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  1. 23 Aug '15 21:10 / 7 edits
    In the 2015/2 issue of 'New in Chess' magazine, Nigel Short made some
    controversial comments about women being far inferior to men in chess
    on account of biological reasons (fundamental differences in their brains) that
    were widely denounced as sexist by women as well as by many men.
    Judit Polgar (who has been successful playing chess against him) strongly criticized
    Nigel Short for his evident prejudice against women.

    Now Nigel Short has written another article in 'New in Chess' (2015/4)
    on the same theme, only he goes further by discussing sexual orientation.
    NIgel Short's not backing down at all. He insists that he's absolutely right.
    As a right-wing British man, NIgel Short apparently likes to act as though
    he's a victim being libelled by the 'politically correct' liberal media as well
    as a 'tyrannical' (to quote him) evil feminist conspiracy. By the way,
    Nigel Short did not respond directly to Judit Polgar's criticism other than by
    dismissing as irrelevant the fact that she usually outplayed him in their games.

    Nigel Short has denounced the international media for misrepresenting what he wrote.
    He likes to act as though he's shocked. But Nigel Short should have been
    aware that the popular media (ignorant of the chess world) typically gets many
    facts wrong whenever it covers a chess-related story. NIgel Short has a
    point when he complains that some media outlets inaccurately claimed
    or implied that he believes that biology must be the *only reason* why
    women are inferior in chess. He writes that he believes that 'societal
    pressures' may contribute to female inferiority in chess. But I think it's
    fair to say that Nigel Short believes that women are inferior in chess on
    account of primarily biological reasons and secondarily cultural reasons.

    "Men and women have such dissimilar brains it is implausible to expect
    their cognitive functions to be identical."
    --Nigel Short ('New in Chess', 2015/4 issue)

    Nigel Short likes to act as though he earlier gave a careful scientific
    explanation 'proving' that women are inferior in chess on account of
    fundamental differences between male and female brains. But Nigel
    Short has no scientific education (he never attended university) and
    evidently no comprehension of what a 'scientific proof' means or requires.
    What Nigel Short has done is to 'cherry-pick' a few tendentious bits of science
    that apparently (though inadequately) support his dogmatic sweeping conclusions.

    First of all, there's evidently considerable controversy and disagreement
    among scientists who compare male and female brains. Many scientists
    prefer to emphasize the similarities, stating that typical male and female
    brains overlap along a continuum and have much more in common than not.
    But Nigel Short prefers to cite only those scientists (usually men) who
    prefer to emphasize (or exaggerate) the average differences between
    male and female brains. And Nigel Short fails to comprehend that *even if*
    a man and a woman don't not have an 'identical cognitive function', they
    still *could have equal performances on the same cognitive task*.
    Put simply, there's usually more than one way to perform a cognitive task.
    A male friend of mine was one of the top mathematics students in the USA.
    When we discussed how we did mathematics, I noticed that he tended
    to approach many problems differently than I did, but he was not more
    successful in solving them. It was a difference in our problem-solving styles.
    My point is that *even if* (which is unproven) women process chess thinking
    differently than men do, it;'s not necessarily evidence that women must be inferior.

    If Nigel Short's convinced that male and female brains must be so 'dissimilar',
    then why couldn't a forensic pathologist always immediately identify a
    dead person's gender by examining *only* the brain in an autopsy?

    "The gender gap (in chess ability) is enormous."
    --Nigel Short

    I note that Nigel Short prefers to pay little attention to the vast 'gender gap' in
    chess participation other than to say that he thinks it's biological rather than cultural.
    (Don't all girls grow up loving to play with dolls rather than with chess pieces?)
    NIgel Short apparently believes that sexism is of little importance in
    modern Western societies and sexism is generally rapidly declining.
    So one of his main arguments that women are biologically inferior to men
    in chess is that, when we compare the average ratings of the top 20 male
    and female players in the world in 2000 to those in 2015, the 'gender gap'
    (more than 200 points) is not closing. Indeed, it's even slightly increased.
    So Nigel Short believes that in a world where sexism (in his fantasy) is
    rapidly becoming extinct, the top 20 female players *already* should
    have closed much of the gap with the top 20 male players in *15 years*.
    Again, there's little or no evidence that there's significantly less sexism
    in 2015 than there was in 2000. And Nigel Short *prefers to ignore*
    another fact that shows that women are making progress toward equality.
    In 2000, only six women were GMs (out of about 700 GMs in the world).
    In 2015, 33 women are GMs (out of about 1500 GMs in the world).
    So that's a major increase in the number and proportion of women GMs
    (meaning women with the GM title, not the WGM title) in only 15 years.

    Nigel Short seems to demand too much improvement from women in too short
    (no pun intended) of a time. For generations, there's been a major average IQ gap
    (15 points, about one standard deviation) between whites and blacks in the USA, but
    most Americans don't like to argue this must be proof that black Americans are
    biologically inferior in intelligence. Would any American like to argue that racism's
    rapidly declining in the USA, so if blacks don't catch up to whites in average IQ scores
    in the next 15 years, that must mean that blacks just have inferior brains?

    In the late 20th century, many racist Western GMs would have sneered at
    the notion that China could win (or even come close) the Olympiad (open)
    any time soon, if ever at all. But China (men's team) has won the 2014
    Olympiad and the 2015 world team championship and not by close margins.

    Given that he already apparently believes that sexism shouldn't be much
    of a problem for women in Western societies, Nigel Short has denounced feminism.
    In doing so, he has misrepresented and unfairly stereotyped feminists, who are diverse.
    Contrary to what he believes, not all feminists 'shrilly' (to quote him) assert
    that nurture *always must* prevail over nature in influencing human beings.
    But it's easier for Nigel Short to knock down a politicized 'strawman' than
    to address some of the criticisms he's received from men and women.
    As a feminist, I am willing to accept that biology *could be one reason*
    (partial explanation) why women are weaker than men in chess, but I
    know of no scientific proof that biology must be the primary reason.

    And Nigel Short has dipped his toe into another pool of controversy.
    He claims that science has proven that gay men have brains similar to
    those of straight women. So, given that he believes that women are
    biologically inferior to men in chess, Nigel Short has hypothesized (he
    does not yet claim certainty) that gay men also are biologically inferior
    to straight men in chess. As evidence, he claims that he knows of only
    one gay man (compared to two women) ranked in the top 100 in chess.
    He concedes there might be some strong closeted gay men in chess.
    (By the way, Nigel Short apparently believes that sexual orientation must
    be fixed at birth, though some scientists believe there's only a predisposition
    of varying strength, which may be influenced by later experiences.)
    It would be interesting (though Nigel Short ignores it) to see if lesbian
    women (different brains?) are any better than straight women in chess.

    So is NIgel Short right in hypothesizing that gay men (whose brains
    are like straight women's) also are biologically inferior in chess?
  2. 23 Aug '15 21:40
    "Men and women have such dissimilar brains it is implausible to expect
    their cognitive functions to be identical."
    --Nigel Short ('New in Chess', 2015/4 issue)


    He's spot on
  3. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    24 Aug '15 01:15
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    In the 2015/2 issue of 'New in Chess' magazine, Nigel Short made some
    controversial comments about women being far inferior to men in chess
    on account of biological reasons (fundamental differences in their brains) that
    were widely denounced as sexist by women as well as by many men.
    Judit Polgar (who has been successful playing chess against him) stro ...[text shortened]... that gay men (whose brains
    are like straight women's) also are biologically inferior in chess?
    Doesn't NIgel Short have a right to believe what he wishes as to why most men do better than women in chess? Apparently, the magazine does not have a problem with his opinion. I guess we will never know the truth until scientific studies are done.
  4. 24 Aug '15 02:15
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    In the 2015/2 issue of 'New in Chess' magazine, Nigel Short made some
    controversial comments about women being far inferior to men in chess
    on account of biological reasons (fundamental differences in their brains) that
    were widely denounced as sexist by women as well as by many men.
    Judit Polgar (who has been successful playing chess against him) stro ...[text shortened]... that gay men (whose brains
    are like straight women's) also are biologically inferior in chess?
    So is NIgel Short right in hypothesizing that gay men (whose brains are like straight women's) also are biologically inferior in chess?

    Don't know, and don't care. Nigel Short has an opinion and has expressed it. I suspect it will be a long time before his opinion is either confirmed or dis-proven.
  5. 24 Aug '15 02:17
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Doesn't NIgel Short have a right to believe what he wishes as to why most men do better than women in chess? Apparently, the magazine does not have a problem with his opinion. I guess we will never know the truth until scientific studies are done.
    Duchess64 knows better, don't you know, and her opinion is more weighty than that of Short.
  6. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    24 Aug '15 05:36 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    In the 2015/2 issue of 'New in Chess' magazine, Nigel Short made some
    controversial comments about women being far inferior to men in chess
    on account of biological reasons (fundamental differences in their brains) that
    were widely denounced as sexist by women as well as by many men.
    Judit Polgar (who has been successful playing chess against him) stro ...[text shortened]... that gay men (whose brains
    are like straight women's) also are biologically inferior in chess?
    I agree....although I'm confident you'll classify this as another "personal attack."
  7. Subscriber KingDavid403
    King David
    24 Aug '15 05:55
    Originally posted by Eladar
    [b]"Men and women have such dissimilar brains it is implausible to expect
    their cognitive functions to be identical."
    --Nigel Short ('New in Chess', 2015/4 issue)


    He's spot on[/b]
    I'm sure Duchess would whip your arse in a game. Along with most others here.
  8. 24 Aug '15 06:14
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "Men and women have such dissimilar brains it is implausible to expect
    their cognitive functions to be identical."
    --Nigel Short ('New in Chess', 2015/4 issue)
    I actually agree with that statement - on condition that it is referring to the average. There is in reality a wider range within each sex than between sexes. But it is a scientific fact that when looking at the average male brain and the average female brain we think differently.

    And Nigel Short fails to comprehend that *even if*
    a man and a woman don't not have an 'identical cognitive function', they
    still *could have equal performances on the same cognitive task*.

    Agreed. Further, what he fails to comprehend is that it is entirely possible that women would be better at Chess on average than men if the social issues were not there. It is a fact that changing social norms has significantly changed the success of girls in schools in relation to boys sometime resulting in them performing better than boys.
  9. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    24 Aug '15 09:23
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I actually agree with that statement - on condition that it is referring to the average. There is in reality a wider range within each sex than between sexes. But it is a scientific fact that when looking at the average male brain and the average female brain we think differently.

    [b]And Nigel Short fails to comprehend that *even if*
    a man and a woma ...[text shortened]... of girls in schools in relation to boys sometime resulting in them performing better than boys.
    I think most normal women are just not interested in chess. Those women that put there mind to it could probably do just as well as most men.
  10. 24 Aug '15 09:40
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    I think most normal women are just not interested in chess. Those women that put there mind to it could probably do just as well as most men.
    I agree. In my own family the boys took and interest in Chess and the girls didn't. The girls did just as well if not slightly better in school and can match the boys at any games that they did take an interest in.
    I do however think that social norms does influence negatively how many women do take an interest in chess and also how far they get competitively.
  11. 24 Aug '15 10:52 / 1 edit
    And women will never play in the NFL.

    Does this mean they are "inferior"?

    What is wrong with people?

    Here is a thought, instead of wondering why certain people are better than others at specific tasks and speculating as to why, why not try to go and knock off the king on the hill to prove him otherwise? Until you do, then it really does not matter what you believe, does it?
  12. 24 Aug '15 11:38
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I actually agree with that statement - on condition that it is referring to the average. There is in reality a wider range within each sex than between sexes. But it is a scientific fact that when looking at the average male brain and the average female brain we think differently.

    [b]And Nigel Short fails to comprehend that *even if*
    a man and a woma ...[text shortened]... of girls in schools in relation to boys sometime resulting in them performing better than boys.
    ......if the social issues were not there.

    "If bullfrogs had wings, they wouldn't bump their butts on the ground."

    That begs the question why do the social issues exist? Quite likely, they reflect man's long history, and the different social roles men and women played over that history. Did God create males and females to fit differing roles, or did they they evolve to suit the roles they fill? Obviously men and women differ in many ways. No man has ever endured childbirth.

    Perhaps the differences have reasons and are at least partly hard wired. Vive la difference.
  13. 24 Aug '15 20:20 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Doesn't NIgel Short have a right to believe what he wishes as to why most men do better than women in chess?
    Apparently, the magazine does not have a problem with his opinion. I guess we will never know the truth until scientific studies are done.
    "Doesn't Nigel Short have a right to believe what he wishes..."
    --RJHinds

    This is an obvious 'strawman' by RJHinds. No one has argued that Nigel Short does not
    'have a right to believe what he wishes'. And hardly anyone has argued that he does not
    have a right--it's the editor's decision--to write what he wishes in 'New in Chess' magazine.
    This is not a 'Charlie Hebdo' kind of story; no feminists are going to attack the magazine's offices.

    In the same issue 2015/4, however, a 21 year old student (a subscriber) wrote a letter strongly
    criticizing what Nigel Short wrote in the earlier issue 2015/2 about female inferiority in chess.
    She wrote that Nigel Short prefers to ignore or dismiss a common culture of sexism that
    discourages women in chess. She complained about sexual harassment in chess clubs.
    She wrote that, while she's a young woman who often wears a short skirt, if she suspects
    that a male opponent perceives her only as a sex object ('reduced to a pair of legs' ), her
    short skirt should make it easier for her to get away from him as soon as possible.
    She also claimed to be excellent at parking cars (which Nigel Short claimed is a women's weakness).

    I would have less of a problem with Nigel Short if he (more modestly) wrote something like,
    "I have no scientific qualifications, so this is just the opinion of a strong male GM about
    why women are inferior in chess". But instead Nigel Short arrogantly likes to act more as
    though his personal opinion were a proven scientific fact or an overwhelmingly accepted
    scientific explanation, which is censored by the 'political correctness' of 'tyrannical' feminism.

    So what's next? Will Nigel Short point to the fact that there are hardly any GMs of recent
    black African ancestry and argue that's evidence that black Africans must be inferior in chess?
  14. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    24 Aug '15 20:52
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "Doesn't Nigel Short have a right to believe what he wishes..."
    --RJHinds

    This is an obvious 'strawman' by RJHinds. No one has argued that Nigel Short does not
    'have a right to believe what he wishes'. And hardly anyone has argued that he does not
    have a right--it's the editor's decision--to write what he wishes in 'New in Chess' magazine.
    This i ...[text shortened]...
    black African ancestry and argue that's evidence that black Africans must be inferior in chess?
    I did not mean this to be a strawman. I just thought it was a fact that might have been overlooked.
  15. 24 Aug '15 21:28
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    "Doesn't Nigel Short have a right to believe what he wishes..."
    --RJHinds

    This is an obvious 'strawman' by RJHinds. No one has argued that Nigel Short does not
    'have a right to believe what he wishes'. And hardly anyone has argued that he does not
    have a right--it's the editor's decision--to write what he wishes in 'New in Chess' magazine.
    This i ...[text shortened]...
    black African ancestry and argue that's evidence that black Africans must be inferior in chess?
    I would have less of a problem with Nigel Short if he (more modestly) wrote something like, "I have no scientific qualifications, so this is just the opinion of a strong male GM about why women are inferior in chess". But instead Nigel Short arrogantly likes to act more as though his personal opinion were a proven scientific fact or an overwhelmingly accepted scientific explanation, which is censored by the 'political correctness' of 'tyrannical' feminism.

    Kind of like you, who with no credentials whatsoever, try to bring his notions into disrepute. You and Nigel are two peas in a pod.