- Please recommend a conceal handgun for a man
- Men and home defense
- Why to choose a gun before choosing a man
- Slim gripped auto for young man
- .45 for a man
- Target revolver suggestion for a man
- Why a handgun is better than a man
- Any suggestions for man wanting gun?
- Does being prepared to protect himself make a man less masculine?
- Young single man carry?
- What’s the best caliber and gun for a man?
- 9mm for a man?
- The Little Man says he wants a .380…
- Shotgun for a man
- Can a man shoot the USP Compact .40 well?
- Good home defense handgun for a man?
- A handgun for men
- Men and concealed carry?
- Are guns useful to men for self-defense?
Anything bug you about those statements? If you’re a male, do you read through that list, and ask yourself “What does my gender have to do with that?” on most of those bullet points?
Well, welcome to the world of guns and the shooting sports…as seen from the other side of the gender fence. Those are all thread titles from a gun-related discussion board where I’m the admin. The only alteration I’ve made was flipping around the referenced gender.
These were all statements made by men in reference to women.
Now bear in mind that this is one of the most tightly moderated and high-brow of all the firearms discussion boards out there. Given that list of threads, how do you think a new female shooter looking for information will feel when she skims the board and sees thread titles like that? Would you recommend that your daughter or wife seek out advice from those folks?
I can’t count the number of times I’ve overheard bad advice given to women when it comes to guns. Seven out of ten times, people will recommend a lightweight snubnose revolver as an ideal first “woman’s gun”, even though the airweight snubbie is a terrible first pick for any new shooter, male or female. The athletic college track runner is told that she may have problems cycling the slide on a pistol because of her presumed lack of upper body strength, but the pigeon-chested 115lb. male grad student who has wrists like pipe cleaners won’t get so much as a second glance when he asks to see the Desert Eagle (which has a recoil spring that requires three men and a mule to compress it.) Worse than the assumption of physical inferiority is the assumption of mental inferiority–that’s when the sales clerk tries to steer the little woman away from the Beretta 92FS, because it has too many switches and levers that may confuse her in a stress situation. (Good thing they make cars and planes for women–vehicles that feature only two controls labeled GO and STOP, because a woman can’t possibly remember how to work a bunch of controls all at the same time when her life is at stake.)
Point out the rampant misogynist attitudes in the gun community, and you get labeled “PC”. You’ll be told that men and women are simply different, and that any denial of that fact is political correctness running wild. These folks miss the point that while there are physiological differences between males and females, very few (if any) of those differences count when it comes to handling firearms. There’s no gun ever made that requires testicles to operate it properly and safely. (One could argue that testicles can actually be a detriment to safe gun operation, as you’ll find very few examples of women killing themselves or their friends accidentally while showing off their new Glocks to their buddies.)
Here’s a little primer to tell if a statement about women and guns (or any gender-based statement, really) is sexist: flip the gender in the statement to match your own, and then see if the notion bothers you when applied to yourself. If it makes you even a little angry, uncomfortable, or puzzled, then it’s probably sexist.
Women are just like men in every way that counts when it comes to this, and many other subjects. Women, just like men, come in different shapes, sizes, and dexterity and strength levels. They come with different educations, backgrounds, and attitudes. Most importantly, they come with their own acquired skills and preferences, just like men. When you assume anything about the woman standing next to you at the gun shop counter or the shooting range…well, you know what they say about assumptions. You start getting paternalistic and condescending on her, or use the opportunity to “show her how to improve her stance”, you may just turn a novice off the shooting sports forever…or you may just find that the woman in question has not only forgotten more than you’ll ever learn about firearms, but can also outshoot you with your own gun on her worst–and your best–day.
(For women new to firearms and the shooting sports, I can think of few better online resources than my friend Kathy’s Cornered Cat, which has a ton of spot-on advice for women who have decided to get into guns for either recreation or protection. She makes all the points I’ve made in this spot, and a whole lot more I can’t even hope to cover as well as she does.)