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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 22, 2019, landmark wrote:
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On Dec 22, 2019, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Objection, your honor. Assumes facts not in evidence.


A paging through the Genii archives of the last fifty or even twenty-five years should provide plenty of evidence as to the universe of available choices for female assistants.

As Danny has said, it's changing slowly; to deny that there's a problem, though, is to slow down that process.



What do the Genii archives reveal about the option for male assistants over the last 25 or 50 years?

And what is the change that's taking place? Is there a growing demand for averagely attractive female assistants in business attire? Rather, I suspect, more women who are.interested in magic are exercising the choice to become magicians rather than assistants.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
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landmark
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I'll bet the male assistants were paid better. But that question is irrelevant.

It obscures the fact that the roles for females in magic for the most part were highly proscribed. Only the most determined or fortunate women were able to make careers in magic that were not "scantily clad assistants." That is changing, albeit slowly. To speak of agency among restricted choices is to give an inaccurate picture of the material and societal bars to entry in the profession, from magic clubs and societies to positions onstage.
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Only the most determined or fortunate of either sex were (are) able to make *any* career in magic. And it appears from my personal observations (and discussions with a good friend who has owned a magic shop for several years) that interest in magic (from the perspective of the sort of dedication required to make it a career) is not remotely close to evenly distributed between and sexes, and there is often a particular personality type drawn to magic in youth (not pointing any fingers, but spoiler alert - if "Professional Dungeons and Dragons Player" were a thing, the sexes wouldn't be equally represented there, either). In any entertainment field, it's an extremely small percentage of people who have the spark of interest who actually go on to become working professionals.

"Scantily clad assistant" is a job opening that AFAIK is pretty much ONLY open to women; "Magician" is a job that's open to anyone with the talent and drive to succeed in an extremely competitive industry, but the bigger the pool (i.e. male as opposed to female), the more likely it is that the outliers will come from the larger group. More Soviets excelled at chess for decades because more Soviets PLAYED chess.

One might argue that there are fewer gigs available to female magicians, or the public market is corrupted by internalized misogyny or something, but that's a difficult thing to know (i.e. equal talent, personality, etc.). Of course, the inverse is also a difficult thing to know. My point is simply that making a living in magic isn't about applying for a job at a corporation, where you can say "They only hired 15% of female applicants but 60% of male ones." It's about dedicating yourself to a craft and hustling for gigs. Taking a job as a scantily clad assistant is a choice (and again, one that's generally only open to one sex); trying to make it as a magician, rather than an assistant, is another choice, and one that's open to anyone.

With respect to the market for female vs. male magicians, I don't profess to know; however, I think that with respect to gender equity, it could be analogized to chess. There are more women playing high level chess (and playing chess in general) than there used to be. This isn't because of greater opportunity; it's because of greater interest. Specifically BECAUSE female chess players (and more specifically, good female chess players) are less common, there are *more* opportunities available to female players of comparable ability. As an example, on the chess.com website, the featured commentators during a recent top level tournament were Maurice Ashley (Grandmaster with an international federation rating of 2440), Yasser Seirawan (Grandmaster with a rating of 2620), and Jennifer Shahade (Women's Grandmaster (less stringent qualifications than the Grandmaster title) with a rating of 2322).

Jennifer Shahade is a very good chess player - well above master level, but she's not as good as Ashley, and she's nowhere near as good as Seirawan. My point here is that it's extremely unlikely that a comparably good male chess player would be considered for that commentating gig.

I suspect that the fact female magicians tend to be less common than male ones may similarly work in the favor of those that exist (or who are trying to make their way in the industry). I know that when I've taken female guests to the Magic Castle, they're often particularly fond of the female magicians because of a perceived novelty factor. Again, not claiming as a fact that it's advantageous to be a female magician, but I think it's plausible (and, again, I do know that it's true in chess).
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magicalaurie
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"Even if men’s participation rates have been significantly better than those of women, in theory, both genders should be equally capable of performing.

"A testimony to this reasoning is Judit Polgar, who is regarded as the best female chess player in the world. She became a Grandmaster at the age of 15, breaking all previous records for the youngest grandmaster at the time. Ranked world #1 for women 50 times, she was also world #8 in the men’s and women’s (joint) category in 2005.

"The different performance and participation rates between the sexes can be attributed to deep-rooted social factors such as the inequalities and oppression that women have faced in the past. These have carried into the sport today, where women are not provided with the same opportunities as men. Even in chess, the World Women’s Championship winner in 2017 received $60,000 as prize money while the World Chess Championship winner in 2017 received $120,000. Intellectually capable as they may be, women chess players are still treated differently from their male counterparts, even today."

https://thebastion.co.in/politics-and/sports/check-mate/



However, Judit Polger says:

"I might never have become a chess grandmaster if I’d stuck to women-only tournaments

"Female chess players, like me, thrive when they play against the world’s best men"

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre......play-men
"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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On Dec 23, 2019, magicalaurie wrote:
"Even if men’s participation rates have been significantly better than those of women, in theory, both genders should be equally capable of performing.




I agree with this; my point, although related, is separate. Let's say that both genders are equally capable of performing. So let's say, 1 out of 1,000 people (just making up numbers for the sake of illustration) who studies for 5,000 hours before age 18 is good enough to make a living playing chess. If boys are significantly more interested (read: obsessed) with chess at a young age to the extent that 199,000 boys and 1,000 girls put in that much study, then of the 200 players good enough to make a living, 199 out of 200 professional chessplayers will be men for reasons that have nothing to do with discrimination or bias. It's just statistics; the more people you have in the sample, the more people you will have at the far right edge of the bell curve.


With respect to the disparity in prize money, to say that women are "not provided the same opportunities as men" is one way of looking at it; another is that they're in many ways provided better opportunities. The current women's world champion has a rating of about 2600, which is very, very, VERY good; however, it wouldn't put her in the top 100 (or probably the top-250) on the men's rating list. Put another way, a man with a 2600 rating wouldn't get within shouting distance of $60,000 for a world championship match. Women's world champion Ju Wenjun doesn't make less money than Magnus Carlsen because she's a woman and he's a man; she makes less money than he does because she's a 2580 player and he's a 2872 player.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
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"Judit, along with her elder sister Susan Polgar – the first female chess Grandmaster – were raised as part of an educational experiment carried out by their father in order to prove that geniuses are made, not born. Thus, the sisters received better training than almost any female chess player does, and the results are self-explanatory. It is no wonder, then, that the sisters cite structural inequalities in payment, coaching, training and support as the reasons for the gap in female performance when compared to men.

"As it is, the gap in enrollment between boys and girls may have gone down in the years since the Polgars, but women continue to have high dropout rates in chess. At any Open tournament one cares to notice, the number of males dwarfs the females. The reasons for this, when cited, ring similar to all sports: lack of encouragement from parents and teachers, shortage of role-models, and unwelcome environments in male-dominated arenas during formative years of interest and expertise."


https://thewire.in/sport/underrepresenta......olympiad
"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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I wouldn't say the results are as "self-explanatory" as is suggested. The Polgar sisters received the training, but the "not born" part of statement doesn't follow. We don't know to what heights their natural abilities would have taken them in the absence of such training (see, e.g. Bobby Fischer).

But that's a bit beside the point. Laszlo Polgar was one of those parents, in the mold of Earl Woods (Tiger's father) or Richard Williams (Venus's & Serena's father). That type of home situation is far removed from the norm. And without it, you get really good at, for example, chess, by sitting in your room for, literally, thousands of hours with a chess set, chess books, and/or a computer playing over hundreds of thousands of grandmaster games, while other generally more social kids are out playing with each other. And boys, for the most part, are far more prone to want to do that than girls are.

"Structural inequalities in payment" is, again, misleading, for the reasons outlined above. The women's world champion BENEFITS from the structure in place; a male player of her ability level wouldn't have the opportunities she does.

In formative years, opportunities favor girls over boys of the same ability level. As another example, a (male) friend I used to play junior chess tournaments with achieved an expert rating and was about halfway between expert and master just over a year after his first rating game out, which was really a stellar increase. At the time, he was 17 years old. No particular notice was taken of other than at the local club where, obviously, it was noted that he got pretty good really fast. He wasn't on the top-50 age group list (50 highest rated players in the US under age 18), but just about everyone who was had been playing tournaments for several years. His rise came from playing chess, studying chess, paying his own way to tournaments, etc. A girl with a comparable story would most likely have been set up with training and coaching that was unavailable to him, because a girl (in the 1980s; the ability gap has narrowed considerably with respect to gender differences) with a 2100 rating after a year and a half might, legitimately, have been seen as the Next Big Thing. She would have had the opportunity to compete in the U.S. Women's Invitational Chess Championship (with some or all expenses paid), as a woman from our club who was significantly lower rated than he was did; he wasn't one of the 50 best boys in the country under age 18, but he would have been one of the 15 best women - of any age - in the country.

There are, undoubtedly, many reasons for a comparative lack of interest (between the genders); I'm merely claiming that it's more about that lack of interest than it is about lack of opportunity.
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"It's more about that lack of interest than it is about lack of opportunity."

This is the same justification that is given for any kind of systemic discrimination, and what has been used as an excuse for racial, sexual, religious, and gender discrimination down through the ages in all fields from science to the arts.

The world did not begin in 1980. It wasn't that all of a sudden some "interest gene" was turned on. There wasn't a sudden "interest" in medicine or higher education or politics or chess or magic that came about magically and changed things. It was many many years of struggle against laws and societal "norms' that favored the rights of men in almost all spheres of society that turned on the "interest gene."

It's not even a century since women have had the vote in the US. And property rights? And equal pay for equal work? To talk of "interest' and "agency" without reference to such historical situations is to blame the victim, and minimize the very real, very material bars to entry on the stage for women. "Interest" happens when a young person begins to see a given career as a possibility for themselves. Where there is no possibility, there can be be no talk of "interest." Variety is a subset of the theatre and there's an extensive literature dealing with this. Women on the stage were seen as little more than prostitutes; and no matter how tough men had it, it was much tougher for women to achieve similar status and salary.
LobowolfXXX
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On Dec 24, 2019, landmark wrote:
"It's more about that lack of interest than it is about lack of opportunity."

This is the same justification that is given for any kind of systemic discrimination, and what has been used as an excuse for racial, sexual, religious, and gender discrimination down through the ages in all fields from science to the arts.


Or maybe in certain cases, it's an alternative and more accurate explanation than "systemic discrimination." It's fine as a sweeping generalization, but with respect to specific examples (i.e. chess in the early-mid 21st century), one still needs to identify the alleged "systemic discrimination."


Quote:

The world did not begin in 1980.

True...for children involved in chess in 2019, it began much later.

Quote:
It wasn't that all of a sudden some "interest gene" was turned on. There wasn't a sudden "interest" in medicine or higher education or politics or chess or magic that came about magically and changed things. It was many many years of struggle against laws and societal "norms' that favored the rights of men in almost all spheres of society that turned on the "interest gene."

It's not even a century since women have had the vote in the US. And property rights?


I grant you that my position is, like yours, based on certain assumptions and presuppositions. But if you're connecting gender-discriminating property laws from previous centuries to variations in the interest levels in chess of elementary school aged children in 2019, I really must call shenanigans.

Quote:
To talk of "interest' and "agency" without reference to such historical situations is to blame the victim,


This is particularly interesting. Who is the "victim" for a lack of interest? If a girl finds other things more interesting than chess, she is a "victim"? Am I a victim because I find soccer boring as h-e-double hockeysticks? Actually, to the extent that there is any value judgment attached to the macro picture (though I personally don't ascribe one), it would be more accurate to say that I blame boys for their relative overrepresentation. Because "interest" doesn't really capture it, for the most part; generally, the ones who are able to ultimately make a living as professional chess players start with something closer to an obsession, and if there's a primary single cause for the gender disparity, I think it's that generally, girls mature faster. They're generally more socially well adjusted. They tend to be more prone to do things of more value than study chess. Or sit in their rooms watching Greg Wilson videos and trying to do undetectable double lifts for six hours at a time.


Quote:
"Interest" happens when a young person begins to see a given career as a possibility for themselves.

Unequivocally false, when it comes to chess, at least in the U.S. The obsession is with the game itself. Maybe it's different in India, and hundreds of thousands of children want to be like Vishy Anand, but not, generally, in the U.S. I've taught chess in after school programs. Most students - of either gender - find it fun, but not all-consuming; however, even those male students who have been most interested in the game can't name a grandmaster and don't care. Maybe that makes chess a bad analogy for magic. I don't think so, though. Granted, it's an imperfect one, but I've got a fair bit of experience with both, and there's a particular type that is strongly drawn to both and is disproportionately male for reasons that appear to me to be incidental to societal conditions.

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.
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magicalaurie
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I think you make your claims very easily, from an advantaged position. I don't think you understand they may be discouraging and damaging.

I'd like to see you address some of the points Jack made in reference to theatre.

Apparently it used to be, and I'd suggest- to some- it still is, "dangerous" to allow women on stage.

Something else I'm seeing referred to in my research is "second generation gender bias", whereby those perpetuating the patriarchal institutions of the forefathers are unaware of the instilled continuing bias.

This is a social issue. What if, as women like me are saying, there are girls out there who are in fact more than qualified for interest, but are feeling unwelcome to be women playing chess, or just to be chess players, and are feeling driven to leave for not being more like the boys who are interested.

Maybe there's more than one way to be an interested chess player. Maybe your perception of "interest" is a set of qualities more often found in males. Maybe you are ignorant of what constitutes an interested female. Maybe chess, to this point, has not made room for the fact that girls can be different. Maybe the chess culture is not allowing these girls to be interested in chess because it doesn't know how to recognize such a creature.

In that respect, I think the chess world, and the magic world have shown themselves to be rather equally ignorant, indeed. Do you really understand what it's like, to constantly be reminded (by men!) that you're a woman (did I forget???), a woman magician, a FEMALE magician, a girl doing magic lol! The focus leaves the magic and leaves the individual unable to just be a magician, it makes her "other" than. The focus becomes the sex of the magician. The focus becomes sexual And this is coming from the magic community- the brotherhood, the institution, far moreso than general audiences.
Fortunately, some are willing to listen, and allow- without threat- those who are different. Visions of what a magician can be are expanding.



"But she certainly wasn’t dead. She hadn’t fallen out of love with chess, either. Instead, she felt that chess had fallen out of love with her—no longer willing to accommodate a woman who wasn’t interested in matching the game’s narrow standard for an ideal female chess player. She’s still alive today. So is women’s chess, locked in the same fight for equal opportunity...."


"The World Chess Championship is not, formally, a men’s championship. It used to be—until 1986, when a top female player, Susan Polgar, fought to qualify and had 'men’s' removed from the official title. Now, it’s known as the open championship, but the name marked only a small step toward including women."

https://www.si.com/more-sports/2018/12/1......ionships
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Dannydoyle
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Can we at least START with the premise that at some level boys are different from girls? And that WITHIN those distinctions each boy is different from every other boy? And the same goes for girls?

I mean the entire argument that seems to want to be pushed forth is that everyone is equal. Equal intelligence, equal ability to act, equal interest and so on. It simply is not the truth. To try to make a level playing field for everyone is folly because not everyone is equal in the things mentioned plus thousands of other things.

Some simply do not have the ability to paint. They should have an equal OPPORTUNITY to do so, but not equal outcome.

Laurie if as you seem to be saying (And I don't think I disagree sharply.) there is some historical bias that gets passed on, even unintentionally, what is the solution to this?

The thing I notice in the above posts, and it is not a bad thing, is a lot of "maybe" and "perhaps" going on. Well just as likely "maybe" you are all just wrong. Every one of you from every side of the discussion "might" be wrong.

As far as the being reminded you are a woman Laurie what do you think of events like this? https://www.chicagomagiclounge.com/women-in-magic What about events that do EXACTLY what you seem to abhor when men do it? Is it OK or do you dislike being reminded they are women? It seems the shoe on the other foot theory should apply here. I am hoping you dislike this as it sort of proves your point. These should not be great "female" magicians, they should just be a great show. But does it help or hurt your point when events like this are put on? And they are put on fairly regularly in lots of places.

I think it is LONG past time that magic as a rule got past the "boys club" aspect of what is going on. BUT to be fair you are asking a group of people with social issues to get past social issues LOL. I will tell you that in professional magicdom it is not as bad as all that. But again it gets back to are all acts created equal? Are all magicians interchangeable?
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magicalaurie
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On Dec 27, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
I am hoping you dislike this as it sort of proves your point.


Your hope is on target as far as I'm concerned, thank you! And I agree with your choice of initial premise, as well.

I do dislike this, just as I dislike "The Feminine Mystique" at the Magic Café. As for whether these events help or hurt my point, I don't know- all I can say is I haven't been invited to one and I don't think I would attend one if I was. I obviously disagree with such segregation.

Thank you for your questions. I appreciate them.

In terms of solutions for second generation bias, I think awareness is the starting point. From there, I'd like just to see people relax more and allow people to be who they are with an openness to realizing there's more than one way to accomplish things. An inclusive environment which welcomes differences with a goal to working in harmony and continuous learning.

I don't think all magicians are interchangeable. We are equal in our uniqueness.
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On Dec 26, 2019, magicalaurie wrote:
I think you make your claims very easily, from an advantaged position. I don't think you understand they may be discouraging and damaging.

I'm mostly concerned with whether or not they're accurate. But perhaps it's you who doesn't understand that they're quite the opposite. "My claims" essentially amount to the position the opportunities are there, and anyone - of any gender - who wants to pursue career X can do so; I think the opposition position being argued here is the more damaging one; why try if the deck is stacked against you? An internal locus of control is more useful than an external one.


Quote:
I'd like to see you address some of the points Jack made in reference to theatre.

Apparently it used to be, and I'd suggest- to some- it still is, "dangerous" to allow women on stage.

I know less about theatre than I do about chess - an arena with which I have extraordinary (and I don't use the term loosely) firsthand knowledge, including, relevantly, chess education, junior chess, chess tournaments, and chess culture. I also know less about chess than I do about magic, youth magic, and magic education.

Quote:
Something else I'm seeing referred to in my research is "second generation gender bias", whereby those perpetuating the patriarchal institutions of the forefathers are unaware of the instilled continuing bias.

This is a social issue. What if, as women like me are saying, there are girls out there who are in fact more than qualified for interest, but are feeling unwelcome to be women playing chess, or just to be chess players, and are feeling driven to leave for not being more like the boys who are interested.

Maybe there's more than one way to be an interested chess player. Maybe your perception of "interest" is a set of qualities more often found in males.

My perception of interest, for the purposes of this discussion is the desire to spend hours upon hours studying chess and playing chess, particularly in sanctioned tournaments.

Quote:
Maybe you are ignorant of what constitutes an interested female.

And maybe you're ignorant as to what chess culture is like.

Quote:
Maybe chess, to this point, has not made room for the fact that girls can be different. Maybe the chess culture is not allowing these girls to be interested in chess because it doesn't know how to recognize such a creature.

Maybe girls have agency (to return to my initial post in the thread). Maybe they're "allowed" to be interested in whatever interests them.


Quote:
In that respect, I think the chess world, and the magic world have shown themselves to be rather equally ignorant, indeed.
Ha, and touche!


Quote:
Do you really understand what it's like, to constantly be reminded (by men!) that you're a woman (did I forget???), a woman magician, a FEMALE magician, a girl doing magic lol! The focus leaves the magic and leaves the individual unable to just be a magician, it makes her "other" than. The focus becomes the sex of the magician. The focus becomes sexual And this is coming from the magic community- the brotherhood, the institution, far moreso than general audiences.
Fortunately, some are willing to listen, and allow- without threat- those who are different. Visions of what a magician can be are expanding.

This last, I fully agree with, and I think it's one of the ways in which the chess/magic analogy is an imperfect one. Every competitive chess player has a rating; the rating system is objective. Nobody can argue that Kamran Shirazi (male international master, multiple participant in U.S. invitational championships) was anywhere near as good as Judit Polgar. He wasn't. She was miles better than he, and that's objectively demonstrable in a game with a fixed set of rules that don't care whether you're male or female. Thus, she gained more invitations to high-level (and high prize money) tournaments than he did. Her presence lent prestige to those tournaments in ways that his presence would not have. Her being female did not prevent her from having those opportunities.

However, there is, as you suggest, a multiplicity of ways in which one can be a magician, and it's entirely possible (I would say it's likely) that gigs could be available to male magicians but not to "better" female magicians, due to, e.g. sexism (internalized or not) or cultural expectations.


That being said, I don't expect to continue the chess parallel much longer, if at all, and these last few excerpts provide a pretty good illustration of why that is - it seems to be the blind alley of postmodernism, driven by narrative. By which I mean that regardless of what, exactly the "chess culture" is or does (all very general and abstract here), it can be held accountable - if it seems to be treating boys and girls identically, then it's failing to "make room for the fact that girls can be different." On the other hand, if it treats girls differently, then it's "constantly reminding them" that they're FEMALE chess players, etc. So basically, there's not even a potential set of facts that can't and won't be interpreted to show that the very vague, very nebulous "chess culture" itself is what's responsible.

Ultimately and ironically, though, your points in effect support my own broader points - more than anything else, you're providing reasons why, specifically, girls might be less interested in chess than boys are (e.g. an environment that is perceived as less welcoming to them). Assuming for the sake of discussion that that's true, it doesn't contradict my point - it's lack of interest, not opportunity - it explains it.
Quote:


"The World Chess Championship is not, formally, a men’s championship. It used to be—until 1986, when a top female player, Susan Polgar, fought to qualify and had 'men’s' removed from the official title. Now, it’s known as the open championship, but the name marked only a small step toward including women."



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.

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.




I'd be far more interested in hearing about your firsthand experiences in magic, particularly with respect to interest and opportunity. Have you found your opportunities limited by your gender? What sparked your interest in magic? Did you have a female role model? A male role model?
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On Dec 27, 2019, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:

I think the opposition position being argued here is the more damaging one; why try if the deck is stacked against you?


I don't think that is quite the opposition position being discussed here, since, to me, it follows that I wouldn't be here having this conversation if it were. Smile
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Quote:
On Dec 27, 2019, magicalaurie wrote:
Quote:
On Dec 27, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
I am hoping you dislike this as it sort of proves your point.


Your hope is on target as far as I'm concerned, thank you! And I agree with your choice of initial premise, as well.

I do dislike this, just as I dislike "The Feminine Mystique" at the Magic Café. As for whether these events help or hurt my point, I don't know- all I can say is I haven't been invited to one and I don't think I would attend one if I was. I obviously disagree with such segregation.

Thank you for your questions. I appreciate them.

In terms of solutions for second generation bias, I think awareness is the starting point. From there, I'd like just to see people relax more and allow people to be who they are with an openness to realizing there's more than one way to accomplish things. An inclusive environment which welcomes differences with a goal to working in harmony and continuous learning.

I don't think all magicians are interchangeable. We are equal in our uniqueness.


I ask the following more to look for guidance and an actual opinion. Please do not interpret it as antagonistic as it is not meant to be. It is an extension of the above which you were kind enough to answer so I would like to push my luck LOL.

What do you think of women who are CONSTANTLY reminding men they are women? Women who would not have the job BUT FOR the fact that they are women? Should women who are not as qualified have the magic jobs just to make things more "equal"?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
magicalaurie
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I think you know what my answers will be here. To confirm: I think a magic job offer should depend on magic skill qualifications. I don't think a woman should be hired just so one can say they hired a woman. I think there should be some baseline qualifications set and those who meet them should be considered for the job. I can't see it being possible to hold blind auditions for magic as can be done for orchestras, session musicians, the VOICE Smile, etc. I don't think men need to be reminded that a woman is a woman. I think the focus needs to be on the magic.
"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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Sorry for the delay, Lobo, I had to grab my laptop since my phone is refusing to copy paste excerpts for me. More to follow... Smile
"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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Quote:
On Dec 27, 2019, LobowolfXXX wrote:

I'm mostly concerned with whether or not they're accurate.


I think I am, too.


Quote:
Thus, she gained more invitations to high-level (and high prize money) tournaments than he did. Her presence lent prestige to those tournaments in ways that his presence would not have. Her being female did not prevent her from having those opportunities.


I don't think that's across the board, though, in terms of problems with the structure and timing of tournaments. The cited articles discuss such problems in the system.

Quote:
(e.g. an environment that is perceived as less welcoming to them). Assuming for the sake of discussion that that's true, it doesn't contradict my point - it's lack of interest, not opportunity - it explains it.
I think true opportunity would include a welcoming environment, as it seems to do for boys. My point is that women were once excluded and chess has yet to make room for them to be included. ie. there is certainly lack of opportunity as compared to that shown to be available for men. ie. Second generation bias.




Quote:
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.
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.

Quote:
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.
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.


Quote:
I'd be far more interested in hearing about your firsthand experiences in magic, particularly with respect to interest and opportunity. Have you found your opportunities limited by your gender? What sparked your interest in magic? Did you have a female role model? A male role model?


My firsthand experiences in magic have been complicated, to say the least. As I mentioned previously, I think the public is very interested and appreciative. In terms of the magic community, there have been obstacles akin to those mentioned above. At events and involving men whose names have prestige enough to warrant my surprise upon the occurrence of such incidents in the 21st Century. I don't feel taken seriously as a magician first. I feel there is surprise and denial I could be a qualified professionally trained professional performer, despite my completing college theatre arts and performing arts programs, both with honours for all terms.

I think most kids are interested in magic. I also participated in theatre in high school, and so, upon seeing a magician at the local fair when I was in my twenties, I was inspired to go back to school for theatre and consider magic performance as a way I could make my own work in a small town. No female role models. Male role models: Doug Henning, Siegfried and Roy, Mike Gallo.

Thank you for the questions and conversation. Smile
"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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I have to say with respect you might be seeing exclusion and putting a reason to it that might not be there. Certainly not in all cases (Which you have not asserted.) and probably not intentional. (Also which you have not asserted. Just throwing those things out there is all. Not applying them to you.)

What I am saying is that magic by the very nature of the craft is relatively exclusionary to begin with. I didn't start magic until I was 19. I found very few who were of that age group, who had been at it since they were kids who were in the least bit welcoming when it came right down to it. I was fortunate in who I met and never in my life did magic as a hobby. It was always a way to make money. In those circumstances I have not seen the exclusions you seem to see.

I readily admit there are not as many women in magic as men. But is it a bad thing for a woman to use being a woman? It is an attribute isn't it? Is it all that wrong for a woman to use it? Men who are good looking use those looks right? In one way or another we all use how we look to be who we are and do a show.

What in the real world of performance for money is "qualified" anyhow? In a comedy club you might think that this means the guys who get the most laughs right? Well no it is much more complicated than that. The guy who draws the crowd that spends the most on drinks in the 1 1/2 hours the show goes on is the most "qualified". My point is that perhaps it is possible what we as magicians see as "qualified" the ticket buying public may see it 180 degrees different. Since they are the ones paying the money, it is probably a bit more valid of a viewpoint.

I just think that once this onion is peeled back some there is way more to it than simple exclusionary feelings. Things that might not be fixable at all perhaps. Attitudes are tough to change often, especially when coupled with the things I mentioned.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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To be clear, the obstacles for myself that I referred to were not exclusion, but rather the focus on the fact I am female. Where the focus has left magic and turned to my sex. I suppose it's a form of exclusion, though, an "othering". Along with intrusive inappropriate, and, to me, ostracizing commentary.

The problem with an over-focusing on the attribute of being a woman is that it seems for some strange reason to go along with not being valued as a person. Again, the focus shifts to sex and there is more to a person than that.

In terms of qualifications, my professional training in theatre and the performing arts has taught me- and this is fundamental, lesson #1- the performer works for the audience. Hence, know your audience.
"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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