ChipChick Asks: Are Women with Guns Fantasy Figures or Empowered?
I would like to get your thoughts on this piece. Though I may disagree with some of the phrasing in the article, the question the author poses is a valid one with complicated answers. Care to share your thoughts? Hit us up in the comments section.
Gunning for it: Are Women with Guns Fantasy Figures or Empowered?
It’s hard to know where to start assigning blame for the popularization of women in gun culture. Do we say it’s when Tomb Raider was first launched in 1996 (which then spawned Angelina Jolie in booty shorts clutching two pistols with deadly abandon) or should we move further back in time to Sarah Connor’s kick ass moves in Terminator 2, or shall we just resign ourselves to the fact that as long as there have been firearms, men AND women have both been involved with them?
A little digging actually reveals that a magazine entitled Women and Guns was launched in 1989 and still continues today (in fact they’ve just had their 23rd anniversary issue) so this clearly is a continuing trend, yet for some reason the role of a woman with a gun continues to be one that pervades our culture with a certain amount of uncomfortable feelings. This isn’t helped by the film industry and their fascination with equipping women with machinery- director Jean-Luc Godard is unhelpfully quoted as saying, ‘All you need to make a film is a girl and a gun’.
Maybe the issue with women and guns is that women are traditionally the weaker sex and a gun levels the playing field, or could it even be some bigoted view that women aren’t capable of using a gun correctly as they won’t be able to handle it?
Women in gun culture is an uneasy place as they straddle both male fantasy roles, male bigotry and the somewhat uncomfortable feeling that a ‘lifegiver’ is now a harbinger of death. However, considering violent crime and assaults against women are rising year by year, is it so shocking that a women should take up arms to defend themselves?
GirlsGuide NOTE: The statistics in the following paragraph are a bit misrepresented. There are many reasons why these numbers are misleading including the comparison of different years, geographical factors, immigration laws, gangs, etc. Also, England is roughly the size of Louisiana with a population of 62,218,761. The US has 311,591,917. Just Sayin. OK-Read on.
My perspective on gun culture may differ from that of many Americans, as I’m a British citizen, and guns are very rare in the UK. The majority of our police force doesn’t carry a gun, and we don’t even really use tasers here (which are illegal to all but law enforcers) and the police are instead equipped with a truncheon (yes, I’m aware that’s basically a stick). However, as laughable as that may seem, in 2006-2007 there were 59 firearm related homicides in the UK. Compare this to the USA’s homicide level in 2010, where 8,775 murders were caused by firearms. To me it seems a simple equation- make guns less prevalent in a society and crime will be lower. However, I know that a gun used safely and correctly can be a valuable tool, and that retraining minds that follow the 2nd amendments ‘right to bear arms’ to the letter will not be an easy task.
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