Originally posted by @vivify to Mchill
Men dominate competitive sports. This includes athletic sports, such as football, rugby, etc., to mental sports such as chess, poker and e-sports (competitive electronic gaming).
We need to stop asking "why so few female chess players", and focus on why there are fewer women in competitive sports. Isolating chess ends up being a veiled way of ...[text shortened]... chess has often seemed to me like a smug dismissal of women. Just look at Whodey's post above.
"Men dominate competitive sports."
"Are men really better athletes?"
"Coercive sex segregation does not reflect actual sex differences in athletic ability, but instead
constructs and enforces a flawed premise that females are inherently athletically inferior to males.”
--Eileen McDonagh and Laura Pappano (_Playing With the Boys: Why Separate is not Equal_)
"Men tend to weigh more and have greater muscle mass than women: men have 40–60
percent greater upper-body strength and 25–30 percent more lower-body strength.
However, with training and nutritional guidance on par with men’s, female power lifters,
for example, have narrowed the gap in actual strength to between 0 and 8 percent."
"When it comes to endurance sports, women can often leave men in the dust.
Women’s greater amounts of estrogen seem to play a role in enabling some women to
outperform men in endurance sports, especially in what are known as ultra-endurance sports."
"Comparing photos of female college athletes over just the last thirty years reveals a
remarkable alteration in women’s physiques. Women athletes today are demonstrably
bigger, stronger, and faster than at any previous period as a result of the shifting cultural
and political winds that opened vistas to them that were previously unimagined.
It is an example of how the women’s liberation movement, along with advances in
training and nutrition, didn’t just change laws, but actually altered women’s bodies."
"Chess has air of being something intelligent, sophisticated people play."
--Vivify (an ethnocentric American as always)
That's the image of chess being sold in American corporate advertising.
(Having a chess set--usually with the pieces set up wrong--is suppose to add 'a touch of class' to an ad.)
But it's not the reality of chess being played by poor drunken men in public parks.
In contrast to the USA, where chess tends to be perceived as an 'elitist' pastime,
chess was a mass participation activity in the USSR, so Soviet people did not share
all the American cultural associations of chess as 'intellectual' or 'sophisticated'.
As I recall, Bobby Fischer compared moving his pieces around in chess with moving
players around on a basketball court, looking for the opportunity to get a good shot.