Irradiated by LabRat
Today, boys and girls, we have an editorialist who is going to tell us what the NRA should do with women because he knows What Women Think! HOORAY!
I’m not trying to trigger trepidation among firearm enthusiasts.
Condescending alliteration: your story hook among smug journalists since Hearst.
But it seems that many preconceived notions must be overcome before the National Rifle Association attracts more women to its annual convention.
Only quoted because the rest of the article is a pretty damn comprehensive demonstration of the preconceived notions involved- the author’s.
Right now, it’s about as popular among women as fly fishing competitions, cigar tasting events and public executions.
I have never attended a public execution because there aren’t any anymore, but I’ve been to enough cigar tasting events to have a few wardrobe components from won raffles, and while the gender ratio does skew a bit male, it’s not all that big a skew. As for fly fishing, I have no personal experience, but women aren’t rare there either. There are about as many or more of them than there are lady gamers, at least in terms easily amenable to statistics.
Next section somewhat abridged due to taking a space-filling amount of words to say “NRA says lady membership up but 80% of the convention attendees were somehow men at the last con HOW CAN THIS BE?”
More than 75,000 Second Amendment celebrants are expected to descend on Pittsburgh next week for the NRA’s signature event. If traditional demographics hold true, the vast majority of attendees will be men….
Last month, NRA officials credited Sarah Palin, the TV talking head and caribou-killing former Alaska governor, with helping the group add tens of thousands of women members over the past few years.
If those numbers are accurate, why are the people who will fill every Holiday Inn Express between here and Erie next week most likely to be male?
The short answer is a)Historical trends that have begun reversing don’t pull a 180 overnight, and b)Unless the convention is for knitting or a dog show, there are usually more men than women at almost any con. For whatever cultural reasons, there’s just more of a tradition for men enthused about a subject to get together in mass numbers about it once a year- that, and they’re less likely to need to arrange for a babysitter, or to fear getting harassed by other attendees, which is a perennial problem at geek-oriented cons.
An NRA spokesperson failed to respond to messages on Tuesday. So I asked Bruce Piendl, the general manager of Anthony Arms & Accessories in West Mifflin, about the NRA convention’s gender gap.
“That’s not surprising,” he said. “Firearm ownership has always been associated more with men than women, and the NRA has a reputation of being a traditional good-old-boys network.”
Which, it has been, though that is changing more and more in recent years.
The NRA seems to be attempting to alter that image. Its offerings at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center will include a ladies-only seminar teaching them how to become pistol instructors.
Strikes me as sensible. Women usually like to learn from other women when they’re stepping into a traditional boys’ club as big as shooting has historically been.
Now would be the point where author fail starts to creep in.
To most women, such a seminar probably wouldn’t have the same appeal as, say, a holistic facial at the day spa. But providing people with relaxed, radiant faces isn’t part of the NRA’s mission.
You know, I really wanted to provide a bit of specific, on-target snark here, but all I can really muster is this:
FUCK YOU in the ear, Eric Heyl. If you want to write articles proclaiming to be concerned about gender representation rather than just tweaking some group you think are paleolithic yahoos, try not being such a condescending fuck-knuckle.
It’s just a theory. But I think that before more women start attending the NRA convention, more of them will have to be armed.
Will that happen? Though gun sales to females increased significantly in recent years, Piendl said, “Sales to women remain the largest untapped growth market in the industry.”
It’s rather muddled but the point he appears to be trying to make is “trends that don’t instantly reverse historical gaps don’t count”.
The industry is unlikely to successfully tap that market until it conquers the pesky preconceived notions that likely turn off many females to the idea of gun ownership.
This is where the article gets really fucking bizarre, because the rest of it is just… Heyl spooling off a list of his own insulting stereotypes. It’s like he set out to demonstrate the racism of the NRA by making all the fried chicken and Jerry Curl jokes he could think of. The Enner’ay’s never gonna attract them brothas unless they start putting sideways sights on Glocks! Hyuk!
This is also, by the way, bearing out my overall impression that when someone uses the word “females” when they mean “women”, the odds of something unbelievably misogynist or sexist coming out of their mouths at some point go up about twenty percent.
Women likely won’t consider packing pistols if they are concerned that:
— Spending several hundred dollars on a serviceable handgun might leave them without enough money to get the full treatment at that next visit to the day spa.
Lawls, you know chicks, they don’t know how to handle money and NOTHING is more important than a nice glow on their skin.
— Carrying a gun in a small purse would leave less room for more important items, such as lipstick or compact.
OH NOES HOW I CARRY STUFF IT IS A MYSTERY???!
— The baggy clothing required to successfully conceal most holsters would make them appear frumpy.
At this point all I’m picturing is that “Cathy” chick from the very unfunny newspaper comic in full “WAAAAAH” mode. The depressing part is I’m pretty sure that a)so is he, and b)he thinks it’s a documentary.
— Gunpowder residue might stain the new Karen Scott blouse they just bought at Macy’s.
Is it just me, or is he getting really oddly specific in his insulting stereotypes? Does he have an ex in mind here?
— The gunpowder smell when the weapon is fired could totally overwhelm the Chanel they’re wearing.
Or he’s putting an imaginary gun in the hands of an imaginary woman he hates/wants to fuck. Which is creepier? Vote in the comments.
— Most firearm accessories come only in one boring color: black.
This guy has clearly, clearly never gotten his hands on an actual firearms accessory catalogue, or seen a con booth for such.
— Target practice earplugs simply aren’t sexy.
Because that’s a woman’s sole reason for existence: to be sexy at all times.
Dumb old NRA, trying to draw in female membership by treating them like people and addressing specific concerns women might have both about guns and gun culture and concerns that might drive them to want to know how to handle a gun, or by setting up events to stimulate competition and fun. They just don’t get it, do they?
I really have no idea why the paper saw fit to publish this. It’s not about the NRA or guns, it’s a misogynist rant with a framing excuse.
Hat tip to Breda, who wasn’t where I found this but was sharing a brainwave.