Thursday, March 26, 2009

Post of the Century. (Not that I'm biased...)

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. -The Munchkin Wrangler


I got nothin' to add but "+1".


Joanna said...

I am really glad you put this up. I'm going to be buying a handgun soon (God willing), and this was just the boost I needed.

Anonymous said...

That "Flipping" also works for words like black/white, young/old, etc.


Anonymous said...

Cowshite. No, that's genderised. Cattleshite, then.

Nine out of ten, it's wymyn who start this gurrly-crap. And then whinge. All the points about smaller grips and frames, and less recoil, are (perfectly understandable) female-initiated queries. One well-circulated list of tips on how to teach shooting to women (written by a woman!) goes so far as to cite a difference in how women hear low-register sounds, therefore will always flinch at them.

One tries not to get immediately personal in a case such as this, but honestly. Look at yourself.

"Look at me! Girl With A Gun!" Breda did not know who Phoebe Ann Mosey was, or that she lived in the same state, until a bad old man told her. And openly lamented that no females shoot, after she'd been fed the names of four current shooting champions, females, who lived within an hour of her home. That's two examples, that'll do for now.

There's no arguing, of course. It's your Girl Gun Blog. But you are wrong in this, hootingly, gaggingly wrong, and you're choking on this man hate thing.

Hunsdon said...

I hate to disagree with such a passionately argued post, but Munchkin be wrong. (At least to the extent that gender ain't got nothing to do with it.)

Now, I'm no gun-guru, nor, honestly, any guru of any flavor, sort or stripe. But I have shot some, and I've thought on it, studied on it, and I've taught a few people which end the bullet comes out of, and how to put bullets into something resembling a group.

Women are far easier to teach how to shoot.

My sample size is small, but my results are so very one sided that I simply marvel. In my experience, if a woman is interested in learning to shoot, she will be, in fairly short order, a conscientious and serious marksman.

Like most things, shooting is easy if you know what you're doing and have the right tools. When you boil it all down, BRASS pretty much covers it, as does "front sight, press." (The rest is all details, honestly, and yes, the devil IS in the details.)

Also in my experience, man is born convinced that he is Achilles, Shaft, Superfly, James Bond and Kung Fu all rolled into one. We've seen the movies, we have, Od's Bodkin, read Roland Furioso, or John Carter of Mars at least, and purely by genetic heritage we understand horses/guns/swords.

I'm not saying men can't be trained to be good shots, but if you offered me a class of eager, motivated non-shooting men and a class of eager, motivated non-shooting women, I would choose to instruct and train them there wimminz.

Hunsdon said...

Dang, it is so hard to take anonymous commenters seriously---isn't it?

My my, our Tam, choking on her man hate, hanging out at the Wymyn's Collective.

"One tries not to get immediately personal . . ." but one does not try very hard.

So, you've never, ever seen a gunshop commando recommend a J-frame snubby for "the little lady"? (Hey, me, I dig on Colt D frames, and find them excellent pistols, but they're pistols for people who have shot some . . . man or woman. Boy or girl.)

From the little I've read, Breda is a newcomer to our fold. She is in the stage of DISCOVERING the paths a lot of us have already worn smooth. Dang, but she's a GURRRRL! Now, riddle me this, Batman, what if Breda was Brett, and he was a guy coming to the gun thing? "Ha ha, he doesn't even know the top shooters in his area! Ha ha!"

Tam ain't no newcomer. She's burned more powder, sold more guns, and thought more about this than I have (to pick a particular example). I don't read VFTP to get "the chick with a gun perspective." I read VFTP because Tam is smart, funny, digs on cool guns.

You be talkin' all out your head, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Kilt, that's gobsmackingly dunderheaded. Check back through the posts--after you lipread mine--and count the intervals between male-whoopins you lay there and take. It's pretty regular.

I did not get personal. I thought about it. Piss me off enough and I'll give a sample.

Breda is no newcomer. She makes a show of being a newcomer. As I carefully noted, after discussions of how widespread sport shooting is, now and in the past, among women, and how successful they are, she reverted to her schtick, which is that female shooters are rare, unsupported and picked-upon, and has remained on it ever since. She is not alone in this, just made it to the top of the shit list this once.

You have a preference for an ingrained last-generation feminist viewpoint, fine, free country. You may also personally assume guilt for the supposed and set-up misdeeds of 49%of the human race. What a nice boy. But you may not speak for that 49%, even when you are apologizing, which you will find yourself doing more and more. In "our fold."

Tam said...

"I did not get personal. I thought about it. Piss me off enough and I'll give a sample."

Before I proceed with any potential fisking, I'll be polite enough to ask for the offered sample.

fast richard said...

Hey Anonymous,

Get over yourself. Just because Tam fires up the snark cannon once in a while doesn't mean it's directed at all men. If the shoe doesn't fit, you don't have to wear it.

I'm capable of being a jerk sometimes, but that doesn't mean that every comment about jerks is directed at me. In your case, if you try to be a jerk less often, you might be able to not take all the snark so personally.

As for dragging other names into the discussion, that just further demonstrates your lack of class.

Anonymous said...

Hey, haven't we seen that one before? He (I can only assume, given the way he yowls like a scalded cat whenever anyone suggests that a man may have been less than angelic to a woman at any point in history ever) never graces us with a name, so I only think of him as the Wymmynzes dude.

It seems inappropriate, somehow.

Anonymous said...

Cossack in a Kilt wrote, "Women are far easier to teach how to shoot."

Beg to differ. Women are generally more pleasant to teach, mostly because if they think you're full of mousemilk they won't tell you so to your face. But that's about it. Take any group of brand-new beginning shooters, and neither sex has a head start on the other. And (sigh, I shouldn't say this out loud) at the end of the day, the chances are considerably more than 50/50 that the slowest and least competent shooter in that group will be female, not male. But the most improved shooter will also almost always be female rather than male. In other words, from what I've observed, women-as-a-group tend to have a wider, flatter bell curve in learning to shoot easily than men-as-a-group generally have.

The bottom line is that learning to shoot competently does not come magically as a result of being a setter rather than a pointer, nor does shooting well come as the birthright for a redblooded American male. Competency happens when you work your tail off getting there. Personally, I have almost no natural or inborn talent for anything athletic, and that includes shooting sports. Whatever I've learned, I worked to earn.

So be careful with the stereotypes, even the flattering ones. When it comes to firearms (as with almost everything else that doesn't directly require genitalia), the differences within the sexes are more significant than the differences between the sexes.

Hunsdon said...


Happy to engage! I think I said that my sample size was small. At the same time, I must stand by my comment that it is easier to teach women to shoot well than it is to teach men to shoot well. . . because that has been my experience.

It could be a personal failing on my part.

"In my experience" men tend to think that they can shoot/fight/whatever, whereas women listen to the instructions and then implement them.

Setters/pointers? I'd agree, it's nothing innate, and I'd point out that there is, so far as I know, no female David Tubb. I have had some spectacular failures teaching women, and men, to shoot. My successes have come with interested, motivated beginners.

If I could restate it, I might say that it is easier, for me, to teach an eager, interested beginning female to shoot than an interested, eager beginning male.

Maybe I'm just not that good a coach? Or maybe I just teach women better than I teach men?

In closing, I entirely agree with your comment that "Competency happens when you work your tail off getting there."

In general, as regards teaching anything, I'll take "eager and motivated" against gender any day, and twice on Sundays. "It's been my experience" however, that women pay more attention to the fundamentals, and thus progress faster. Mayhap I am simply taking advantage of the wider, flatter bell curve!

Hunsdon said...

Dearest Anonymous;

What can I say? I am, apparently, a gobsmacking dunderhead!

Also, I do not lip-read. Reading lips is not among my talents, such as they are.


Anonymous said...

I'm not even going there boys! There just ain't no middle.

I will only say that women who really get bitten by the gun bug, for whatever reason, are God's greatest gift to mankind.

And also to posit the question: What do we do to find more?

Roberta X said...

…When I was young and cute, I used to get the talked-down-to from men who knew a lot less about the machinery than I did; if they annoyed me enough, I was known to occasionally add a starting phrase when reading aloud from the manual or giving instructions, “Using the penis as a lever….”

But, srsly, on the condescending jerks thing? Shrug. I don’t care. I have a gun and I can probably shoot better than they can. Them bein’ ijits doesn’t change that, it just gives me more to snicker at.

This isn’t grade school. Every last form of the ol’ “shamey-shamey, you’re not playing right, I’m gonna tellll” crap is just crap — smells bad and sticks to your boot no matter what critter produced it. Got better things to do with my time than play in it.

(Posted here and Marko's. Looky, me and guns is personal, got nothin' t'do with gender and I resent any lady dog or son thereof implyin' otherwise. I get snubbed by some dealers at gunshows and they don't get my biz; I get talked down to by others and sometimes I see what I can talk them out of with my big blue eyes 'cos they're idiots and deserve it -- and if you have a problem with that, you're not playin' for keepsies. I am. Go complain to your Mama. Or to the President; someone who cares and wants you to be happy and who -- therefore -- isn't me).

staghounds said...

I see it happen, but this sort of thinking is just beyond my comprehension. It demonstrates the most profound stupidity on the part of the talker down.

There hasn't been a moment in my life that I didn't know at least one woman who was better at me at any given skill or task. If not at all of them.

(Except that pointer/setter thing. And I can't have babies, OR make milk. So all women are ahead of me there.)

I was poorly raised and didn't have the advantage of seeing only incompetent, stupid, or failed women as I grew up.

Even battle- which is a story in itself.

Anonymous said...

"I can only assume, given the way whites yowl like a scalded cat whenever anyone suggests that a white man may have been less than angelic to a minority at any point in history ever..." Flipping.

I had high expectations of you. If I lower my expectations, am I then guilty of subtle racism? Or did you not live up to my expectation? Oh wait. I don't have a right to an expectation, because "Mister, I met a man once..." It's that damned Patriarchy, every time.

Arcadia Iris said...

Wait... did I see an implication that Tam's blog is NOT just about how totally awesome and full of Grrl Power it is to have both ovaries AND firearms?

Does this mean I've been wasting my time trying to figure out which posts have the coded directions to find the Huggly Cuddly Wymmyns' Paradise of Ancient Dianic Amazon Warrioress Goddesses?

Anonymous said...

WOW, I just love these "Predator vs. Alien " dicussions!!!

Anonymous said...

I had high expectations of you. If I lower my expectations, am I then guilty of subtle racism? Or did you not live up to my expectation? Oh wait. I don't have a right to an expectation, because "Mister, I met a man once..." It's that damned Patriarchy, every time.

I dare you to make less sense.

Just because it feels like I have to, because it's that kind of anon troll, yes, I get the point you were attempting to make. But when you are the *only person in the thread* that thinks this is a WAR BETWEEN THE SEXES as opposed to a minor zone of discomfort... yeah. That cross you've nailed yourself and your entire gender to looks uncomfy; might you want to come down?

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I had to Google the name Phoebe Ann Mosey. As I was doing this I was thinking, "hmmm, the only really famous female shooter I knew before now was Annie Oakley..."

Tam said...

"Plinky" Topperwein.

Anonymous said...

I like you're new anon troll - it's basically pwndbroker, except even less logical.

Actually, the writing style is similar...

Anonymous said...

Can't disagree with any of it. I DO often see people with special needs and circumstances shooting, and have helped some of them by modifying stocks and scales; "reccomend a wheelgun for a six fingered man" or "best shotgun for a one armed person" are perfectly legitimate questions. Male? Female? wtf? like presence of boobs make hands different. Hell, I got bigger boobs than most any woman I've ever met, and it doesn't affect my shooting.

Makes a shoulder holster an easy conceal, though.

Laughingdog said...

One well-circulated list of tips on how to teach shooting to women (written by a woman!) goes so far as to cite a difference in how women hear low-register sounds, therefore will always flinch at them.

Wow, I had no idea that the validity of statement was directly related to how well-circulated the statement is. If that's true, then I guess Microsoft really does want to give me money for forwarding those "tracking emails".

Timid and/or introverted people tend to react to loud noises far more than people that are not timid and/or introverted. You know the biggest difference I've seen between timid men and women when it comes to shooting? Timid men seem to be far less likely to be involved with someone who will invite them to the range.

Laughingdog said...

Also, my experience is that the "best gun for a woman" question is rarely a sexist question. I teach CHP classes, and I get that question a lot from men that are in the class. When you prod a little, it becomes clear that the question they meant to ask is "what would be a good gun for my wife?"

It's rarely a sexist issue and more an issue of them trying to oversimplify firearms in general. These are the same guys that ask me "what is the best self-defense handgun" or "what is the best caliber".

However, telling someone that "X" is the best gun for women, or assuming the gun a woman is carrying actually belongs to the man with her, is a very impressive level of ignorance.

closed said...

The difference between male and female shooters is cultural. I can teach a 12 year old child how to safely shoot an M1911 ... any lady that size or bigger can handle one.

There is one real difference that I am aware of that effects shooting: 5/9th of all women ( and 5/9th of all rare XXY chimera men ) have a fourth retinal cone type, and can easily spot most male designed artificial camouflage. The US Army has been taking advantage of this in both the AMU, and in photo intel units.

the pawnbroker said...

well, ahab (snicker)...instead of sophomoronic inferences, go ahead and say what you mean instead of your typical snivelling twerpspeak (and try to learn to spell, too..."you're" embarrassing "your"self).

though i doubt you would know intelligent logic if it bit you on your goofy little ass, cut and paste any of my commentary bearing similarity to this misaligned anon.

sorry, tam...harpy little whiners do not generally warrant my time, but since i was attacked and ignorant comments and accusations were made, i'm making an exception for this little goof and calling him out.

what about it, squirt?


Anonymous said...

Laughingdog, it looks like perhaps you--unlike some other operators--actually did not understand my line of argument.

I am making fun of the assertion that women are by nature timid, and cannot stand the sound of guns. Look back, read it again, and see if I did not mock it. I find it particularly, "scalded-cat" galling that women have linked to and perpetuated this POS.

I have coached female shooters with great success. I respect more than anyone here, please read that in all caps, the tradition of female shooters. I have nothing but scorn for anyone still around who belittles the potential of female shooters. This is not at all true of the petty assholes who stress the need to treat female shooters as "special needs," and adopt all sorts and kinds of personal PC to protect them from being "offended." This is a sexist, man-guilt attitude. There is no virtue in it.

Please go back for yourself, read my posts point by point, then the knee-jerk assholery that went up in response. There's not a thought there.

NJT, I will spell this out. Breda la Revolucion did not know that Annie Oakley, by that name, came from the same state she did. Brought up short in mid-rant about how women (supposedly) just are not allowed to shoot, she did not know that the unchallenged greatest shot of all time was a woman from the same state. I think that proves an important point, but if you like--I mean if you do not see what I mean by that--I will spell out exactly the point it made to me.

pax said...

I'm a little mystified as to how a post from Marko, quoted by Tamara, that pointed to my site has managed to provoke such vitriol against ... Breda?? -- who didn't even link to it. Why Breda? That's just strange.

But then, so is getting all het up about "petty assholes who stress the need to treat female shooters as 'special needs,' and adopt all sorts and kinds of personal PC to protect them from being 'offended.'" -- when the very post poor anon complains of simply points out that men and women aren't actually different species, and should be treated as the individuals they are when it comes to choosing firearms and learning to shoot them.

As I said, the whole thing is just strange. But I'm sure it makes sense to someone.

pax said...

In general, as regards teaching anything, I'll take "eager and motivated" against gender any day, and twice on Sundays.

We can agree on that much. :)

Caleb said...

Dear pwndbroker:

No results found for sophomoronic :
Did you mean sophomoric (in dictionary) or Sophomoric (in reference)?

I love you so much. I make a "you're/your" error, which made me cringe when I saw it, but you're making up words, and ignoring capitalization and punctuation rules. I'd get into a grammar discussion with you, but I have a rule about attacking unarmed people. I triple <3 you, don't ever change!

Oh, and Sooper-Seekrit PS: the only thing that reminded me of you in Anon's writings was his intense and weird dislike of Breda. But hey, maybe he'll start making sexist remarks about her next, then he'll be just like you.

Hugs and Kisses,


the pawnbroker said...

caleb: (i like your new handle way better; ahab had ray stevens in my head every time...shit, now he's back!)

you looked in the dictionary for sophomoronic? *belly laugh* what a sophomoron...all you hadda do was look in the mirror! great word, huh? creative use of language is one of my fondest pursuits.

of course i knew that you would not take up the challenge of making any legitimate comparison of my comments with those of anon; there was no basis for your inference other than your perceived "protection" of breda.

and if you took the time to review my actual comments at breda's you would find that, far from indicating dislike, every one was encouraging and complimentary...and several that were intended to help her to protect herself, including the one (which was a bit dickish at the outset)that became such a funfest with her blind defenders and you.

so now you accuse me of sexism...and again i'm sure you didn't bother to read my comments at marko's post; nothing could be further from the truth, but then the truth is not of interest to you, is it? if you have an example that you consider sexist on my part, my challenge to you is extended to that; cut and paste it. but you won't, because you can't, and your remarks expose further that you are capable of smarmy lip and little else.

as for your love for me, triple <3'ing me, and hugs and kisses for me? save them for others of your persuasion (not that there's anything wrong with that).

oh, and God bless...


Caleb said...

Oh man, you went straight for the gay jokes - which is good, because I basically handed them to you. It's like tee-ball - you let the slow kids hit from the lowest tee so they think they're doing good.

You poor, poor dear. You're so confused and out of your element here on the internets, you have no idea what's really going on in this thread, do you? You cannot win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

But hey, continue to get all butthurt about me saying you're sexist. Lemme use sum of mah ejucashun on u: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." (That's Shakespeare, or as we call him, "Willy the Shake". Dawg)

the pawnbroker said...

so, nothing then? that's what i thought. sadly, you don't even realize how pathetic and clueless you are, do you, biff?

truly, in a battle of wit, you are defenseless. so, failing anything of substance proffered on your part, i won't sully tam's space any further in an exchange that has begun to make me feel guilty of unfair advantage over such a limited intellect.

Caleb said...



Anonymous said...

pax, that was a citation of example, what you call a "cite." I say something is such-and-such, you say "Cite an example," then I do. Read back, and you'll see there were several cites. I just cited a name so you wouldn't think I'd made it up.

Here's how you get sucked in: The post I criticized had just about nothing to do with treating women as individuals, and everything to do with the working of new-age PC magic. It was about being an inoffensive Good Boy, always considering the other's feelings rather than fact, and treating the other as (one supposes after reflection) [s]he wants/needs to be treated, regardless. It wasn't about shooting, it was about personal politics of a rather slick and falsely self-effacing sort. How to pick up girls.

Read it again in that light, and see if you don't at least agree on that much.

pax said...

Poor anon! What a rotten world you live in.

*shakes head, shakes dust off feet, moves on*

Tam said...

"The post I criticized had just about nothing to do with treating women as individuals, and everything to do with the working of new-age PC magic.
Read it again in that light, and see if you don't at least agree on that much.

Dude, I went back and tried to read it in that light, but I just don't have the magic goggles, apparently.

Personally, when I say "Asking 'What's the best gun for a girl?' makes the speaker sound like a dumbass,", that's exactly what I mean. No more, and no less. I am not saying "zomg teh patriarchy!" or "Shame on your gender!" or "Silly menfolk!" or any of that shit. It means the speaker is a dumbass for posing a question with as bogus an operating qualifier as 'a girl'. He might as well have said 'a man' or 'a blond' or 'a Russian'. "A girl" tells me absolutely nothing about the requirements of the recipient, and makes the questioner look a little thick.

The same with my annoyance when some clueless idjit ignores my Leupold Tactical Optics ball cap and 5.11 boots and asks a total stranger standing next to me ho much he wants for the gun I'm carrying. When I make fun of said idiot on my blog, it is not a secret code for "Sisterhood of wymyn, attack!" or "Waah! They weren't nice to me!", it is me snarking abou a dumbass, which is what this blog is largely about, after all.

In this case, it comes from a dumbass's known propensity for looking at a person and reading one characteristic and interpolating everything about that person from that one fact ("He's a conservative, so he's an ignorant hillbilly who has no Latin." "He's Russian, so he's a raging alcoholic.") I understand the utility that most people find in the words "sexist", "racist", "bigot" or whatever, but they annoy me since the word "dumbass" is usually handier and less jargon-y.

If you would like to see the same thing being ably handled from a different direction, may I recommend Holly's monthly rants at The Pervocracy mocking Cosmo magazine and its inane advice about acting like a neurotic weirdo to manipulate the five-year-old boys with libidos that all men really are.

Anyway, personally, when a hundred otherwise smart and sane people that I agree with on most other topics are reading something one way and I'm reading it another, I wonder who's really seeing the emperor's threads, y'know?

Anonymous said...

"when a hundred otherwise smart and sane people that I agree with on most other topics are reading something one way...

I'm sure you recognize the "argument from 20 million Frenchmen" when you see it. It's cognate to the fallacy "the validity of [a] statement was directly related to how well-circulated the statement is cited by Laughingdog, above. In this venue, I'm up against that. In another, you might be. It's all in your Frenchmen.

How dare they overlook your ball cap and boots! Is that what you just said. Ball cap and boots. How dare they. I don't know, what do the mall ninjas, hangers-on and Harley pillions usually wear to an affair of this sort? You do not want to be judged on incidentals, and yet you do, when they're your own special incidentals. Know what? As an indicator of lack of perspicacity in the retailer, fail.

For a long long time, in certain pretty wide circles, one simply did not directly address a female when she was accompanied. It was considered a possible affront to the female, and a challenge to the accomp...accompan...fellow she was with. I can recall such a time. We like to think those days are over--but I've been called on it, at the range and in classes, so I know that persons of a certain age, with experience dealing with an undifferentiated general public, might take the easy, purportedly gentlemanly, way out. It bothers you, and you get to complain about it. I consider a sort of social failing myself, but I'm not willing to haul out the artillery of "sexism" and "gender" on those individuals when it may be a holdover of some notion of courtliness, or survival instinct.

They tell me that in a public setting, even modern-minded misses sometimes must be addressed obliquely, to avoid setting off a fight-and-flight response. I once presented a certificate of course completion to a muslima, and shook her hand. She ululated. No, I'm not blaming you for that. But it's better than bar stories.

Had you (and your cited post) used terms like "dumbass" exclusively, we would have been discussing problems in retailing and customer service. The words "sexism" and "gender" appeared, heavily, as part of the conceit of the argument. It's right there. And that is what I mean to point out--like the cowardly discussions on race we're all supposed to be having, you get used to talking a certain way and don't realize, perhaps, that in a flipping, bizarro way, that you've become what you beheld. As Treacher's pipe-smoker said, We done here now?

the pawnbroker said...

anon...shouldn't you be out on a ledge somewhere?

and what's with the anon thing? i enjoy a good pissing contest as much as the next guy, but i'm as nonanon as it gets. man up or shut up already.

failing that, do you mind know, just for the record and for the twits, hangers-on and hineysniffers out there...that you ain't me?


Anonymous said...

Pawnbroker, it's so easy to tell us apart, who'd need CliffNotes?

I don't say "hineysniffer." I call them "crotch-sniffers." But, you know, never in an actual post.

So, my rotten world, I should kill myself, anyone else want in? I see bullshit, I call bullshit. You take people who grew up swimming in the kool-aid of this wedge-driving claptrap, they get so used to it they don't even taste it anymore. They speak its language--we're getting a Chomsky analysis of the societal ills of..gun shows?, and you think I have a problem. Hey, I'm always quiet at gun shows, and don't even use sportswear to define myself. Just pointing out a blind spot, albeit (Pawnbroker never says "albeit"!) an ingrained and recurring one that we should have outgrown by now.

Tam said...

"As Treacher's pipe-smoker said, We done here now?"

I thought so.

We're obviously typing past each other on a topic that would probably make much more sense if a table with beer glasses were between us rather than 500 miles of fiber.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, a lot closer than that, Walter."