Okay, I've got to add my two cents in too....
First, I'll forgive any man for being a man - you just can't help it and I totally understand...
As for the guy(s) wanting to get a 22 for his gf/wife/mother because she is a woman for protection and the rest of the story. Well, I'm shaking my head for few reasons - First is that I've been treated like that woman by my ex-husband and I'm the one who got him into shooting. I talked him into getting a 9mm Taurus for home protection. Second is I'm the woman who will walk into a store and be the one eying a pretty piece of work and the guy I'm with is the one who is being talked to about the gun I want. Or not taken seriously when I don't have a guy with me. And third, I've been the woman who had salesmen try and talk me into getting a 22 because I'm a woman. (Yes, I love the look that comes across their face when I tell them what I already have.)
Personally - 22s are great for practices and learning how to shoot. I've had both my older boys taught to shoot on a 22. But (personally) for home protection I prefer either a 12 gauge (love the sound) and/or a 9mm... I like something that is going to give a big punch from a distance. I'll avoid the hand to hand combat if possible - I like keeping my knives clean of human blood.
I have practiced with 22s also but my issues (nasty low left flinch) doesn't show up when I'm shooting a 22.
As a woman, thank you to whom ever said to try and hold the conversation with the woman who the gun is for. It makes us feel more respected and part of the process. If the guy is going to be the type who has to talk for her, my suggestion would be to say something to the effect of "If you are buying her a gun then let's make sure she is comfortable with it and can I interest you in this (point to something super cool)
for you too." What better then to politely show respect for the woman and possibly getting more money out of the jerk.