A very pertinent blog post

Discuss anything you like about women's chess at home and abroad.
Ian Kingston
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A very pertinent blog post

Post by Ian Kingston » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:53 am

Today's Streatham & Brixton blog post is worth highlighting.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:58 am

Ian Kingston wrote:Today's Streatham & Brixton blog post is worth highlighting.
It is, but one premise really isn't correct. There would be nothing to prevent Magnus having to face a female opponent. When FIDE determined its title by having a tournament between 8 top players, Judit Polgar was one of them. So Topalov had to face female opposition on the way to his win in the then FIDE series of world champions.

Ian Kingston
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Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by Ian Kingston » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:08 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Ian Kingston wrote:Today's Streatham & Brixton blog post is worth highlighting.
It is, but one premise really isn't correct. There would be nothing to prevent Magnus having to face a female opponent. When FIDE determined its title by having a tournament between 8 top players, Judit Polgar was one of them. So Topalov had to face female opposition on the way to his win in the then FIDE series of world champions.
Yes, the challenger could be a woman, but FIDE has contrived to put a roadblock in the way: the Women's Grand Prix. Instead of fighting for (and gaining) rating points from the open (mostly male) pool, the top women spend half their time shuffling rating points about among themselves and only learning how to beat each other.

In any case, this detail doesn't undermine the main point: the relentless stream of misogyny that women are expected to endure. Speak up about it and they're 'whining'. Stay silent and 'it can't be that bad'. Catch 22.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:19 am

Very moving and a heartfelt plea.

One minor point, I know the handwritten form and artworks is part of the presentation, but it may help some if there was a typed transcript, both those who may struggle to read handwritten text and also some of the indexing by search engines probably relies on text rather than images.

Ah, having followed the link to the original post:

http://fanoudraws.tumblr.com/post/68091 ... ges-in-new

There is a link there to a transcript:

http://fanoudraws.tumblr.com/private/68 ... m5i1r8ptfc

Phil Neatherway
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Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by Phil Neatherway » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:18 pm

Funnily enough, this has just appeared on the BBC website:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-25138455

So it's a wider problem with society, not specifically a chess problem.

Ian Kingston
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Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by Ian Kingston » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:49 pm

Phil Neatherway wrote:Funnily enough, this has just appeared on the BBC website:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-25138455

So it's a wider problem with society, not specifically a chess problem.
Absolutely - it's been popping up in the video gaming world, science, mathematics, secularism, and just about everywhere that men traditionally dominate. There is a very, very nasty misogynistic undercurrent even in our supposedly enlightened western culture.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:36 pm

Phil Neatherway wrote:... it's a wider problem with society, not specifically a chess problem.

this is obviously true. Still I think it's worth taking the author's story and reflecting on *our* problem.


I saw a comment on the original post that said something like 'when I started playing chess sixty years ago the proportion of chess players who were female was the same as the proportion of lawyers and doctors who were female - i.e. very low. Now half of the new doctors and lawyers are women but the number of chess players hasn't changed at all'. Whether or not that's precisely true in terms of the numbers, there's clearly an essence there that isn't pleasant to contemplate.

Gordon Cadden
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Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by Gordon Cadden » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:45 pm

Ian Kingston wrote:Today's Streatham & Brixton blog post is worth highlighting.
Oh Dear, will we have to censor the wonderful(normally) Streatham & Brixton Blog ?

Matthew Turner
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Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by Matthew Turner » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:53 pm

I agree that it is a very interesting post.
I think there is a huge problem in society with a lack of positive female role models - have a go at thinking of some.
The coverage of the World Chess Championships showed two very confident and articulate women who were every bit as good as their male counterparts. So, whilst one should think about problems chess might have with female participation and ways that can be addressed there are also very positive messages to send out.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by MartinCarpenter » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:59 pm

Chess does also have the rather unfortunate cultural problem with the generally rubbish venues, evening league things, travel to matches etc. They'd of course be worth adressing in general, if only it was possible financially.

Still, probably not a coincidence that the numbers hold up rather better in bridge. Lots of women at bridge congresses etc and yes a non trivial male bias numbers wise as you go higher. Still you do some numbers playing at high levels ~1/8 in county teams. Even (less often) on open teams in the world championships.

Some of the stuff pointed out in that letter with the online comments about the commentators is probably as much a function of online behaviour as anything else. That really isn't at all nice sometimes.

stevencarr

Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by stevencarr » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:22 pm

At least nobody threatened to break somebody's f***ing arm.

If you think sledging is bad in chess, just try being a male cricketer.

If I had a daughter (I don't) who wanted to be a professional chess player, I would try to persuade her to do something else with her life.

stevencarr

Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by stevencarr » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:37 pm

The author of the post claimed she was sexually abused, but did not report it.

She should have reported it to the police, or per parents should have reported it to the police.

I wonder why her parents did not report what had happened to her daughter.

Put these perpetrators behind bars, as happened in similar cases in gymnastics, swimming and tennis.

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Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by Ian Kingston » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:02 pm

stevencarr wrote:The author of the post claimed she was sexually abused, but did not report it.

She should have reported it to the police, or per parents should have reported it to the police.

I wonder why her parents did not report what had happened to her daughter.

Put these perpetrators behind bars, as happened in similar cases in gymnastics, swimming and tennis.
The reasons why women don't report these things are very simple: they are not usually believed (how long did it take for Jimmy Savile's victims to be believed?); when they are taken seriously they are obliged to repeat (and relive) what happened over and over; it's insinuated that they were somehow to blame; and if it goes to court they have to go through all that yet again, with a barrister attempting character assassination in order to defend the accused.

Under the circumstances it's easy to see why women prefer to just walk away.
stevencarr wrote:At least nobody threatened to break somebody's f***ing arm.
No, but women do receive repeated threats of violent rape.

All of this is well understood by the majority of women. Men tend not to see it because the sexism and threats are not directed at us.

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Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by PeterFarr » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:28 pm

Couldn't agree more with Ian Kingston's comments. There is also the common phenomenon of victim-blaming - "well if only she had done (x) or (y)....."

Chess as a whole really doesn't take this anywhere near seriously enough; it's a big cultural issue for the game, which is generally just shrugged off or ignored.

stevencarr

Re: A very pertinent blog post

Post by stevencarr » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:27 pm

Ian Kingston wrote:
stevencarr wrote:The author of the post claimed she was sexually abused, but did not report it.

She should have reported it to the police, or per parents should have reported it to the police.

I wonder why her parents did not report what had happened to her daughter.

Put these perpetrators behind bars, as happened in similar cases in gymnastics, swimming and tennis.
The reasons why women don't report these things are very simple: they are not usually believed (how long did it take for Jimmy Savile's victims to be believed?); when they are taken seriously they are obliged to repeat (and relive) what happened over and over; it's insinuated that they were somehow to blame; and if it goes to court they have to go through all that yet again, with a barrister attempting character assassination in order to defend the accused.

Under the circumstances it's easy to see why women prefer to just walk away.
So your take home message is that rapists can expect to get away with it, and you can increase the chances of women playing chess by telling them that if they are raped, nobody is going to believe them?

How come people have been put away for abuse in the cases of tennis, gymnastics and swimming?

How come the police chased Brian Eley?

The parents should have reported this sexual abuse to the police. End of.

Put rapists behind bars.

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