Made a mistake on the radio last night. I was talking with Michael Dukes, who does an awesome drive time show every weekday evening in Fairbanks, AK. During the interview, Mike asked how I got the Cornered Cat website started. I gave him a little of the history.
For those who don’t know, Cornered Cat the website dates back to late 2003 or early 2004. (The book came later.) What prompted me to get the site started was … well, loneliness. When I first started learning to shoot in 1999 and early 2000, I looked around the web and found exactly nothing for women interested in concealed carry. Oh, wait. That’s not literally true, but almost. I found one site, now defunct, that was pretty good. It was a single long page of “this is how I did it” from a woman much like myself. There were a few books. There were a handful of female firearms instructors worth that title. You could get a subscription to Women & Guns Magazine, which also used to have a little discussion board of its own. But other than those few resources, the web was a wasteland as far as women’s concealed carry was concerned.
So I set out to fix that with the Cornered Cat website. The first version of this site was over-the-top feminine, the old fashioned type of feminine with pink lace everywhere. It was deliberately pink: I wanted anyone who landed on any page of the site toimmediately know that this page was for women, by a woman, and would take women’s needs into account. I wanted to “kick the stupid” out of that old ugly stereotype about gun owners, that all gun owners are middle-aged redneck males. So the site was pink and frilly and pretty much screamed, “Hey! Girl here!”
That was where I left the story on the radio. We drifted off to talk about other things, and — here’s the oops that has me cringing this morning — I never corrected the impression I left the audience with, that Cornered Cat is the only women-friendly firearms website out there! D’oh…
Things online have changed so much in the past 10 years. It’s really not the same place at all. It used to be that when you ran a search that included the terms “women” and “guns” in the same search string, all you would find would be near-nekkid chicks doing stupid things, with muzzles pointed in stupid directions and fingers always on the trigger.
That’s not true any more.
Yes, the nekkid-chicks-with-guns genre is alive and well. As are the “Hey! Look! I’m a GIRL! With a GUN!” sites run by women who haven’t yet learned anything else about firearms, and who maybe don’t intend to learn. But those are no longer the only women talking about firearms on the web. It’s not just the Dancing Bears. There are excellent female gunbloggers (I started to link, then realized there were a million, and see my sidebar…). There are many more resources for women who want to learn about concealed carry. And there are a lot of sites that offer decent gear designed for women.
Take a look at my sidebar links today if you have time. Visit some of those places. Many of them are run by competent, knowledgeable women who love guns as much as we do.
That’s worth celebrating.