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Old May 2, 2009, 08:16 PM   #1
stilettosixshooter
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Women of TFL?

Any chance of a Ladies' section of the Forum? I'm noticing quite a few lady shooter additions, and - as a lady shooter, myself - I think that it might be fun.

I realize most of our gun-related questions are probably not lady-specific (except for, perhaps, CC apparel questions), but since the female gun community is small (but growing), it might be encouraging to have a female-specific place to go for tips, camraderie and such.
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Old May 5, 2009, 11:08 AM   #2
Glenn E. Meyer
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On the surface, that's a great idea. I have two cautions:

1. On Glocktalk there is such a forum and it is slow in traffic

http://glocktalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=59

2. You sometimes tend to get weird guy who say weird stuff.

Maybe Pax has a view on this?
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Old May 5, 2009, 05:48 PM   #3
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I long to witness a discussion about a lipstick shade matching the colour of the slide and TOP 10 ways to shoot with a french manicure :P
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Old May 5, 2009, 05:49 PM   #4
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Oh yeah holsters by LV & Prada and ankle holsters by Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo :P
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Old May 5, 2009, 06:43 PM   #5
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The above member illustrates perfectly, what Glenn was trying to say: You sometimes tend to get weird guys who say weird stuff.

Way to go, LordofWar. Not exactly High Road nor a credit to responsible firearm owners.

Sophomoric at best. Infantile at the worst. Bigoted and bordering upon misogyny.
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Old May 5, 2009, 06:44 PM   #6
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Thanks, LordofWar, those are the types of posts that really make our lady members eager to join in a firearms discussion.


[Edit a few seconds later]
Antipitas and I were simulposting. It's obvious that we have the same opinion of the posts.
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Old May 5, 2009, 06:50 PM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
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Maybe it could require Mod approval to access. Reasonable "proof" of being of the feminine persuasion. Lock out the men, let the ladies feel free to talk without, uh,.... "interference".
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Old May 5, 2009, 07:14 PM   #8
LordofWar
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1. No harm in having a lipstick shade to match your swarski adorned firearm (in pink).

2. The TOP 10 tips for shooting with a french MANICURE will come in handy (Our respected female members will acknowledge that)

3. There is a niche for designer holsters and the ladies would love that as well.

My posts were just harmless fun. No pun, bigotry or misogyny intended.

Watch out for Antipitas though. He just might be the wierd one in a staunch feminist catholic nun costume.
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Old May 5, 2009, 08:19 PM   #9
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Old May 5, 2009, 08:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Sophomoric at best. Infantile at the worst. Bigoted and bordering upon misogyny.
You took the words right out of my mouth, Antipas. LordofWar? Maybe that's how you see women in Pakistan, LoW, but here in the USA, we have a better opinion of them, AND their shooting skills. My wife is my shooting equal at the range. She's my equal elsewhere, too, and deserves my respect and honor, not a feeble attempt at a joke at her expense.

In regards to the Women's Forum, it's a good idea, just keep the guys out.

Last edited by Mal H; May 5, 2009 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Unnecessary ad hominem removed
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Old May 6, 2009, 03:13 AM   #11
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Keltyke, Atleast what I wrote was not discriminating and sophomor'onic' unlike what you wrote.

Anyway, we'd rather have this thread to the ladies, wishing them luck in their endeavours and my duest apologies to SSS for any inconvinience that I may have caused @ her thread.

Last edited by LordofWar; May 6, 2009 at 03:56 AM.
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Old May 6, 2009, 05:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Reasonable "proof" of being of the feminine persuasion.....Lock out the men
I dunno peetza; be kinda hard to enforce and I could see guys making up a feminine user profile to make mischief.

I also suspect that some of the ladies here don't want a ladies-only forum. Maybe they want to talk about guns just like the men and don't need or want anything more than the venues already available here.

then again.... I dunno...
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Old May 6, 2009, 06:41 AM   #13
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I have a suggestion.
Let's drop the "mystery". Seriously ladies, what could you possibly want to discuss here publicly that is so special that you'd want/need a dedicated channel for it?

Pink guns? Bra holsters? (been discussed by the way)

I hope I don't sound too harsh but females wanting to join the gun culture and break into it's mainstream aren't going to make much headway by segregating themselves off in their own corner.

I think PAX provides a great example of jumping right into the thick of things and just being herself.
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Old May 6, 2009, 07:00 AM   #14
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This has been brought up repeatedly over the years, and my basic position -- an odd one -- hasn't really changed.

I don't think a women's forum belongs on TFL. But I've worked hard in other areas of my life to welcome women into the shooting fold and help get them up and running. I believe there's a lot of value in venues specifically for women who shoot, but I also don't believe such a venue belongs here. That's not TFL's mission.

Female-centric stuff: I've worked really hard building a website specifically tailored for women who shoot -- primarily aimed at beginners, but with enough material there that there should be plenty of interest to a more advanced shooter as well. I did that because I really love to see other women getting involved in the shooting world, and because I personally know a lot of women who are quite intimidated by the usual black-background, red-print, "tactical look" websites that talk about firearms. My goal was to build something different, with a friendlier look and feel to it, so that my readers, if they did feel intimidated, would feel intimidated by the material rather than by the atmosphere.

More female-centric stuff: I spend a large portion of my weekends hanging out at FAS, where Gila Hayes and I have built a fairly active women's group, which is only open to women who have graduated from at least one class at FAS. There's an email list just for women grads, and there's an organized group of interested women who get together to shoot and learn about some specific topic about once every six weeks. On the schedule this coming year are several classes for women only. We've had a tremendous amount of success getting women on board there and keeping them interested, and I've gotten a lot of personal satisfaction and even joy from watching it happen and being a part of it. I'm proud of that group and excited to watch it grow.

More female-centric musings: Are there topics unique to women only? You bet your booties there are! The obvious one is holsters, of course; holsters designed by men for men just don't work well on women's bodies. Women have curves and guns do not and that often means women need holsters designed to position the gun differently than men do. Men may be shaped like celery or apples; women are more often shaped like pears and hourglasses. Men wear loose jeans and loose tee shirts or oxford shirts on the weekends, and suits during the week. Women wear slacks without belt loops, form-fitting loose drapey blouses, dresses and skirts, and on the weekends dress in tight blue jeans and tighter tops. The concealment issues are radically different, even when there's a little overlap in methods.

Further, just about every time a woman on TFL posts to ask about holsters specific to female body shapes, or similar topics, the question has been answered primarily by men -- well meaning guys, don't get me wrong! -- who post about their wife's or girlfriend's experience rather than their own. This is kind of akin to looking for firearms information from people whose knowledge comes mostly from playing video games ... not that what is said is necessarily wrong, but just that it comes secondhand and often leaves out some incredibly important stuff.

There are some shooting technique differences between men and women, too. Don't believe me, you men? Tell you what: you tell me what to say to a woman whose boobs are getting in the way of a nice tight Weaver stance, or that distract her from locking out in a solid Isosceles. Do that without offending her and without embarrassing yourself, k? Boobs again: some women have to shove them out of the way with one hand while drawing with the other, simply so they can clear the holster. You guys want to talk about that in the open forum? Neither do I ... there are plenty more, not necessarily boob-related, but unique to female body shapes.

There are cultural and social differences. It's very easy for a tough-minded person who has deliberately surrounded herself with male mentors to feel right at home in the old-boys' club atmosphere of TFL. I like male company, and my best friends have always been male. But I'm aware that I'm a woman at the far end of that bell curve; I have heard women, literally with tears in their eyes, tell me that they never knew any women who liked to shoot before. It meant something to them, something significant, to find a group of like-minded women who were, well, still feminine despite the weekend hobbies. People really underestimate social pressure, I think. It exists, it's real, and it is powerful.

An aside about social pressure: two of my children were born at home. In calling my first midwife, I told her I didn't even know any other women who had home-birthed. She was utterly shocked, and told me she'd never had anyone call her out of the blue like that without having at least one or two peers who had done the same thing. The truth is, very few women -- very few people, male or female -- find courage to do something against the social norm, unless they have at least one and preferably a group of like-minded folks who are going to swim with them against the social current.

Can women hold their own in a co-ed environment? Darn right we can! I'd put my experience and shooting skills up against anyone on this board -- not that I would outshoot everyone or even most folks, but that I would look as competent and as skilled as any other trained shooter. I wouldn't embarrass myself. If someone outshot me, it would be because he shot better, not because I'm a girl. Only a fool blames her shooting skills on her sex. I've gotten the training, I've put in the practice time, and there's nothing wrong with my mindset. Can I hold my own in debate? I hope my record here shows that I can. Can other women? Well, I'd certainly hate to be the one who opines that Tamara can not ... And there are several other active women on this board who do just fine, thankyouverymuch. But I've been hanging around on TFL for years, and I've seen a lot of posters come and go. I've seen a lot of evidently strong women who started posting here, and who eventually just got worn down by having to constantly defend themselves and what they stood for. What that amounts to is, just because a woman can, doesn't necessarily means she wants to. But posting online is all about the want to.

How many women do you see at your range? What percentage? Around here, it's probably around 15-20%. Those women aren't coming to TFL. The percentage of active posters on TFL who are women is decidedly smaller than that. Why is that?

Women do vary from one another, just as much as men vary from one another. Some women like hanging out with the guys and get a kick out of it. Some women don't mind hanging out with the guys and will never give it a second thought. Some women, even though they like guys, will never feel very comfortable in a mostly-male environment. And some women just don't like guys that much and would rather spend time with other women.

TFL, at the moment, has a place for women who like hanging with guys, and who don't mind being treated like guys treat each other. TFL does not have a place for women who do mind being treated that way.

Women who don't like being treated the way most guys treat each other online actually make up the majority of the female population, I suspect. (I could be wrong about that -- I haven't taken any polls. But empirical evidence suggests it may be so.) And there's no place here for those women.

Does that matter? As I've said repeatedly, TFL's purpose is to emphasize the essential unity of all gun owners: ordinary citizens and military people and LEOs and men and women, people from all races and religions. There are other venues online where LEOs can talk shop, where military grunts can unwind, where people interested only in concealed carry can discuss concealed carry without having to rub shoulders with long gunners, where Mormon gun owners can discuss whatever Mormon gun owners want to discuss. Those separate, fractured forums emphasize our diversity. But TFL is, and always has been, about our unity as gun owners. That's as it should be.

Bottom line: I agree that a women's forum would meet some important needs for women, but am not convinced that such a forum belongs on TFL, since it would negatively impact TFL's basic mission of emphasizing the unity of gun owners.

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Last edited by pax; May 6, 2009 at 07:58 AM.
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Old May 6, 2009, 07:09 AM   #15
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ZeSpectre ~

Just so you know, after 9 years as a member, I am never surprised when women don't stick around. It's not often a comfortable place for a woman to hang out. It's just the best place online to discuss firearms issues.

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Old May 6, 2009, 07:28 AM   #16
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Pax, that was an excellent post. Due to the line of work that I have done in the past (Bookkeeper) I have worked and associated with women more than men on the Job. Anyone that thinks that women aren't capable of the same achievements as men, while being sexually and emotionally different don't really know them.
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Old May 6, 2009, 08:03 AM   #17
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Pax,

That has to be most positive approach to the prevailing debate belaboring every issue that could surface.

Bravo! :applause:
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Old May 6, 2009, 10:27 AM   #18
Brian Pfleuger
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Bottom line: I agree that a women's forum would meet some important needs for women, but am not convinced that such a forum belongs on TFL, since it would negatively impact TFL's basic mission of emphasizing the unity of gun owners.

I think that would only be true if the "Ladies Forum" was THE place for ladies, instead of A place for ladies.
I believe it could be structured in such a way as to be tailored to the unique concerns and conversations of ladies without being the ONLY place on TFL that they would spend their time. A place to discuss "My boobs are in the way of my weaver." without being embarrassed, while they still spend the rest of their time with the guys in the other forums.
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Old May 6, 2009, 11:53 AM   #19
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I think Pax nailed it. It might be a good idea somewhere, but not here.

This board is run in a way that makes everybody welcome, as equal citizens of the gun world (or something to that effect ), and I think it would be a pity to start partitioning it off and saying "You can post here, but not there." Pretty soon you'd have some guys complaining they were being discriminated against and wanting a men-only forum (eek -- who knows where that might lead!)... The under-21's would want their own forum... Non-U.S. shooters might want a place to talk about their specific concerns... Where would it end??

And as one who's sort of on the other end of that bell curve Pax mentioned -- I mostly spend time with other women -- I actually like being able to come here and hang out with the guys without gender being a big deal, so I don't know how interested I'd be in a women-only forum.
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Old May 6, 2009, 02:25 PM   #20
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Long time ago I would have supported an extra room for the ladies, but the last several years have allowed more time to understand that ladies don't need it here on TFL.

Just an easy example offhand is a ladies section of another firearms related forum. It was put in specifically for the ladies, and while it started with a flare, it has since slowed quite a bit. Nothing wrong with it, but it's been one example of several attempts for ladies only section. They don't normally work out on the scale originally hoped for.


I've grown up a tom-boy...hanging out outside with the guys when the rest of the girls were inside in the kitchen. That hasn't changed much. Offroad forums, firearms, motorcycles, sports, even my work pursuits, are ones that are traditionally male-dominated activities. Sure I get irked just the same as anyone having a bad day. But this is me and I'm grown up enough to understand it.


Anyhow, I don't think a ladies forum would do well. I've seen it several times before and can only suspect one here would dwindle just the same.
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