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Topic: Sexism and magic (redux)
Message: Posted by: Melies (Dec 15, 2018 06:42PM)
This cartoon in the Dec. 18, 2018 issue of The New Yorker sums up one of the enduring problems in our art, which is of course sexism and the continued reduction of female assistants and spectators alike to the status of sexualized objects:
https://media.newyorker.com/cartoons/5c0041855cc0c92d353cfca0/master/w_1200,c_limit/181210_a22361.jpg

The fact that a mainstream magazine published the image is all the proof one needs that a significant portion of the public really does see us this way, and all too accurately: as a Men's Only form of entertainment in which women are always the pretty accessories or peripherals. How many national illusion shows are still using stereotypically "beautiful" women in skimpy outfits in their acts? It remains the norm. Just recently, I saw comedy magician Jonathan Burns' appearance last year on Penn and Teller's "Fool Us," and I was shocked by the disgusting way the performer chose to end his otherwise brilliant routine: with him pretending to ejaculate on a spectator on stage. (Yes, seriously.) But if you look at the video of the performance, about 6 minutes in, you can see that the woman standing there "gets" what he's doing and doesn't like it. However, she's on national TV (or soon will be), and has to be a good sport. Meanwhile, the audience is hooting and hollering, and Penn and Teller are falling over laughing. It was like a symbolic gang rape. Unacceptable.

I would love to see just one professional full-time magician in Vegas or some similar venue say publicly that objectifying women on stage is an anachronism and one that we need to retire. I'd like to see just one magic distributor say that it will no longer produce advertising copy for its effects in which *every* spectator is referred to as "she," and *every* magician is referred to as "he." Man=subject. Woman=object.

We are finally seeing more women entering the magical arts, and that will help shift public perceptions of what we are about. Meanwhile, though, male performers like me have a special responsibility to name this crap and to hold other male magicians accountable to a new standard. It's gone on for way to long. I encourage other Café residents to start cataloguing these sexist idiocies. In fact, how about we start a whole website on the topic? Or create a hashtag, like #VanishingSexism?
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Dec 16, 2018 02:44PM)
Thank you for this post. :)
Message: Posted by: Melies (Dec 20, 2018 09:17PM)
Sadly but predictably, when I introduced this theme the other day on the Right and Wrong? discussion page (https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?forum=177&topic=681387), I got hammered with the usual defensive, clueless responses by male performers. "There are none so blind as those who won't see," as the saying goes. So it remains an uphill battle.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Dec 26, 2018 12:37PM)
Something I find rather disturbing in myself is that I hadn’t even gotten the inappropriateness of the treatment of the lady audience member the first time I watched Burns do that. I had to imagine it going the other way (which would have been objectively funnier) to see how wrong it was. And I think of myself as pretty fair minded.

I do appreciate you posting this because it is important for magic to move beyond sexual role definition.

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Dec 27, 2018 03:47PM)
Melies, what should male and female be referred to as, if not he or she? You did not give the reference words you desire. There are two sexes in this World, and there is a large difference in physical make up between them.

I have always referred to a helper, male or female, as YOU. Will you come up and help me? Will you hold this scarf? Will you pick a card?

Ladies have a certain way of standing, holding, and natural show business presence that male do not possess. It is all about the show an the audience reactions and acceptance to the visual.

Cheleste Evans is the only female magician I ever seen live, that impressed my interest in magic. She was the best. I have never seen a female magician as good as her in my magic visits to conventions.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Dec 27, 2018 03:53PM)
[quote]On Dec 26, 2018, Mr. Woolery wrote:
Something I find rather disturbing in myself is that I hadn’t even gotten the inappropriateness of the treatment of the lady audience member the first time I watched Burns do that. I had to imagine it going the other way (which would have been objectively funnier) to see how wrong it was. And I think of myself as pretty fair minded.

I do appreciate you posting this because it is important for magic to move beyond sexual role definition.

Patrick [/quote]


If you are referring to the famous comedy team Burns and Allen, they did originally go the other way at 1st, but George realized the audience did not laugh at Gracie being the straight person. So they switched it around, because every time Gracie was getting the laughs, it is show business and they wanted to earn a living in Vaudeville.
Message: Posted by: Melies (Dec 29, 2018 09:33PM)
Bill, you write: "Melies, what should male and female be referred to as, if not he or she?...I have always referred to a helper, male or female, as YOU."

You seem to misapprehend my point: almost every magic book, every ad copy, every commercial effect, depicts the spectator as "she" or "her," not "you." In other words, the spectator is invariably the DONE TO. Now, why is that? Don't we bring men and women onto our stages? I'm suggesting that the use of language matters: among other things, continually referring to spectators as exclusively female reinforces the passivity of women and the agency of male performers.

"Ladies have a certain way of standing, holding, and natural show business presence that male do not possess. It is all about the show an the audience reactions and acceptance to the visual."

Sorry, but you are wrong. Gender is a social construction. It is not natural. Pygmy women in Africa, Aztec women in the 4th century, Hopi women in 800 BCE, and Austrian hairdressers do not or did not stand the same way, act the same way, hold themselves the same way, etc. And they don't/didn't all have the same "natural show business presence," etc. The skimpily clad women in Copperfield's shows do not naturally hold their bodies that way, they are told what to do, how to stand, how to smile, etc. It is a disciplining of the female body as rigorous nearly as what Ballanchine subjected his ballerinas to. Not natural.

You write: "Cheleste Evans is the only female magician I ever seen live, that impressed my interest in magic. She was the best. I have never seen a female magician as good as her in my magic visits to conventions."

That is such a sexist comment, I can't believe you said it--but you did. It's like someone saying, "I once saw Arthur Ashe play, but I never saw another Black play tennis as well before or since." I.e., the logical inference being, BLACK PEOPLE CAN'T BE GREAT TENNIS PLAYERS, AND THE REASON THERE AREN'T MORE OF 'EM IS BECAUSE THEY JUST AREN'T ANY GOOD. I.e. not because of SYSTEMIC UNRELENTING RACISM IN THE WHITE TENNIS WORLD.

Well, I have seen many fabulous female magicians (like Belinda Sinclair)--as good or better than 98% of the male magicians I've seen. But to bring up personal anecdotes is completely beside the point. Your attitude is sadly like that of every other party who ever objected that black people can't be college professors, or women can't be trusted to vote, or the reason there aren't more women in math and science is probably due to genetic inferiority (thank you, Larry Summers), etc.

I'll tell you why there aren't more good female magicians, and also why the ones who are good often shy away from the magic conventions: because the conventions, and the Magic Café, are full of sexist men who don't take women's equality seriously and who are quite happy to keep the club closed.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Dec 29, 2018 10:13PM)
You are totally wrong, I live in a black community, and friends with many of them. And comparing 4th world people to the United States is stretching things really far. 4th world woman do have a style all to themselves, but you are so angry, you cannot see it. Wen I was in Vietnam, the men and women were totally unique. I like and interacted whenever possible with them. A very nice and unique culture.

You are also wrong, that we don't want woman in magic, they bend over backwards to help and show case them whenever possible.

You have a very negative view, I am sorry for you, as you are totally wrong.

If you want to get rid of he and she, as I ask, come up with a words you would replace them with. The English language is constantly changing, but if you look want it changed, then change it, but don't put your work on others, and say they are wrong.

A man and woman is in a store, one of them black and one is white, how would you tell the police, who was stealing the merchandise. You have seconds to speak.

I was once asked by a black person, how would you point out a person from 10 people only one was black, they are all grouped together across the street. How would you tell, which person you speaking about? They all had baseball caps, white T shirts and jeans on, and all wore sneakers. He never gave me the answer.

I grew up when there was very few if any black people in my town. It was not a small town. So I have not prejudice against anyone, I make up my mind about all people after I interact with them. My parents never commented about race or prejudice in any form. Just yesterday, a friend of mine, who was once a neighbor just stopped by to say hello. It was thoughtful of him, and he is doing well.

I don't know where you get you judgmental attitude, but it is horrible.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Dec 30, 2018 09:50AM)
[quote]On Dec 29, 2018, Bill Hegbli wrote:
I don't know where you get your judgmental attitude, but it is horrible. [/quote]

To compare the BLACK issue with the FEMALE issue...I just shake my head ruefully. Yeah. Use ANY excuse...no matter how inane...OK this male is slithering away now...:rolleyes:

Doug
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Dec 30, 2018 02:45PM)
Dougini, Melies brought up the Black issue.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Dec 31, 2018 07:33AM)
I know. Shameful...
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Dec 31, 2018 08:40AM)
[quote]On Dec 15, 2018, Melies wrote:...We are finally seeing more women entering the magical arts, and that will help shift public perceptions of what we are about..[/quote]


Indeed. Here is an example...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDvw3gboX5I&feature=youtu.be

Doug
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 31, 2018 04:17PM)
[quote]...for magic to move beyond sexual role definition. [/quote]
Performance is for, not upon, at or to.
Hearts are not the same as clubs or diamonds.
Message: Posted by: Aus (Jan 1, 2019 10:00PM)
[quote]On Dec 29, 2018, Bill Hegbli wrote: I don't know where you get your judgmental attitude, but it is horrible. [/quote]

Let me answer that question Bill, the gender is a social construct and pronoun doctrine is politics derived by the LGBTQIA lobby groups and firmly supported and championed by feminists as part of their broader doctrine of intersectionality which these things are a part of. I could give you evidence that it a load of crap but I think you don't need further convincing on that front from me.

Feminists use intersectionality to award oppression points to individuals to validate or invalidate a personal opinion on the philosophy of "walking in another person's shoes". So the rationale is that because I claim I'm part of a community, and by that, I know what that community thinks and that the community is homogeneous then by extension I'm a valid spokesperson for that community.

The holes in this reasoning is that a) your not part of a community just because you say so, B) the community isn't anymore homogeneous than any other community (it's not even a community), C) just because your a mere member of that community doesn't make you a valid representative of that community, and finally D) no one granted you that power.

So essentially if you don't have the required oppression points that intersectionality dictates then by default your opinions doesn't count for much and you should shut up and listen. It's a poisonous level of terms of engagement that feminism uses to engage in political discourse and under this doctrine, the person who has the least valid opinion of anyone is the straight abled body white male.

Hope that clears things up for you Bill.

Now this pronoun stuff can get to ludicrous levels if left unchecked and here in Australia we starting to see the levels of absurdity that have existed in the US for some time now. I'll leave a video to highlight the point.


[youtube]Ndr8NM_XvtE[/youtube]

Magically

Aus
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Jan 2, 2019 09:32AM)
Bill, I was talking about Johnathan Burns, as referenced in the OP.

Patrick
Message: Posted by: adrianrbf (Mar 10, 2019 09:52AM)
Many magicians treat their spectators, and their volunteers in particular, with little respect. The "I am powerful and make you look stupid" narrative is quite widespread, as far as I can see. Female spectators and volunteers seem to be treated with even less respect than male ones. In addition to the general narrative to ridicule the spectator, there can be sexist remarks, too. And while there are reasons to prefer female volunteers for one trick and male volunteers for another one, I think that all volunteers (and in fact all spectators) should be treated respectfully.
Message: Posted by: DaKine Oregon (Jun 30, 2019 02:20PM)
Pen Jillette is one male magician who has said that sexism in magic is a problem. May there be many more saying the same.

https://globalnews.ca/news/3816289/young-calgary-magician-hopes-gender-bias-vanishes-with-help-of-penn-teller/

DaKine Oregon
Message: Posted by: DaKine Oregon (Jul 5, 2019 12:12PM)
Penn also thinks the next big magician in America will be a woman, based on math. He also discusses pranks and Virtual Reality.

https://www.salon.com/2019/07/04/penn-jillette-does-the-math-americas-next-big-magic-star-will-be-a-woman/

DaKine Oregon.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jul 8, 2019 03:04AM)
Melies - I was agreeing with munch of your thinking until you turned to projecting ...

but, I ma questioning your statement , "the spectator is invariably the DONE TO. Now, why is that? Don't we bring men and women onto our stages? I'm suggesting that the use of language matters: among other things, continually referring to spectators as exclusively female reinforces the passivity of women and the agency of male performers."

This suggest that you understand the dynamics of magic very little, and proper "Volunteer Assistant" selection even less.

The selection has very little to do with sex, but might be based on gender. Men and women are physically different in strength, left-right sensitivity, eye-contact cues, etc.

The desired "story told after" is the ONLY basis of selecting a particular VA, with "must be magic" the theme.

Yes, SOME performers make selections based on sex/gender. Just don't toss everyone into the same change bag.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Jul 14, 2019 05:00PM)
[quote]On Jul 8, 2019, funsway wrote:
Yes, SOME performers make selections based on sex/gender. Just don't toss everyone into the same change bag. [/quote]

And SOME Americans speak English. SOME trees have leaves. And SOME vehicles run on gasoline. Let's not pretend that the vast, vast majority of volunteers aren't female, and chosen because they are female. Male volunteers are chosen when the magician needs the appearance of strength or danger, or they are going to mercilessly make fun of the volunteer. Most of the rest of the time, they are women.

I see a [i]lot[/i] of magic, much of it at the Magic Castle. The Magic Castle has five performance spaces booked every night, and more if you include bars, impromptu performances, the Cellar Theater, and special events. If you go onto YouTube, you'll see hundreds of videos of magicians performing at the Castle. Do it. Go to YouTube, search all those videos, and report back with how often when volunteers are used, a female volunteer is chosen. Now sometimes, particularly in the close-up gallery, you'll see a couple chosen: a man and a woman. But when it's not a couple, more than 90% of the time it's all women. I think I have seen a total of two such videos where it was all men, and was not a situation described above (danger, strength or gag). And in one of those, the volunteers were asked to drink poison. If you see anything close to a 50/50 split (other than couples) I will eat a hat on video.

The majority of volunteers chosen are young, female, and attractive. Women are chosen for eye candy. They are chosen because they are perceived as more pliable and more cooperative. They are chosen to preserve the "one up" position of the male magician. They are chosen because women are believed to be less likely to challenge the magician. They are chosen because it is tradition. I have magic books that go on at length about choosing female volunteers. It's a FACT that the vast majority of volunteers chosen are women and [i]because[/i] they are women.

That is not to say that magicians who use women as volunteers are doing so to be purposefully sexist. I don't claim to know their motive. Perhaps some are, I don't know. But they do it, subconsciously or for whatever reason. I sat and watched Pop Haydn do six shows one night behind the WC Fields Bar at the Castle. The audiences were 50/50 male to female. He opened with the same trick each time, and he chose a female volunteer each and every time. Pop is a friend. He doesn't have a sexist bone in his body. If someone said one of two magicians was sexist, and one was Pop, I'd always conclude that the sexist was the other one. Yet here he is, choosing women. On YouTube he has a whole bunch of videos of him performing Chicago Surprise. Almost every one features female volunteers. There is one video with a couple. And the ONLY video that features a man is a guy named Jay, and Pop trots that video out as a demonstration of how you can handle a difficult volunteer. He has posted it here in the café more than once for that very principle. Otherwise, they are [i]all[/i] women. And as I said before, there is no one I know who is less sexist than Pop. He's a truly beautiful soul. And yet, here we are.

So let's not pretend that "some" performers make selections based on gender. Let's acknowledge that it happens the vast, vast majority of the time. It's a thing. And we can't get past it until we admit it.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Jul 21, 2019 12:25PM)
We use to joke that the prettiest girl in the Copperfield audience would be selected on stage. Absolutely, females are picked for eye candy. I would argue that more attractive people generally means you had a more successful act.

That is not just magic. That's everywhere. All things being equal, the more attractive person will always get the job. Many studies have been done on this. It pays to be pretty. It is not just a female phenomenon. Better looking males will always get the job as well.

We cannot fight human nature. In fact, when I goto a show, I don't want to see average people. When I watch movies, I want better looking characters.

Women are not picked because they are weak, or feeble minded. That is reading way to much into it. If anything, an old white guy is getting picked for those stereotypes. They usually can handle the poor treatment that goes with weak, and feeble minded character.

Sure young men are picked for strength. Because they are physically strongest. If you want two people tugging on Rope (pendragons rings a bell) showing they are strong, you grab two guys.

Next year, I plan to have my daughters perform a chair suspension. I already am telling them to pick a girl with long hair. The long hair adds the best visual, and typically females weigh less. Am I being sexist? Or do I understand what creates the best illusion?

I'd like to see a study on the people picked verses where they sit. My wife refuses to sit in the first few rows because she does not want to be picked. There also is eye contact. Are men more quick to look away?

I think it's extremely sexist to think men pick women based on weak women characteristics.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jul 22, 2019 08:51AM)
[quote]I think it's extremely sexist to think men pick women based on weak women characteristics. [/quote]

Except it is definitely taught that way.

I can't even remember how many times I've been told by performers (lectures/videos) or read it in books. "Select a good volunteer, preferably a woman." Women are taught to comply from an early age. They are taught not to make a fuss or cause anyone to be embarrassed. Therefore they are more likely to simply go along with whatever they are told to do when they are put in the spotlight. Men are taught to be brash and bold, and therefore are more likely to think they're being funny if they cause problems.

If you can't see that you're either not paying attention or willfully ignorant.

[quote]I'd like to see a study on the people picked verses where they sit. My wife refuses to sit in the first few rows because she does not want to be picked. There also is eye contact. Are men more quick to look away? [/quote]

I can't speak universally of course, but for sheer practicality I've often chosen volunteers from the front row and/or aisle seats. That way I don't have to try to fill time while someone shuffles their way from the middle of a row to the aisle and up to the stage. If I'm using someone in the middle of the crowd, I often go out to them while I'm talking to reduce the chance of dead time.

In my experience, men are not quick to look away. Usually they are the ones watching most closely.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Jul 22, 2019 08:49PM)
[QUOTE]"Select a good volunteer, preferably a woman." Women are taught to comply from an early age. They are taught not to make a fuss or cause anyone to be embarrassed. Therefore they are more likely to simply go along with whatever they are told to do when they are put in the spotlight[/QUOTE]

I do not connect the dots that people that do not make a fuss or comply with instructions are weak, or feeble minded.

I am not even sure those females that are raised to not make a fuss or comply have the right personality to be on stage. Typically, those people are more shy. I do not think you want a shy person on stage. You want someone with a likeable personality.

I think being a good sport is vastly different than being weak or feeble minded. Magicians should always look for good sports, and if women are naturally better sports that would be a good reason to select them.

I would go on to say certain people from different countries are raised to not make a fuss and comply. Oddly, I never hear people being told select these people because they listen better.

As a psuedo scientific experiment, it would be interesting to have pictures of say 25 random people. Then have the magic Café forum members pick 5 volunteers. Then state a reason why that person was picked. I wonder based on looks alone, would we select the same 5 people and if we had common reasons.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Jul 22, 2019 11:47PM)
Amazingly, the Café's choice of five volunteers was unanimous! And 100% of men surveyed said they were all chosen for their "sparkling personalities."

[img]http://cdn.totalfratmove.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/d60317d0b10a83defa5041f3ba5fda7a.png[/img]
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jul 23, 2019 02:19PM)
I really think you're just being willfully ignorant at this point, Tom.

This mentality comes from decades ago when women were considered weak. It's just continued to persist because magicians aren't big fans of questioning how their teachers told them to do something. "That's how my mentor taught me! He was really successful!" Sure, maybe in the 50s when sexual harassment was considered a valid flirting strategy. We must recognize the problems with these traditional mentalities and fix them.

Perfect example: I was at a gala performance at a convention. About 70/80 people in attendance with maybe 6-8 women total, 3 of whom were not at the very back of the audience. In every performance that evening (I think it was 6 performers), one of those three women were chosen as volunteers. If there was no bias towards picking pretty young ladies, maybe one of them would have been chosen once all evening, instead of every act.

[quote]As a psuedo scientific experiment, it would be interesting to have pictures of say 25 random people. Then have the magic Café forum members pick 5 volunteers. Then state a reason why that person was picked. I wonder based on looks alone, would we select the same 5 people and if we had common reasons.[/quote]

Pseudo scientific indeed. This would yield no reliable information whatsoever. All the bias that being on the forums would create aside, any choice made outside of a live performance is irrelevant because it removes all the factors that a live performance creates.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Jul 23, 2019 08:39PM)
I do not doubt pretty women are selected. People will always select outgoing, good looking people, especially young females.

But I do NOT think it is because men consider them weak. Maybe it is a generational thing, but I was raised that anybody can accomplish anything given the opportunity and the ambition. I have seen on TV a guy with no legs and no arms climb Mt Everest.

I have never had a teacher say females are mentally weak. I also have never been one to nod and agree with a teacher who was wrong. As you might suspect, I welcome a good debate.

Personally, I grew up in a single family home where my mom did everything. I have a sister. I have a wife. I have raised my daughters without limitations.

If you think women are picked because they are weak, and I am ignorant because I think they are picked because they look beautiful, then we will just have to agree to disagree.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jul 24, 2019 08:23AM)
[quote]People will always select outgoing, good looking people, especially young females. [/quote]

And you don't think that's sexist? There's plenty of outgoing, good looking men. Why aren't they chosen more often?

Let's look at the example I gave before. As I said, 3 of the women present were near the front, the others were way in the back and clearly wanting to avoid being selected as volunteers (by their own admissions). We'll say ... 30 men were close enough to the stage to be easy fodder for volunteer selection.

That's a ratio of 1 to 10.

Many of the men present were attractive, as well as being skilled performers. Obviously that would be valuable on stage.

And yet those three women were consistently chosen. Why do you think that is?
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Jul 24, 2019 09:49AM)
[quote]On Jul 23, 2019, TomB wrote:

If you think women are picked because they are weak, and I am ignorant because I think they are picked because they look beautiful, then we will just have to agree to disagree. [/quote]

Where are you getting this "weak" thing you keep posting about? Who said women are chosen because they are "weak"?
Message: Posted by: TomB (Jul 24, 2019 08:35PM)
Danaruns, I was quoting WitchdocChris, see quotes below.

[Quote]This mentality comes from decades ago when women were considered weak[/quote]
And
[Quote]Women are taught to comply from an early age. They are taught not to make a fuss or cause anyone to be embarrassed. Therefore they are more likely to simply go along with whatever they are told to do when they are put in the spotlight. [/QUOTE]

I just think women are picked because they are beautiful and make the magician naturally look better. I'd argue its healthy and natural for men to pick attractive women. But when I see these other comments of why women are picked, I think they are way over complicating things. Men are visual. Let's not insult women intelligence for magic trickery.

And in your picture above was a good jest, but in all seriousness, you only get to pick 5! So if you had to, which ones are left out. We cannot see their faces and they have the same outfits, so personality is probably not the reason. Are short hair girl removed, do you have all blondes, or do you select diversity. Do you have a prop that needs a girl to be a certain height? It's not that simple that all men are pigs. You are selecting people you think compliment your show.

So there are visual concerns in finding the best looking person, typically a female. To me, I would pick the girl that has the biggest smile. Or you want to pick the person that is the most popular person in the room. You are looking for the prom king and queen. You want your show to stand out. You do not want it to be 'average'. Even in a senior home, you would want the Sean Connery over the average joe. As the magician, you need to pick that person out without knowing them.

If a guy is wearing jeans and a t-shirt and another is wearing a civilian army suit, I am picking the guy in a suit. Outfits bring conversation. It most likely will be an easy applause when you thank him for his service. You just warmed up the crowd. If it's a small room, and a person has a big gathering, I might pick one of those people because I know the gathering will react to everything that is done. We would all do this for a birthday party, for instance.

When my daughter had to pick volunteers for a mentalist trick, I told her to pick someone old enough that could write hard with a pen with neat handwriting. During the show, she just picked all her friends. They weren't stooges, but it wasnt random. For one pick, she went back and forth across the floor searching for a certain boy. In my opinion she took way too long. These picks have to be split decision, or determined during the act prior to asking.

You being a female magician, do you find yourself picking more males?
Message: Posted by: TomB (Jul 24, 2019 08:58PM)
And if you look at the original comic, notice the assistant is not smiling. She looks bored, almost rolling her eyes practically falling asleep. She is no doubt much prettier than the magician. Nevertheless, she should be replaced as she does not embrace fun! Whatever he is saying is high energy. She does not compliment his style. Unless it's a comedy, this is a bad pair.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Aug 5, 2019 10:03PM)
I often look for a woman volunteer, not necessarily young or pretty, for reasons of performance. Women, on the whole, are much more able to engage on a "play" level with the performer without the competitiveness and ego of a male assistant. In the shell game, I deliberately try to evoke a competitive play with a woman. The conflict makes for fun and a liberating engagement.
Message: Posted by: Aus (Aug 15, 2019 08:35AM)
Seems to be a lot of this going on in this discussion:

[img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zx2ONC8BwW0/U-ucZAsN4cI/AAAAAAAAJjA/dMXSBQX0sCI/s1600/Logical%2BFallacy%2B22%2B-%2BAnecdotal.png[/img]

Danarun and myself have locked horns on this issue previously and she has been quick to substantiate her credentials on the matter by saying she is on the board of directors of the Women Magicians Association as well as the Women in Magic Committee for the Academy of Magical Arts. Been a student at Magic University at the Magic Castle, taught students in Magic University at the Magic Castle, written articles about women in magic. She's read dissertations on the historical and modern roles of women in magic. She's interviewed women magicians, she knows lots of women magicians, and has spoken to a large number of women magicians from all over the world about what it means to be a woman and a magician.

Yet rather then these things bringing substantive weight to her position, it instead leaves further questions begging. With her being at the coal face of the issue and doing a self proposed deep dive into researching it, why isn't their an quantitative scientific measure on this problem. If danarun has the strength of her convictions on the matter why isn't she using her privilege, position and power as a representative to women in magic to push for an independent and unbiased investigation into the problem.

What would this achieve?

It would take the whole issue out of the realm of the subjective and place it into the world of the objective which is a judgment made on all relevant data, disregards personal prejudice and finds agreement with other competent and informed people, under these circumstances we could put to bed once and for all the question of if it's a problem and start dealing the problem.

Until such time this happens, we will have to be content with the microcosm that is the magic castle and its five booked performance spaces as the canary in the coal mine of rampant sexism in the magic community. Oh and don't forget YouTube as well.

As a follow up question, all these performances at the castle and on youtube that you sight as evidence of sexism is substantiated right? You have asked each and every performer their motivations for their female assistants or did you just assume their motivations?

Nothing exemplifies this better then your comment about Pop Haydn. Despite acknowledging that Pop Haydn is the least sexist person you know you still inferred that his constant selection of female assistants was some how due to a subconscious tendency or unconscious bias by your observation.

But when asked (which you didn't by the way) he reveals a pragmatic and non-sexist reason for his selection of a female assistant.

Now I don't know about you, but If your more then willing to cast aspersions of moral deficiency at your closest friends without sound evidence then I personally don't hold much faith in your impartial judgement of the majority of the male magic community.

This isn't an altruistic attempt of bettering magic for women, this is a male witch hunt.

Magically

Aus
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Aug 15, 2019 10:26AM)
So, unless there's a major scientific study done, you don't acknowledge the number of women who report they've experienced sexism in magic?
Message: Posted by: TomB (Aug 16, 2019 12:41AM)
Fitzkee has stated that sex appeal is very important in his book Showmanship for Magicians.

Picking females is healthy!

And it does not matter what non-sexist reasons are given, its unconscious. What is the difference between "play" and "flirting"? This is much more for those with couches that have studied Frued. We do not need any investigations to tell us human nature. Men that are magicians are not much different then men that are not magicians. The main difference is magicians are acting in a public arena, and probably being recorded. If anything, magicians have more scrutiny than other occupations. They are very well behaved!

Sexism by definition is making stereotypes based on sex. Stating one sex has an ego is by definition sexism. Stereotypes are based off experience. It's a healthy survival mechanism. Those that cannot stereotype do not survive and definitely do not succeed. To be frank, our traditional stereotypes are being challenged more and more each day. As our life experiences changes, so will our preconceptions, good, bad, or indifferrent.

Is the "problem" to fight healthy sex appeal? There is nothing wrong with it. It should be embraced. Or am I wrong? Are females being driven away? If so, then I would like to see some evidence as well.

Or is the problem harassment? Harassment is wrong. If new female magicians are being mistreated, as leaders, as fathers, as men, we stand against it. If these bad guys exist, police should be involved with restraining orders.
Message: Posted by: Aus (Aug 16, 2019 02:05AM)
[quote]On Aug 15, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
So, unless there's a major scientific study done, you don't acknowledge the number of women who report they've experienced sexism in magic? [/quote]

I believe in due process and the presumption of innocence. Also there is a distinctive difference between acknowledging sexism and believing in sexism. I acknowledge that sexism exists and people make accusations of sexism, however me believing something to be sexist is derived at by the merits of the claim being made and the preponderance of proof provided. If your preponderance of proof is to believe all women wholesale absent of facts and evidence then you and I have a big issue.

This sort of faith based benefit of the doubt without evidence leads to a world of trouble.

[youtube]PEWXC_9HsJQ[/youtube]

Magically

Aus