Thursday, August 18, 2011

Feminized Firearms: Marketing Violence Through Gender Norms

NPR has a story up that discusses the ways gun stores are now catering to an increasingly female client-base. The images pictured here illustrate the symbolic gendering of color plastered onto these feminized firearms.

The story also has an interesting quote from a female buyer: "'If you listen to the news at night, all you hear are women in parking lots — someone coming up, or threatening them for their purse or threatening their life, or raping [them],' she says."

If in fact the news in this woman's community reports cases of women being assaulted in parking lots incessantly, her community is highly abnormal (or the news is probably over-reporting street crime, while not realizing violence within households between intimate partners is among the most under-reported type of crime).

Not to dismiss the seriousness of being attacked by a stranger, but research shows overwhelmingly that on average (1) women are at far greater risk of being assaulted in their own homes and/or by a friend than on the street; and (2) having a firearm does not enhance one's own protection (Plaxico Burress anyone?).

This just makes me wonder, is a moral panic being created to identify a new female market who will buy more guns?

Pic vis NPR.

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