A little story:
Awhile back, I got interviewed by CBC in anticipation of Catching Fire's release. They were interested in hearing about the recent buzz in archery and the surging appeal for women. I was flattered my friend and fellow feminist, Charles, referred them to me. I mean, I've got the cred: I blog about the sport and I've been organizing a feminist meetup for years. I think I've got a thing or two to say on the subject.
1) My first reaction to the topic of women taking up archery is that I don't notice. There are lots of occasions in life where one is made aware of their gender. Doing archery, I'm not. Good. Big good.
2) Women and men do pretty much the same thing in archery. That wasn't the case, when I used to do partnered dancing, or even with my Meetup ice-skating group. That poster for Battle of the Blades says a lot: we expect a different role from a woman on skates than a man.
3) Think about this: in the major broadcast sports, we mostly see leagues of men, so it builds up an expectation of, say, your typical hockey player. Now, lots of amazing hockey players are women but they may not come to mind as the type. That isn't so with archery. For one thing, we aren't as familiar with archery as a spectator sport, so it's more of a clean slate.
4) On the contrary, we have folklore images of women archers. The Amazons. Artemis from Greek mythology, and her Roman counterpart, Diana. Women have always been among the storied archers. At our Hallowe'en tournament at the public range, I heard one of the guys complain it too hard to come up with a famous dude archer to dress as. To which I say, "Think about that a minute. Legolas? Robin Hood? Sagittarius?" All the same, its nice that we women ARE represented in archery lore.
I feel the archers I've met are pretty evenly split among males and females. I am aware that's a more recent development but it pleases me.
As I said, though, the piece didn't made it to air, so if somebody would tell them to send another camera my way, I'm ready for my close-up!