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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Sexually objectifying female spectators and assistants (41 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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LobowolfXXX
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On Dec 28, 2019, magicalaurie wrote:

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An example of one way in which opportunities for women in chess not only equal, but exceed those for men. A woman rated close to 2800 or so (there hasn't yet been one, but Judit came close) would have a shot at the "open" chess championship and the (greater) prize money associated with it; a woman rated 2575 or so can compete in the women's championship for far less money, but still a nice chunk of change for playing chess for a few weeks.


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See what Judit, Lisa, et al have had to say on that. Considering the information provided by the cited articles, I see it as more of a patronizing pat on the head without an acknowledgement of what actual exclusion in the past has led to.


Lisa Lane and Judit Polgar are very different both from each other and from the women currently set to compete in the women's world championship. That is to say, Polgar at her peak was considerably stronger than they were, and Lane considerably weaker. Moreover, with respect to Lane, there's been a marked increase in the amount of money floating around chess tournaments.

Polgar essentially didn't need the women's world championship, and Lane wasn't good enough to win it. Given the reference to her financial situation at the time she was playing competitively, I suspect that while you might think it a "patronizing pat on the head" to have the opportunity to make $60,000 for playing chess for 2 or 3 weeks, Lane would have welcomed the chance (in 1960s dollars, of course).



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In contrast, a man rated close to 2800 has exactly the same chance in the open championship as a woman of equal rating; a man rated 2575 is a relative nobody.


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And, by extension, the woman is a relative nobody taking advantage of the fact she's a woman, not a chess player. Not a true chess opportunity, in my opinion and not one women like Judit and other top players see as legitimate, either. The real opportunity it provides is to continue degradation, and resentment perhaps.


There really aren't, and haven't been - ever, "women like Judit" in chess. At her peak, she was the #7 player in the world. By way of contrast, the current highest rated female player, Hou Yifan, is #79 in the world and miles ahead of the second best female player. However, the best female players in the world are very, very strong; the gap between the best female players and the best male players has closed considerably, Judit aside. In my opinion and experience, women's events aren't a source of degradation or resentment any more than a Serena Williams or Caroline Wozniacki suffers a lack of respect from competing in gender-restricted tennis events. What you're describing may well have been true in the mid-80s, when one didn't even have to be an expert (United States rating 2000) to get a spot at the U.S. Women's (invitational) Championship; by way of contrast, the lowest rated participant in the 2019 U.S. Women's Championship was rated 2295, and she was 18 years old and on the rise. To put some context on the numbers, a 2295 rated player would be expected to beat a 1995 rated player 7 times out of 8.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
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landmark
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Your underlying assumption seems to be a blank slate perspective with respect not to ability, but interest. That is, if all societal conditions were equal between the genders, men and women would be equally interested in everything, and I see no particular reason to believe that to be true.


If you are denying that societal conditions influence interest, then we are left with genetics. I'm having trouble believing that you believe that there is a chess interest gene that is associated with the male Y chromosome, and that there was a mutation that occurred for women sometime around 1980 that gave them a similar but unequal trait.
LobowolfXXX
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On Jan 4, 2020, landmark wrote:
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Your underlying assumption seems to be a blank slate perspective with respect not to ability, but interest. That is, if all societal conditions were equal between the genders, men and women would be equally interested in everything, and I see no particular reason to believe that to be true.


If you are denying that societal conditions influence interest, then we are left with genetics. I'm having trouble believing that you believe that there is a chess interest gene that is associated with the male Y chromosome, and that there was a mutation that occurred for women sometime around 1980 that gave them a similar but unequal trait.


I believe that both nature and nurture influence just about everything, with nature generally playing a larger role, and in this particular case, a much larger role.

I also believe that the opportunities available to girls who wanted to play in chess tournaments in 1980 were the same as those available to boys, and were the same as those available to girls in 1979, or 1969, for that matter. And were not measurably affected by the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
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So what happened? Why the upsurge in interest in chess for women in the last thirty years? I may have missed it, but you don't seem to propose any theory for the rise in interest.
LobowolfXXX
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On Jan 5, 2020, landmark wrote:
So what happened? Why the upsurge in interest in chess for women in the last thirty years? I may have missed it, but you don't seem to propose any theory for the rise in interest.


I think there are two separate issues that are being conflated a bit here.
1) What, specifically, are the reasons that there are far fewer women/girls involved in tournament chess than men/boys?
2) Are those reasons appropriately reflective of a lack of interest or a lack of opportunity?

I agree with some of the proposed answers to 1). For instance, the issue of female role models. There have been women involved in high-level chess for quite a while; in the 1930s, Vera Menchik defeated Sammy Reshevsky (greatest American player of the 20th century prior to Fischer) and Max Euwe (who went on to win the world championship a few years later). However, there has been a series of high profile female players over the past few decades, starting with Judit, and including Jen Shahade, whose book was available in bookstores across the country, and Phiona Mutesi, who was the subject of the biopic "Queen of Katwe." Additionally, there have been concerted efforts to close the gender gap, by, among others, former U.S. Women's Champion Alexey Root, Judit Polgar's sister Zsuzsa (Susan), and the United States Chess Federation as a whole.

However, I wouldn't characterize any of that as increased opportunity, but rather contributory to an increase in interest. By way of analogy, there have been chess tournaments in the United States for over a century and a half, and a national federation for almost a century. When Bobby Fischer came to prominence by winning the U.S. Championship at age 14, the United States Chess Federation experienced a huge increase in membership (the "Fischer Boom"). There many times more players in events like the U.S. Open. Rather than a female role model in a competition largely dominated by men, Fischer was an American role model in a competition largely dominated by Soviets (the world champion had been Soviet for 35 years (6 different players) before Fischer defeated Spassky in '72). But it would be clearly incorrect to say that American men lacked the opportunity to be chess players. In fact, the greater (macro level) interest, in some ways, resulted in reduced opportunities. For example, in some years in the 80s, a female player didn't have to be an expert to get an invite to the women's US championship; in this age of greater female participation, a strong expert is likely not good enough to qualify.

My main points are simply that:
1) The disparity is primarily due to a discrepancy in interest, not a lack of opportunity, and;
2) The bulk of that disparity is inherent.

With respect to 2), 1980 was 40 years ago. Judit Polgar burst onto the scene around 30 years ago, and female chess players still make up 10-15% of the United States Chess Federation. That 7-1 (or thereabouts) ratio may shrink further. I certainly am not denying that interest levels can't be environmentally altered. However, for the reasons I initially mentioned, I don't think it will get anything close to 50-50.

I also don't see why this is perceived in any way as a negative. It's not like the girls who aren't playing chess tournaments are sitting at home staring at the wall. They're doing other things that they enjoy more. "Waking hours" are a zero-sum game; if you magically (or socially) got girls to spend more of their time playing and studying chess, they'd be spending less of their time doing whatever it is they're doing instead. That's value-neutral.
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Well, I was not going to reply, because for the most part I've laid out my points and position, and I'd only be repeating myself. But you've written at length and I don't want you to feel I don't appreciate your effort. So I'll try to be brief, and just reply quickly to the two most important things here and then I'll shut up:

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...there has been a series of high profile female players over the past few decades, starting with Judit, and including Jen Shahade, whose book was available in bookstores across the country, and Phiona Mutesi, who was the subject of the biopic "Queen of Katwe." Additionally, there have been concerted efforts to close the gender gap,...


Yes. And without the larger struggle for women's rights in all areas of society in the 60s/70s, those books would never have been published and the movies never have been made.

Quote:
I also don't see why this is perceived in any way as a negative.


Because we should be very wary of all arguments that claim genetic ability or non-ability based on race or gender given the lamentable history of racial and gender discrimination in the world--and the historical use of supposed science to reinforce those prejudices (See the work of Stephen Jay Gould for example). Which is not to say that there might not be differences--but *particularly* in fields that don't have anything to do with physical differences like chess and magic, it would do to ask for hard evidence if the claim is a biological one and not a societal one.
LobowolfXXX
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On Jan 7, 2020, landmark wrote:
Well, I was not going to reply, because for the most part I've laid out my points and position, and I'd only be repeating myself. But you've written at length and I don't want you to feel I don't appreciate your effort. So I'll try to be brief, and just reply quickly to the two most important things here and then I'll shut up:


Same, & thanks.

Quote:

we should be very wary of all arguments that claim genetic ability or non-ability based on race or gender


But this is exactly what I'm not doing. I don't claim any sort of genetic ability disparity at all. Bigger bell curves push out to the right farther. If you convinced 90% of boys that chess was dumb and 90% of girls that chess was cool, then in X number of years, there would be more girls than boys at the top of the heap. There are way more really good male chess players than female ones because there are way more male chess players overall, not because they have an innate ability difference. Same reason there are more good chess players in California than in South Dakota.
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Dannydoyle
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Is it just "possible" that more boys are interested in chess than girls?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Jonathan Townsend
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On Jan 7, 2020, LobowolfXXX wrote:
If you convinced 90% of boys that chess was dumb and 90% of girls that chess was cool, then in X number of years...
That argument is unworthy of you. The game has gender bias in both basic design and how it is played. Similar discussion of Go. https://www.reddit.com/r/baduk/comments/......e9t4xtp/

"Action figures" vs "dolls" ?
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LobowolfXXX
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Girls don't like chess because the queen is the most powerful piece?

I don't base my position on abstract critical gender theories, because I've had boots on the ground in the form of (literally) thousands of hours spent at chess clubs and tournaments - adult and junior - and about 100 hours teaching chess to children in public schools.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
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magicalaurie
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On Jan 9, 2020, LobowolfXXX wrote:
the queen is the most powerful piece


There's been discussion about that elsewhere that's concluded differently.
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
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LobowolfXXX
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That's...creative.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
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"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
magicalaurie
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Is it?
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
https://magicalaurieblog.wordpress.com/
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