If you have read this blog in the past, please head over to my newest blog by clicking on High Caliber Cate. I am going to put the Heritage Family blog on hold for now. High Caliber Cate will cover a lot of the same topics as HF, but will focus on women and juniors, as well. It will also be tied in with my Rowdy Girls facebook page, which is a group of women whose focus is firearms, self-defense, preparedness, and basically just changing the world for the better. You can find Rowdy Girls here: https://www.facebook.com/RowdyGirlsGroup. Come join us!
I wrote the following on a facebook page today: “I was talking to a woman recently about firearms training, when she said, “Oh, I’m afraid of guns.” Now, I’ve had women tell me that before, and I haven’t said what I would like to, but this time I said, “You know, I’m more afraid of a bad guy than I am of a gun that is in my control.”
I was hoping she would realize that the only reason to carry a firearm is because there are bad guys out there, that might be planning to harm us. I have zero control over what someone is out there plotting to do, and when the opportunity might arise for him to do it to me, but I do have control over the level of my preparedness to handle that threat in the best possible manner. We (women) need to stop seeing the tool as the threat, and realize that learning to use the tool properly will enable us to defend ourselves better against the true threat – the bad guy.”
It does seem that many women fear the tool, rather than understanding that the tool is what you use against the actual threat, but a firearm should not be the only tool in the toolbox. If we believe that using a firearm is the option of last resort when faced with a threat, then we need to also learn other skills that we might employ first, such as situational awareness, self-defense, even knife fighting skills, all of which might prevent us from having to employ the firearm tool.
I would love for some of the women I come across to stop thinking they will never be in a life or death situation and to plan for the day that they might. If we are trained and prepared, but are never placed in that situation, that’s awesome; however, if we are untrained and unprepared, but our life is threatened at some point, then we are basically helpless. I’d much rather prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
I watched a video today that was shared on the GunDivas blog site, and I wanted to pass it on to you for a couple of reasons. The video was made by PatriotNurse, who has many more great videos that you can find on YouTube, but this one was called Firearms Training and Women.
In the video, PatriotNurse makes the point that women have a natural instinct to protect their young – the Mama Bear response that we’re all familiar with – but that young mothers are rarely taught how to defend their own lives, much less the lives of their children, when they begin to have young people whose lives depend on them.
In our American society, we are still very patriarchal, which is not a problem as long as the patriarch realizes that the primary care-giver in our society is still, the majority of the time, the mother. In that environment, the father is spending the majority of his day at work; and the mother is spending the majority of her day with the young children.
Even if the mother works outside the home, she is still – typically – the one that drops the children off at daycare or school and picks them up. She also tends to have the children with her more often at the grocery store on the weekends, and while running other errands or shuttling the children back and forth to extracurricular activities.
And of course, this does not apply to every family, but there are still many more families in America that it does apply to.
That being the case, would it not be beneficial for the father to make sure that the mother could protect herself and their children if dad is not around and something goes wrong? Granted, mom could take the responsibility of acquiring that training herself, but many men already have those skills, they just don’t always pass them on to their wives and daughters – and admittedly, some wives are not even interested in firearms training.
In the typical nuclear, patriarchal family, everyone tends to depend on the dad’s wisdom and strength to take care of a problem when it occurs. But what if dad is not there? What if mom and the kids are at the grocery store when it is robbed – and dad is miles away?
Just because one partner in a team is prepared, it does not make the team safe, unless that partner is covering the others 24/7/365, which is simply not possible. I like PatriotNurse’s concept that the protection of the family should be a team effort. Just as in many other areas of raising a family, one person should not shoulder the entire burden of any one area of responsibility.
Women are natural defenders of all they hold dear, and those bear claws will come out when lives are threatened – especially the lives of their children. I say it’s time we help train and equip them for that purpose.
(And, yes, I know I’ve made some blanket, and even stereotypical statements in this post, but I am often out during the day and I do see many more women with young children than I see men with children. And that doesn’t even include the huge numbers of single moms, who don’t even have the dad to defend them.)
The Women’s Outdoor Media Association, WOMA, has a great post today by Julianna Crowder on “How To Get Women Into The Gun Concept.” Julianna makes many valid points in her post, but one part that I really like is where she says, “It is very important for women to have positive female role models in the firearms industry. I strongly encourage you when seeking out a firearms training course, that you look for one that has a female role model on staff rather than an overall male environment. Especially if you are new and feeling timid. Knowing that there is someone like you teaching from a similar perspective will ease the experience.”
Advising women to seek other female instructors is not anti-men, by any means; it is just an acknowledgement that many women will not go to a male instructor, especially one that teaches skills that may bring up many emotional issues from the woman’s past.
A lot of women are drawn to firearms and self-defense through painful circumstances in their past, and many times, those circumstances involved being victimized by a man. Those ladies are not going to feel comfortable putting themselves under the instruction of a man during a time when learning how to defend themselves brings up memories of a time when they could not do so.
Also, many women have been made to feel inferior, inadequate, dumb, clumsy, awkward, weak, etc., by men in their lives, either knowingly or unknowingly, so those women are more comfortable admitting their weaknesses to a female instructor, and asking some of the questions that they might initially be embarrassed they don’t know.
There are many reasons why women seek out other women as role models and instructors, and that’s perfectly fine. I instruct women in the use of firearms and am fortunate enough to have some extremely supportive men surrounding me and encouraging me. My husband is never intimidated by my ability to teach – and is even proud to tell others on those occasions that I might shoot better than him.
I also have men in the company that I teach for, who are so far above my skill and experience level that it’s crazy – I mean, these men have military experience and have attending so much training that it would take me years to reach that level, if I ever did; BUT they acknowledge that there are many women out there today that need what I have to offer – some skill, some training, some experience, but primarily just the fact that I can relate to them on a much different level than my male counterparts.
The men that I work with are happy to promote what I do, and they are proud of the fact that I, and the other female instructors I work with, are able to help women that the men may never be allowed to.
So while there are not nearly as many female firearms and self-defense instructors as male at this time, I would dare say that if you keep looking and ask around, you will likely find one in your general area. And after you get the training you need and become more proficient with your skills, consider paying it forward and becoming an instructor. We need more women out there leading the way, so come join us! The rewards are incredible as you help other women become more empowered and more confident in their lives.
Head over to The Well-Armed Woman for a great post on the issues female gun owners face. You can find the story, “The Problem With Women,” by clicking on the title.
And check back here in the next day or so for another High Caliber Generation interview – or better yet, subscribe as an email follower and get the notification. This Gen HC interview is with our first male junior shooter, Jacob Hetherington. Jacob is an awesome shooter and I know you will enjoy getting to know him better.
In the meantime, live life outdoors this weekend!