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Old July 3, 2012, 11:27 AM   #21
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 7,438

To be clear, I have never said, nor I hope implied, that male-only classes would be sexist. They might be a good idea in many ways. Not something I've thought extensively about, since I'm not qualified to teach such a class, but certainly acceptable. Male-only classes would prevent scenes like one I saw a few years ago, where an unhappy man had been outshot by his wife on a shotgun qual, and stomped to the back of the range where he literally started throwing the range chairs around while cussing under his breath. Would also probably improve some guys' shooting skills when they can concentrate on what they're doing rather than worrying about how the nice lady next to them is getting along. I have seen that women can be a distraction for some guys, even women who are basicallly strangers but especially women who are loved ones, and even women in whom they have no particular sexual interest. But talking about all of that social dynamic is really a very different thing than considering the actual content of the class.

Originally Posted by Irish52084
Another interesting side note with several of our female members that competed was that they actually preferred training with male students because it was more of a challenge. They all said that training with there male counterparts regularly gave them an edge against their opponents who didn't do the same. Most commonly they told me that they learned how to deal with the greater strength and size of the male students and that when they competed against women of their same size it was much easier for them.
This tends to be more true in physical skills classes, especially (in my world) as it relates to handgun retention & disarms. Women do need to gain confidence from working out with male "attackers," no doubt about that.

On the shooting side, though, one of the things I'm up against is the pernicious assumption that a class full of women isn't a class full of shooters. Women can push each other to excel! The process looks a little difference in a class full of women than it does in a primarily-male environment, but that doesn't mean it can't or doesn't happen. I'm looking for ways to make this happen.

Everyone ~

To be clear, I'm not talking about classes specifically for beginning students. Not every female student is a beginning shooter. Some of the factors I'm considering really come into play at the intermediate level -- after she's made the decision that her life is worth defending, after she's learned the basic skill set. The little personalized tweaks to stance and grip are more for intermediate shooters than for beginners, for example. Similarly, understanding the social dynamics in play during criminal encounters might be more of a skill you teach to people who have already bought into the defense mindset.

But there we are back at the assumption that women are always and only beginners, not expected to gain real skill or learn enough to teach others. Not sure what to do about that.

Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
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