If you’re looking for opportunities to help empower other outdoors women, you don’t have to look hard because there are many. In fact, social media can be a pretty darn good place to start.
You’ve probably witnessed some unempowering comments and posts as you’ve scrolled through photos of women with prized fish or game trophies. For example, I recently saw a popular female angler being publicly chastised via Facebook by another woman for posting what the other woman thought was an altered image of a largemouth bass. Regardless of whether or not the images are altered, it’s clear that this angler truly does love being on the water. While I’m not condoning this behavior, we should think about how we react and handle these situations. The real question is — what drives certain people to be so confrontational and backbiting?
To the above types of confrontational women (you know who you are), how about stopping for one second to try lifting others up instead of tearing them down? No matter how good you think you are at fishing or anything else, there will always be someone out there who is more skilled, who has been doing it longer, and who genuinely wants to see other women succeed. After all, we all had to start somewhere, and that “mean girl” thing… yeah, so unflattering. How about trying these approaches instead?
Ways To Empower Outdoors Women
- Be a source of positive, helpful, and accurate information. If you witness someone, either while outdoors or on social media, doing something that you know to be incorrect or not in the best interest of conservation, just talk to them or send them a polite private message. Try saying something along the lines of, “I’ve noticed you love fishing, so just wanted to share something I learned that might be helpful.” The fact of the matter is, not everyone has access to the same resources or knowledge. Besides, don’t you think we should at least give them credit for getting out there and trying? Sometimes all it takes is one person offering up a helpful tip, and they may see another point of view.
- Suggest an upcoming fishing seminar or join a fishing club. The “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” seminar series and the FWC “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” program in Florida both host a few events each year throughout the state. You can also suggest that they reach out to Jeanene Arrington, of Not a Clue Adventures, who runs an outdoor guide service and specializes in educating women on a variety of outdoor activities like hiking, camping, fishing and canoeing. In addition, there are women’s fishing clubs, such as the Nature Coast Lady Anglers, where women can fish and learn together in a non-intimidating environment.
- Invite other women along when you go fishing with a group so that they have the chance to connect with other anglers. OK, I know there are several of you out there thinking to yourselves, “I’m not going to invite someone I hardly know out fishing. What if she refuses to bait her own line or claims she has to run to the bathroom every 5 minutes?” Well, guess what? You will find out real fast how serious someone is when it comes to learning more about the sport.
When you help other outdoors women learn and grow, you set an example for others to do the same. Just think about how many more women we can get involved in this sport through education and encouragement. At this point, I’m quite sure a few of you have your own observations to add. I’d love for you to weigh in on the Shefishes2.com Facebook Page or by registering and commenting on the blog.