Thursday, June 30, 2011

by Robin

Let me preface my comments by saying that I am not some left-wing, feminist woman sitting behind a desk in NYC on a daily rant about sexism right after turning in my N.O.W. dues for the year. I am a conservative, country girl who loves the outdoors. All my life, I've been around horses, dogs, livestock, agricultural colleges, fishing, hunting and even survived a course in meat packaging. I am not squeamish about much, including blood, guts, castration or cauterization burning. About the only thing that makes me weak is broken bones.

On the other hand, I clean up pretty good. I love wearing dresses to church, buying nice shoes, purses & jewelry and painting my toenails. I am not against bikinis, tankinis or one-piece suits, if tastefully worn. I'm all for being sexy to the one you love. But what I want to do is have a full rant on the crap I see when trying to enjoy fishing & immerse myself in the sport. Enough is enough!!!

First, I have bought different fishing magazines for my husband at various holidays. I tolerated the string bikini-clad women in the back who stood next to various pieces of equipment in order to sell a product. I tolerated it because it was in the back of the magazine and sometimes I got away with using a Sharpie to draw on some shorts and a tank. (Jack didn't appreciate this as much as I found it humorous.) However, it seems that more and more companies are headed in this direction as they seem more desperate in this economy to sell their product. If your product is so junky that you have to put a half-naked woman on the ad to sell it, maybe you should make your product better.

Secondly, for years, Florida's SUN Channel (Ch 422 on satellite) has kept a Thursday night line-up of fishing shows to spark the interest in every fishermen for the upcoming weekend. Florida Insider Fishing Reports is wonderful for having area-specific fishing tips & information given by guides. Love that. Love the special themes they give each week for what's hot & migrating through Florida. What I don't love is that I noticed that some of the hot spots have been sponsored by various alcoholic beverage companies. Was there nobody else they could call to get to sponsor each region?? I tolerated that the first time I noticed it.

Tonight, I watched their programming and the theme for the week was "Kids & Fishing". Awesome. I have kids. We fish. Great theme. Yep, and then I got to the end of the show and I guess they have a tradition of taking a Jaegermeister shot. Toni, the female co-host, said that she didn't feel right about chugging the shot on a kids' show, but the guys talked her into it. Nice fellas. So, you've got kids all in the pictures, video and live at the IGFA museum, who have DVR'd this show to see themselves and we're subtly pushing alcohol endorsements AND drinking?? Why Florida Insider have you stooped so low?? Were your ratings so low that you had to add a female co-host, put her in 4" spiked heels, painted on jeans and then have her take shots at the end? Could you not find a serious fishing woman in the entire state who could represent the fast-growing part of the fishing community - WOMEN???? I don't know Toni. She seems nice enough, but what you've done is painted her up as a bar bimbo. Toni, if you're reading this, I would suggest you renegotiate your contract & job requirements. You look like an ornament and not a fisherwoman.

Here's the thing.... I can look totally hot, spiked heels & painted jeans, too. BUT, when I fish, the hair is pinned up, I put on my Columbia shirt, khaki shorts and essentially, I look like Dave & Rick, but better. I know when to use each type of look. Florida Insider, you're catering to men and not to all fishing people, including kids, which your show was suppose to be all about. I'm so disappointed that I may just skip your show entirely from here on out.

Last, but not least, the magazines. Like I mentioned earlier, I have ordered fishing magazines for years. In the summer, there are always plenty of girls holding fish while wearing bathing suits. Some are more tasteful than others. I'm a tolerant person, really. I recognize that sometimes we fish in Heat Index of 100+ degrees and so a bathing suit is appropriate attire. However, we've received some free copies of Salt Water Sportsman and was disappointed, shocked and even out-raged that they were to blatently sexist to have a Babe of the Month contest. I know that women get to win fishing gear and sometimes a trip but at what cost? We do a lot to raise self-awareness & self-esteem in young girls so they don't get caught in the traps of using their body to get attention. Salt Water editors, you're just reverting women back in time when they had to use their bodies to get ahead in life and you're doing it for your own selfish gratification (i.e. sexual, monetary, pride). Shame on you. Would you be proud of your daughters if they advertised their bodies like this? What century are we living in?? You will never have my $$ to purchase a copy of your magazine. NEVER.

I am very thankful to my husband who helps protect me & our marriage by encouraging me NOT to show off my body to strangers and post up photos to win contests (or get blog hits, for that matter). I have been very proud at keeping this blog G-rated for photos. Of course, this particular blog may be PG-13 for content reasons. LOL.

If any of the people that work for these companies, tv shows or magazines read this, please let me know. I would love to give you a serious dialogue about the direction you are taking the sport of fishing. I'll tell you all about my 2 boys and how we're trying to keep them away from your products and teach them to respect women. Heaven knows, I don't want them to end up like some of your clientele. Maybe I'm disillusioned to think I can raise a man better than that, but I'm certainly going to try.

Thanks and have a blessed 4th of July. Stay safe on the water & wear life vests. Don't drink & drive your boat, either.


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