Awaken Chivalry Toward Gun Girls

20140414-082713.jpg“Ladies first,” is no longer a term that carries any meaning. Doors are not held open anymore and checks are split on dates. One could say that these were signs of the women’s liberation movement winning the equality battle, but that’s only if we make the mistake of equating genteel behavior with inequality. It’s the fault of both parties involved. Men should be holding themselves to a minimum standard of gentlemanly behavior. Women should demand the treatment due to a lady…As long as she acts like a lady.

However, we lady shooters face a conflict. While we work to represent women as respectable members of the shooting community, with little differentiating us from our male counterparts, we don’t want to be thought of as less feminine. Unfortunately, the availability of pics of half naked, gun toting models creates a comparison in which we would rather not be involved. Those models could hardly be accused of ladylike behavior, but they are being viewed as more feminine and that’s a problem.

Of all the gun slinging gals out there, those involved in the shooting sports are some of the best at demanding the respect due to a lady. If you’re ever looking for an example of an empowered woman for your daughter, you needn’t look any further than your local club match. While these women are strong and undoubtably powerful, they are ladies as well. They might just appreciate a door held open or help with their bags. Doing these things will not undermine their abilities, in fact, doing so will instead, honor them.


  1. I realize the attraction to the revival of chivalry, but there’s an underlying question here — do you feel you should be treated differently than another person based solely on your sex?

    I agree that people should be more polite in general, and the amount of respect and politeness should correlate with how a person acts and treats others, but you say that women who act like ladies are ‘due’ special treatment. Do you feel men who act like gentlemen are ‘due’ special treatment? If so, what treatment is that? Are women who act un-lady-like deserving of lesser treatment than a lady?

    If you believe in equality of the sexes, do you feel you can pick and chose what traditions of inequality you wish to hold on to?

    I shot a sporting clays shoot this weekend with several ladies that are perfect examples of empowered women. They neither asked for nor received special treatment and they kicked butt. They are excellent examples for girls to look up to, one being the president and CEO of a major firearms company. The other I’d never met before, but she earned my respect. Not because she was a lady shooter, but because she was a respectful and polite person who happened to know her way around a gun.

    1. To your first question: based on both sex & behavior, yes.
      Yes, men who act like gentlemen are also due special treatment.
      My post was, in some ways, a call to action, to reward “good” behavior, and let those who are bring down our society know that they must do better.
      YES, unladylike women are due lesser treatment than that due to actual ladies. Personally, i do this by ignoring them, unliking their FB page, or writing them a private note about how I used to appreciate their contribution to women and the shooting sports but am now disappointed…

      Your final question is too ridiculous to dignify with an answer.

      1. By your first answer, you don’t believe in the equality of the sexes.

        1. Equality of the sexes means that no special treatments are afforded one sex over another.
        2. You believe that your sex should play a part in how you should receive preferential treatment.
        3. You don’t believe in equality of the sexes.

        What special treatment is a gentleman ‘due’ versus every other guy? I can’t think of any traditions that apply in the same sense as what you claim women are ‘due.’ If gentlemen are due the same niceties as ladies, it’s not a sex issue, it’s a politeness issue. You’re trying to attach this entire argument to the wrong issue.

        I find it interesting that in this argument your only criteria for how women should be treated is how ladylike they are. Apparently gals who don’t have respect for themselves and who act ‘sluttily,’ deserve poor treatment by men and other women. As well as admonishment for not bettering the cause of women. But then there’s a disconnect, since most people would think that equality is the first step towards bettering the cause of women, which is a sentiment you don’t seem to share.

        You, personally, have a small podium within the blogosphere from which you can aid the growth of other women in the shooting sports. Are you so quick to discount another woman in the sport because you deem her to be less of a lady than you? Too many women feel put off by the mostly-male shooting sports as it is. With the opportunity to be a welcoming ambassador, you seem to be claiming the right to be judgmental of lady-like status. Do gun models deserve no respect because they’re gun models? Who cares if they can stand on their own merits outside of the pictures, they make serious gun girls seem less feminine for wearing so many clothes! /sarcasm

        On my final question that you found too ridiculous to answer, though I qualified it with a question, I assumed that you believe in equality of the sexes. I apologize for the assumption.

        1. Go to a gun show and see male models wearing nothing but a pair of speedos. They may not be at every booth, but enough to get the point that apparently male reproductive organs are great advertisement tools for weapons. The booths are clogged up with females looking to get pictures with the models, not the guns.

          If this situation were real, would we expect men to be eager to join in such a hobby given that our body parts are more important, indeed a fetish, for the advertisement of merchandise?

          This article is about good sportsmanship not necessarily gender rights or women’s lib. It is also about the double standard that prevails.

          Considering that it is to all of our benefit to have more women included in gun sports, it is wise for everyone to have an open mind about what is going to create a more inclusive atmosphere for everyone.

          We can argue that this is about equality; women’s lib; being “judgy”…but it is sportsmanship.

          1. fixer- My issue is that sportsmanship and politeness was made into a women’s issue in this post. But that more importantly, it wasn’t an equal rights/equal treatment issue, it was that ladies are ‘due’ preferential treatment.

          2. What I was calling for was not “preferential treatment,” it was the use of societally accepted acts of chivalry that should signify respect.

  2. I’ll open/hold a door for anyone if I’m there first or I see them with their arms full, man or women. Too often This is not reciprocated. I’ve been going in a double door at a restaurant only to have people coming out push their way out the door we are going in instead of opening the other door. Rarely do I ever see a teen hold the door. I don’t believe this is a failure of men as much as it is a failure of society. I was raised to be polite and respectful of other people, but there is a huge lack of those qualities in the younger generations.

  3. O..K….

    I mean no offense to the author, but IMHO, it’s these very sentiments that leave many guys scratching their heads as to the inscrutable nature of “what women want”. Prior responses have touched on this, but there is a difference between wishing for the return of “being polite”, and wishing for special treatment based on sex. Forgive me if I sense a disconnect here.

    And as an aside, I will never forget having newly arrived at a boarding school in the northeast, and holding the door open for a young woman, only to have her stop and refuse to go through, so long as I held it open for her.

  4. Wow! I can honestly say I’m a little confused and a lot disappointed.

    Confused because I honestly do not know where the line is between classy chivalry and pandering. For now im going with “don’t be a dick”. Please advise!

    Secondly I’m just disappointed that we even need to even have this conversation… the way I was raised was men are “sir”, women are “ma’am”, respect everyone, and fear no one! Now if you asked me that seems like a pretty good place to start! So why exactly are we having to slaughter all these pixels?

    1. Eh, apparently the entire continent of Africa didn’t get that memo…. And please don’t read into that observation. Africa is certainly not wont for warlords or pirates–not that they are the only land with such problems….

  5. Those models could hardly be accused of ladylike behavior, but they are being viewed as more feminine and that’s a problem.

    Why is what someone else does a “problem”?

    A female who decides to pose with a firearm doesn’t deserve being labeled negatively any more then the Versace model being photographed at Anti Gun Beach, USA.

    Let’s leave our preconceived biases at the door, and stand together as shooters -regardless of gender or what one choses to do for a hobby or pasttime.Jealousy has no place on the firing line.

  6. d0zer April 14, 2014 at 22:15

    Well, to be fair, most of the violence in Africa is either BETWEEN societies that view themselves as wholly seperate, or from the armed portion of a society towards the unarmed portion (which they view as being outside THEIR society anyway).

    Neither case fits with “An armed society. . . ”

    An armed society may well be a polite society — but not necessarily peaceful to those OUTSIDE that society. Generally speaking, armed peers are polite to those armed peers they view as part of their society. French knights may have been polite towards English knights, while being perfectly willing to slaughter them on the battlefield. Crips may kill Bloods, but generally don’t antagonize other Crips.

  7. Ya’ll can do as you please… but here in southern Ohio… we’ve got some of the best shootin’, gun totin’, critter huntin’ gals around… and we tip our hats and hold the door for ’em… ’cause that’s what men should do… at least ’round here…

    Dann in Ohio

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