The Wisconsin State Senate recently approved a bill that would let hunters wear pink camouflage in place of traditional orange, but one group is opposing it on the grounds that it’s sexist.

The Wisconsin Women’s Hunting and Sporting Association (WHSA) decried the bill—and the proposed pink camo—as demeaning to women. According to WHSA president Sarah Ingle, women hunters in Wisconsin had worked hard to achieve equality in what is traditionally seen as a male-dominated sport, and the pink camo would only serve to diminish that achievement.

“As an individual or as group, it’s good to stand up for your beliefs, and one of ours is NO HUNT PINK,” wrote the group on its website.

Supporters of the bill were taken aback by the fierce opposition, and say that the proposal to allow fluorescent pink was meant to encourage more women to hunt, not to demean them. Pink hunting clothing, gear, and guns have been very popular with women hunters in recent years and lawmakers were hoping to bring that trend to Wisconsin. The state currently requires hunters to have half of all clothing above the waist in blaze orange.

“New female hunters outnumber new male hunters three to one. With this in mind, the Sportsman’s Caucus, a bipartisan group of legislators dedicated to Wisconsin’s outdoor heritage, has been interested in legalizing blaze pink hunting clothing along with blaze orange,” wrote Senator Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls), one of the supporters of the bill, in a column for the Dunn County News last year.

WHSA members say they doubt the bill will encourage more women to hunt.

“Saying a woman would choose a lifestyle of hunting, fishing, gathering her game, just because she can wear a color is sexist,” Ingle told WTMJ-TV.

“(This bill) is a half-hearted attempt to go to women and say, `Hey, I can wear pink and go out and hunt,”‘ Ingle added while speaking to the Associated Press. “That’s not what women want and not what they need.”

Supporters of the bill countered by pointing out that there is no provision requiring women hunters to wear pink, it simply adds the color as an option. Lawmakers also say that fluorescent pink is considered by experts to be just as safe and visible as blaze orange. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference.

The State Assembly passed the bill in November and it now heads to Governor Scott Walker for approval.

Image from Renee V on the flickr Creative Commons

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12 thoughts on “Women’s Hunting Group Calls Pink Camo Sexist, Opposes Wisconsin Bill

  1. So just because these women in particular don’t want to wear pink, what if there are some other women hunters who want to wear pink? I don’t see the problem in that. Wear whatever you please as long as it is highly visible, what matters is that we get more women out hunting in the first place!

  2. Not sexist at all! Some women like pink. Some men like pink. Who the hell is Ingle to speak for all women? If they do this I’m sure men can wear it in the woods too. Hell I have some arrows with pink fletching!? What about pink for support of breast cancer!? Is that sexist too? What a horrible world that tries to be accepting, inclusive, brotherly…….. Get a life “Lady”…..

  3. I think it’s great that WI is considering allowing blaze pink as an alternative to blaze orange! It is not sexist at all! If someone doesn’t like pink, they don’t have to wear it! It really is just that simple, believe or not. Several years ago there was talk that maybe my state would allow blaze pink too one day. At that time I worked at an outdoors store, and I heard men FLIP OUT about it. Some were dumb enough to think they would be forced to wear pink. Others went more along the lines of neither women or pink belong in the outdoors. I, and another female employee were actually cussed out about this subject. Those are sexist statements. Giving females the OPTION to wear blaze pink is not sexist. If my state ever allowed blaze pink vests to be worn, I would probably wear it. More to make a statement that I am a proud female hunter and I have every right to hunt. Also, I have had several male friends mention they may even where pink on public land since florescent pink is brighter than blaze orange.
    I do not believe that this is some marketing scam to sell more pink outdoors gear. Besides what is wrong with pink outdoors gear? It is just a COLOR. No one pitches a fit over any other color or patterns on the same gear. It just a color option. Do you think pink on running shoes is degrading to female runners? Or should Nike only make “manly” colors as an option, because it’s sexist to think a woman wants pink?
    Young females becoming a part of the outdoors is growing. We should all be proud of how far we’ve come to show our strength and equality, but instead, a select few of you are trying to hold us back over a COLOR. To me, you are no different than those men I mentioned above. If a female or male wants to wear pink, then what is it to you? No one is forcing you to wear pink instead of orange in the times it is required to wear blaze. No one is forcing you to wear pink camo instead of green the rest of the time. Even if I hated pink, I would wear it to just for the statement that clearly needs to be made. I have seen females disrespected because of the pink camo they wear hunting, the pink gun or bow they shoot, but guess what! They still hit the target, still drag out that deer, still are every bit of an outdoorswoman as you. There is nothing sexist for a state to decide to allow blaze pink as an alternative. I think WI is showing great support to the women of the outdoors by making this decision. I can only hope my state will follow suit.

  4. Here’s some points to ponder: 1) Have you ever met someone that would pick up a hunting activity just because they can wear a certain color or outfit, especially rifle deer hunting? 2) Did you know that blaze pink, while more visible to to most, but less to deer, is also less visible to the 1 out of 8 people that are color blind? 3) The authors changed their reasoning behind the bill midstream, saying it was now a “safety” factor. If safety were the issue, wouldn’t you make the most highly visible color, which is like a fluorescent yellow-green the standard? Truth be told, no deaths during the rifle deer season in Wisconsin in the last couple years have been attributed to a visual cause.

    Standing up against the color pink isn’t going to hold anyone back. Women have been getting more involved in the past decade WITHOUT the color pink. Why insinuate they need, or want, a specific color in order to become active in hunting?

    If you want to get more women in hunting, inspire your local school board to teach sustainability in schools and get your sisters, mothers, daughters and female friends involved in the outdoors. Teach them they don’t need to be distinguished by color or pandered to in order to find a place in the outdoors.

    1. No one said that allowing Pink camo would cause a female to start hunting. Stop with the false implications. They were just trying to do something to make it more inclusive. More gender friendly. Same reason for allowing crossbows to be used by everyone. May help to encourage someone to try the sport. Again, nothing is good enough. Can’t be satisfied. Gripe gripe gripe.

  5. Demeaning? Nah… Are men prohibited from wearing the Pink camo? Why can’t women choose to wear whatever is effective?

  6. During WW2 there was a Operation called “Archery”, headed by 1st Earl of Burman Louis Mountbatten. Involving the Color Pink, specifically “Plymouth Pink” aka “Mountbatten Pink”. From a Distance, the Color Goes Invisible to the Naked (Human) Eye. So I can SEE why Pink is NOT “SEXY”…

  7. Got to love America! You can’t make anyone happy. Gripe gripe gripe. “I’m offended”. Bunch of drama queen females.

  8. Not sure why you feel you have to be equal with men in the field. I could care less what a man thinks when he sees me hunting. I do it because I enjoy being in the outdoors, watching the dogs work, sitting in the deer stand in the quiet and seeing nature at it’s finest. Yes, I put on makeup before I go out because it makes ME feel good, so if I want to wear camo with pink in it I should have that CHOICE, which is what the bill will give me. If it gives that one eleven year old girl the nudge she needs to become an outdoor sportswoman than she should have that CHOICE, not made to feel like she’s less of a hunter because of what color she has on. It’s not going to change your choice to wear blaze orange, but it gives someone else the choice not to.

  9. I’m a guy and one of my two favorite colors is pink, I have a pink bow. I would like to wear pink. So I am all for this…

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