Friday, January 29, 2010

The F&S Booth Babe saga continues

When I wrote a blog post Wednesday about being irritated with Field & Stream running a photo gallery of SHOT Show Booth Babes, I thought to myself, Hell, there goes your chance of ever writing for Field & Stream!

So when I woke up the next morning and saw the name "Anthony Licata" in my inbox, I must say I just about pissed myself. I know that name, I know that name... That's the editor of Field & Stream. The editor!

I clicked on every other email before I summoned the courage to click on that one. Reminded me of my old days as a reporter when my blood would run cold at the sight of the blinking red voicemail light on my phone the morning a controversial story ran.

Click.
"I really liked your post calling us out on our annual booth babes gallery. You make a lot of great points.

"Would you be interested in writing a guest post our our Field Notes blog that takes on this topic?"

Uhhhhhhhhhhhh. Yes!

So I did. And you can see it by clicking here.

The comments actually start off eerily supportive, but they quickly turn into pretty much what I expected.

WA Mtnhunter: Let's see a photo of the author. That could explain a few things. Just a thought.....

crm3006: WA Mtnhunter- Follow the link to her blog, click on her picture, enlarge it if you dare, ALL IS EXPLAINED!!

Well, gentlemen, it's hard to argue with your incredibly intelligent rejoinders. You're right: It's jealousy. When I was young and cute, I thoroughly enjoyed having chicks dressed as sluts for my role models. But now it just pisses me off. Drat! You've figured me out!

Yep, it's a little rough making my debut in Field & Stream by attacking readers' sacred cow. (And, why no, I didn't say that to employ udder imagery at all!)

But I've had some great conversations with Licata now, and this whole thing has stirred up a pretty lively discussion both on the F&S website and here. Never hurts to get people thinking. So I guess I can't complain.

Have a nice weekend, folks. I'm goin' duck huntin'. And I'm gonna look sexy doing it! Because that's what matters, right?

© Holly A. Heyser 2010


The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Is one of my predictions about to come true?

Well played Holly and richly deserved recognition of your efforts.

Gotta dash Fudds to patronize!

Phillip said...

Glad to see you got the recognition... just a shame that you have to be subjected to the idiots and morons to make your point.

I started to interject over there, but I just couldn't get myself to do it without saying something stupid.

Holly Heyser said...

Yep, I started too also. But part of me says, "You've had your say; let them have theirs." And part of me does not want to be drug into the cesspool anymore than I already have been.

R. Gabe Davis said...

some of the comments made me laugh. Maybe that says something about me. Oh well, just remember juveniles are people too. Your pal the Envirocapitalist.

Julia Lloyd said...

Well, I did post something in support of your blog. Good for you for doing it. In reading some of the posts, it is clear you got some to think about your points. Of course it is just as clear some will never be able to think beyond their own nose.

Cat said...

sad - but true. there are idiots out there... it's unfortunate you had to encounter them. i don't wear my powder or lipstick when i hunt either; wonder what the makes me ;)

The Hunter's Wife said...

Holly, you are one hot duck hunter. ;) Sad to see how some are just so disrespectful. And I couldn't resist and left my comment.

Unknown said...

Good job Holly. Some people got it. Like this one:

"Come on, guys, be honest. Read the comments under the booth babes gallery and honestly tell me you'd want your 12-year-old daughter who is trying to learn how to hunt to read those. I think the writer here makes some dang fine points."

...but wait it get's better. I don't know this guy but I love him:)

"And to you a-holes who made snickering comments about seeing the writers photo and "rest my case," you are the kind of ignorant fools that scare women out of these sports. And if you're going to go there, why don't you show us all your photo? I'm sure you guys are great looking and built like pro atheletes, right? Please...."

I couldn't have said it better. Have a great hunt tomorrow and Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Tried to post a comment over on that other site but it wouldn't let me and good thing it didn't.

After reading timmy2bears and a few others, I was under the impression I would be in the presence of Ladies and Gentlemen, sadly I was mistaken!

Slow to anger is a good virtue!

Clay Cooper

Anonymous said...

I remember a story about General George Washington on the Battle field when he stepped into the tent were His Officers having dinner. As he seated Himself with His Officers, vulgar language flew like flies on a road kill. He quietly stood up and said, “Excuse me, I thought I was in the presence of Gentlemen!” and He walked out!

Sounds just as bad over here if not worse. How old are you?


Sounds no diferant
I'm outta here!

Clay Cooper

Have a nice day <><

Holly Heyser said...

I'm doing much better now, thanks! My car is packed and I'm going hunting!

Eric C. Nuse said...

You go girl!
I have 3 daughters ages 17-32. 2 of which tried hunting and all support hunting and love eating wild meat.
In a way, us guys do have to be more respectful of women than other groups because of the myth that hunting is a males only activity and the behavior of the Bubas among us. The best thing that can happen to hunting is to have more women and girls hunting. All hunters, hunting organizations and their media should be doing their best to welcome and encourage female participation. One way is to honor healthy role models. Vegas show girls don't fit the bill!

Moish said...


After reading both sides of the argument, I thing there is way too much emotion and little thinking in the comments. ONBOTH sides. Lighten up Folks

Josh said...

No lightening up here. A person can be a gentleman, and also a man of passions and convictions. Supporting those convictions with powerful language is not wrong; in fact, to not do so would be to lie.

I'm not condoning cussing, but I see none here.

Holly, you've done a great thing for my daughter. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

I also posted that over @ F&S, they need it. I also think, there is entirely too much wailing and gnashing of teeth going on both sides
none of the ladies involves in the SHOT show are nearly a bare as many in High School in almost any city in the nation.

Tovar@AMindfulCarnivore said...

Bravo, Holly.

Signed, One More Man Against Abusive Idiocy

David Demola said...

Sweet! Nice job, Holly!!! And might I say, I love the super model pose. Are the dead ducks part of your ensemble? Someone should definitely call Versace; I think your fashion statement could catch on real quick.

Kirk Mantay said...

I don't know, Holly (read: please read my entire comment). As someone who's been to many outdoor trade shows - and assuming that those photos are representative - I'd say that NSSF did a good job of asking their vendors to "keep it tame." Were some of the photos & apparel a little over the top? Sure. But I think even the Hooters Girl had on a regular t-shirt with a sweater over top. Far for me to tell you what to be offended by, but by trade show standards, those were Rated G outfits.

For comparison, I recommend you visit a surfing trade show (another sport that is working very hard to recruit strong, confident young women) and check out the absolute objectification of women under the guise of "it's surfing, so thongs are totally appropriate for public wear." Ignoring the fact that in most surfable areas during most parts of the year, a wetsuit is the normal attire. Not a flimsy bikini.

Back to my point. The only thing offensive here, IMO, is the fact that the proverbial Old Men at F&S greenlighted a photo gallery CALLED "Booth Babe Roundup." It certainly sends an image to all potential readers, and certainly generated some web traffic, more than the wording I would have preferred, "SHOT show sightseeing" or something vague like that.

Your detractors on F&S fail to see that larger issue - in 2010, why does F&S need to run an online photo album called "Booth Babe Roundup?" It's just silly, and reeks of Bubba.

But the underlying mentality of the editors seems FAR more sexist than the tame pictures that they carefully selected (honestly, they probably thought they were being family-sensitive and family-appropriate).

You're a great writer and I love your blog, but I think the real story here is that the editing boards of hunting magazines THINK they're doing great things for girls...instead, they are handicapping their own (and our) efforts to recruit young women into the sport by posting things called "Booth Babe Roundup."

Just my .02

Stacey Olson said...

lol.. you go girl! they say controversy is exposure right.. LMBO at your sacred cow.. yeah.. I went there..

SimplyOutdoors said...

First off, congrats for being featured on the F&S blog.

I'm no prude either, but as I sit here and watch my 16 month old playing on the floor, I would hope that someday she might want to pick up a Field & Stream and thumb through it

And I hope that when she does she isn't indoctrinated by a bunch of "perfect" girls sporting the latest products, rather than a good how-to article that helps to peak her hunting and fishing interests.

Good job, Holly.

Matt Mullenix said...

Holly, you are SO The Man! :-)

Hats off to you, again.

Holly Heyser said...

Swamp Thing: Your point here was my point exactly - my quarrel was with F&S. And it's worth noting that F&S deserves HUGE credit for 1) listening to my complaint, 2) noting its valid points and 3) inviting me to share it on the F&S site. That takes integrity, so they've won back huge respect from me.

Stacey: Thank you (says Holly as she pulls daggers thrown by angry metaphorical Hindus out of her back)!

Simply: Thanks and agreed! I would like F&S and other hunting mags to be a place where girls can see themselves as just hunters, not eye candy. Girls desperately need some places like that in the media.

Matt: Thank you! Now if only my duck hunting had gone so well today... SKUNKED ON THE CLOSER!

Bob81 said...

Your article was very articulate and well reasoned. Sorry you got subjected to abuse from a couple of the "village idiots", but most of us really appreciated it.

Many of us hunt with all men and know few if any female hunters. As a result, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that hunting is one big boy's-club and we can always act accordingly. You serve as a helpful reminder of how wrong that is.

Holly Heyser said...

Thanks Bob! The trolls over there have definitely tried my patience, but there have been enough people saying "I get it" - or at least disagreeing on principle instead of calling me an ugly lesbian (I'm neither) - that I know there are reasonable and intelligent people in that audience. Thanks for speaking out!

Anonymous said...

Got looking for what NorCal Cazadora said and for a Journalism professor I would expected better language. I guess those two tracks one one each side of the foot steps to the duck blind wasn't a decoy sled after all

I think she is jealous, talks about passers-by can see their abundant cleavage, is that some kind of equipment needed to hunt with? Perhaps we need to pitch in so she can get a pair of abundant cleavage what do you all think?

Holly Heyser said...


You're welcome to disagree with what I have to say, but I don't even understand what point you're trying to make. Try again, maybe?

Lizzy said...

Hi Holly...I think your article was great, and I understand and support your viewpoint. I think that you are an amazing woman for taking on such a tough topic and for shrugging off the mean comments. That shows a strength of character that is undervalued in today's world.

Some people will most likely be suprised that I would support and agree with your viewpoint, as I often blog about feeling sexy while engaging in outdoor activities. I am aware that some people lump me into the booth babe type and immediately discredit me for showing this side of my personality, but it is just who I am...I'm a girl who loves fishing AND lip :)

In my mind, all women who love the outdoors are sexy in their own right. Being empowered and feeling sexy, to me at least, is not necessarily about makeup or large breasts or even sex, but is about a woman who knows who she is and is confident in herself.

I am proud of you for standing up to this practice and this stereotype. The publication of this type of article shows that major players in the outdoor world still do not acknowledge the strong female presence in the field today. However, the fact that the editor contacted you gives me hope that they will soon be more accepting.

Even though I know it is not what ultimately matters, I think you DO look great in all your outdoor gear, and I think the job you did standing up to this practice and this stereotype was fantastic.

Congratulations on a job well done!

Holly Heyser said...

Thanks, Fisherbabe!

I have no problem with outdoorswomen being sexy. Y'are what y'are. I don't hate Tiffany Lakosky and I don't resent women who wear makeup in a tree stand. I don't hate women with big boobs (though I do feel bad for them because I've heard those things can get in the way of shouldering your gun smoothly, which is why I didn't jump at that one incredibly generous offer to take up a collection for a boob job for me).

Thanks for your vote of confidence in how I look - it's really hard to pull off sexy in duck gear! ;-)

And you're right about the editor - I found him to be eminently reasonable.

Unknown said...

I tracked you back here from that very Field & Stream article just to tell you I agree with you 100%. As a father of 4 daughters I don't think everything they see needs to be about sex. As for some of the ...persons commenting over there, I can only point out that folks will post crap that they would never say to your face. Or never say to your face if I was in the same room.


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