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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Feminine Mystique » » Why are there so few female magicians? (16 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tom Cutts
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Well, magicwatcher gave the definitive answer. The reason there aren't a societally proportionate number of women in magic is absolutely... the men in magic. Men who suggest for a lady magician to compete she should hike up her dress. Men who think women just don't have the skills set.
Magical Lady
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Magicwater - to many of the ladies reading your post this will, at the very least, seem like a very outdated point of view - if not also an entirely chauvinistic one!

Having said that, I'm more than sure that you're not the only one who thinks that way. Smile

If such stereotyping can be halted, perhaps the numbers of women both in magic and in mentalism, would increase further.

(surprisingly enough, we women don't all stay home barefoot and pregnant, baking cookies - well at least not EVERY day!!) Smile

Best,
ML
Alex Linian
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Most magicians are not sincere. They simply repeat other´s ideas by repeating their lines and copying their outside mannerisms.

The reason why there are more succesful male magicians is because it is easier for them to get away with this copycatism than it is for women.

A sincere, authentic woman will change all this.
MickeyPainless
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Personally I love women and magic so if I get to see a female magician it's a double bonus!
Margarette,
I think your post is spot on, as are all the posts I've read of yours!

Mick
todsky
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Thanks for that great post, Margarette. Working in not one but two male-dominated professions certainly gives you a unique take on this issue. You could probably write an interesting book about it.

Daddy Cool, I really like your idea of assistant as performance partner. And I'm also tired (and find it quite a cliche) that female assistants are subjected to all manner of torture illusions, which I would call Magic as Misogyny.

Jaynet, of all the magical entertainers now and in history, there probably aren't more than 2% that are women. And those 2% aren't well known outside of the magic community: almost no layperson I know has ever seen or heard of a female magician.

Jaz, It seems true that guys tend to like toys and gizmos more than women do. Interesting observation.

Alex, there are not just more successful male magicians, but more male magicians, period. But what you say about authenticity rings true, and women are in a position to bring, and have brought, something fresh and unique to magic.

Oh, I'm just tired of going to magic lectures and auctions and being confined to the old boys club. Hooray for the Feminine Mystique!
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poofersmagic
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Marguerite hit the nail on the head. I also applaud BDC for his support for us.

I am a magician and magical partner. I perform some of the magic in our shows as well as doing the business side.

I like to believe that being a woman in magic will help empower all the young ladies that I meet doing the shows and the ones I teach in our SYM that they too, can do magic. Not just the guys.

If anyone would like a copy of my 2 articles I have written, Being a magical Partner and Empowering young people, feel free to email me, and I would be happy to share them with you.

Kelly
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mattmccoy
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I am actually trained by a top-notch female magician. I always thought it was hard taking advice from men because they want you to do things their way. She was definatly more advising and mother in her advise, but still assertive with her answers so she wasn't "babying" me. We talked for a while why more women do not do magic. Most men or laymen audiences want to watch women on stage who are appealing, sex does sell. Women do not want to be put in that category. And a lot of male magicians discourage them because;

1.) More competition.
2.) They are exotic in their own way(There are less women than men.)
3.) Men want to be successful
4.) history

Not too much meat to the answer, but enough to ponder.

-Matt
Solitaire
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@Matt

hey, we women can also be:

1) competitive
2) exotic
3) ambitious / successful

:) Smile Smile
Moxahalla
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My theory has always been this:

During pre-teen/early teens (when the 'magic bug' usually bites)...the LAST thing a girl wants to do - is to fool GUYS and end up being alienated by them.

What guy at that age, wants to be fooled by a girl? She sure won't win any popularity contests with the boys, that's for sure.

Don't mess with a young male teen's ego...girls know this.
Margarette
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Quote:
On 2008-03-24 19:53, Moxahalla wrote:
During pre-teen/early teens (when the 'magic bug' usually bites)...the LAST thing a girl wants to do - is to fool GUYS and end up being alienated by them.


That actually makes a lot of sense. I can remember being told in high school (okay, a little bit past the pre-/early-teen years) that I shouldn't take quite so much advanced math and science because boys didn't like girls that were too smart. Must be why I never had any dates in high school....which was fine with me, I used the extra time studying my physics, chemistry and analysis. Yeah, deep down, I'm really a nerd!

Margarette
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Bob Sanders
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Margarette,

You know Lucy. I told her that I was a sucker for smart women. She said I didn't have a choice. They were all smarter!

Is she telling me the truth?

Bob

PS --- We look forward to seeing you this week at the Cavalcade of Magic in Eureka Springs. Do the folks here know that they have an all female show planned?
Bob Sanders

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Lady D
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That sounds wonderful. Can anybody come?
Margarette
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Quote:
On 2008-03-25 15:32, Bob Sanders wrote:
--- We look forward to seeing you this week at the Cavalcade of Magic in Eureka Springs. Do the folks here know that they have an all female show planned?


I think I dropped the ball on that one. Bill and Ruth are great about highlighting the younger talent and the female talent. For anyone who may not have plans this weekend, and are close to Eureka Springs, AR, Bill and Ruth Pitts are having their Cavalcade of Magic. I think registration is available at the door. I've always pre-registered. The one thing I like about the Magi-Gals show is the diverse talent that performs. I remember that one year, Lucy and I were the only ones performing, and she had her linking rings, and I had my handcuffs!

Margarette
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
Bob Sanders
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Addition information about the 37th Cavalcade of Magic

Dates: March 27-29, 2008 (Nite-Before gathering Thursday 27th - Dealers setting up)

Place: Inn of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Room rates: $61.00 Double or single
Room Reservations: 1-800-552-3785

Registration: $75 for magician's whole family

Contact: Bill & Ruth Pitts (BandRPitts@aol.com)

This is one I never miss if there is a choice at all. You never know who you will see just walk in to this one. It's always an adventure.

I hope I get to see you there.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
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Big Daddy Cool
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Wish I wasn't swamped this week - that convention sounds like a lot of fun!
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
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clarissa35f
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I think one of the reasons there are fewer female magicians than males now, is the same one there were fewer female doctors than males 20 or 30 years ago. That is changing for both professions.

In My mind it has to do with the " traditional" female role in the magic act. She was the assistant. Just as 20 or 30 years ago, there were females in medecine, they were nurses. Back then even if a female got into med school, and graduated with Honors and found a way to get into a Hospital, When she went in to see the patient they would normally call her " Nurse"

Same here I think, since the traditional role for the female has always been as an assistant, Many people the moment they see her think " Assistant". If a female magician is on stage with a male assistant it is sad, that unless the spotlight is directed at her, and she cues the audience with the fact that SHE is the star, all things being equal, the average audience will look to the assistant for the magic.

Similar to the poster above who said that the sales person looked at her Husband and asked HIM if he could help HIM.

I don't know how to fight this. But I think just as today, we see female doctors and no longer think " nurse" a day will come when we see a female magician and will think " magician." Part may have to do with how we dress on stage, we need to avoid the half undressed thing..and Autumn Morningstar has done an excellent job of that. When I saw her video, I did not think " Assistant." By The way " You go Girl!!!" Awesome trailer.
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
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Mary Jane
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This topic has been a really popular one in a lot of magic chat rooms. Theory 11 have limited repetitious threads on this question.

Another reason they suggest is - girls are more likely to be doing piano, ballet lessons etc etc. at a young age. Boys though they have the usual sport clubs, probably can find magic clubs easier if they are interested. I'm personally gutted that as a kid I didn't get to find the Demon Club at London Davenports. I would have dearly swopped for that instead of the ballet lessons (sorry mum).

But are the number of female magicians growing? I know the number of females interested in Cardistry appears to be up judging by the growing amount of female subscribers to Theory 11.
mark2004
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Quote:
On 2008-05-28 03:57, Mary Jane wrote:
Another reason they suggest is - girls are more likely to be doing piano, ballet lessons etc etc. at a young age. Boys though they have the usual sport clubs, probably can find magic clubs easier if they are interested.


I'm not convinced by that argument. If it's true that girls do things like ballet and piano while boys do sports then it seems to me that girls would be getting an early introduction to performing arts while boys would be getting steered towards something else. Actually I think the patterns of social development are much more complicated and varied than that.

I think historically there has been a shortage of positive role models for girls in magic. That's changing a bit thanks to some of the great female magicians working today, but the effect of gaining some positive role models might take time to have its true impact.

I also think there is plenty of evidence that magic has been a very male dominated profession. I know there are male magicians who've taken a friendly and encouraging approach to women performers (and I'm sure the majority here try to belong to that group), however there are plenty of accounts of men displaying stubbornly chauvanistic attitudes.

Perhaps there's also been another discouraging effect resulting from reactions to women who've catered to the continuing market for "traditional" styles - ie. the spangly leotards and so on. If a woman finds this sort of show is a good source of work and if she personally is happy with the role then she ought to be free to make that choice. Unfortunately I've heard accounts of female performers doing this kind of work (a couple in Vegas shows and several working as !@#istants in shows around the world) who've received nasty reactions from other women. The result must surely be that women who could later go on to be big name performers in their own right (quite possibly doing different styles of show) are being discouraged just at a crucial point when they're getting paying jobs.
clarissa35f
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Hmmm Interesting point about How some female magicians dress. But then it begs the question. At what point does the magician get to decide how she wishes to perform? If she wants to perform nude, and can find a paying gig, if that is the character she has developed and can find someone to pay her...why not? No one seems to complain what a male magician wears on stage. Why is that? The male magician is not asked to dress in a way that others would be accepting...or reminded that he is a role model to other male magicians. Why should other females get to veto what a female magician wears when men do not veto what a male magician wears?

On the other hand what example does that set for other girls wishing to get into magic? Does she have any responsibility to even set an example? On the one hand one would say she is just reinforcing the stereotype of a females place on the stage...to be pretty and sexy.

On the other if this is her desire, you can say she is exercising her rights to perform as she wishes. Is it pandering to the wishes of the male majority? or is it self empowerment? Who says the ONLY way to empower yourself as a female magician is to perform in a suit tie, and full set of pants? What is wrong with the top hat, bustierre, garter belt and stockings? (ie. Zatanna look her up.. DC Comics FTW!!!)

I think we as magicians should welcome any magician regardless of the character they present. I think that self expression means that the magician decides how she wishes to perform.

I have to admit I have changed my mind recently... I used to be one of those women that felt that a sexy body, and female empowerment were incompatible in magic. I Now realize that since magic IS an art, that How a person expresses it is as personal as what they perform.
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2008-03-12 02:49, HollyMental wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-03-11 19:36, magicwatcher2005 wrote:
You gotta be smart in math and mechanical stuff to do good magic and girls aren't really that good at stuff like that.




Magicwatcher2005’s profile says he’s an “Electonics [sic] designer.” Apparently Mr. Math can’t even spell his own occupation.

Sadly however his boneheaded comment seems to represent the majority of male opinions within the brotherhood. The magic fraternity still has a very archaic and misogynistic mindset. Even here at the Café, there are threads to discuss how to take advantage of women.

When will the magic fraternity become the magic community?


Holly


You are taking the comment of one idiot as representative of the majority of us.

Shame on you.
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