Am I less feminine because I’m a gun-loving girl?
Of course not. (If anything, I find myself getting more girly the more I play with guns.) However, a few conversations I’ve had lately have caused me to examine how loving guns affects my projected self. Allow me to be clear: By no means am I fixated on others’ opinions of me, but as a single woman in my early 30s, I believe it’s understandable that I care (within reason) about my perceived femininity and sexuality.
The first conversation happened a few weeks ago while I was in NYC visiting my family. An old family friend was introduced to my new passion, ArmedCandy. While she was nervously supportive, she quickly asked, “So how’s your love life?” And at the same time she shot my mother a look that said, “Don’t expect grand-kids from this one.”
At the same dinner party a twenty-something (wall-street type) guy mentioned that he found it odd that his colleagues in the “Houston office” carried their guns to work. I responded, “Outside NYC this is more normal than you realized.” Of course, this led to a conversation about guns and concealed carry vs. open carry. As we spoke I could see a look come over his face that clearly meant he was envisioning me as Lara Croft.
A third conversation occurred last weekend while I stood amongst a bunch of gun guys. Standing next to me was a beautiful young woman who is also a Marine. The guys stressed that they find it sexy when a woman knows her way around a weapon. We females noted that, through their actions, these men also appreciated the opportunity to come to a woman’s rescue.
So why is a woman’s femininity and her shooting interests so intertwined?
Call me what you will, but I’ve been on more than a few “range dates”. I don’t object to this type of date at all because if part of dating is about finding common interests and we both enjoy shooting then we are starting off on the right foot. One guy was a very good teacher; another was not. One guy was a much better shot than me; another stopped calling when I shot his weapon better than he did.
The good teacher made it clear that he wanted me to be capable of protecting myself and often built on my education. He also appreciated that teaching me meant he could break the touch barrier.
The less good teacher turned me lose with a large caliber pistol before I was ready. When it scared me, he showed me that he was macho enough to handle it.
The guy who shot much better than me used the range as “part one” of a three part date that got incrementally more romantic. The range got some blood flowing but didn’t require too much conversation, then came a glass of wine on a sunset cruise… (yes, points)
Obviously we don’t need to bother discussing the poor guy who was barely competent with his own weapon.
From these experiences, I can decipher one main idea. It’s not the activity, it’s the beholder. If a guy took a girl dancing, they might have a great time even if he had two left feet. Then again he might teach her to float across the floor or he might step on her toes and count, loudly.
What’s clear to me is this: No matter who’s watching, I’m a gun-loving-girl, there’s no doubt.
Through my lifetime of research, the consensus shows there’s nothing sexier than a confident woman who is enjoying herself. Therefore, if I enjoy going shooting and learning about firearms, then the rest should follow… Right? Women are expected to be everything for everyone but at the end of the day we must be true to ourselves. We walk a fine line between Damsel-in-Distress and Self-Sustaining-Island. It’s a difficult balance, but it’s just part of the job. If you’ve got that balance in check, then work it girl! And why not throw guns into the mix?