respond to them. If your son grows up and complains that his hunting buddy wants to bring his girlfriend, what can you say? If your son asks to bring his own wife on your hunting trip, what will you say? Will he reply, Well, you took my sister hunting. What’s the big deal? It’s no different.”

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  19. Pingback: Her Buck Stops Here | Things that We have Heard and Known

  20. This is an excellent discussion.

    @Cane

    I think it is obvious that for generations we have lied to ourselves–and are lying to ourselves–about what we do and why; so much so that we don’t know how to identify or correct individual instances of dangerous permissiveness when we find them. That goes triple for women.

    I don’t want to piss you (or LP, or Oscar, or anybody) off, but I am convinced that if a man wants his sons to enjoy exclusively male spaces and times, then he must set them now in a way which will seem arbitrary and even unfair to his modern and permissive self who just wants to be loved by his little girl.

    And he needs to learn to be fine with his decisions as just and good; despite his feelings, or the feelings of others.

    What strikes me about this is just how uncomfortable that idea is (to me), and how unaware I was of how uncomfortable I was with it. You made the same observation with submission, and it is profound.

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  21. @ Cane

    “I don’t want to piss you (or LP, or Oscar, or anybody) off… ”

    Dude, nobody’s pissed. We’re not chicks. We can disagree with each other vigorously, and still remain friends.

    As for teaching boys & girls to respect male spaces, there are often times when my 3-year-old daughters asks me to take her when I intend to spend time with the boys. I tell her no, she cries, and she stays home. My older girls don’t even ask anymore, because they know to respect dad’s time with the boys.

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  22. Oscar, concur. I’m not tracking “pissed” or anything like that.

    Canes thoughts on these matters cut to the very core of the issue of male spaces, and in the final analysis, he’s not “wrong.”

    I think, like LP, I am in a phase in my family life where I am pretty secure in my place as Mychael has been sufficiently “red-pilled” (compared to 99% of American wives) but at the same time the approach Cane writes of would put me at war against, well pretty much everyone we know.

    I may be equivocating and being weak when I say I am trying to make a distinction between my daughter coming with me out to the stand (which is 75 meters from my back door) and a big, yearly hunt in some far off location hunting something super cool and making it a men/boys only thing.

    I’m not sure though.

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