No, I get it, and I agree in theory, but this article actually demonstrates a key issue I have with people attempting to moralize fiction. Here’s what stood out to me:
The article uses this as an example of a sexist statement made not sexist by the last sentence, but I don’t think the statement was sexist in the first place. Granted, I don’t know the context within the novel this exchange takes place, but superficially it’s not sexist to me. Big revolvers (and pistols) have a lot of kick back. Women do tend to have a limp wrist when shooting these weapons because women TEND TO not have as much natural forearm strength and TEND TO be smaller (not to say this applies to all women ever, but to more women than men, especially those women starting out). I shot a .45 ACP pistol. It literally knocked me back a few steps. I couldn’t aim it straight because the kick back forced my wrist up and the bullet ended up much higher up on the target than I aimed for it to be. People underestimate the kickback of firearms. I struggle even with the 9mm. People assume just about anyone can pick up any caliber and shoot it without any problems, and that’s not the case. Having a limp wrist can cause issues with the function of the firearm.
So, yes, if I was Billy I would give Kylie a smaller firearm to start out with because she may be a smaller woman. That’s not sexist. That’s the logical thing to do given the situation.
Now, if he knows Kylie has experience with firearms and he’s just assuming she’s incapable of ever being good with a big revolver under any circumstances then, yes, it’s sexist. If he thinks no woman is ever capable of being good with firearms, again, it’s sexist. But that doesn’t seem to be the case (at least from what little I know).
I know it seems like I’m being nitpicky, but really I’m pulling out this example to illustrate the problem with trying to moralize fiction. It’s not a bad idea in theory, but often in practice it’s misapplied or wrong.