This week, the National Rifle Association debuted Natalie Foster as the new video commentator for its website, the NRA News Network, to drum up support for the Second Amendment.
Blonde and telegenic, Foster already blogs for her own site, Girls Guide To Guns, “dedicated to women who dig fashion and fire power,” in which she writes about gun ownership as well as girly tips, like New Year’s cocktails and how to look “extra cute” at a gun range. Her site also includes a list of female-friendly shooting ranges. The NRA News Network (which, by the way, is not exactly espousing “news” if these people are editorializing commentators, which they are) also debuted two other new commentators who are both men. Colion Noir, who is black, is an “urban gun enthusiast” and Dom Raso is a veteran. Altogether, the three are meant to appeal to demographics the NRA desperately wants to reach.
But it’s Natalie Foster who is most disconcerting. I don’t doubt the sincerity of her love for shooting at all. In fact, her website is actually kind of cool. But Foster’s involvement with the NRA is calculated to only pose gun ownership as good for women, appropriating the language of the feminist movement to do so. In her intro video, she drops the E-word, explaining how she was “empowered” by learning to shoot a gun. She also poses gun ownership for women as a choice akin to abortion: “Our culture is all about women being able to choose for themselves and if you’re going to be able to choose what you do with your body, why aren’t we able to defend our bodies?” Foster isn’t free from gun-related machismo, either: She swoons over her favorite gun and says shooting it makes her “feel like a badass.” Keep reading »