hey @DBrogue, I think it’s not so much about women assuming that the guys at the boy’s club are going to act like asses. I think there are parts to this perspective you might not yet be seeing.
Well, that’s part of it right there. As a woman shooter, I’m going to tell you physical attributes DO come into play. My strength is more in my legs than my upper body. My husband can hold a heavy handgun out at arms length for 10 times as long as I can… or maybe 100 times as long… I’ve never seen him actually lose accuracy because of it. I, on the other hand, will absolutely lose accuracy, both after holding that position for moderately short periods of time, and over the course of the range visit. It’s not just fitness and stamina, it’s understanding where my strength is, and where it isn’t. I can maximize my personal capacity, but I’m never going to have the relative upper body strength and stamina a similarly fit man has. However if I know where my strength is, and isn’t, I can adapt my training practices to minimize my weakness and maximize my strength. The way my husband drills is different than the way I drill because of it. The most effective way to teach me is different because of it.
There are other examples of where my female physicality matters, happy to supply more if you’re interested.
Setting the physical aside, what went on inside my head when I was first learning, and the heads of many other women I’ve taught, along with our emotional reactions, is WAY different than what any of the men I’ve talked with about it have experienced.
The mechanics of the gun are the same. The mechanics of our bodies and our minds… not so much.
In the long run, women will shoot equally with men, but we often have different things to address on the way to getting there. I’m not an advocate of long-term segregation, just of giving women - whom we really, really need to join us - the best possibility of learning quickly and effectively, and the least opportunity for being intimidated or simply not-effectively-reached and run off before they get comfortable. Once they’re comfortable, fold them into the general shooting community. Some women will always stay in the girl’s club… but I’d wager most won’t be exclusively there.
There are, naturally, women who prefer to play with the guys - but right now its still way more boys club with just a relative few of us playing there. If you want to get women to be fully represented in the mixed arena, start with whatever works for getting women comfortable in whatever arena they are comfortable in.
I’m going to challenge your perspective on that a little please forgive me for generalizing. It’s not that an all-women’s group wants to exclude you/men. Its that, in general, when women are in an all-female group, certain types of social dynamics can emerge. Add men and you alter that dynamic. If that all-female dynamic is useful in accomplishing something, it can be disrupted by the change adding men creates… some women will no longer participate effectively… they withdraw, hold back, won’t take the same risks, won’t be open to the same experiences.
Sometimes you need to let us get our own perspective before you try to give us yours
I’m teasing you a little here, but it’s really part of what we experience.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to say to my husband - who is an extremely experienced and knowledgeable shooter - “Stop, let me work this through for myself! Yes I know you know the right way to do all this, but I need to get comfortable with -this- before I can do -that-.”
Many times he doesn’t instinctively see the truth in what I’m saying… on his side of his eyeballs it makes no sense. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true for me. His perspective is extremely valuable, but I need to get my own control and understanding together before I can apply it. He wants to push to give me his perspective, because he knows it works. And it does… but only once I’m in a position to apply it, not before.
In the grander scheme, I think women’s classes and women’s leagues are the same thing - it lets many women get comfortable, competent and confident in the way that works best for them, before adding the additional pressures, and offering the additional perspectives, of training in the boy’s club.
Of course there are exceptions - some men can enter that all-female zone and not impact the dynamics. Some women are comfortable in the boy’s club (probably including your professional women boxers).
I see this as a question of maximizing our leverage. To secure what we want in 2A, we need women. And not just a few, but a majority. And we need them now, not 20 years from now. If women’s leagues and women’s classes increases the success rate of getting women trained, comfortable, and engaged in protecting our 2A rights, then we should be taking maximum advantage of every opportunity to apply leverage.