PDA

View Full Version : gender issues in chess.



firegoat7
31-05-2005, 04:34 PM
Hello,

Last night at MCC, an anonymous player was warned by an official not to use a female toilet, since their was a women playing in the tournament. After much arguement, the player ended up using the toilet anyway. The arguement was "There is only one female in the tournament and I need to go".

Thus a pandoras box is opened up. Why do male chess players think that they have the right to ignore normal social conventions? How does chess attract female players, if they are always being treated in a paternalistic way? Should toilets be unisex, like at home, some Victorian venues are already moving in this direction? Does female particpation in chess need more protection at the grassroots level to prevent overbearing male dominance? What about at the political level? Is it time we had a female as leader of the ACF?

Cheers Fg7

jenni
31-05-2005, 05:06 PM
Ooh - what a wonderful topic!!

I don't honestly think a toilet is an enormous issue - I wouldn't have a problem with Unisex toilets, as long as I have a lock, so I can feel a bit secure. If a male walks in while I am washing my hands etc, it is not going to particularly upset me.

However there is a very paternalistic attitude towards women in chess possibly due to the fact that many chess players are drawn from cultures where women are second class. However even among "Australians" , there is a very patronising attitude.

Some years ago (1999) to be exact - I was in Newcastle with the kids for a competition. I had already started playing chess, but only in Dorothy Dibley competitions, so had no rating. The Newcastle comp had an uneven number of players and there was going to be a bye. The organisers went into a huddle and were trying to work out what to do - one of them was suggesting some strange way of overcoming the bye - I said I was quite happy to play if it meant eliminating the bye. The embarrasment was palpable - the guys all studiously ignored me and you almost see their thoughts :) Would they have acted the same if an unrated guy had offered to play? - I don't believe so.

I don't know how you change a culture that is patronising to women - hopefully the new generation growing up will be less so.

As far as nurturing females goes - I think it needs to be done at the junior level, but not sure about adults. I find it hard to believe anyone could patronise Irina B-F or Sorokina.

I have heard from quite a few parents of junior females interstate, that some of the clubs can be difficult for young females. I don't think that is true in Canberra, or at least have not heard it.

I think that grassroots work needs to be done - broaden the base and then you might retain more females long term. It is really good to see Ingela starting some Girls development days in NSW.

Libby
31-05-2005, 05:22 PM
Our "Chess Chicks" program (for which we received the Women's Sports Grant) was filled on the first round of offers. We have a waiting list.

In part, on an unrelated point, because (I think) we used the "selection" carrot. Girls received an offer of a place. Places were limited. They had been "identified" for the program. This - from past sports experience - makes such a program infinitely more desirable.

Unisex toilets - OK as long as everything is taking place behind the cubicle door. :owned: Stayed in the dorms at Perth where the school was "boys-only" and the whole urinal in the bathroom thing ... Us girls just aren't used to that.

I suspect a female leader in Australian chess would be about as well supported and reported as the average female in politics anywhere. If you couldn't batter her position on the issues you can always switch the topic to past lovers, hairdos and whether or not she has had the requisite number of babies :rolleyes:

antichrist
31-05-2005, 07:21 PM
Definitely keep toilets genderly separate.

Men are terrible shots and don't care if they leave a big smelly mess. Frankly speaking they are disgraceful.

Men as they get older get slower and could be there lunch break.

Those urinals can be smelly and messy, not suitable for a lady to have to face.

Women can leaves those funny bins a bit urky for little boys to poke their faces into - as they do.

It only works in some venues because management has an interest in making it work, i.e., cleaning them often.

Kevin Bonham
31-05-2005, 08:19 PM
Unisex toilets - OK as long as everything is taking place behind the cubicle door. :owned: Stayed in the dorms at Perth where the school was "boys-only" and the whole urinal in the bathroom thing ... Us girls just aren't used to that.

Agree with this. Because chess is so male-dominated this is a common logistic hassle in small venues that have only two cubicles, one marked male and one female.


I suspect a female leader in Australian chess would be about as well supported and reported as the average female in politics anywhere. If you couldn't batter her position on the issues you can always switch the topic to past lovers, hairdos and whether or not she has had the requisite number of babies :rolleyes:

What is the history here - has the ACF had a female leader? I don't think anyone trying any of that rubbish on Evelyn Koshnitsky would have got very far. How many females have actually been formally on Council at all?

I doubt very much that too many people would be out to get a female leader of the ACF on account of her femininity. It certainly happens in federal politics (eg some of the rubbish used against Julia Gillard) but leadership of the ACF is not exactly a hotly contested item.

antichrist
31-05-2005, 08:36 PM
I vacated a guaranteed winning position on an ALP ticket for a ...... WOMAN, and took a losing position. The ..... resigned after getting a bit of .... and we ending up losing the position in a by-election. Don't talk me about positive discrimination, let them earn their stripes to show their durability.

Ian Rout
31-05-2005, 09:15 PM
I don't see how this is a gender issue. It's a toilet issue. You can't have a tournament without adequate toilets, people can't/won't leave the board to go scouring the streets for a public convenience. If any configuration is going to be unsatisfactory to some people - either the women don't get a dedicated toilet, or the men have an inadequate share of the facilities - you just have to decide who you can most afford to get offside. Or get a venue with better facilities.

Thunderspirit
31-05-2005, 09:47 PM
Definitely keep toilets genderly separate.

Men are terrible shots and don't care if they leave a big smelly mess. Frankly speaking they are disgraceful.

Men as they get older get slower and could be there lunch break.

Those urinals can be smelly and messy, not suitable for a lady to have to face.

Women can leaves those funny bins a bit urky for little boys to poke their faces into - as they do.

It only works in some venues because management has an interest in making it work, i.e., cleaning them often.


A/C if only you commitented like this all the time. A great post, I wish there were more`of them.... :clap: :clap:

firegoat7
31-05-2005, 11:21 PM
I don't see how this is a gender issue. It's a toilet issue. You can't have a tournament without adequate toilets, people can't/won't leave the board to go scouring the streets for a public convenience. If any configuration is going to be unsatisfactory to some people - either the women don't get a dedicated toilet, or the men have an inadequate share of the facilities - you just have to decide who you can most afford to get offside. Or get a venue with better facilities.

Well you are wrong, it is clearly a gender issue. We have adequate facilities, its just, well in a tournament with say 50 people, 49 will be male, while one will be female. The real reason males use the female toilets is because they are hardly used.



Now last time this happend in a tournament the female player complained about the behaviour of men using the womens wc when they wanted to. So when this tournament started we attempted to police it. Nevertheless, some people won't listen to reason. Ok, so what do you do?

You make males aware that they are trampling on normal rights that in mainstream society they would not transgress. Little things like this are important to people, especially if we want female participation. But of course first you have to admit there is a problem with the masculine culture in chess. Maybe males just don't want to hear this sort of stuff. All I know is from a club perspective, its hard to build female membership if the players don't help.

Cheers Fg7
P.S One solution was to give the female chess players their own keys. The unisex solution was not supported on the committee.

Thunderspirit
31-05-2005, 11:39 PM
The solution is this: Men use men's toilets, and Women use women's toilets. End of story. It's not an excuse to say "I was busting" or that your really needed to go.

How can Australian chess attract women to the game if the male players can't extend this basic courtesy.

firegoat7
31-05-2005, 11:49 PM
The solution is this: Men use men's toilets, and Women use women's toilets. End of story.

Fair enough Lee. But how do you change the cultural practices of sexist males without alienating them from chess?



How can Australian chess attract women to the game if the male players can't extend this basic courtesy.
Yes.... how do you?

Cheers fg7

Thunderspirit
01-06-2005, 12:00 AM
[ QUOTE=firegoat7]Fair enough Lee. But how do you change the cultural practices of sexist males without alienating them from chess?

Good point: It's the sexist males that are part of the problem. I honestly believe that if Australian chess forcibly got rid of the some of sexist, backward attidutes than Australian chess would evenutallu move forward. I've give you an example. There are about 2800 players on the active list. Big deal for 20 million people, say Australian chess changed heaps, mebership fees, dress code, ethics (the works) we lost 500 players becuase they dodn't want to adapt, Australian chess would make up these numbers.

I know of quite a few players around my age (women) who play very rarely because of sexist slime in chess...

Yes.... how do you?

How do you attract women? That's harder, but not impossible. Basically they have to find the environment non threatening, and enjoyable, and this issue is a small part of that.

Hope that helps...

Cheers fg7[/QUOTE]

antichrist
01-06-2005, 12:59 AM
We won't get many female players because it is a sexist game, men are more suitable. Just as you won't get many male knitters.

That is how we have evolved.

Duff McKagan
01-06-2005, 07:18 AM
It's not an excuse to say "I was busting"

Yes it is! :D

eclectic
01-06-2005, 07:22 AM
Just as you won't get many male knitters.

actually,

isn't it a tradition in some of the smaller islands around the british isles for the men to be knitters and quite good at it too?

:hmm:

eclectic

Duff McKagan
01-06-2005, 07:26 AM
Guys,

I dont much care if there are more females play or not. Males are stupid enough to play the game and women are smarter than that...... Hey, that means I dont want them playing and taking the prize money :lol:

Cheers. :cool:

eclectic
01-06-2005, 07:29 AM
Guys,

I dont much care if there are more females play or not. Males are stupid enough to play the game and women are smarter than that...... Hey, that means I dont want them playing and taking the prize money :lol:

Cheers. :cool:

... not that there's ever that much prize money in chess to get worked up over

... well not in australia anyway

... :whistle:

eclectic

Ian Rout
01-06-2005, 09:17 AM
Well you are wrong, it is clearly a gender issue. We have adequate facilities, its just, well in a tournament with say 50 people, 49 will be male, while one will be female. The real reason males use the female toilets is because they are hardly used.

No, I'm right. Sometimes a toilet is just a toilet.

I don't know what facilities exist for men at MCC. It may be that they are adequate and meet any legal requirement, so that MCC can afford to cordon off part of the facilities for the exclusive use of one member who may require them once or not at all during a round. On the other hand a significant level of discomfort or inconvenience, and occasional health risk, may exist.

But whatever is the case, the member mentioned by fg knows the rules and if he doesn't like them he can play elsewhere. If I asserted that the member was entitled to ignore the club rules because he didn't like them then I would be wrong.

But how does this turn into the plaintive "Why do male chess players think that they have the right to ignore normal social conventions?" It's not male chess players, it's one person. It's not a pattern of behaviour, it's one incident. It's not necessarily gender-related; if there was a separate toilet for, say, club officials the person might just as readily break the rule. It hasn't even been demonstrated that the person was being a boorish lout as asserted rather than being genuinely in distress.

In any case why do we need to hear about such MCC petty incidents? Is this somebody with who fg is having a long-running feline interface and is attempting to embarrass?

I must say my initial response was to recall the caricature male sociology student who leaps on every feminist bandwagon around, spouting terms like "paternalistic" and "overbearing male dominance" and calling for all manner of special privileges and punishments.

Duff McKagan
01-06-2005, 09:45 AM
Even though I agree with 90% of your post that this quote came from.


On the other hand a significant level of discomfort or inconvenience, and occasional health risk, may exist.

What health risk is there in having in unisex dunnies. Geez, I know girls have germs but I didnt know that they could make me sick too. :banana:

pax
01-06-2005, 09:53 AM
Let me tell you if the situation was reversed, the ladies would be using the mens room in a flash.

Actually, I don't know why small venues with two cubicles bother with gender segregation at all.

Ian Rout
01-06-2005, 09:56 AM
Even though I agree with 90% of your post that this quote came from.



What health risk is there in having in unisex dunnies. Geez, I know girls have germs but I didnt know that they could make me sick too. :banana:

I was saying that there may be a health risk not in unisex toilets but in the setup as it stands, if people are unable to access facilities when needed - especially taking into account that waiting a few minutes may then take you to a point in the game where leaving it is not viable.

(Edit) Incidentally on the subject of unisex toilets the student residence where I lived built a block, approximately 25% of the hall's total capacity, with unisex facilities and that was thirty years ago. Segregated facilities may be an MCC rule, as they are in many places, but are hardly a "normal social convention".

Libby
01-06-2005, 10:27 AM
You don't want to be making boys wait to use the loo - we have had our share of "accidents" as a consequence :eek:

Is this the debate firegoat was looking for :hmm:

PS Recent breakdown in the boy's toilets at our venue saw many lads "hanging on" (some literally) rather than venture into the Girl's loo as the only viable alternative. We assured them it was completely free of girls on each occasion but some preferred to leave things to the emergency stage before they would venture in :confused:

firegoat7
01-06-2005, 10:30 AM
No, I'm right. Sometimes a toilet is just a toilet.


No, u are completly wrong. When a person says "I need to go the toilet" it is a different statement from "I really need to go to the tournament now...immediately". The latter is clearly negotiable, the former is not, its just an excuse for behaviour.



I don't know what facilities exist for men at MCC. It may be that they are adequate and meet any legal requirement, so that MCC can afford to cordon off part of the facilities for the exclusive use of one member who may require them once or not at all during a round. On the other hand a significant level of discomfort or inconvenience, and occasional health risk, may exist.


Again your making a mountain out of a molehill. The simple fact is that because there are relatively few female players the males seem to think its fine to use the female amenities, on most nights this is not a problem, since there are no women in the club. It becomes a problem when the players cannot reflect on the difference of cultural behaviour when women are in the club.



But whatever is the case, the member mentioned by fg knows the rules and if he doesn't like them he can play elsewhere. If I asserted that the member was entitled to ignore the club rules because he didn't like them then I would be wrong.
Ian, this is one way of addressing the problem, thank you. However I am looking for less invasive and more appropriate forms of individual responsibility. Officials should not have to treat chess players like children. What I am interested in is discussion on how to change this particular masculine mindset. In other words how do we get chessplayers to police their own behaviour?




But how does this turn into the plaintive "Why do male chess players think that they have the right to ignore normal social conventions?" It's not male chess players, it's one person. It's not a pattern of behaviour, it's one incident. It's not necessarily gender-related; if there was a separate toilet for, say, club officials the person might just as readily break the rule. It hasn't even been demonstrated that the person was being a boorish lout as asserted rather than being genuinely in distress.


Partly true, unfortunately its not an isolated incident, which ought to be obvious from my previous posts, its a systematic cultural infringement. As for the latter part of your post...Isn't that up to the individual to negotiate?



In any case why do we need to hear about such MCC petty incidents? Is this somebody with who fg is having a long-running feline interface and is attempting to embarrass?

Firstly yes, its a clear case of gender problems in Australian chess. A problem I wish to stamp out MCC. And as for the latter part of your post, you really are being quite silly. If it was personally motivated I would have named the offender. While it may be true that I am attempting to shame the person, its not personal, its about the behaviour. A behaviour that is problematic at MCC. What is interesting is to hear Libby and Jenni talk about the issue, they confirm that unisex toilets may be the way to go. This is a point I have argued for at the committee level which has been constantly rejected.



I must say my initial response was to recall the caricature male sociology student who leaps on every feminist bandwagon around, spouting terms like "paternalistic" and "overbearing male dominance" and calling for all manner of special privileges and punishments.
It a little more complex then that...I am hardly going to get a balanced view internally from MCC (because of the gender imbalance), hence the externalising of the problem, and clearly your initial concerns are just looking at the problem from the wrong perspective.

Cheers Fg7

arosar
01-06-2005, 10:33 AM
Let me tell you if the situation was reversed, the ladies would be using the mens room in a flash.

Actually, I don't know why small venues with two cubicles bother with gender segregation at all.

Absolutely right. You should check out the Men's toilet in any big event (e.g. NYE Fireworks at the Opera House). All them sheilas line up for the Men's toilet.

AR

Libby
01-06-2005, 10:36 AM
What is interesting is to hear Libby and Jenni talk about the issue, they confirm that unisex toilets may be the way to go. This is a point I have argued for at the committee level which has been constantly rejected.


Cheers Fg7

On a serious note. I imagine most adults can manage to negotiate a unisex loo.

You may have to come up with protocols if you have a lot of young girls (children, teens) and older male players.

One mistake (let alone act of abuse) can end up becoming bgger than any club wants to be dealing with.

EGOR
01-06-2005, 10:48 AM
It's interesting how a thread on gender issues in chess has become all about toilets. :hmm:

Ian Rout
01-06-2005, 11:11 AM
It's interesting how a thread on gender issues in chess has become all about toilets. :hmm:
Ref post #7.

Duff McKagan
01-06-2005, 01:56 PM
What I am interested in is discussion on how to change this particular masculine mindset.

1. What is so wrong having the "masculine mindset" that wins chess matches. The drive to win win win the right to use a toilet to toilet.


In other words how do we get chessplayers to police their own behaviour?

2. If someone thinks that their own behaviour needs to be policed, they will pull their own head in. If they dont see the need, they wont. Therefore your problem is to convince that person that their behaviour warrants policing ..... :lol: ..... Best of luck. :cool:

Cheers

BFG
02-06-2005, 08:30 AM
All your answers here

http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1376865.htm

antichrist
02-06-2005, 01:27 PM
If I was distracted by a low cut in a comp that I was previously going all right in, I may be upset. Maybe depends on the compensation.

Spiny Norman
02-06-2005, 03:59 PM
Whatever happened to the "good ol' days"? A bit of ol' fashioned shunning? Or perhaps build a small scale model of a toilet, tie a bit of string around it, and hang it around the neck of the offender? ;) I don't foresee any way around this other than to be direct/blunt with the person concerned and tell them not to do it again. Presumably each club has a "code of conduct" that includes a directive for all members/players that they have to obey an instruction from the director of play ... with appropriate penalties if they choose not to comply?

Duff McKagan
02-06-2005, 04:07 PM
From the article above:

"However, I suspect it might be in many cases that women just don't get obsessed with things like men do. They don't want to spend all their waking hours studying chess and competing harder."

Just like I said, women are smarter than men :owned:

Cheers

Bill Gletsos
02-06-2005, 04:27 PM
From the article above:

"However, I suspect it might be in many cases that women just don't get obsessed with things like men do. They don't want to spend all their waking hours studying chess and competing harder."

Just like I said, women are smarter than men :owned: Actually, they just would rather be out shopping or adding to a shoe collection. ;)

DoroPhil
02-06-2005, 04:44 PM
Actually, they just would rather be out shopping or adding to a shoe collection. ;)

This is an amazing insight into female psyche. Quite funny too.

Bill Gletsos
02-06-2005, 06:09 PM
This is an amazing insight into female psyche. Quite funny too.Also men and women shop differently. :whistle:
Generally most women are into "window shopping" whilst most men are not.
Guys know what they want e.g. buy a dvd, they go to the store and buy it (they may look at other dvds in the same store) and leave.
Women will look at stuff in stores (or even windows of stores that are shut) that they either have no intention of buying at the time (they will however most likely buy it if it is "on sale") or cannot afford to buy it (e.g. very expensive dresses).

I'll sit back now and wait for howls of protest from the female posters. ;)

Mischa
02-06-2005, 07:20 PM
Not from me...I make most of my own clothes!

eclectic
02-06-2005, 07:24 PM
Not from me...I make most of my own clothes!

make your own clothes, my .....

you're a bloody fairy, look at your avatar!

you simply wave a wand and they magically appear!

:owned:

;)

eclectic

Mischa
02-06-2005, 07:26 PM
oh yeah...forgot.
Ummm There WAS a time when being a fairy really MEANT something

firegoat7
02-06-2005, 10:08 PM
Also men and women shop differently. :whistle:
Generally most women are into "window shopping" whilst most men are not.

Clearly in a consumer society it is an important skill to learn how to shop. Generally women are much better at shopping then men. How many males and females here teach their children how to shop?

Cheers Fg7

antichrist
02-06-2005, 10:32 PM
Clearly in a consumer society it is an important skill to learn how to shop. Generally women are much better at shopping then men. How many males and females here teach their children how to shop?

Cheers Fg7

Generally speaking women are better at blowing the budget. Once men have been to the bottle shop and cigarette counter they are out of there.

My missus used to complain that I stopped her shopping and enjoying herself as I handled the money and saved (paid off house). 20 years later she concedes that if I did not teach her to save she would have nothing, she is pretty well off.

firegoat7
02-06-2005, 11:42 PM
20 years later she concedes that if I did not teach her to save she would have nothing, she is pretty well off. :eek:

I am willing to bet that after 20 years, your wife probably buys most of you clothes. Furthermore, I reckon I'd be prepared to double my bet by suggesting she knows a clothing or food bargain much better then you. In fact I'm willing to bet you don't even know the size of your own socks (without looking), but your wife does.

Cheers Fg7
P.S teach her a thing or two, I reckon in the survival of the fittest stakes, in the consumer world, she would be stronger then you.

Whats the score AC 5-0 or 0-5?

antichrist
03-06-2005, 06:10 AM
With my reputation around here with "that" clich one would think that I am an unpopular person - actually is quite the opposite.

I have the missus who loves buying me clothes, a sister who buys me a truckload whenever she goes shopping for her own, and an aunty and first cousin who both own clothing shops and really smother me as well for free because they think I am really nice (in spite of hating my anti-religious protests). I don't know my sizes.

I can't help it if I am popular.

Libby
03-06-2005, 10:01 AM
I can't help it if I am popular.

Or they don't trust your own taste ....