Teenage Hunter Called ‘Slut’, Facing Death Threats After Posting Trophy Photos To Facebook

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Kendall Jones Facebook
Kendall Jones drew ire after posting photos of herself with her fresh kills.

Kendall Jones has had a taste for hunting since childhood, but now the Internet is out for her blood.

The 19-year-old Texas Tech student and cheerleader – who is currently on a hunting safari in Zimbabwe -- has gained sudden notoriety by posting photos of herself posing with hunting trophies on Facebook. In one, the smiling blonde hugs a dead, bloodied leopard to her chest; in others she poses alongside an African lion, a rhinoceros and a white springbok, displaying the various weapons she used to kill them.

Early Tuesday morning, USA Today reported that Jones’ Facebook page had more than 11,000 “likes.” At the time of this publication, that figure was nearly 37,000. While Jones appears to have established a supportive fan base prior to the unflattering news media attention, the more recent comments on her photos are from the angry mob.

“I hope you get eaten by a lion you cow,” said one (male) commenter. “Does the hunting pay for the fake lips and boobs?” asked another.

Jones is the target of at least two petitions: One is appealing to Facebook to remove photos of animal carcasses from her page; another – a Change.org petition – is calling for Jones to be banned from Africa. The petition’s statement accuses Jones of “using endangered and helpless African animals as a stepping [sic] to further her popularity on social media platforms."

The fury directed at Jones is in part due to the fact that the young woman is actively courting publicity: Her Facebook page declares that she is “looking to host a TV show in January 2015.”

Still, if Jones were a man, would she be facing these kind of sexually charged threats?

 

 

 

While many of the hundreds of people who have commented on the Change.org petition appear to be genuinely concerned with the preservation of endangered wildlife, others appear to be preoccupied with Jones’ youth, appearance and gender. Several commenters refer to her as a little girl, and she is called a “slut” more than once.

“This blonde bimbo needs to stick to her cheerleading and stop thinking shooting innocent animals is a sport,” wrote one commenter. “Kill that bitch!” wrote another.

The fury recalls the social media hate aimed late last year at Melissa Bachman, another female game hunter who posted a Facebook photo posing with a lion she had just killed. Bachman, too, was the target of death threats and slurs on Twitter, where one user called her a “sick c*nt” and wrote that he hoped a lion would rip her head off. Another tweeted, “you’re a f**king vile human being who serves no purpose on this planet, and to top it off, you’re ugly too.”

There is no shortage of male hunters who proudly pose for photos displaying their trophies, yet they don't seem to attract the same level of vitriol.

Does the outrage represent a collective resistance to the disruption of traditional hunter-gatherer roles? Or maybe there's an expectation that women -- of all people -- should be sensitive to the pain of being the target of hunters. 

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