On ‘Predator and Prey Day’ Boys Hunt Girls

A high school in Minnesota is teaching students that boys are hunters and girls are prey animals by encouraging them to dress the part. Crookston High School in Minnesota organized “Prey and Predator Day,” for which ”guys dress in their camouflage and other hunting apparel while girls will show off their animal print,” according to Jezebel. After locals protested, the school changed the event to “Camo Day.”

The Grand Forks Herald reported that the idea originated with the student council. School superintendent Chris Bates said that the “kids saw it as a fun thing and didn’t see that it could be taken in another way,” adding that “hunting in this area is pretty popular.” I’m not sure what he meant by “another way” — there is really only one way to take the planned costumes: boys chase with malicious intent, and girls run, just like hunters and deer.

You know rape culture has really seeped in when both students and officials at a high school see no problem casting boys as armed hunters and girls as helpless animals. According to UpsettingRapeCulture.com, “In a rape culture, people are surrounded with images, language, laws, and other everyday phenomena that validate and perpetuate rape. Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem” normal.

The high school debacle echoes another recent example of rape culture, an ad for Dos Equis beer that advised (male) viewers, “Approach women like you do wild animals, with caution and a soothing voice.” Fortunately Dos Equis removed the ad, but the belief system that inspired the idea and allowed advertising and beer executives to approve it hasn’t changed: Americans still view women as prey for hunters to do with as they will.

The domination of animals is as integral to “Prey and Predator Day,” and to its successor, “Camo Day,” as rape culture is. A theory called ecofeminism regards the oppression of women and the domination of animals as interconnected. Consider the men who mount antlers on their trucks, and the ones who display mudflaps featuring pin-up silhouettes. And the men who hang stags’ heads on their walls, or hang nudie calendars instead. These are all considered “macho” statements that real men enjoy killing helpless animals and ogling defenseless women.

But we can’t ignore that the students came up with this idea, and presumably that included some female students. Maybe when Bates said they didn’t think their event could be “taken in another way,” he meant that of course girls are supposed to like being hunted by powerful and violent men, and it wasn’t supposed to be taken as anything non-consensual. After all, that mudflap lady looks pretty content. It’s a twist on rape culture: not only is rape normal–girls dress and preen for it and find it flattering.

But back in reality, as local resident Ileanna Noyes put it, “Really, in this day and age, you think it’s OK to have the mentality of the men as predators and the women as pretty prey? And that’s adults doing this?…How absurd. How appalling.”



Related Stories:

Do “Nice Guys” Contribute to Rape Culture?

What the Jamie Leigh Jones Verdict Says About Rape Culture

Missoula Isn’t the Only Site of Rape Culture



Julie Cordner
Julie Cordner5 years ago

If indeed girls were in on the suggestion of this event, then one can only assume that they are not being 'taught' to have respect for themselves or to see themselves as equals to their male peers. THAT must be coming from their parents, the school, or the community at large. PLUS, of course, the boys are encouraged in that sickening stereotype of the male as stronger and able to take their 'prey' by force...! What is even more worrying for me is the whole glorification of hunting (substituting women for animals) - but I suppose that is par for the course in this part of America...?!?

Fiona Fahey
Fiona Fahey5 years ago

How is this legal?

Fi T.
Past Member 6 years ago

When can this be changed?

Dennis D.
Past Member 6 years ago

**sigh** I guess this a place where I as a moderate liberal and the liberal take a different road.

It is a kids game.. You can read any thing into it that you want int to it..

Personally, I do agree they should have made it optional for either gender to be either the prey or predator.

That is my opinion.

Joan Earnshaw
Joan Earnshaw6 years ago

WTF!!!! If that is happening at a school, then that school is an insane asylum which is being run by the inmates.
It is past time for someone to take legal action. What kind of parents would permit that kind of abuse???
And what will happen when the girls figure out that all they have to do is take the weapons away from the boys, then use them on the boys???????? Hope those girls and their parents see this because games translate into real life at some point. WAKE UP!!! You dunderheads out there are scarey!

Judy Jackson
Judy Jackson6 years ago

This is beyond appalling. Words fail me (and that doesn't happen too often).

Past Member
Past Member 6 years ago

I just have to weigh in on this one: There is more than just the boys' views of how to treat women that is flawed here. It is the whole culture! Look at our commercials - all the sexualization that is a major advertising device (obvious and subliminal as well) used to sell everything from cars to office machines! Since when did the value of human beings - especially, today's human beings - become determined by how sexually attractive or how many times and with how many partners they complete the sex act? We human beings are way more than our genitalia! Our modern culture should be ashamed of itself! We need to have more respect for ourselves and each other. We need to demonstrate this by the way we conduct ourselves (sexual teasing and joking around should be something only engaged in between committed/married partners - not to amuse the public). Clothing for both sexes should be toned down to de-emphasize breasts, booties, and balls to re-direct attention to the person as a whole. We need to revamp the present laws governing rape and punishment for rape so that those who would use violence and force (or date-rape drugs) to engage in non-consentual sex with another person are punished just as severely as someone who uses a knife, gun, or other weapon to injure their victim. And this should apply no matter who the abuser is or what their position in the community.

Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Carl Nielsen
Carl Nielsen6 years ago

What does a picture of a German soldier have to do with some dumm Americans in Minnesota?

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson6 years ago

i agree that this idea was an inappropriate one