Opinion by Karen Butler.
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- In honor of Father’s Day, I want to take a minute and say a heartfelt “thank you” to men, in general.
As the owner and founder of Shoot Like A Girl, a company that focusses on empowering women, I am grateful to the men in my life and in our staff’s and clients’ lives who provide support and encouragement, and ultimately support Shoot Like A Girl.
It seems men are constantly being berated in public outlets, and it is high time we give a public and positive shout out to them.
One of Shoot Like A Girl’s key core values is we have a “no male bashing” rule. I am a proponent of equal rights; however, equal rights shouldn’t mean women get ahead at the expense of men or by demeaning men, and it must come with equal responsibility. Please don’t misunderstand me, I know most women have encountered some jerks now and then, and there is specific behavior that must never be tolerated. I’ve dealt with a handful of men who were rude and/or I perceived them to be disrespectful, but I’ve also had a handful of women treat me the same way. However, if all women would stop and think about it, I bet dollars to doughnuts, there are plenty of men in their lives they are thankful for, too.
I’ve worked my entire adult life in a male-dominated environment. First for the Army, retiring after 22 years of civil service, and I’ve owned Shoot Like A Girl for 10 years. I’ve been successful in both careers, and in both jobs, there were men who helped me achieve that success. On the personal side, my father, Charles Daugherty and step-father, C.E. McNeill, both now deceased, taught me to stand up for myself, to be polite, respectful, do a good job and work hard – and to get ahead, work harder than the people around you. My husband, Todd is my biggest fan (I’m his, too). He’s the one that can provide advice and guidance when presented with tough decisions.
The reality is, that without Todd in my life, I doubt Shoot Like A Girl would ever be more than an idea on a napkin.
Professionally, I’ve had countless male role models and mentors.
Concentrating on the positive impact men have had on Shoot Like A Girl’s success, the list is far too long to mention all by name, but here are a few. When Shoot Like A Girl first launched, it was a man, David Langston, then at Hunter Safety System, who took the risk to invest in the company as one of our first corporate partners. It was a man at Glock, who was excited to partner on our initiatives to grow the number of women in shooting sports, and another man, Sandy Zussman, Glock’s Marketing Director, who continues that partnership. It’s business mentors like Rob Werkmeister from Ruger, who challenge you to be better. These men are a small representation of all the men who support our mission of empowering women and deserve our respect and thanks.
Our staff’s husbands, sons, and boyfriends are an amazing group. Imagine the love and understanding that is afforded them, as they leave their families to travel on weekends to share their love of shooting sports with other women. I’m often quoted as stating that our instructors and staff are the keys to our success, I’m so thankful to these men who support and encourage their loved ones to follow their passions, what a great group of men.
The husbands, dads, and boyfriends of the ladies, our clients, who participate in the Shoot Like A Girl experience deserve our thanks, too. These men will get downright giddy with joy at the thought of their loved ones shooting with them. The looks of pride on their faces when the women in their lives hit the target can melt your heart. Often, it is these men, that are bringing our clients to us.
In a testimonial, one client wrote, “I, at first did not want to do it just because I am not one to do things like this since I am more on the shy side. But after I got in there and shot the bow and the guns, I really had a good time! All of the ladies were extremely nice and welcoming, and I had a great time learning from them and brushing up on my skills as well! All the ladies made me feel really good while I was shooting, and I became more confident in myself with shooting from this experience. My boyfriend's dad is the one who made me do this, and even though I did not want to at first, I am glad I did, I am glad I got to meet all these wonderful ladies, and I had a really good time!”
To all the men out there who are supporting and encouraging the women in their lives, and have helped us achieve success, the team at Shoot Like A Girl just wants to say, thank you!
Karen Butler is the Founder and President of SLG², Inc, DBA: Shoot Like A Girl, a company dedicated to growing the number of women who participate in shooting sports by empowering them with confidence. She also conducts motivational speeches for women that focus on how women can succeed in a male-dominated environment. To request a speaking engagement, send an email to [email protected] www.shootlikeagirl.com