Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Behind the scenes
    Joined
    27 Jun '16
    Moves
    1407
    01 Oct '17 10:532 edits
    Back in the 80's and 90's when I played OTB at my local chess club, it was almost 100% male. Our club tried to attract female players by a number of means. Free memberships, free tournament fees, door prizes. We also interviewed 50 random women as they walked by, and asked them why they were not interested in chess. Their answers ranged from shrugs, to "I just don't care" to "I don't like men's games" The few ladies we did attract to the club seemed more interested in chatting about movies, kids or their romantic interests and took little interest in chess. After 6 weeks, we ended our campaign, and when when the 3 ladies that joined for free were informed they would have to pay club dues like the rest of us after 1 year, they accused our club of sexism and left.

    So, why do so few women take an interest in chess??


    https://en.chessbase.com/post/explaining-male-predominance-in-chess

    https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/the-real-reason-so-few-women-play-professional-chess
  2. Standard memberfinnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    To the Left
    Joined
    25 Jun '06
    Moves
    64930
    01 Oct '17 11:10
    Originally posted by @mchill
    Back in the 80's and 90's when I played OTB at my local chess club, it was almost 100% male. Our club tried to attract female players by a number of means. Free memberships, free tournament fees, door prizes. We also interviewed 50 random women as they walked by, and asked them why they were not interested in chess. Their answers ranged from shrugs, to "I ju ...[text shortened]...

    https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/the-real-reason-so-few-women-play-professional-chess
    Well when you refer to women as "ladies" so consistently, you are already lost. Why go on?
  3. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    01 Oct '17 12:023 edits
    Originally posted by @mchill
    Back in the 80's and 90's when I played OTB at my local chess club, it was almost 100% male. Our club tried to attract female players by a number of means. Free memberships, free tournament fees, door prizes. We also interviewed 50 random women as they walked by, and asked them why they were not interested in chess. Their answers ranged from shrugs, to "I ju ...[text shortened]...

    https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/the-real-reason-so-few-women-play-professional-chess
    Sometimes I wonder if women stand around wondering how to get more men to shop at the mall or sit around gossiping at your local Starbucks coffee house.

    Here is an idea, do what you enjoy the most and leave the rest of us the hell alone?. No mandates for change, no manipulation to try and get people to change, just leave people the hell alone.

    But then, I understand your political leanings. You must fit the round peg into the square hole because deep down inside you know that the round and square peg are equal so they must then fit.
  4. Standard membervivify
    rain
    Joined
    08 Mar '11
    Moves
    9780
    01 Oct '17 12:314 edits
    Originally posted by @mchill
    Back in the 80's and 90's when I played OTB at my local chess club, it was almost 100% male. Our club tried to attract female players by a number of means. Free memberships, free tournament fees, door prizes. We also interviewed 50 random women as they walked by, and asked them why they were not interested in chess. Their answers ranged from shrugs, to "I ju ...[text shortened]...

    https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/the-real-reason-so-few-women-play-professional-chess
    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 asking "why aren't women as smart as men?". Chess has air of being something intelligent, sophisticated people play. Fischer vs. Spassky had the cold-war subtext of finding out who was superior, and who was inferior. The absence of women from chess has the same subtext.

    Instead asking why are there are fewer female chess players, we need to tackle why there are fewer women in competitive sports. Focusing on gender disparity in chess has often seemed to me like a smug dismissal of women. Just look at Whodey's post above.
  5. Joined
    12 Jul '08
    Moves
    12091
    01 Oct '17 12:40
    Women are wired differently than men. They have a different hormone balance. Women are different than men in more ways than just genetalia.
  6. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    01 Oct '17 12:41
    Originally posted by @eladar
    Women are wired differently than men. They have a different hormone balance. Women are different than men in more ways than just genetalia.
    Lies!

    All you need to do is cut off the little thingy between your legs and your a woman.

    The only question is, do you have the legs for it?

    Well?
  7. Joined
    12 Jul '08
    Moves
    12091
    01 Oct '17 12:58
    Originally posted by @whodey
    Lies!

    All you need to do is cut off the little thingy between your legs and your a woman.

    The only question is, do you have the legs for it?

    Well?
    I watched a documentary about the East German women's Olympic athletes. One woman made the comment that although they were given male hormones they were still in a female body. They suffered many joint injuries because their skeletal frame was not designed for the stress that the extra muscle created.
  8. Unknown Territories
    Joined
    05 Dec '05
    Moves
    20408
    01 Oct '17 18:46
    Originally posted by @mchill
    Back in the 80's and 90's when I played OTB at my local chess club, it was almost 100% male. Our club tried to attract female players by a number of means. Free memberships, free tournament fees, door prizes. We also interviewed 50 random women as they walked by, and asked them why they were not interested in chess. Their answers ranged from shrugs, to "I ju ...[text shortened]...

    https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/the-real-reason-so-few-women-play-professional-chess
    Despite the occasional exception, the female of the species sucks at chess.
    Just as your earlier experience showed you, women look at chess and fail to see the point.
    By "fail" I don't mean failure: they actually get the point, but find it a colossal waste of time and effort.
    Those who live chess are generally paint-drying boring, so whatever is being developed isn't conducive to a robust inner life which transfers or even translates to a rich overall experience.
    The game is a trap of the mind: thinking one is being sharpened when the result is a dulling of the mind, personality.
    Those who temper the game with their previous understanding to avoid being trapped can benefit, but one must understand the obsessive nature of it, of themselves.

    Women, for the most part, are simply way too smart to become engrossed.
  9. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    02 Oct '17 00:41
    I await all the 'mansplaining'.

    GM Yasser Seirawan has said this to Claire Summerscale:
    "It must have been dreadful for you as a girl playing chess.
    Not only are you butting heads against this type of atmosphere, but you also
    receive sexual remarks. This really does upset me, because I think of chess
    as a sport that should allow women and men to compete equally. You shouldn't
    have to face any extra worries or fears as a woman. You should be able to walk
    into a chess tournament and not only feel a sense of empathy but a sense of
    friendliness. Let's celebrate: a woman wants to join our club. Oh, no, there's
    no celebration to discuss here: we're going to pound her into the ground until
    she leaves us alone."
    --Yasser Seirawan (_Interview with a Grandmaster_, p. 27)

    Based upon what I have observed and heard, when a woman or girl attempts
    to join a male-dominated chess club, there's usually not much of a sense of
    empathy shown to welcome her. Some men immediately assume that she must
    be there for an aim other than simply playing chess (Is she desperately seeking a
    boyfriend in a place with a high male/female ratio?). In an often condescending
    way, some men may appear 'friendly' toward her, but they usually stop trying
    to act 'nice' as soon as they find out that she can defeat them at chess and she
    says 'no' whenever they ask her for dates. Unsurprisingly, many women and
    girls then quit that kind of chess club and often quit playing chess at all.
    A woman who cares about being popular probably should not play much chess.

    An English WIM has complained about persistent sexism in chess clubs, which
    might explain in part why she has retired early from playing OTB chess.
    Some cultures seem more accepting, however, of females who play chess.
    As a Soviet immigrant to the United States, Irina Krush did not fit in at all with the
    American teenage girls at her school because they had very different interests.
    She was devoted to improving at chess (which they could not understand at all),
    while they seemed obsessed with becoming popular and attracting boyfriends.
    Irina Krush has said that she did have even one friend at her American high school.
    Instead, she dreamed of becoming a professional chess player and developed an
    internet relationship with GM Alexander Morozevich in Moscow. After high school, she
    defied her parents and went to live with him in Moscow, but the romance did not last.
  10. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    02 Oct '17 00:551 edit
    Originally posted by @mchill
    Back in the 80's and 90's when I played OTB at my local chess club, it was almost 100% male. Our club tried to attract female players by a number of means. Free memberships, free tournament fees, door prizes. We also interviewed 50 random women as they walked by, and asked them why they were not interested in chess. Their answers ranged from shrugs, to "I ju ...[text shortened]...

    https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/the-real-reason-so-few-women-play-professional-chess
    Ethnocentric Americans should not assume that all women are like mainstream American women toward chess.
    In some other societies, women would be more responsive toward invitations to join a chess club.

    Georgia (the country, not the US state) has a strong cultural tradition of women's chess.
    World champions like Nona Gaprindashvili and Maia Chiburdanidze are national heroines.
    In his book _The World of Chess_, IM Anthony Saidy wrote about a Georgian chess culture
    in which strong male players seemed more concerned with helping their girlfriends at chess
    than in improving themselves. He quoted one man who 'confessed': "I couldn't help myself.
    I had to spend the whole night with my girlfriend--analyzing her adjourned game."
    Anthony Saidy added: "This could happen only in the USSR."

    American women's chess is about completely dominated by older immigrants from eastern Europe
    or younger Asian Americans. It's unusual to see any strong US-born non-Asian women.
    It means that chess is a subcultural, not a mainstream cultural, pursuit for females in the USA.

    "Why do so few women take an interest in chess?"
    --Mchill

    Women would not take an interest in chess if they care about being perceived as 'normal' American women.
    And almost all women in the USA apparently care about being perceived that way.
  11. Joined
    12 Jul '08
    Moves
    12091
    02 Oct '17 00:56
    There is no need to explain away a fact.
  12. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    02 Oct '17 01:16
    "Amberley excelled at chess – one mark, Watson, of a scheming mind."
    --Sherlock Holmes

    Women also may have a reputation for 'scheming minds'. "All's fair in love and war."

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1986-03-27/features/8601220967_1_chess-clubs-dear-abby-chess-player

    "Check This Out, Singles: Chess Clubs
    March 27, 1986, by Abigail Van Buren.

    Here's what Lyle Prosterman (apparently a male chess player) wrote:
    "Dear Abby: You have often been asked a question like this: I am a 26-year-old female
    who would like to meet a decent, eligible man. I`ve tried the bar scene, but most men are
    after a one-night stand. I`ve tried church groups, but the few men who are present came
    because their wives made them go. So where do I go from here?

    Abby, I have a suggestion: Join a chess club. Women are always welcome.
    Furthermore, they will find that men outnumber women 10-to-1. Not bad odds!
    Also, from 25 percent to 40 percent of the men will be unmarried. Men who play chess
    on a regular basis are usually of good character. The game requires that the player make
    individual, intelligent, patient and logical decisions. These attributes carry over into everyday life.
    For example, I estimate that 95 percent of steady tournament players do not smoke,
    and I have never met one who abuses alcohol or drugs."

    Lyle Prosterman never met John Healy (who wrote _The Grass Arena_)

    "They are almost always employed, are high achievers and have a stable family life."

    What a disingenuous contrast to the 'chess bum' (in the park) stereotype!

    "A woman could counter with, ``But I don`t know anything about chess.``"

    A woman's traditionally supposed to feign ignorance in order not to threaten male egos.

    "Well, that could be to her advantage. What better way to break the ice than to ask a man of her choice to show her the moves?"

    A woman with a PhD in mathematics told me that she disliked playing chess because she
    found it hard to remember how all the various pieces moved. She's not stupid, just unmotivated.

    "I realize that not every chess player is necessarily an ideal prospect for marriage,
    but it`s a good way to meet eligible men."
    --Lyle Prosterman

    Here's Abby's reply:
    "Dear Lyle: It`s a novel idea for a place for women to meet decent men, but the typical
    chess player (as I perceive him) is not exactly a barrel of laughs. He`s apt to be quiet
    and pensive, more of an introvert than an extrovert, highly competitive, and slow to make
    decisions--which isn`t all bad. The moves in chess have often been compared with those
    made by two opposing generals on a battlefield. A chess game resembles a war in that it
    consists of attack and defense, whose object is making the ``king`` surrender.
    On second thought, it could be a good training ground for marriage."
  13. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    02 Oct '17 01:311 edit
    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."
    --Vivify

    https://isreview.org/issue/72/are-men-really-better-athletes

    "Are men really better athletes?"
    --Sherry Wolf

    "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.
  14. Joined
    12 Jul '08
    Moves
    12091
    02 Oct '17 01:38
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    "Men dominate competitive sports."
    --Vivify

    https://isreview.org/issue/72/are-men-really-better-athletes

    "Are men really better athletes?"
    --Sherry Wolf

    "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 ...[text shortened]... th moving
    players around on a basketball court, looking for the opportunity to get a good shot.
    How many world records are women's results better than men's?
  15. Standard membershavixmir
    Guppy poo
    Sewers of Holland
    Joined
    31 Jan '04
    Moves
    56379
    02 Oct '17 03:32
    The problem is that most chess clubs are outside city centres.
    The majority of women just don't know how to drive to them or crash in their pathetic attempts...

    *bows and runs out the door*
Back to Top