Monday, November 29, 2010

It's not sexist, because it's sexist!

Well, an acquaintance of mine was exited because a new gun store was opening in her area.  Her neck of the woods is definitely big into the gun culture, but is just small enough a place that the only gun shops there are all pawn shops or sporting goods stores.  So obviously this new shop opening was pretty exiting, not only because it would mean the first 'true' gun store out there, but also because it would be packing the only indoor shooting range in a very large radius.  So, she decided to check it out, and subsequently email me about the whole experience....

I take more than a passing interest in her experiences with the gun culture in general, because she blames me for getting her "hooked on phonics" so to speak.  As a person who has the right, same as anyone, to live and try to kill people; I also love getting others involved in having an interest in the great equalizers.  As one of my favorite movies says, "That no matter who you are or what you do to live, thrive, and survive, there are still some things that make us all the same. You, me, them, everybody" (bonus points if you know the movie). 

I believe that having the tools to provide for and defend one's self and their family, should help give some perspective about what kind of attitude we should have towards others. Especially to those who seek to acquire these tools for the first time, or to those who maintain the right to keep them (and to those who want them taken away, if you want to get snarky).  But, of course, that is not always the case.

Well anyways, the following is an account of her misadventure in the new shop, with some editing by myself, for grammar and overall clarity.  Commentary by myself is also provided in the brackets [].

Maybe I had a chip on my shoulder and didn't know it when I walked into the new gun store. But I know I left with one! Gosh, they made me mad!

It was just a small store, with one room for ammo and guns, another room off to the side for classes, and a room in the back for a "simulator".[she didn't explain what kind of simulator, so I assume it's something like Duck Hunt. Just kidding]

So, I went to the "classroom" first, and the man there says "Where are you guys from?"  Being the only one in the room, I look around, and down at myself, and said "I didn't know I was that fat".
"Oh, I thought you were with some other people." [nicely observant of their customers already, I see]

We have a brief discussion about what kind of classes they are going to have there, then I go out to the "sales" room.  There were couple employees there having a discussion. I stand and listen, until the owner finally notices me.  "Rowdy", he introduces himself.

I tell him I think this is going shape up to be a great store already, so he gets excited and talks some more about it.

I mention, "I heard, when you open the range, you are going to have a "ladies night."  Is that true?" 
"Yes, on Wednesdays ladies can shoot for free all day. You bring your significant other and they can shoot for half the price."
"Eh, I don't have one of those."
"Well then bring a friend." he quips, rather quickly.
"Oh. Do I have to? Is there a catch of some kind?"
"No, you can come by yourself. You see, if we can get the women in here, then we will get the men to come."  [Okay, so he's tipping off that he's not really interested in your business because you're a woman.  Nice strategy.  Come on in ladies, maybe you can stimulate some real business for us if you bring your man!]
He then explains that he and his friends opened the store because the women were not getting the help they needed at gun stores.  [Wait, what?  Was that a contradiction already?  You just gave away the fact that that's not your real goal.  You don't care about women at all, you're just interested in their men's money.]
I was interested...  listening..... but then the "if we get the women in here, we will get their men to come in", just burst my bubble. [right when the guy tried to say his store was founded on the basis of helping the women, he states his real goal is to get more men shopping at his store]

But, he continues, "We have classes for CCW."
"That won't work for me." I reply.
"Oh, no, we can make it work."  [once again he's not listening with his ear-balls.  She just told you she can't, but you know she's wrong because she's a woman.]
"No, I have ------------------"  [content edited as a courtesy]
"Oh, no.....they frown upon that kind of stuff. But, we do have a nice selection of pepper spray!"
"No, thank you! I will make do."
"You really should consider pepper spray....we have the best."  [Once again, not listening to you because you're not only a potential customer, but woman.  So, his opinion is valid and your is not]
He says "I believe the concealed carry permit should be a part of the 2nd amendment."
Really? Let's not go there! [Okay Jethro, your ignorance is pathetic.  Seriously, I believe if you can own a gun already, you should be able to just conceal carry without any kind of stupid license.  But, this is an argument for another time.]
I say "Nice to meet you." and head to other parts of the store.
I go to the back room where the simulator is. The employee there is talking to two other guys and showing them how the simulator works and selling them on some kind of package...
I stand with the group, watch and listen.  Nobody helps out or says a thing to me, even when I showed interest by asking some questions on it.  [way to help another potential customer, you dolt]
I then left the store.
Later, I saw some other women going in with their "significant others" -the store's target demographic. Guess their experience we be great!

I gotta say, these guys are missing their own point.  How in the world do you set up shop with the intent to only service women as a cheap marketing gimmick to get more men in your store instead?  Then on top of that, turn around and pat your back by saying you're a great service to women as a result?  WTF?!  Plus, you never redeem yourself by helping the only woman in your store at the time.  She is left to be completely ignored by your staff multiple times.  Then, when she is finally "helped", her knowledge and preferences are completely ignored because of your chauvinistic mindset.  These people have to be in the highest levels of retardation.

Simply put, I guess I'm just an idealist. I believe that people should just be treated like people, regardless of gender, race, or nationality.  And if I were to have a store (any kind, for that matter), I would certainly try to assist any of the fairer sex first; out of a sense of gentlemanly duty and as a common courtesy.  Or, am I just being old fashioned?

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