Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Image We Project

Okay, I realize that I've touched on this stuff briefly before, but I recently had a "joke" posted on my personal Facebook page that set me off a little. At risk of seeming to be the humorless harridan in the room that everyone hates to be around, I'm going to talk about it.

The "joke" was this:

"You can tell a lot about a woman's mood just by her hands.
For instance, if they are holding a gun, she's probably angry."

My response to the post was this:

"Why angry??
How about empowered, skillful, trained, accurate, and safe?
I think that though this is meant as a joke, that it just feeds into inaccurate stereotypes about women and firearms."

Ladies, I understand if you are a new shooter, that you are excited to join the "gun club", and you want to pass on "gun-related" stuff on social media. But here's the thing -- perpetuating stereotypes about ourselves is not helping. The anti-gunners and the unfamiliar general public thinks this is the way women handle firearms - out of jealousy, rage, monthly hormone swings, and various other undesirable motivations. They almost never think women can be competent, skillful, safe, and responsible firearms owners. We need to stop "shooting ourselves in the foot" - to use an apropos metaphor - and start projecting the image that we want the public to have about women and firearms.

I realize that I'm mostly preaching to the choir, but with the ranks of new female shooters swelling every year, I thought I'd just throw out this gentle reminder that people are watching you. Your friend from high school who hates guns may be looking at your posts. Your coworkers who are on the fence are watching you. You can either educate by example  - or reinforce their negative opinions - simply by what you post and what you say. (I'm also reminding "myself" as I speak here)

We are all ambassadors of our hobby/sport/passion. Let's be good ones!

1 comment:

  1. Your response was right on the mark! Of course, you could have added "or having fun at the range."! Keep up the great work. You are a super ambassador of the shooting sports! Steve W.