An Open Letter To Kendall Jones

Dear Kendall Jones,

Hey there, Kendall. My name’s Kristin, Kristin Urban (Ron Weasley taught me how to do introductions). I’ve become aware of you because of my boss and co-worker. They were talking about the photographs featuring you perched on top, next to or with the beautiful lions, zebras, leopards, and a number of other large African animals which you killed. I hadn’t heard of you, or the hateful Internet fury about you and your hunt. I’m not exactly sure why I missed out on you, but I think I may have been taking a lot of BuzzPlay quizzes at the time, so I obviously didn’t have the time to read anything else.

Although the dust of the Internet craze over you and your hunting photos has just about settled down, your hunting antics still cross my mind. We don’t have much in common, you and I. You grew up in Texas, I in Florida. You’re a blonde; I’m a proud brunette. You cheer and I read (sorry if this is starting to sound like a Taylor Swift song). And around the time you were setting your eyes to kill the Big Five for sport, I was just beginning my now eight-year term as a pescetarian (with some vegetarian tours), had already protested a circus (what can I say, I was in high school and an angry vegetarian), and was planning to take my protests onto Sea World. Today, if I spot a fly that accidentally got in my house, I try to trap it between a cup and plate instead of swatting and needlessly killing the little guy. So basically, I go out of my way to prevent the death of an animal, whereas you fly cross-continental to kill large and vulnerable species for fun.

After the office chitchat about you and your now famous pictures, I went home and looked you up. By this time, your Facebook page had already been taken down, and petitions concerned about you (like the one with the goal to ban and deny you to African states) already had thousands of signatures. But what caught my attention were the discussions and articles centered on the sexist reactions of the media and the Internet world. People see you as a cute blonde girl, with a terrifically glamorous smile. To them, you act as a juxtaposition to the hunting gear and dead animals you pose with. Cute blonde girls don’t hunt, right? Feminists and journalists, among others, have been quick to realize that you have been given a double standard. While American men can go over to Africa and kill and pose next to the same animals you killed, all while wearing a smile similar to yours, they receive scarcely any of the attention you’ve received. As far as I am aware, they most likely have not been called a bimbo or a slut, or received rape threats, as you have. You absolutely do not deserve to be called these names and receive such threats. And the only reason you have is because you are a woman.

I, of course, in no way endorse or advocate your hunting practices. You know what you are doing. I’m not going to throw the statistics we are all used to seeing and I am sure you are aware of. You know the dangerous state the white rhino is in, how vulnerable African lions are. Nor am I going to state the large body of evidence that concludes that lion hunting in Africa does next to nothing to boost local communities. I stand in strong opposition to killing for sport (and, on a personal level, killing at all). But despite this, I still applaud you for determinedly stepping into a field that is largely dominated by men. That took strength, passion, and hell of a lot of determination. Young girls may even by looking up to you, as one of many female trailblazers who pursue their dreams into male-ruled realms.

So Kendall, I absolutely condemn your hunting activities and am fearful that the attention you have received will inspire more people to take on the Big Five. I hope that the lion, the rhino, and every other animal population that are the targets of hunting pursuits will somehow establish stable populations. But I want you to know that I recognize your strength, and to apologize on behalf of the people who threw you such hateful comments. Thank you for making it clear that a cute blonde woman has just as much right to hunt as a grisly and bearded man.

One more thing, Kendall. Maybe next time you want to kill an animal, could you please make sure it isn’t a vulnerable or endangered species? That would be awesome.


Kristin Urban

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