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Old April 8, 2013, 12:56 AM   #14
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 7,478
Originally Posted by Jammer Six
The easy, the popular, the sales-oriented answer is simple. Women everywhere probably love a women-only class....
Yup. They probably do. In fact, I know they do -- because I have managed to fill every available weekend between now & the end of the year with 2-day, $400 intermediate handgun classes designed for women and held in multiple states around the country. Most of those scheduled classes are already filled to capacity (16 people) with waiting lists. Obviously, I've managed to strike a chord here.

Nor am I the only one. Two weekends ago, I was down in Texas for the 1st Annual A Girl & A Gun Training Conference. This was 150 women on 9 bays, plus classrooms, for two very full days of training in 90-minute blocks of instruction... very similar in layout to the Rangemaster Tactical Conference that's been going on at Tom Givens' place for so many years. Those women were eager to learn, but nearly everyone I talked to was openly skeptical about the non-usefulness, non-applicability of classes available from the "tactical" side of the training market. Most of them agreed they needed training (or they would not have invested as much money as they did in this large event), which is why they were there.

So we can find ways to appeal to these groups of people, and get them the defensive handgun training that could save their lives one dark night. Or we can ignore their preferences, and keep going with the standard marketing of handgun classes we've always done in the gun world (which has long been proven ineffective at reaching large numbers of women).

If there's an ethical aspect to women only classes, there it is: we can work hard to get people the training they need in a format they want, or we can ignore what they want and they will never get the training they need... hm.

Originally Posted by Spats McGee
I suspect that there are women who would rather get NO training, rather than go into a coed class.
Spats, you really nailed that one. That's my point.

Originally Posted by Madcap Magician
I wish I had the student numbers to justify a separate women's class. The majority of women I see come onto the range for a CCW class with their husband. About a third are relatively reluctant participants. Some are there because their husbands asked them to be, some are there because they think if their husbands are going to carry guns, then they should know something about them, too.
And this is the flip side of that same thing. The traditional ways of reaching the women's side of this market have been proven not to work. We can either keep beating our heads against that wall, or we can find new ways of reaching new people.

As Frank said,

Originally Posted by Frank Ettin
Our goal is to educate and train. If a woman would enroll in a class with only other women, but not in a co-ed class, making a women-only class furthers that goal. Refusing to do so frustrates that goal. ... It's not a matter of stereotypes or ethics. It's a matter of providing the most accessible quality training. If for some women that is most likely to be found in a class limited to only women, such classes are worthwhile.
Meaningful, applicable training saves lives. Appealing to potential students in a way that helps them make the decision to get that training also saves lives. That's the bottom line for me.

Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
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