You know what’s not that fun? Hearing the same stereotypes over and over again about women in the outdoors everywhere from the gun counter to the fishing aisle.
Ladies, we’ve all been there. Husbands, boyfriends, brothers, and friends of any ladies who enjoy outdoor activities, I know you’ve seen these stereotypes directed toward women, too.
Allow me to expedite the myth-busting process of these classic stereotypes surrounding women in the great outdoors.
Disclaimer: This article is not written to slander anyone, just to expose some of the stereotypes about women floating around the aisles of outdoor stores nationwide.
1. “You’re a lady, so you’ll love this in glittery pink.”
This one runs the gamut across all outdoor enthusiast sports, from fishing to shooting to hunting. As a little girl, I can remember that when the salesclerk suggested my dad buy me the bright pink Barbie rod and tiny tackle set, he grabbed the basic hunter green rod instead and pulled me toward the register.
I see it everywhere! From pink camo that’s sooo definitely conducive to maintain cover while hunting, to tiny pink Ruger LCP handguns.
Now, to each their own, and I know plenty of female friends who love the pinks and purples out there that paint their outdoor gear. All I’m saying is that maybe next time I’m at the gun show, don’t immediately offer me your shiniest candy-colored handgun and pass me off for a girl who cares more about style over function.
2. “Females can’t hit the broad side of a barn.”
Now this one is actually hilarious. Somehow, gender is most definitely involved in my aim, whether it be my cast or my shot. Hop on any outdoor enthusiast forum, and you’ll definitely see slight variations across the board.
It must be our ticking clocks, ladies, that lends itself to our reputation for being hacks. With that heavy ‘tick-tock’ noise in our heads constantly, how are we meant to concentrate on anything?!
My advice? Keep casting straight and true, knocking those steel targets with every shot, and landing those massive bucks. Eventually, this one will disappear into thin air.
3. “You’re only doing this for the attention.”
Ya got me. I am definitely awake at four in the morning on a Saturday, covered in the scent of deer urine, to impress my hunting buddy.
Again, I’ve been had. I’m hiking to this frigid mountain stream at 6:00 a.m., lugging my waders in a pack, and losing feeling in my fingers to land the perfect guy, not the perfect trout.
Secret’s out. I drove an hour and a half out to this shooting range through miserable traffic just to pick a suitable husband for the upcoming apocalypse so I won’t have to fend for myself.
Listen, the last time I did anything for male attention, I was trying to sneak a kiss in fifth grade from my Safety Squad buddy, and ended up falling down the stairs. Lesson learned.
4. “You can’t even do it yourself.”
I’ll be the first to admit that it has taken me many years to hold a largemouth bass by its jaw. In fact, sometimes when it’s that massive, I get a heeby-jeeby chill, and have to buck up to the task. However, I know that, gender-aside, I’m not the only human to feel this way.
Regardless of my slight aversion to massive fish, I know multitudes of fearless women out there who will gladly skin their own deer because they enjoy completing every single task of their hunt, or slice open their own caught trout for dinner while camping.
I have watched many a man jump when we go crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay, unable to get a grip on those clicky little blue crabs. Did I call them a girl and tell them they couldn’t do it themselves? No, because they could toss me in the bay. And still, I have more respect for their ability than that.
5. “This can’t possibly be fun for you.”
Ah, yes. An age-old classic, derived from the myth that women only have fun watching the Kardashians ugly-cry at each other on television.
Let me break it down for you. Gear prices are not gender-discriminatory, so the money my male counterpart spent on his fly rod? Yeah, I spent the same price. The money he spent on his waders? Well, actually I did pay less, but only because his required more fabric than mine. What he paid for his .22 rifle? I wouldn’t get a discount because I’m a girl. All that camo gear and treestand technology? Equal price points for males and females.
So who cares about how much money I’ve spent or could spend or will spend on these sports? I do! Because it’s fun for me! Why else would I drop hard-earned cash on gear that I absolutely dread using or would only use once?
Women shouldn’t feel weird or awkward about their genuine love for the outdoors. Take pride in the fact that you picked up a hobby on your own, or you learned it from the important people in your life while engaging in time-honored traditions.
Relish being outside; returning to nature is what drives the human experience. So fellas, next time you’re out with your favorite adventuress, crack a beer with her with afterwards and cheers to the fact that whatever happened, it was probably a great time.
Did I miss any? I’m sure I did, so let me know which one really drives you up a wall, ladies.