Archery clubs and inclusive names.

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
A new member of our club has questioned the inclusive, or otherwise, nature of the club's name. The name includes the word "Bowmen".
Does that suggest women will not be welcome?
I never gave this a thought until it was brought to my attention.
 


Timid Toad

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
Yeah, my club title includes "Bowmen". I find it annoying. But not enough to do anything about it. Largely because I know I can kick the backside of every "bowman" in the club.
 


Cereleste

Supporter
Supporter
Same here in terms of the name, level of annoyance, and relative accuracy. I asked once at an AGM about it being changed an received an irate tirade from the (male) captain at the time about how it's tradition - which apparently means nothing should change ever. I've always interpreted the name as implying it's a men's team with women tolerated, and the club's gender ratio would support that assumption.
 


KidCurry

Well-known member
I've always interpreted the name as implying it's a men's team with women tolerated, and the club's gender ratio would support that assumption.
I can't find any definition for 'bowmen' as gender specific. Only 'an archer', a 'person carrying a bow and arrow'. This seems to be one of the few roles carried out by men, historically, that does this. It is now simply a noun that now refers to a thing rather than a specific person.
 


chuffalump

Well-known member
It would get a bit clumsy if you had to change all the 'Bowmen of...' To 'Bowmen and Bowwomen of...'. That said, my club specifies 'Gentlemen and Lady....'.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I suppose we could take this to another level and ask why the females are called wo- men and fe-males as if they are a sub section of men rather than part of a pair of people.
I've always interpreted the name as implying it's a men's team with women tolerated, and the club's gender ratio would support that assumption.
I can understand that the word seems to imply men and less so women. I have to say, though, that the ratio of men to women might just be because more men are interested in archery than women.
I wonder how many enquiries about joining archery clubs, that are made by women, include a question like... "And are women allowed to join?" I think that would be a common question if the word "bowmen" was in the club's name and women felt they might be excluded.
In years to come, if words like Bowmen became universally used to include both genders ... rather like " doctor"..... would that not help with equality? If two words are used, one for each gender.. does that not indicate differences are understood which might continue the unequal treatment. So for example "doctor" and "lady doctor" suggests differences where use of " doctor " alone, suggests equality.
 


bimble

Well-known member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
I wonder how many enquiries about joining archery clubs, that are made by women, include a question like... "And are women allowed to join?" I think that would be a common question if the word "bowmen" was in the club's name and women felt they might be excluded.
My money is on zero. The fact that police officers were (and often still are) called 'policemen' didn't stop women from joining, likewise with fireman...
 


If people are concerned about the use of Bowmen then try using Archers of ........, Bows of........... or we could stop thinking about labels and just enjoy doing the sport that we love.
And another can of worms, transgenders
 


chuffalump

Well-known member
I suppose we could take this to another level and ask why the females are called wo- men and fe-males as if they are a sub section of men rather than part of a pair of people.
That's an interesting example of cultural programming. You could easily argue that 'woman' and 'female' are longer, more complex words whilst 'man' and 'male' are simplified and reduced. Meaning that man is a subset of woman instead.

A small change in the prehistoric past could easily have seen society develop further on matriarchal lines instead of patriarchal. In that alternate timeline, people are commenting on the lack of inclusivity of 'Bowwomen of....'.

Many of these words are already being used to mean both sexes but if I was starting a new club I'd use 'Archers' instead.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I have a solution of sorts. Make a typing error with "bowmen".
"bwomen" it seems like it could be either gender; depending on how your mind works. Women will naturally see "women" ...men won't spot the mistake and just read it as normal.
 


deaglesuk

New member
Same here in terms of the name, level of annoyance, and relative accuracy. I asked once at an AGM about it being changed an received an irate tirade from the (male) captain at the time about how it's tradition - which apparently means nothing should change ever. I've always interpreted the name as implying it's a men's team with women tolerated, and the club's gender ratio would support that assumption.
Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people ;)
 


Timid Toad

Moderator
Staff member
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
Bimble: They're all "Police Officers" now, for exactly that reason.

Everyone else: If it doesn't bother you because you are male...you are just showing how the world has always been skewed in your favour, and you don't even see it. This might be a tiny thing, but it's part of a much bigger picture.
 


Stretch

Active member
Anyone who thinks it is generic needs to go and read Caroline Criado-Perez Invisible Women. There is no such thing as inclusive generic. Once your eyes are open this stuff is hard not to see.

Stretch & Mrs Stretch
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Hi Ben, I see the logic in that. However, when I read it in with our club's name, it almost seems that the archery gets lost.
I have never noticed any of our female archers feeling like lesser archers or every mentioning anything like that. They are treated like everyone else. The question is, do some women never approach us because the name is a barrier?
 


Whitehart

Well-known member
Just substitute Bowmen for "Archery Club" or "Archers" - does what it says on the tin.

We can all then get on with growing the participation in the sport and enjoy shooting arrows.

Bowmen - a person who paddles a boat from the front or "an archer" - seem to be the two most popular definitions.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
We can all then get on with growing the participation in the sport and enjoy shooting arrows.
I would imagine that "growing the participation in the sport" would require far more than a few clubs changing their names.
Does archery need more archers? Who is saying more archers are needed?
I can imagine some small clubs feeling that their club would gain by having more archers shooting there. How are they going to do that?
The club where I shoot is at a level that we describe as "comfortable". Larger numbers could lead to a crowded shooting line and other knock on effects.
 


Top