I have refrained from commenting in my blog -- I wasn't there, after all -- but there's been talk of the young women Lucky Gunner had running ammunition (and water!) to the firing line, more-or-less comparing them to Hooters waitresses (wait, isn't that place about owls? Never been).
...This is to forget it was a hot-as-Hades weekend and they were young and fit -- when I was younger and fit (fitter? More fit? I'm not very fit, now) and either rode a bicycle or drove an unairconditioned car to and from work, rarely a summer passed without my employer havin' to remind me that maybe short-shorts and a tank top, even with a big open shirt over it, was not considered proper for the workplace.
A promotional event isn't the office. One blogger asked the woman Lucky Gunner had runnin' the thing about it, and here's what she had to say.
Like it or not, given sunscreen, most people will bare skin outdoors when the weather is hot; younger folk can get away with more, especially if they're in good shape. That's just the way it works.
While I have yet to meet a man who doesn't respond well to a smile and most of 'em will make eye contact at chest level if one is sufficiently buxom (tsk!), not every gal dressed for the heat is out to tickle the baser instincts. Heyyy, maybe not even most!
If you've got gunbloggers at a big ol' shooty event and you are handing out live rounds free for nothing, that lily is already gilded to the saturation point. (And if they were out to entice, why didn't they promote cute cartridge-waitresses ahead of time, right next to the free ammo?)
Sometimes things aren't any more than what they appear to be. Unclench, dammit, and try to have some fun.
PS: about this "shooting as a boy's club" thingie: there's at least one dealer, maybe two ,who set up at the Indy 1500 who won't even acknowledge I'm at their booth. (Tough, lads -- your loss!) Most times I first visit a gun store, I have to do a little bitta provin' myself. This does not bother me; I've been a radio ham since I was very, very young and that's still mostly a boy's club. My line of work? You could hold statewide women's-only Starship Tech meetings in a business-sized broom closet! So I deal with boyspace all the blame time. Ya gotta step up -- and here's the kewl thing: 99.99% of them will be Your Pals once you have. Heck, you don't even have to know all that much, as long as you show sincere interest.
Will you, sometimes, have to overlook cigar smoke, bikini calendars an' suchlike? Yes. Yes, you will. And you'll overhear the occasional crude joke, too. But very rarely will it be at your expense. Want their respect? Earn it. Same way they have to earn it from their peers.
All this faffing around about gun-culture not being women-welcoming enough strikes me as mere pandering to the timid. You know what? There's no right to be hand-carried though the world. You wanna mess with radio, you wanna shoot? --Or fix your own car, or ride a motorcycle or do any of those traditionally "boy's club" things? -Then step up and do it. You can even carve out your own space (for a nice, traditional example, see YLRL, the "Young Ladies' Radio League," a serious club for female, licensed and generally active radio amateurs, a goin' concern since 1939). --What you can't do is show up and expect the lads to abandon their long-held habits and practices just so's you can feel all comfy. Guess what, right now we are 20% of their market; that dusty stuffed moose is there 'cos the boys like it, and so's the tool-company calendar.
If a male showed up a quilting bee and demanded a place, he'd darned well better be able to sew -- or be majorly willing to learn. And if he complained about the amount of chatter or choice of topics, I think most of us would consider him a jerk. --Male privilege, a real cultural bent, means menfolk have a slightly easier time at most avocations and professions; their preferences are often considered by default, but there is a limit. And there's a limit the other way, too.
Women shooters I know who are serious about getting more women into the sport do a lot of one-on-one, taking friends to the range, reaching out to interested acquaintances, etc.; Breda is an excellent example of this approach.
You don't build a road all at once, you do it one brick, cobble or hunk of asphalt at a time. Right now, shooting is mostly a boy's club -- but it doesn't have "NO GURLZ ALLOWED" spray-painted on the door. You want more of us wimmins in it? Call yourself up a couple of friends and get them to the range!
YANKEE RADIO TOOL KIT, #106
5 weeks ago