In my opinion, Field & Stream’s new issue missed the mark.
I hate to burst your bubble folks, but it’s more likely than not, that you will never see me on the cover of any hunting magazine for three reasons:
1. I just don’t look that good in camo; 2. I would refuse to wear anything pink and; 3. If I were ever asked a question about my looks vs my hunting abilities, my comment would not be fit to print.
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I was excited when I got the May issue of Field & Stream. Finally! There was a woman on the cover.
I flipped through the pages to find the article. I flipped. I flipped. And when I got to the end of the magazine, I went back through and looked again.
Maybe I didn’t have enough coffee? Nope. There was NO ARTICLE!!!
There were only five questions asked to Eva Shockey about her hunting and one of them was about her looks. Seriously, Field & Stream?!
Clearly, you have to be pretty to make the cover of magazines and regardless of your hunting skills, the bottom line is looks.
I couldn’t tell you what show Ms. Shockey is on, I couldn’t tell you what she hunts or where she hunts. But I can tell you that she thinks that in terms of men finding her attractive, “If people think that’s attractive (keeping her clothes on), especially in full camo, I think that’s great.”
Thank you, Ms. Shockey, for perpetuating the stereotype that we are merely objects that should look good and not be taken seriously among our male counterparts. Thank you, Michael Shea, for writing an article where you think questions about looks are more interesting than questions like:
1. How many people have you taught to hunt or fish? If you have taught children, how old were they?
2. Do you help support outdoor organizations by donating your time, talent or dollars?
3. How are you, as a sportsman, working to ensure a healthy outdoors for future generations?
This half-assed attempt at highlighting female hunters would never happen if you had someone like Steven Rinella on the cover. There would be a full article and interview with him. There would be photos of his hunts and questions about his technique and ideology when it comes to hunting.
I would bet everything that I own that he would never be asked about his looks and how women react to him. The backhanded attempt to show the strides females hunters are making is nothing but an afterthought in this magazine.
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Another article in the current issue, written by firearms expert David E. Petzal gives readers (men) the “correct” way to introduce women to rifles. Let me summarize: women are weak and can’t handle the recoil of a big gun so just let them shoot with a .22.
He tries to validate his argument by using examples of women he knows. Clearly, his sexist attitude is worthy of publication and to be taken as truth.
My favorite gem: “Keep in mind that women, unlike men, tend to want everything perfect. That can make them slow to pull the trigger. It’s not a big deal at the range, but it’s a big deal in the field.”
You are right Mr. Petzal! You got me. I am such a woman, shame on me! I would rather take my time and make sure I don’t use more than one bullet to kill an animal than spray and pray that I get it.
But you will never get me to give up my 30-06. No .22 rifle for me, thank you.
Why? Why are we, as the fastest growing demographic in the hunting world, allowing magazines to portray us as just helpless hunters who have to prove that we can gut our kill or can handle a gun bigger than a .22?
I have given up hope that Field & Stream magazine will move past its good ol’ boy, women-in-the-kitchen mentality. When they have women as regular writers and contributors, then maybe I will take them seriously again.
Women are adding dollars, time and effort into the outdoor world, and we are doing it a lot faster than men. At some point, there will come a time when we are respected as hunters and seen as equals among men.
I just hope I am around to see and read about it.