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Old April 7, 2013, 06:03 PM   #7
pax
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Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,951
Please forgive the off site links. It's weekend & I shouldn't be on here all. But I do have two pre-written articles I'd like to throw this into the mix as a counterpoint.

The first article is titled, The Parade of the Dancing Bears. Here's an excerpt:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Parade of the Dancing Bears

We do need more women in this field… lots of them. The industry has suffered, and suffered badly, from the lack of female participation in years past. That lack has too often shortchanged female students, and, in the past, it scared away or crushed the excitement out of a certain number of women who should have become today’s leaders but who went off and did other things instead. To avoid repeating the firearms training industry’s past mistakes, we need more women in this field.

But more than that, we need more competent people in this field. People who are willing to take themselves and their training seriously. People who feel the full weight of an instructor’s responsibility to her students, and who willingly shoulder that burden because it needs to be borne. Honest people who never pretend to be more than they are or to know more than they do. People who will do the hard work that it takes to get where they want to go. People who will not cheat new shooters who happen to be female, by being too afraid of their wimpy female nature to teach them what they need to know. People who take the job, and their students, seriously.

The tragedy is, I think the temptation to become a Dancing Bear can be pretty strong. When people look up to you just for being, it takes some strong character to do the work that needs to be done. It’s easier to just shuffle your feet a little, and let the crowd call it a dance.
The second article I have on this topic: Why Women's Classes? Here's an excerpt:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Why Women's Classes?

Because there are important differences in the ways men and women are approached by criminals, female students should hear a mindset lecture designed to address their unique defensive needs. Because there are practical wardrobe and holster challenges that are common among women but rare among men, women often need additional, accurate information about carry methods best suited to their practical needs. And in view of the physical differences between individual students, including personal style issues, gun-handling techniques should be tailored to match the students’ physical needs on a realistic level. All of these factors mean that there is a place for serious, practical firearms training intended to specifically address the unique needs of female students.
So that's where I'm at. I think there are practical reasons to specifically address the needs women bring to class with them, and I think those needs have been unaddressed or poorly addressed in the past. I have yet to meet a male firearms instructor who can effectively teach a woman how to use a holster designed to hide inside a woman's cleavage, or who can reliably teach how to dress around the gun using typical women's clothing in daily life, or who can effectively teach a woman how to safely use alternative carry methods designed specifically for female clothing types and body shapes. There are many who do awesome work overcoming their natural handicaps, but there's really no substitute for living the life -- just as I cannot effectively teach a guy how to carry and conceal in a 3 piece suit because even if I do my homework, I've never lived that life. I can give you the broad outlines, but I can't give you the detail work that you develop only from personal experience.

Also, I'm not big on the whole nature/nurture controversy. I couldn't give a rat's hindquarters about the bigger implications of -isms in our society. I just want to help people become better prepared to protect themselves and their loved ones, in ways that fit naturally into the lives they actually want to live.

pax
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