View Full Version : Singing praises and discrimination question
Hey, this is Catchlevi's wife. I'm now registered--yay! Yet another obsession we can share...
Yesterday, we drove up to the Firing Line, a shop and indoor range in the Denver area. I shot my 10/22 there (handguns and any rimfire are ok) and we both asked questions. I found the clerks to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Better than that, I didn't feel at all condescended to or discriminated against by anyone; in fact, the experience made me realize just how much condescension I'd been oblivious to at other shops. We returned today and rented a G17 (wow--I noticed my accuracy come way up in comparison to our G23--guess i should check into 9mm) as well as shooting the G23 and, again, the 10/22. Courses in women's self-defense are taught there, and ladies pay no range fee on Mondays, which proves to me that there's an actual commitment to women's self-defense and gun knowledge. Too many places simply pay lip service.
Does anyone else have stories of blatant or subtle condescension? How long did it take you to notice it (or the lack thereof)? Most of what I've experienced hasn't been blatant. I did have a gentleman ask me whether I was buying the 10/22 for someone. I replied, yeah, for myself. He said it was a good gun and kinda shut up after that. :cool: A different guy at the same store was awfully surprised that our Beretta 96FS was being registered in my name when my husband was standing right there. As it happened, I'm a resident of the state and my husband technically wasn't at the time, but it could just as easily have been exclusively my gun. Or none of his business. Or both. ;f
Welcome to the world of shooting.
Which, you'll discover after a while, is dominated mostly by men.
If you don't get the 'hee hee, look at the little lady' attitude, you'll get outright stupid questions and condescension wherever you go.
I noticed it the first time I went shooting.
Nowadays, since I shoot both a Glock 19 AND a full-sized Kimber .45, the assumption of every redblooded American male on the line shooting a caliber smaller or equivalent to mine is that I MUST be a cop.
I've had men ask what department I'm in; am I training for the S.W.A.T. team on my department (shooting a .45-70); how'd a little lady like me get involved in shooting (perilously close to the "How'd a nice girl like you end up in this place?" question), and on and on.
They're always aghast when I tell 'em that yep, I have a concealed carry permit for that pistol on my hip and nope, I'm just a plain, simple old housewife.
So, basically, it's still a man's sport, and every woman we add to it is another plus. Maybe someday the "redneck" attitudes will go out the window, but I doubt it. ;g
Last gun show I went to with my brother a dealer at a table jokingly asked "So he dragged you out to a gun show on a weekend, huh?" only *I* was the one dragging *him* along. (you wouldn't think I'd have to convince the person who got me into shooting to go to a gun show, but there ya have it)
Guns are only my latest 'guy' hobby, and it is funny to watch guys fall all over themselves to impress you. I tend to ignore the most obnoxious pigs which puts them in a bigger snit than just my mere presence.
Every gun I've purchased and have seen purchased they asked if it was for the person buying it. Guess it covers their butt in case that gun is then given to someone who is not legally allowed to own firearms. I've also seen people treat my brother worse than they treated me, so I think it might be a newbie kinda thing, not just a woman kinda thing (or maybe they're just ***es...;f)
Most of the guys I shoot with are very supportive of all beginners, although they've declared a couple of people (men and women) incapable of learning to safely operate anything more serious than a #2 pencil.
If I start to get mad at some sexist comment, I just stop and think "I'm smarter and better looking than this person and won't he be surprised when it turns out I'm better at x?" (I'm not always, but usually at least 2 out of 3)
Yep, welcome to the world. I helped work a gun show this weekend, and wanted to put a sign up that read "no, I'm not here for decoration!" But I said all day, "and they think women ask dumb gun questions?"
I expected to be treated in a condescending manner but have had very positive comments and attitudes from "the guys". I am a newbie and everyone is helpful and encouraging. I have shot 2 GSSF matches, 3 IDPA matches and my first ISPC match. They ask my husband where I am at if I don't show up at a practice or match. I only had 1 bad expierence but I found out later it was not being a woman, he just treats everyody that way.
This is my experience as a guy calling a company for tech support. I might call 5 different companies and each time a woman asnwers, I assume she can help me, so I start right in with the question. Each and every time, she says she will get someone to help me. Ok, so the next time that a woman answers, I ask if there is someone who can help me. She will, no doubt, say "*I* can help you." So now I am burned for "learning" from past experience (or sexual profiling?). But guess, what, the next 5 times, if I start in with the question, it will turn out that she is just a receptionist. So what do you do, never assume and always treat everyone at first as if they are the president of the company but then have to slow down and back up? If there are assumptions about women, it is only because 99% of them really have no interest in firearms, so the remaining 1% should just have a snappy remark ready to take out the guy who insults them. But that being said, I would never be condescending. I generally keep silent. I once saw someone ask a fat woman when she was expecting. As I said, better to just never talk to strangers.
That discrimination can work another way. My wife shoots and she and her friend and the friends adult daughter took a shooting in self defense class from a local instructor. Just he and the three women. The adult daughter, Patty, cut up told jokes and did unsafe stuff and finally because she was cute and she wasn't listening the instructor just stopped correcting her. She put the muzzle of her loaded beretta against her hip when doing some type of manipulation and my wife corrected her and she laughed it off. This instructor would never accept that from a man. THis is discrimination in a patronizing sense, because she's so unsafe my wife won't shoot with her and she's a nice person in every other sense. farranger
I've been an instructor for a few years now, and it has been my expirience that right off the mark, women are by far the best pupils.
I've come to believe the reason for that can be summed up by saying that women usually start shooting thinking it will be so much harder than it really is. Men on the other hand, being raised on shoot em' up movies, start with the attitude that it is so much easier than it really is. The typical scenario goes something like this.
Boy takes girl to shooting range for date, girl reluctantly agrees.
Boy goes first, totally disregarding the RSO's advice, because he has seen Rambo 15 times and needs no such advice.
Boy makes fool of himself, even though he doesn't yet realize it.
Enter nervous girl.
Nervous girl listens to everything the RSO says, absorbing the information like a sponge.
Girl proceeds to put almost every round center mass, give or take a flyer or two.
Dumbfounded boyfriend stares at target with "duhh" written all over his face.
Well the boyfriend rarely ever comes back, but we see the girlfriend quite frequently now, she has her CCW and is an avid shooter, who'd give any man on the range on any given day a run for their money.
The moral is you can't argue with a woman and a .45, especially when she punches out the center of a bulleye with it. Anyone has the potential to be a terrific shooter. So ladies, don't let a few chauvanistic views stop you.
Hell I'd be finding a way to make money off of that at the range hahah. Okay I'm done rambling.
I usually respond to new women quickly but have been off-line for quite a while. On the chance that you're not bored with your posting yet, I gotta say that I have received rather unfavourable reactions to my visits to the local firing range.
My forte is concealed carry guns; at first a 9mm and now a .40 Glock 27. I've gotten "the look" as I showed up by myself and began shooting. I've also had a few brave souls come up to me (an armed woman, remember) and ask "what's a purty little thing like you..." and "how about a date?" routine. That whole gauntlet turned me off from going to the range. I also received an occassional mature response but, not enough to give me a great deal of incentive to keep going. Sad but true. Hope that the people at your local range have a higher IQ.
The only positive is that I can safely shoot in my own yard so I don't have to practice while having a bunch of Bubbas looking me over and offering "help" ;C
Originally posted by GlockMom
I expected to be treated in a condescending manner but have had very positive comments and attitudes from "the guys". I am a newbie and everyone is helpful and encouraging....
that is because you are from Pennsylvania! ;f
Yes yankees can be gentlemen too!
There is a store north of Denver in Loveland called Jenson's Sports. I have NEVER felt uncomfortable there like I do at other gun stores. At other stores, the most blatant disrespect I've dealt with is when the clerk speaks to my husband instead of me even when I'm the one to initiate the conversation. My solution is to put my money where my mouth is and spend my money at Jenson's.
[i]Originally posted by unitykinkaid
Yesterday, we drove up to the Firing Line, a shop and indoor range in the Denver area. I shot my 10/22 there (handguns and any rimfire are ok) and we both asked questions. I found the clerks to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Better than that, I didn't feel at all condescended to or discriminated against by anyone;
There are just too many examples I could give you of discimination! My favorite one, however, was this: I went into a sporting goods store to buy some ammo and my husband went with me. I stood at the counter for five minutes while the two clerks stood in the corner and chated with each other. They glanced my way a few times but just continued on with their conversation. I was about to say something but my husband turned the corner to see what was taking so long. The second the clerks saw him they both walked right up to HIM and said "Hello Sir, can we help you with something?" Oh, my God! I just about screamed I was soooooooo pissedoff! Needless to say, we don't shop there anymore!;Q
And here's ANOTHER example of discrimination...
Once I became known as a relatively gun-savvy individual at a couple of our local shooting emporiums, I generally get a BETTER deal than most of my male counterparts. I've heard more whining than you could imagine after purchasing a particularly sought-after gun for various amounts of dollars less than the offers the fellas had put in before I hit 'em up.
I have a penchant for some particular types of guns, specifically older target model .22's, and the guys at the gun shops will always call me if one turns up in a trade. I typically get them for less than Blue Book value, but a lot of that is probably goodwill that I've built up over time, something that a lot of you may not realize the importance of doing.
Get into the shops, get known to the people working there, let them know what you want. Many times they will cut you a better deal if you are a known quantity that they know will follow up on promises to purchase, if the price is right.
And, that said, I've been ignored and treated as a dumb blonde just as many times as not. Their loss, my $$ spends just as well as anyone's $$.
thanks to everyone for your thoughtful posts. cyn, jenson's sounds great. unfortunately, we just moved to texas, so i'll have to make a special trip on visits back to mountain country.
ubimow, i just got the same thing here! i went into a place that was full of bubbas--they were almost all cowboy types and much older than me--i look 15 as it is. i happened to be in a skirt with my hair up, and i was with my husband. from every single person (except one guy who was from maryland--go figure) i got the "why are you here?" look. i was completely ignored when i wanted to look at a walther p99. no one even looked my way. my husband looked at a colt 1911-style; when i held it, the guy behind the counter said something about women's hands being small. this wouldn't have bothered me, but the thing was, the colt fit perfectly, except for the slide stop, for which i could easily have gotten an extension. there were even women working here and i *still* got this treatment! we vowed never to go in there again. the next place we went in was incredibly laid-back, and there was a girl roughly my age (23) behind the counter, which i felt made an enormous difference. i'll definitely go back there. (both of these are in san antonio, btw. i'll not name the former place to protect the guilty, but the latter is the Bullet Hole Shooting Range.)
does anyone know other places in san antonio that are worth going to?
Originally posted by unitykinkaid
does anyone know other places in san antonio that are worth going to?
No, but if you ever come over to San Angelo (214 miles) Cason's Pawn and Texas Gun Shop have some very competitive prices, fairly good selection, and definitely do not look down on women shooters. The other shops also have a healthy respect for women and their $$$.
Our gun club has several very strongly competitive women shooters. Check out our monthly IPSC matches on the 4th Sunday of each month.
I just don't have a lot of patience with sales folks who think women all need "small" guns. I teach the only defensive handgun course offered in San Angelo and have seen for myself how effectively women apply themselves and learn.
Welcome to Texas!
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