Question of the Day: Can We Get Past This “Woman Shooter” Thing?

The majority of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia who post comments are male. When a female comments—as Mrs. Ryan does from time to time—who cares? Wait; that’s not what I meant. I mean what difference does is make if a TTAG commentator is male or female? Do we have to examine every female gun owner’s comment and experience through the prism of “a woman’s perspective”? Can we get over the ovaries thing? I’m still seeing news features with women reporters (of course) based on the “news” that a woman—A WOMAN!—knows how to shoot. Who’d a thunk it? [Click here for a recent example of the genre.] Or consider the above clip from last night’s Outdoor Channel show Superstar Lady Shooters. Wonderful production. Great shooting. But I was left wondering: why is there a separate shooting class for women anyway? Is that sexist or what?

comments

  1. avatar NCG says:

    I think highlighting the accomplishments of women and girls in shooting sports is nothing but positive. A lot of anti-gun sentiment comes from moderate-to-conservative suburban women, who are not experienced with and therefore fearful of guns.

    And let’s face it, the gun rights movement, to the extent that it’s associated with far-right politics in general, has a lot of ugly baggage when it comes to women. A quick survey of the ever popular woman-shoots-big-gun-and-falls-down video (while knuckle-dragging-beer-swilling redneck boyfriend chuckles), and the stream of misogynist comments to follow bears this out.

    Even among your “Armed Intelligentsia,” any video featuring a woman is followed by numerous juvenile comments regarding her hotness or lack thereof. I mean, you guys don’t comment on the physical shortcomings of the numerous old fat white guys in any number of videos.

    A lot of y’all got issues when it comes to women, and that’s hurting your cause. Just sayin’.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      FYI: I do flag fat old white guys. Including myself.

      1. avatar NCG says:

        I’ll have to confess to having old fat white guy (OFWG?) tendencies myself, which I try to combat.

      2. avatar TeeBee Jeebies says:

        True dat!

    2. avatar Danni says:

      “Hottie with a Holster” comes to mind from the other day. It was followed-up shortly thereafter with a more generically titled, “Everything you always wanted to know about women’s conceal carry.”

      I’m an idiot because it did not occur to me that the second video may have been posted merely for the purpose of looking at a petite woman’s thigh holster. I actually found the video helpful since I tend to be lazy and purse carry rather than trying to conceal on-body.

      Do there need to be separate shoot classes for women? Probably not. But as a woman I do enjoy reading about other women who are part of the sport. So I agree that these types of spotlight articles/videos are helpful and overall positive. I say this as a formerly liberal suburban woman who detested guns and all things gun. What a difference a trip to Vegas can make.

  2. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I’ve noticed a big increase in women shooters at the range over the last few years. Every Mass State gun class is full of women at our range. A few weeks ago their was a small group of women who brought their boyfriends to the range, which is really cool because it’s usually the other way around. It can only help us all to have more women involved in any shooting sport. I’ve also noticed that a good female shooter can compete against any man, because it doesn’t matter if your male or female, it all comes down to skill level. I once really good female shooter use my Kimber Supermatch and she kicked my butt. All the guys thought I let her win because she was cute, but she beat me fair and square with my own gun and I hate to lose.

  3. avatar KW says:

    The men eat while the women are shooting and the women do the dishes while the men are shooting 🙂

    Sorry I couldn’t resist. While I’ve been shooting a long time I’ll always be in the debt of TD Roe. She taught a local pistol class I took and later she was kind enough to take me to her private club and work with me on improving my skills. She can shoot the wings off a fly in flight and easily out shoots almost every guy around. I think there is some video of her on Julie’s site.

    Men and women approach the shooting sports differently. Men are expected to be good shots and there is a lot of “tough guy” attitude sometimes. It comes though on the posts here occasionally. Although the women are even more competitive sometimes it’s more about enjoyment than performance. Without actually comparing the scores on the same stages I couldn’t come up with a reason why there are two classes except that the men draw from a larger pool of competitors. So it makes sense that there would be more highly skilled men involved.

  4. avatar porschespeed says:

    I’ve found most women have a damn good time at the range. I’ve also found that most who have never shot before are far more accurate than their male contemporaries. Especially freehand pistols.

    For those who hold classes on a regular basis. Novice women v. novice men?

    @NCG- I’ve seen some of the ‘little girl, big gun vids’ of which you speak and I really don’t understand where they even find those women. Most of my female friends are in the buck, buck-thirty range. Not one flinched when they discharged the single shot 12ga. with a slug.

    1. avatar NCG says:

      Certainly horrible form is always the cause, usually with the woman (and it could just as easily be an inexperienced man, nobody bothers to make that video) leaning back and cringing away from the gun – that nobody is correcting that form is dangerous and probably criminally negligent. Short of absurd safari rifles and the like, anybody can learn to handle recoil, regardless of size. Obviously, one can find all sorts of horrors on Youtube, and I don’t mean to paint with too broad a brush. I’m just pointing out what, from a messaging perspective, the gun rights movement has to overcome.

      1. avatar porschespeed says:

        Though I know better, I guess a part of me always wants to believe they’re all staged – how happy is your SO going to be with you after she falls flat on her ass?

        I agree, the old stereotypes are still perpetuated, and many in our ranks don’t seem comprehend that non-inclusive messages are not garnering market share.

        (Stupid safari gun du jour .577 Tyrannosaur stupid but amusing…)

        1. avatar NCG says:

          Likely just the thing for Elephant, but can’t we just leave the poor pachyderms alone?

        2. avatar porschespeed says:

          There’s nowhere near enough left to hunt.

          As a true conservative, I know we need to save the few thousand left for the future.

          Beyond that, it has been proved beyond a doubt that they have feelings, knowledge, and emotions. If that doesn’t make them valuable enough to save I really want to check out of this ‘human’ thing.

  5. avatar Roy Hill says:

    In Olympic shooting, there was no such thing as men’s and women’s divisions until the European men finally got tired of Margaret Murdoch clubbing them like baby seals.

    http://www.usashooting.com/alumni/MargaretMurdock.html

  6. avatar Bob H says:

    RF said “why is there a separate shooting class for women anyway?”

    So Lisa Munson, Julie Golob and Tori Nonaka don’t whip our manly butts.

  7. avatar Jeff O. says:

    I’ve never understood it.

    Shooting is a sport that has less to do with physical strength and endurance and more with mental focus, concentration and attention to details.

  8. avatar Phil says:

    I did olympic-style shooting in high school. It was a co-ed sport. Our varsity team was about 25-30% female, and they were some damn good shooters. Women are better built for this kind of shooting than men are, especially when it comes to the standing position…being able to kick the hip bone out and form a natural “shelf” aids tremendously. So, from the get go there is a natural advantage. Of course, it only helps so much.

    I skirmish in the N-SSA, which is co-ed as well, as women are a small minority. Most of the women I’ve shot with or against are good to in some cases excellent shots. As for handling recoil, I’ve seen petite women accurately handle a .69 caliber smoothbore with no problem, and those things have a robust recoil to say the least.

    From what I’ve seen in general women do very well in the shooting sports. And as has been noted in many cases they can and do beat the crap out of a lot of the men out there. The shooting sports are definitely male dominated, but the women do more than hold their own out there for sure…and not just a few of them either.

    I agree, I think gender classification isn’t needed in shooting.

  9. avatar WW Paul says:

    I think that too many women are still not interested in shooting. We need them to keep the sports and the rights solid. Whatever it takes; seperate sports, co-ed sports or sports without any distinction, we should be encouraging women and all young people to take up shooting.

    1. avatar Mrs. Finn says:

      Agree completely.

  10. avatar Mrs. Finn says:

    I am a female reader…I wish I could go shooting more. Between two children in 16months and no close or affordable ranges (and no sitters) it just isn’t happening right now. I look to get my CCW sooner rather than later and hope to make women carrying guns a little more normal for my girls. Girls with fake knockers and low cut jeans sliding a gun down their pants is not going to be something I turn to for guidance and certainly won’t send my girls to watch. There are many other women carrying, I’m sure, who don’t provoke the 14 year old boys in the gym type comments. I’m all for slap stick naughty humor, but not all the time and not at my genders expense. The clips without “hotties” ,like todays video, don’t get traffic like the others. She’s not a knock-out and therefore not worth watching or has nothing to learn from? I would like to see more like today and, hell, maybe even a female writer (who isn’t just hot and posting pictures…). I learn a lot here (and not only from my husbands wonderful posts) and would really like this to be a go-to place for all my gun research.        

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    More men shoot than women because so many women have been taught that shooting is for Neanderthals, that guns are inherently evil, and that their children will accidentally kill themselves and all their neighbors if they keep guns in the house. On the other hand, I’ve taught several women to shoot, and they describe the experience to me in one word, the same word, every time: empowering. So, yeah, there does need to be gender-specific training, gender-specific magazines and blogs, gender-specific guns and gender-specific role models until women discover that there can be no real feminism without guns.

  12. avatar dodgetruckmom says:

    I’m currently searching for a female firearms instructor, but not because I don’t feel comfortable around the guys. My husband has been participating in monthly IDPA matches at our gun club for the past two years. Last year I went a couple of times to watch him. EVERY guy at that match was encouraging to me and wanted to know when I planned to start participating. There were no sexist comments or 14-year-old boy behavior. Their reaction was a large part of why I decided it was time for me to get my own gun. They’re expecting me to show up in May when the matches start again.

    The reason I want a female instructor is because it’s long been obvious to me that men and women are built and wired differently. The first handgun I shot was the husband’s Glock 19. He set me up and had me stand and hold the gun the same way he does (it’s worth noting that I am 5’7″ and he is 6’4″–he has a lot of upper body strength and I have different stuff on my upper body). Shooting that gun was nothing but frustration. I had continual jams and limp-wristing issues. He was totally baffled. Then he handed me the Glock 20. I did much better with that gun, but it’s heavier than the 19.

    I spent the next couple of weeks asking every male shooter I knew why I had so much trouble with the Glock 19 jamming. Without exception, the response I got was, “Wow, that’s never happened to me.” (That seems to be a typical male reaction–if it’s never happened to them, they cannot conceive of why it might happen to anyone else.) I finally ran across something on Massad Ayoob’s blog about women needing to stand differently than men when they shoot. Remember, my husband had me stand and shoot the way he did, which works for him because of his superior upper body strength. We went back to the range and I tried the 19 again with a different stance and shot 2 magazines without a single jam.

    I’ve since purchased an XDm 9mm compact for myself. Interestingly, though, we took a male friend of ours with us to the range on Christmas Day so I could try out my gun. After watching me shoot, he came over and told me I should stand differently–he wanted me to stand the same way he and my husband do when they shoot. I had to explain that that doesn’t work for me. I suspect that this is going to be something of a continual battle that I will have to fight, because a lot of male shooters think that if it works for them, it should work for everyone.

    So I want an instructor who is going to understand the way women are built and the way they think and who can guide me accordingly. I don’t think segregation by sex is bad when it’s done with an eye to acknowledging that there are distinct differences between men and women. I think segregation by sex is only bad when it’s done to subjugate one side or the other. The differences between men and women don’t make men better than women or women better than men–they simply make us DIFFERENT. I think one of the great disservices that feminism did to women was try to convince us that we needed to be like men, instead of just being ourselves. We are excellent just the way we are.

    1. avatar AntiCitizenOne says:

      Check out Suarez International’s Corinna Coplin – she has her “Ladies’ Gunfighting” course. IMO (I am a guy) I’m not sure how it dovetails into the rest of the Suarez curriculum but we’ll see.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email