Women like guns. OK, some women like guns. Some don’t. And that’s OK. But I was recently asked by a very intelligent young lady to please explain how I feel being a female in a male-dominated industry. She was referring to my writing for TTAG and my guns as a hobby and for self-defense. It’s not like she was looking for any particular answer or prodding me to answer in any specific way; she was genuinely curious. Truth be told . . .
I’ve never experienced sexism with regards to my writing or the fact that I own guns. Yes, gun store employees have been shocked when I sidle up to the counter knowing exactly what I want, and why I want it. And I’ve received negative comments and feedback on some of my articles. But a lot of female customers are new to guns. And I don’t consider negative comments “sexist.” They’re just a difference of opinion; a man would receive the same criticism for writing the same things.
I also don’t think I have to know more than men who know a lot about guns to be respected. If I don’t know something about a gun or a cartridge or firearms law or anything gun-related, I’ll say so. I welcome the chance for education, clarification or correction. Ever hear the saying, “Correct a fool and he will be angry with you; correct a wise man, and he will thank you”? I attempt to learn from my mistakes. I don’t take being corrected when incorrect as sexism, nor does it bother me in the least.
Men have never made me feel a lesser person for being a gun owner. (Some are actually impressed that a woman my size can not only handle shooting a Mosin Nagant, but quickly and effectively dissemble and reassemble a bolt from the rifle.) I repeat: I’ve never actually been discriminated against because of my gender with regards to the People of the Gun and I’m certain I won’t be.
A gun store that assumes I don’t know about guns isn’t sexist, it’s providing customer service. (Once the gun store clerk realizes I’m more interested in a Ruger Super Red Hawk than a pink revolver, the conversation changes.) Some gun salesmen see a woman customer and immediately push a small pink Taurus at her. Do I consider this sexist? No. Manufacturers make pink guns for women, not men, so it’s entirely understandable. These “women’s products” welcome us ladies to the gun world, not alienate us.
At the moment, the firearms industry is male-dominated. But more and more women are permeating the gun business at all levels; as customers, competitors, instructors, sales people, factory workers, executives, marketing professionals and more. As far as I know and based on my experience, there is no “glass ceiling” in this industry. Or color barrier. In fact, the firearms industry is one of the most inclusive business sectors in America today.
I don’t consider RF sexist for hiring me to write for TTAG. I’m honored that the TTAG team values my opinion as a gun enthusiast and a woman. In fact, we are all gun enthusiasts and something else. By acknowledging and accepting differences, gun owners strengthen their respect for individual liberty. Of course, there are gun owners who don’t “get it.” But I’ve yet to meet one. And when I do, I’ll learn from them, too.