Guns, gender and titles: Is it Marksman or Markswoman? Rifleman or Riflewoman?

Dan Hall, founder of GunUp.com emailed me and asked me a question that’s got my head spinning. He asked how do female shooters feel about being called Marksmen. I don’t know. I’ve never thought of it before. (Maybe that’s my answer?) I’ve been so busy learning how to use a sling on my rifle, how to clean my guns properly, thinking though concealed carry issues, that I hadn’t had time yet to wonder about the inclusiveness level of gun world terminology.

Other industries with similar terminology obstacles have adapted. For example, firemen are now more commonly called fire fighters. But it isn’t uncommon to call females serving as our congressional representatives Congressmen. I’ve been asking my fellow gun-toters how they felt about the issue and my favorite response so far is that the gun world has never been politically correct, so why start now!

What do you think guys and gals; should we start being politically correct when it comes to titles? Is it okay to call an excellent female shooter a Marksman (or a Rifleman), or should she get her own feminized title such as Markswoman or Riflewoman? Will having gender exclusive awards and titles prevent or slow down females entering the gun community?

From sitting at the Appleseed table at the Big Reno Gun Show Saturday, I can say that the majority of the show was old, white and male. Will continuing to use old white male vocabulary hamper the influx of young and female shooters to the pro-2nd amendment, shooting sports, hunting, concealed and open carry world?

4 Comments

  • WCGreen says:

    Just as long as it’s not Marksperson or Rifleperson (or worse, someone complaining because “Mark” is a man’s name), you can call me whichever you want.

    Surely a woman in this day and age who wants to shoot well is also too self-assured to get hung up on “gender issues.”

    • girlsloveguns says:

      Thanks for sharing your opinion. It’s good to hear from other female shooters. I don’t have a preference either. If it were an easy change, like changing firemen to fire fighters, I think it’d be okay to change it. But it’s not an easy change. Markspeople just doesn’t do it for me! Plus, the titles rifleman and marksman have a great tradition behind them. I’d be happy to be considered a rifleman or a marksman because I know how hard people in the past have worked to earn those titles.

  • Jenny Teague says:

    I’m a firm believer on keeping pc changes out of titles that have “man” in it. I’ll always see myself as a marksman even though I’m not a guy because that’s what it was originally referred to. If women wanted equal rights and what not, they’d want the same title a man had and not try to change it to fit their needs. 🙂

    • girlsloveguns says:

      Hey Jenny! I read your blog, I didn’t know you read mine. 🙂 I don’t have a desire to change the current title. It doesn’t bother me at all. I’m glad that others feel the same way and wouldn’t get offended by earning a title with the word “man” in it.

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