Saturday, June 4, 2011

Painting Targets On Our Clay Feet

If you are trying to reach out to other markets and grow acceptance of your products, why on earth would you risk offending the people most likely to influence the buying decisions?

Breda, Tam, Kathy Jackson, and many others have pointed out the bias (bordering on misogyny) and condescension present at gun stores and online retailers. Advertisers are still using cheesecake to sell their products. We are still pigeon-holing ourselves as knuckle-dragging neanderthals as a result.

Can we move past this please?

Don't get me wrong, I love the female form. I even understand why companies do what they do (yes, because it works). I just don't base my buying decision on how hot the model holding the product is. Do you?

I am about to embark on a gun buying journey with my wife. Soon thereafter, I will be doing the same thing with my daughter. Both of these women are confident and self-assured in most things. I have been gently walking down this path with them, using encouragement and gentle instruction. However, one of the things that will influence this purchase will be the person behind the counter. The salesperson will have the opportunity to make two sales (or more), or none, entirely on how they treat these women.

I really want to see the Firearms Industry get out of the "Hooters" mindset. Really, I do. Guns are fun. Shooting them well is an accomplishment. They are empowering, and are the great equalizer should self-defense be required. Shouldn't we be sharing this message, instead of pushing another "sniper babe" calendar?

My $0.03, tax included.



Brigid said...

I get a lot of catalogs and junk mail so I usually just sort them out with a quick glance at the cover.

I threw out three catalogs from a well known manufacturer of gun products, buying elsewhere, before I realized it wasn't a lingerie/swimsuit catalog (oh look, there's a gun product in the picture somewhere).

Guffaw in AZ said...

I'm with you!
And, many women don't want 'something pink', they want something that works.
AND, re: ladies guns...
My ex-gf carries a full-sized 1911 Nighthawk.
Don't tell me she needs a .32!

Bubblehead Les. said...

Yep, we should. Kinda strange, isn't it? If you want me to buy your Product, why do you try and distract me from the Product by placing scantily clad women in the picture? Shouldn't the customer be drooling over the weapon, and not the Female Display Stand? I can see if some Big Name Shooter holds up a weapon and says "I shoot a (Fill in the Blank)", but that's a Shooter talking to a Shooter.

Nancy R. said...

Shorter Half and I were at Goose Hill last weekend and he told the guy behind the counter that he wanted to look at a shotgun for his wife. The guy asked if was looking for a youth model. SH just tured and pointed at all 6' of me. The guy behind the counter recovered nicely and all was well, but it could have ended badly. Especially if he had grabbed something pink.

Newbius said...

For the record, this post has been stewing in my brain for a while. I was not a participant in the Lucky Gunner shoot (although I was honored to have been invited), and have not opined on those particular young lasses.

I blog from a Liberty and a Rights standpoint, and I want EVERYBODY to have an opportunity to participate. I encourage women, minorities, handicapped, gay, whatever, to give guns a try.

More positive exposure, more access, more people involved, are all good things for us and help to counter the lies and misinformation from the Anti's.



KurtP said...

I wasn't there, so I was imagining those ammo bunnies as a cross of Hooters-girls and ...I don't know what.
Then I saw a picture of them over at Jennifer's blog.

If you're offended at the way those girls were dressed, I'm guessing you're boycotting Lowe's and Home Depot, too.

Newbius said...

@KurtP: See above comment. I was NOT commenting about the Lucky Gunner girls. I never mentioned them in my post, either. I am SPECIFICALLY speaking to the attitude that I have witnessed first-hand, and which several female bloggers have also experienced, regarding their treatment by the counter help.

The specific marketing faux pas I mentioned was 'sniper babes' an example of why we make it so hard on ourselves to attract the fairer sex to our sport.

Please do not read any more into the post than what was written.



Anonymous said...

Catching up on blog posts.....This post has, over on the left, more or less a nice sexy shot of Sam from the June, 8 Day-By-Day in the window.

What were you saying about cheesecake?

Newbius said...

@Montieth, LOL! Yes, I laughed when I saw that right next to this post. However, I have no control over how sexy Chris Muir makes 'Sam', and I link directly to his site through the code that he provides. His strip is about the issues of the day, not about marketing guns and gun products to people.

My beef is specifically with the manufacturers and vendors who choose to abase themselves by stripping women down and portraying them as objects, or product stands, or soft-core pornography. In the long run, it will be a losing strategy. In the short run, it reinforces negative stereotypes about the gun culture.

I am going to reiterate, once again, that this is NOT about the Lucky Gunner girls. As far as I can tell, they were dressed about how my daughter dresses for a hot day, and they had a good time. My objection (stated once again for the record) runs more against the 'sniper babe' type stuff. That stuff is unnecessary and degrading. We should be past the need to 'porn' up our hobby.