One awfsome (that’s awful/awesome) thing about having an ostensibly feminist blog is that people regularly email you sexist things hoping they’ll make good blog fodder. It’s awesome because it does some of your work for you. It’s awful because it’s a regular reminder that the world is broken.
Friend of the blog Sean sent me this Pittsburgh Tribune-Review column by Eric Heyl: NRA Effort to Attract Women Off Target. [Sic? I would have put a hyphen in "off-target." Grammar issues are the least of the problems with the piece, though.] Ironically, it made me feel like going to the shooting range to blow off some steam.
Not really. Full disclosure: I’ve never held or shot any type of firearm. The only kinds of guns I’ve ever used shoot water and hot glue. I would have attributed this to growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey, where deer are considered a nuisance, not a target, and the most popular approach to personal safety is an elaborate home security system, not a handgun. When I moved to Pittsburgh, I learned the first day of deer season is a holiday for public school children, ate venison stew for the first time, and got very red in the face the one time I mistook a carcass hauler for a camping chair when at a friend’s family cabin. And sure enough, when I saw a billboard advertising the coming NRA convention and its “acres of guns and gear,” I kind of rolled my eyes and sarcastically promised to clear my calendar.
I really thought my ignorance and disinterest in guns was attributable to the local culture of my upbringing, but apparently it is because I am a woman. Heyl’s piece clears this up by noting the futility of gun peddlers courting the female market:
The industry is unlikely to successfully tap that market until it conquers the pesky preconceived notions that likely turn off many females to the idea of gun ownership. Women likely won’t consider packing pistols if they are concerned that:
– Spending several hundred dollars on a serviceable handgun might leave them without enough money to get the full treatment at that next visit to the day spa.
– Carrying a gun in a small purse would leave less room for more important items, such as lipstick or compact.
– The baggy clothing required to successfully conceal most holsters would make them appear frumpy.
– Gunpowder residue might stain the new Karen Scott blouse they just bought at Macy’s.
– The gunpowder smell when the weapon is fired could totally overwhelm the Chanel they’re wearing.
– Most firearm accessories come only in one boring color: black.
– Target practice earplugs simply aren’t sexy.
So glad he reminded me how shallow and frivolous I am (it does take a man to get my head on straight, my wandering uterus is so prone to knocking it off my dainty shoulders). Yes, it would be nice if the gun industry could take advantage of how bitches be shopping, because after sex and baby-incubation our wild spending habits are our most important contributions to society.
The quotation above is the very end of the piece. I’m surprised Heyl didn’t mine this comedy gold further by explaining wacky ways to make gun culture more female-friendly. Like, you know, a curve-hugging bandolier that holds tampons in addition to ammo! Designer-branded semiautomatics (“this is my ‘status weapon’”)! Waist slimming camo patterns!
I’m not even breaking a sweat here. And I’m guessing this guy gets paid to write columns that don’t even present novel approaches to sexism? Sigh.
“It’s so bad I had to check twice to make sure it wasn’t an Onion article.” Sean said.
“Well, the Trib is also a fake newspaper, just not the good kind.”