Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sex, Guns, and Yoga Pants

I am probably making mountains out of mole hills here, but I am going to drag out the soapbox about a pet peeve of mine, because it has reared its head again this week.

The peeve is the sexualization of women with guns. I've written about it before here, 
 and here,

And yes, I freely admit that I am a cranky old broad. But I am going to have my say once again.

I'm not going to provide a link, or even mention their name, because I don't want to give them any more attention, but a Facebook link showed up this week from a particular purveyor of tactical wear (NOT the manufacturer of said pants), touting "11 Reasons Why Your Girlfriend Needs Tactical Yoga Pants". The article proceeded to show mainly buttock photos of women (mainly NOT wearing the actual product mentioned), accompanied by double-entendre type captions.

Now, I'm not an idiot. I know that sex sells product. I know that men look at women's buttocks. I get it. But I also think that this particular post/"article" is disrespectful of women shooters, objectifies them, and ignores their actual skills by reducing them to mere jiggle.

I didn't like it, and I made no secret of it. Thus I posted a rant on Facebook, stating that BS like this sets women shooters back.
I was asked whether I meant that it was the article or the pants that would set women back. 

This was my reply, 

"In a way, both. That will not be a popular view, and I acknowledge that. Mainly I am steamed about the article and how it objectifies women shooters and reduces them to nothing but ass-jiggle. 

You are not of my generation, so you cannot appreciate the many years that women my age have struggled to be taken seriously in their careers and in the world at large - nevermind the shooting sports. This is what colors my worldview.

To finally start to be accepted into something as male-dominated as the shooting sports is something that is very special to me, and was something that was not available to me when I was your age.  Anything that threatens that, concerns me immensely. 

Thus we come to the pants themselves. Admittedly they are not for me, and I have said as much. But the beauty of women's progress is that we now have more choices than we used to. So if some women like them, and have the body for them, then fine - isn't having free will a wonderful thing? With that said though -- would you wear a bikini to a job interview and then complain that you were not taken seriously or were stared at? 

For me, and many women like me out in the Podunk trenches of the shooting world, and NOT in professional sponsored shooting circles, just showing up to a match is a bit like a job interview. I still encounter men nearly every weekend who do not know me, and have no idea what my shooting skills are like. I have to prove to them that I know what I'm doing. Wearing those pants would make me a target of unwelcome attention and skepticism, even over and above what I would already encounter simply by my gender. Like it or not, there would be male shooters who would not take me seriously, and there might even be sexual comments - especially if I were a 20-something. 

In the world that I grew up in, you dressed appropriately for the job at hand, and to be functional, and to project an aura that you knew what you were doing. In my opinion, those pants don't project that aura. They project "look at me, and check out my ass". Some women shooters (such as Janna or Lena ) are bad-ass enough to get away with it. Alas, most of us are not. 
My opinion."

SO - Some "old broad" reminders and clarifications for the young gals out there, which might give you some insight into my perspective on this.

- When I was in early grade school, girls were not even ALLOWED to wear pants of any kind to school. Digest that for a minute.

- Title IX - regarding educational and athletic opportunities for girls and women - was passed in 1972. I was in 4th grade. It didn't really get rolling until years afterward.

- Women were not fully integrated into the armed forces and accepted into the U.S. Military Academies until I was almost in high school.

The freedoms and opportunities some of you young gals take for granted now, are fairly recently acquired. I remember when we didn't have them, and this colors my perceptions of what is appropriate dress and behavior in order to earn respect - and what is not.

I'm pretty sure that none of the legends of women's shooting sports who blazed trails for us, did that by showing off their asses.  I'm also pretty sure that Kim Rhode didn't win any of her Olympic medals that way either.

I don't have any sponsors - particularly the manufacturer of said "pants", or the company which posted the offending article -  so I am free to tell you exactly what I think. And it is this...

Do you have the freedom to wear whatever you want to the range? Abso-fricken-lutely. I am in no way advocating wearing a burka to your next match. But choose wisely. The image that you present may reflect not only upon you, but on other women shooters as well. You may be one of the few competent and accomplished female shooters that some men (especially men at local matches) have seen in the first person. You may have to "earn" their respect, as I have had to do. If you WANT your skills to be overshadowed by your "assets" then that is your choice. But just be aware that the type of attention you receive may be adjusted accordingly,  and the article I spoke of reflects that. 
For the record, I will NEVER purchase anything from the company that posted that piece of trash.

Are the authors of the article jackasses? Damn Skippy they are. Perhaps I shouldn't even dignify such crap with this rant, but I'm using it as an opportunity to remind young women on the range that the image you project is important. Don't give them any ammunition.

Men look at women - it's just biology - and in other more appropriate contexts, we women LIKE to be looked at. But especially on the range, men's attention will be drawn to what you CHOOSE to highlight - your marksmanship? Or your body? Choose wisely.

This has been the two cents contribution of your resident Cranky Old Broad. Oh, and "Get off my lawn" :-)

   Gym Wear? Or Range Wear? (Not the pants in question)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Ruger LCR Part 2: The Carrying

This post will be fairly quick and photo heavy.
It's just an update to my previous post where I discussed range-testing my new carry revolver.

My incentive for wanting to try a snub-nose revolver for carry was the neighborhood dogs, which I have discussed in two previous posts. Given the HOA's pearl-clutching response to my revelation that I have a carry permit, I wanted what I did carry to be as unobtrusive as possible. 

Thus, up until 2 weeks ago, I was carrying my Ruger LCP on my walks - a semi-auto micro pistol which I have had for years but do not like - simply because of it's small size and unobtrusiveness under yoga tights. I soon discovered another reason to dislike the gun - it gets very slippery with sweat, even in kydex on a bellyband, thus making it tricky to clear safely when I get back home. The slide is small and stiff, and the slide catch is difficult to engage under the best of conditions. These are compounded when the gun is slick with sweat after my walk. I felt like it was a home basement accident waiting to happen.

I thought that a revolver - the LCR - might be a better solution. So far, despite the LCR's not being a "fun" gun to shoot, it has met that challenge. I jury rigged a Velcro attachment for an IWB holster to use on my old model Crossbreed bellyband. (I haven't tried it with the new model bellyband yet, nor have I ponied up the cash for an actual purpose-designed Velcro holster for the revolver yet) I have been walking with this revolver rig under my tights for about 2 weeks now.

    My beauty-ous IWB purple holster from GunGoddess 

    Do not try this jury rig at home, kiddies. I am assuming my own risk for experimenting, but I    make no warranties or recommendations.

Though the revolver is slightly bulkier than the single stack micro pistol, it still conceals well under a T-shirt - especially with wearing my phone and pepper spray on the outside opposite, which draws the eye away from any bulges.

The grip of the LCR is rubberized, which helps with hand traction in the sweat department; and clearing the gun after I'm finished has proven to be much less anxiety-provoking. Though it only carries 5 rounds, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for more piece of mind. Especially when you consider that the LCP only holds 6+1, and I had started to carry it without one in the chamber, due to my concerns for clearing the durn thing. I'd rather have 5 rounds confidently ready to go, than 6 or 7 rounds that I'm worried about having to "mess" with. You may argue with me about that, but life is about making individual choices and compromises.

Later on, I may try my G42 with this rig, as that is much easier to rack, but for now, I'm a snubbie revolver gal when I exercise. :-)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


"The women of this country learned long ago, those without swords can still die upon them."

~Eowyn, Shieldmaiden of Rohan
  JRR Tolkien

The concept of women learning the art of weaponry for defense of self, home, and family is not a new one - despite what today's helpless liberals would have you believe. From the Shieldmaidens of Norse and Germanic Folklore upon whom Tolkien based his character, to the hardy pioneer women of the American West, to today's "Porcupines"  and "Cornered Cats"  women have ALWAYS had need of a means to defend themselves.

It is only within the relatively recent past that liberalism has poo-pooed the very existence of evil, and the capacity of the human heart to contain it. Criminals and murders are only reacting to their awful social environments, they claim, and if we just love them and rehabilitate them enough, there will be no more crime. Therefore, in the world view of these social elites, defending oneself with deadly force from an attack is nearly a worse crime than the one being perpetrated upon you - because you are daring to act as "judge and jury" upon the poor downtrodden and disenfranchised individual who chose you as victim.

Furthermore, they claim that we women - pitiful, weak wretches that we are - are simply incapable of handling weapons safely and employing them effectively. Thus, they patronizingly pronounce that we shouldn't be permitted to have them at all. I'm not even going to bother posting links to examples, because we've all heard them.

To add insult to injury, many of those voices telling women that they are incapable of self-defense are other women - liberal "feminists" to be exact. Unfortunately, these people also equate teaching self-defense with "victim-blaming", and they heap derision upon men who try to enlighten us about such skills as "Man-splainers".

I'm frankly tired of the crap. Allow me state this unequivocally :

Gals, you need to "woman-up". Learn to be responsible for your own self. The guy who tries to attack you doesn't care if you are a good person or not. In fact, broadcasting being a "good person" with your body language can make you a target. Your husband/ boyfriend/father, and even the police won't necessarily be there to help you when you need them. Being a true "feminist" means "owning" your own self and your own safety.

Be aware of your surroundings
Don't drink yourself into helplessness at bars and frat parties
Take responsibility for the security of your home or apartment
Take a self- defense class or a Refuse To be a Victim class
Consider buying a weapon
But if you do  - GET TRAINING and PRACTICE

Don't be a Damsel - BE A SHIELDMAIDEN