Let me begin by admitting I love color. If you walked into my basement, you would know right away what belongs to me in the sea of black. The rifle with the pink grips, the pistol with the sparkly purple back strap, and the pink ammo can, I can spot them all. Sure, this is a choice I made to find my items easily, but also to celebrate me, a woman. Did colorful hunting and shooting equipment entise me to begin my new life adventures? No. But it might make someone more excited about buying gear
Recently I read an announcement, “Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill allowing hunters to wear fluorescent pink instead of the traditional blaze orange.” Great! Not that I don’t like blaze orange, my bedroom wall is practically that color. I see this bill as creating a choice. Imagine my surprise when this was quickly followed by the slogan “No Hunt Pink” on the Women’s Hunting and Sporting Association of Wisconsin’s website. The group is fighting the bill calling it sexist and demeaning to women.
According to Professor Majid Sarmadi, a renowned color scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology, “The human eye has three different types of cones (red, green and blue) but deer have only two (blue and green). Therefore, deer are dichromatic animals. Research at the University of Georgia indicates that deer can detect only greens, blues, yellows and UV.”
When testing blaze orange against florescent pink he said, “It is well known that blaze orange provides a very good contrast in the wooded areas in the spring and summer. However, when visually compared to the orange colors found in the fall leaves, blaze orange was harder to detect than the pink colors that were tested. The pink colors provided a better color contrast. Our spectrometric analysis indicated that the blaze pink that was tested had similar visibility to most blaze orange hats and was even better than a couple of them. Therefore, based on this small study, it can be concluded that the blaze pink we tested were as safe as the ‚orange blaze’ hunting hats.”
According to the Wisconsin government’s website, the proposal is designed to attract more women to hunting, encourage apparel manufacturers to partner with nonprofit groups working to get more people – men and women – interested in the sport, give hunters more clothing options and give apparel manufacturers a boost. Under current Wisconsin law, at least half of each article of clothing that gun deer hunters wear above the waist must be blaze orange. The bipartisan bill allows hunters to wear fluorescent pink as well.
Wondering what women in the shooting industry thought about this, I went to Facebook and created a poll. After 24 hours, these were the results:
• I’m glad there is now a choice, however, I will continue to wear blaze orange. 26
• I will NEVER wear pink, this is sexist. 7
• I’m excited to wear fluorescent pink while hunting. 6
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect; however, the comments were quite eye opening. Here are a few:
Pink is my favorite color. I think it’s great there is a choice now. If ya don’t like pink don’t wear it, there is always blaze orange.”
We’re all looking at this as sexist. But what if a dude wants to hunt but would rather wear pink? (Similar to all the pink accessories in the NFL.) and this could be good for the economy because the clothing manufacturers can now produce ‘Hunting gear’ in more than one color.”
Seems like a waste of tax payers money if that’s all they have to worry about introducing.”
It’s only sexist if you make it that way. No one is saying women have to wear pink, it’s just an option. We should all support ideas, however silly we think they are, to involve women in hunting. I have personally never heard a woman say, ‘I would totally hunt if only I could wear pink!’ Everyone I have talked to say the same thing — they don’t really care but this give everyone another option.”
I agree, it is trivializing women. So, now that I can wear pink, I will hunt. Before, when I could only wear orange I wouldn’t hunt.”
My son who hunts likes fluorescent pink so I think its sexist to think pink is for girls.”
Sexism. Because I have boobs, I need to wear pink?! It’s like a woman saying, ‘I love hunting too, but I can’t unless it’s pink.’”
So where do we go from here? Hopefully the manufactures won’t just change the color, but will adjust the fit and sizes for women. Me, I’m going to wear florescent pink when it becomes legal in Ohio. Not only will it be a safer alternative in the fall, but also I will be able to find my pink in the basement. Why cut off your nose to spite your face?