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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Why are there more male than female magicians? » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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DarryltheWizard
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I have run a magic club from 8 to 12 year olds for the last 20 years, and the proportion of male to female club members is about the same. When we have perfected the magic and it's time to perform for close-up and for stage, then the numbers change somewhat. Out of 60 club members 80% of the males actually wanted to perform on stage, but only 23% of the females had urge to perform.
I don't think one could say it's the male urge to dominate or overpower, for with Women's lib, it's usally the other way around. You amateur psychologists out there, what do you think? I've never heard an answer that I really believed.
Where have all the Melinda's gone?
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Michael Peterson
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Unfortunately, magic is a male dominated field. I think that women have to fight too hard to be in the "boy's club" & many don't try. I have seen some amazing female magicians, unfortunately I think many people see female magicians as something less than their male counterparts.

I think the perception of a female as more than an assistant is too much for some people to handle.

It makes me think of Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers. Fred was seen as an amazing dancer & Ginger was his partner, but Ginger did everything Fred did, only backwards & wearing high heels.


Unfortunately women are not given the respect due to them, which I think makes them less inclined to try to compete in male dominated fields.

I for one would love to see more female magicians performing. Think about this, out of 1281 members here, I think we have 3 female members(not including staff).




Smile
Greenshock
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Hey Guys,
Why SHOULD women be into magic? Just because someone is capable of doing something, doesn't mean they necessarily WANT to do it. Why does EVERYTHING have to be evenly split between all genders, races, and religions? I'm sure there are plenty of women who are genuinely not interested in performing magic, just as there are plenty of men who are genuinely not interested in dancing. I, for one, do not want to see women magicians just for the sake of having women magicians around, I just want to see people do what they enjoy doing, whether it's magic, dancing, or dwarf tossing. I know I sound (Really) bitter, but I'm just tired of politically correct prejudice i.e. feminism, afirmative action, etc. Why can't people preach and practice individualism?
Scott F. Guinn
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Greenshock has a point. (And frankly, I'm not too impressed with Melinda's magic.)

I think it's largely due to the fact that males seem to take more of an interest in PERFORMING magic than females. I don't know of any of my male friends who didn't get a least some kind of magic set or at least a trick or two when they were kids (and knew nothing about magic publishers and "real" tricks and props). But, of all the woman I know, only one ever got a magic set, which she asked for at Christmas when she was 8 or so. She quickly lost interest and gave the set to her brother, who is still an amateur magician.

If there were a concerted effort on the part of the magic societies and magicians-at-large to keep women out of magic, that would be a problem. But there isn't. I just think that, for whatever reason, not that many women are into it. And, like men, the majority who are into it aren't all that good, which means the good ones are even fewer and farther between. Few people, of any sex, race etc, have the genuine love and commitment to be REALLY good at magic, or any other art or craft. Those that do usually do alright, and the number of women fitting that description ARE increasing, just not as rapidly as some may like.

But, as I said, GS has a point...
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Platt
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RE:
Frankly, I'm not too impressed with Melinda's magic.


Frankly, I'm not too impressed with Melinda's magic either. Perhaps I witnessed the exceptions, but the one or two times I've seen her perform she seems to put all of her energy into the female sex Godess charm. What's that all about? Did some marketing exec tell her she should look really hot and play up her sex appeal to sell her act? If only her magic looked that good. Or maybe she's one step ahead of me and it's all properly timed misdirection. It would be refreshing to see a woman with a slick professional close-up act. I think that would really open the doors. Imagine David Roth as a woman. Actually, no, don't do that.
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Mr. Ed
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thanks a lot Platt. I may never be able to look at Davids Roth again without imagining him in a mini skirt. eewwww.
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ColinB
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I don't intend this to sound sexist (and honestly don't consider myself to be so), but from my experience, women seem to enjoy the thrill of witnessing a trick more than men, who are more inclined to want to figure it out, possibly suggesting a greater inclination to want to be the ones doing the trick, and thus be in control?

A woman will squeal with delight when you perform a killer effect, say "Oh, that was amazing," whereas a guy is more likely to shake his head and say, "Okay, so how did you do that?"

Don't you find it's usually a guy who tugs at your sleeve and tries to grab the cards, and not a lady? Isn't it more likely to be a guy who feels challenged and defensive about being "fooled"?

Maybe this is why the men want to be the magicians and the women are happy simply to enjoy the magic for the entertainment it's meant to be...

Vive la difference...
Mandrake
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Quote:

It makes me think of Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers. Fred was seen as an amazing dancer & Ginger was his partner, but Ginger did everything Fred did, only backwards & wearing high heels.




Great, Ichazod! I love that one! And , taking it to new heights: imagine yourself (or myself) doing everything that E.G. David Copperfield does, just backwards and in high heels!
We'd both be lost, for it's the harder part...

LOL Mandrake
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Jason Fleming
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There are also far fewer female stand-up comics.

It's okay for guys to be goofy. It's acceptable, and chicks dig it.

It's hard to articulate why women aren't "allowed" to be goofy in front of a crowd....Maybe it has to do with what makes you attractive.

hmm...


Great thread, and certainly food for thought!

:coffee:
Jason Fleming
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I've taught magic to middle-school students for a few summers, and I was just thinking. At the 5th and 6th grade level (10 and 11 year olds), the girls seem just as willing as the guys to get up in front of the class and perform, and there is a similar number of boys and girls enrolled. Boys and girls will partner up with each other for practice sessions.

At the 7th and 8th grade level, it is a different story. There are fewer girls than boys, by a big margin, and the girls seem more reluctant to perform in front of the class. Girls refuse to partner with boys (more than the boys refuse being partnered with girls, in my experience).

So something happens around puberty that has to do with gender roles and their own perception of what's acceptable.


I continue to be fascinated by this topic...
Paul
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Scott said;
If there were a concerted effort on the part of the magic societies and magicians-at-large to keep women out of magic, that would be a problem. But there isn't.

But there used to be, arguably the most famous magic society in the world, The Magic Circle, in London, didn't allow female members until the early 1980's.

And I know a female member of a U.S. club, a competition winning magician who is slighted by some of her club members simply because she is female.

There may be lots of laws etc, against the various "...isms" racism, sexism, etc. but there are still a lot of bigots about.

Greenshock said;
but I'm just tired of politically correct prejudice i.e. feminism, afirmative action, etc. Why can't people preach and practice individualism?

I agree, why can't people do that, as for the politically correct thing, well, what should have been a good thing was hijacked by idiots.

Paul Hallas.
Lee Marelli
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Has anyone reading or posting in this topic, noticed the anomoly? The topic and its responses are by men, who speculate like crazy on the topic. Yet, not one of our woman members have responded. Also, we have over 1,300 members. You can count the women members on one hand. The same with other forums.

I believe the fascination by men with this topic, is typical of men. We men are always trying to "understand" women. I am old enough to admit that just when I think I understand, something happens to make me rethink my understanding.
"Mentalism is a state of mind." Marelli
Ken
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I think a very interesting and important issue is being raised here about magic in general in relation to discrimination and accessibility, which should not be trivialised. Anyone who thinks that women for instance have an equal opportunity to participate in Magic Societies is either naïve or stupid.
Just because there are now no specific laws to stop women joining clubs etc. does not mean that magic societies are doing everything they should to encourage young women to participate. The “International Brotherhood of Magicians” I am sure, sounds like a very welcoming place for young women interested in magic.

Many other jobs and areas of life were once wrongly considered to be suitable for males only. We need to realise that the reasons that women are under represented has nothing to do with ability or interest, but much more to do with a history and culture that put obstacles in the way. In the past women were never interested in being a Doctor or joining the police because it was never something that was considered an option. How many black people were members of magic societies 50 years ago? In fact how many black people are members of magic societies today?

Please please do not underestimate the importance of challenging discrimination within our beautiful and wonderful community of magic. Everyone should have an opportunity to be encouraged and supported within our community and if certain groups are under represented I think it is imperative that we ask ourselves some hard questions. We do ourselves and the art of magic a great disservice by suggesting that certain kinds of people are just not interested.

Best wishes
Ken
Fredrick
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Quite awhile ago, Max Maven had an column in Magic called Paralax. In one of the columns, he put forth that magic is a white, male dominated arena due to the fact that most magicians get into magic about the age of 12 as a social coping mechanism. The knowledge of magic gives the young magi an edge - i.e., I know something you don't know.

Using this as a jumping off point - maybe women do not need this coping mechanism Smile
"Try to find the humanity in the magic and maybe you'll come up with something of your own. It's the humanity that gets you there, not techniques." Michael Moschen on Creativity
Burt Yaroch
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Understanding women joke (quick version):

Guy kicks up a Genii lamp on the beach.

Poof, "I'll grant you one wish."

The guy thinks for a moment then says,"You know, I've always wanted to go to Hawaii but I'm terrified of planes and boats. So I wish you would build me a bridge from California to Hawaii so I can drive there."

"Are you kidding me?," responds the genii. "Do you know how long that would take me to do? Not to mention the resources involved. That's practically impossible. And that's a pretty dumb wish anyways. You can have anything in the world you want. Think of something else."

The guy ponders for a few moments. "Alright then, I have always wanted to understand women better. Know what they're thinking, know the right things to say to them. So I wish I could have a complete understanding of women."

The genii thinks for a moment and says, "So...you want that bridge two lanes or four?"
:goof:
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Peter Marucci
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There aren't a lot of female jockeys, race-car drivers, or pool hustlers, either.
So?
And there aren't a lot of male day-care operators, synchronized swimmers, or belly dancers.
So?
(Please note that I said "not a lot", not "none".)
Fredricks's quoting of Max Maven makes sense:
Most males get into magic at a certain age, perhaps as a "coping mechanism".
Females may use a different coping mechanism at a different age.
Maybe.
Or maybe females are too bright to be interested in this nonsense.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
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Fredrick
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Quote:
On 2002-04-19 18:01, Peter Marucci wrote:
There aren't a lot of female jockeys, race-car drivers, or pool hustlers, either.
So?
And there aren't a lot of male day-care operators, synchronized swimmers, or belly dancers.
So?
(Please note that I said "not a lot", not "none".)
Fredricks's quoting of Max Maven makes sense: Most males get into magic at a certain age, perhaps as a "coping mechanism". Females may use a different coping mechanism at a different age.
Maybe.
Or maybe females are too bright to be interested in this nonsense.


Peter,

I have tried in vain of getting the image of a male belly dancer out of my head Smile

But another point to consider comes from Pat Heim (who has done a study of male/female social orientations and communications). Ms. Heim states that males are oriented to a one winner state - that is we grow up playing sports, soldiers, etc. Somebody wins - somebody loses. She claims that women grow up in an orientation of playing house and dolls (her words not mine). No one wins at house or dolls.

Using her concepts, maybe men are more oriented to the "I know and can do something you can't" more than women

Maybe. But I can't say for certain....

But, personally, I would love to see more women at the clubs, in shows and on the cover of (insert your favorite) magic magazine....

Of course, that would go for anyone. Smile
"Try to find the humanity in the magic and maybe you'll come up with something of your own. It's the humanity that gets you there, not techniques." Michael Moschen on Creativity
Andy Charlton
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Funnily enough we had this same conversation locally a few weeks ago. Couldn't find the answer either.

My thoughts are that, just my observation, women in general don't enjoy "challenge" magic, a lot of men do, and really want to find out how it's done, or catch you out, and actually enjoy the competitive side of that sort of magic. (That's why I don't do much challenge magic.) A lot of magic that goes around the playground at school when growing up, is the "Here's a coin, it's gone... It's back again. YOU'RE AN IDIOT!!" type of presentation (Quote from Seinfeld I think.) So maybe girls are put off at an early age, and never get back into it.

Whatever the reasons, I would encourage equally anyone from any gender, race, colour or creed to get into magic if they so desire.

The above is all an early morning, sleep deprived ramble, please take it as such.

Cheers

Andy
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Andy Charlton
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Quote:
On 2002-04-16 02:05, Greenshock wrote:
I just want to see people do what they enjoy doing, whether it's magic, dancing, or dwarf tossing.


EErrrrmmm, Just for any Brits who don't remember the "Sport" that originated from Australia in the early 80's, Might be better to call it "Dwarf Throwing"

Great posting by the way.

Andy

P.S. I feel the "Delete Finger" hovering over this like the sword of Damocles
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Margarette
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OK, I've been out of town for a few days and just saw this topic. First, Peter, you say maybe women are to bright to be interested in this nonsense....what does that say about me? Smile
Any career or hobby tends to be divided along gender barriers...it's just laws of nature. It has always happened and will continue to happen. There are exceptions, but I don't see anyone saying "Hey, why aren't there more male nurses, or why aren't there more male ballet dancers?" It all depends on what your interests are, it's that plain and simple. If women want to do magic, they will do magic. If men want to learn ballet, they will.

Margarette
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
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