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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Feminine Mystique » » Sterotypes Die Hard (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Kasey Logan
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So Justin Flom's monthly magic box subscription came across my Facebook feed this morning and the first words out of my mouth to my husband were "Wouldn't a teenage boy just love this." Craig just looked at me funny because his feminist, magician wife, who has a daughter who is into magic, just gendered a magic kit.

Please tell me I'm not the only female magician who sometimes forgets women/girls like magic too. Smile
Mary Mowder
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Sadly, you're not the only one.

But when I have caught a reflection of myself surrounded by teen and twenty year old male flourishers in Magic gatherings, I am struck by how male oriented the Magic community is and especially certain disciplines.

Brains save time by seeing patterns and incorporating them into shortcuts. This process has saved many lives over the long run for our species (and other species as well).

We have to think about not making assumptions about gender just as much as men do. When I think about someone who could fix my fence, I'll admit I'm not thinking about looking for a handy-woman.

-Mary Mowder
danaruns
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Maybe this reflects poorly on me, but I'm just the opposite. I'm pretty militant about being female-inclusive in magic. So when someone even says, "You guys" generically, I usually think "And gals, right?" even if I don't say it out loud, though I do say it out loud fairly often. Maybe that makes me too strident, and maybe it's off-putting (which is why I sometimes use my inside voice), but I feel very strongly about making magic a friendly and welcoming place for girls and women. I know I was actively discouraged at a young age, so I missed out on many years when I could have been enjoying learning magic.

On a related note, I'm also super unhappy about the way female magic assistants have historically been treated, and still are today. Ultra sexualized, submissive, used and abused. Drives me crazy.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Mary Mowder
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I grew up in a house with five Brothers so I've always thought of myself as one of the guys. Often I don't notice if people use the term guys.

I never felt too connected to girls as a child because of a complete disinterest in Dolls, Jewelry, playing house, ribbons and other things the girls in my age group were enjoying.
I was nearing adulthood before I began to enjoy the company of Women because I felt alienated from the social interactions of girls.

Women in general have been hyper sexualized and dumbed down and I ALWAYS noticed that. I hated watching shows were it was a little helpless Girl/Woman who tripped and made the Hero go back for her. I hated that Boys were given the pocket knife and had expectations of growing up to be a Fireman, Astronaut or Engineer etc... and not just a Mommy, Teacher, Nurse or Librarian (not that there is anything wrong with those choices).

So I have felt a little militant at times but I still grew up in the same society that the Boys did and we all picked up our prejudices together without really focusing on these assumptions.
I've got my own problems so I don't blame Men or Boys for having them. I just hope we are all in growth. We need to change or were missing out on a lot of talent in MANY fields.

A gentle nudge does more to move me than a more abrasive tone but without the nudge I don't move much at all. You can get a lot of dismissal for being PC when you say anything so I admire people who are brave enough to point out prejudice in a kind way.

-Mary Mowder
gomerel
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Honestly, I find it very creepy how few women there are here in Magic Café and in magic generally.
Stu Montgomery
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I have a new granddaughter, she's three weeks old, perfect & beautiful...she already has photographs holding a perfect card fan Smile from mini cards, & her own wand. I'm planning on getting a magic set to put away for a later date. Maybe she'll take up magic seriously, maybe not...but even though we'll be over 4,000 miles apart, I'll do everything I can to encourage her.
"Round about what is, lies a whole mysterious world of might be" Longfellow.
Mary Mowder
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Good on ya!

But keep in mind, they (we) all have our own interests.

Best of luck!

-Mary Mowder
Jacene
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I was just in mastermind toys with my kiddos and thought of this thread! There were a couple of little girls asking about the magic sets! Smile

Jacene
Jacene Dickson
2016 AFV Winner "Befuddled Baboon"
www.mindmystique.ca
danaruns
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Stereotypes. Ugh. A pet peeve. Please allow me a rant...

I am a magician member of the Academy of Magical Arts (aka the Magic Castle). It's a pretty prestigious place, and some of the members take themselves very seriously. I cannot tell you how many times people I have met there assumed that I must be allowed in only as a magician's wife. But I'm not just someone's wife. And I don't dress like someone's wife, I dress like a magician. I even wear the gold pin that identifies me as a magician member. And still they assume I'm someone's wife.

Even now, in 2016, only 7% of the Magic Castle magician members are female. 93% continue to be male. And I swear, even when people learn that I am a magician there is often some doubt until they see me work and "prove myself" to them. One prominent magician completely disregarded me in a group conversation until, when given the opportunity, I took a deck of cards and did four Charlier cuts to the four aces (an old Ed Marlo trick). Only after that would he deign to speak to me. Another rather highly placed magician was shocked when I performed a simple retention vanish for him, like he completely did not expect me to be able to do that. Smile

And yet, all these men absolutely deny that there is sexism in magic. Indeed, they will proudly attest to how inclusive the magic world is. Well, sometime it is, sometimes it isn't.

That's not to say that all the men are all like that. There are some great guys who treat women magicians as equals. Speaking of the Magic Castle, one night I was watching impromptu performances, and commented to a member of the "Ose Posse" (magicians paid to wrangle the performers) that the crowd was great that night and I wished I could perform for them. He surprised me by just handing me a deck of cards and inviting me to do 20 minutes. This is a guy who had seen me around but who didn't know me. Yet he had no hesitation, no questions, no raised eyebrows. He just saw me as a magician, not as a wife or a second class magician*, with an asterisk. This was 15 minutes after some other guy assumed I was a magician's wife. So it's a mixed bag.

The stereotypes remain strong but mercifully not universal.

/rant
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Jacene
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Quote:
On Oct 8, 2016, danaruns wrote:
Stereotypes. Ugh. A pet peeve. Please allow me a rant...

I am a magician member of the Academy of Magical Arts (aka the Magic Castle). It's a pretty prestigious place, and some of the members take themselves very seriously. I cannot tell you how many times people I have met there assumed that I must be allowed in only as a magician's wife. But I'm not just someone's wife. And I don't dress like someone's wife, I dress like a magician. I even wear the gold pin that identifies me as a magician member. And still they assume I'm someone's wife.


/rant

This reminds me of a performance a few months ago...
Many of my performances are "duo" shows with my father, I am a mentalist, he is a magician. Before the show we will speak with the host who is introducing us and let them know what to say...heck we even give them a piece of paper to read directly from.
So, instead of reading or listening to what we told him to say. The guy goes up on stage to introduce me (my show was first) and says..."And now welcome to the stage "so and so's" ASSISTANT, who will show us a few things!"
I was like WHAT!!!! We never EVER said I was the assistant! Then I had to get up there and show them that I was actually performing! Way to ruin my intro....
I wondered though, had I been performing there as my dads SON, would they have still introduced me as the assistant?

Jacene
Jacene Dickson
2016 AFV Winner "Befuddled Baboon"
www.mindmystique.ca
danaruns
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Quote:
On Oct 8, 2016, Jacene wrote:

This reminds me of a performance a few months ago...
Many of my performances are "duo" shows with my father, I am a mentalist, he is a magician. Before the show we will speak with the host who is introducing us and let them know what to say...heck we even give them a piece of paper to read directly from.
So, instead of reading or listening to what we told him to say. The guy goes up on stage to introduce me (my show was first) and says..."And now welcome to the stage "so and so's" ASSISTANT, who will show us a few things!"
I was like WHAT!!!! We never EVER said I was the assistant! Then I had to get up there and show them that I was actually performing! Way to ruin my intro....
I wondered though, had I been performing there as my dads SON, would they have still introduced me as the assistant?

Jacene


No, of course you would not have been introduced as his assistant had you been his son.

When I give them my intro card, I make them read it while I'm standing right in front of them, and when they are done I look them directly in the eye and tell them to say exactly what's on the card, then I ask if they have any questions. I've learned the hard way that's how I have to do it or lord knows what annoying or condescending things they will say.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Jacene
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[quote]On Oct 8, 2016, danaruns wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 8, 2016, Jacene wrote:


When I give them my intro card, I make them read it while I'm standing right in front of them, and when they are done I look them directly in the eye and tell them to say exactly what's on the card, then I ask if they have any questions. I've learned the hard way that's how I have to do it or lord knows what annoying or condescending things they will say.


Good one! I'm thinking this is the route I'll take from now on as well.
Thanks Smile
Jacene Dickson
2016 AFV Winner "Befuddled Baboon"
www.mindmystique.ca
danaruns
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I don't know if this link will work, but these "9 Things Female Magicians Are Tired Of Hearing" is so true!

https://www.facebook.com/whenyoureboredA......1562152/
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
paulapaul
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Mary M. - brilliant posts! Best of the best. Haha, when you mention the limits of women's career choices in the past, I can't help remembering: in junior high (back in the dark ages), I requested Wood Shop class. I got Home Ec. Luckily, the sewing basics I learned there helped me later with constructing exotic bird bags, etc. In high school, I was completely opposed to typing class, because Secretary was the most available career choice for women at the time. Sadly, I really need those keyboarding skills today! Your average 3rd grader can run circles around me, typing. The joke's on me!

But my woman-power leanings have served me well in many ways and I am glad that so many doors have opened for us.

Dana D. - I read you loud and clear about women's challenges. For a long when I told a layman I was a magician, they would ask, "Really? What's his name?" Thank goodness, haven't heard that one now for a long time. In magic circles, I found a lot of acceptance and excitement. But often, folks assumed I was a magician’s daughter (not), wife (not), assistant (nope), or had some other such entry into magic. All valid paths, yet the assumption was annoying. But it may be worth considering: sure it's a boys' treehouse. But it's also a magicians' treehouse. I have certainly been one who waits to see if a "magician" I meet - male or female - is playing softball or baseball before I warm up to them. While a gender bias does exist, a technician's bias is also a driving factor. As you have seen, overcoming the latter also erases the former.

I was overjoyed when Jimmy Gripo handed me a deck and said, "Do a trick", and when Goldfinger said, "Dove, she's doing things with her HANDS!" Smiles and happy memories.
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