Ladies v Women

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Alex Holowczak
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Ladies v Women

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:27 am

English Chess Federation wrote:Some of you may have noticed that names have been changed, to British Women’s and English Women’s Championships. This is at the behest of Angela and Maria Eagle twin sister MP's who had long objected to the titles being Ladies. It isn’t often one can please two ministers with a simple change of one word.
Oh, come on...

Wimbledon has Gentlemen's Singles and Ladies' Singles and it has never been a problem.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:57 pm

I fully agree. It would be nice to think that former chess players who have acquired some real power might be able to do something a bit more constructive for the game. Maria Eagle is already part of a government team which is about to distort the law of murder in pursuit of a rather garbled (in this case) feminist agenda, and I had hoped that English chess might escape unscathed.

But perhaps I should rather criticise the ECF for kowtowing to this rather inconsequential request. (I mean - change of government next year, after all).

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:00 pm

While the change itself is rather inconsequential, this is no reason in itself not to do it if it's appropriate. If I were starting these titles today, I'd almost certainly call them the British Women’s and English Women’s Championships, rather than the British Ladies' and English Ladies' Championships - woman is an entirely straightforward and unambiguous term, whereas lady has class-based connotations that I wouldn't want the title to convey.

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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:21 pm

I can think of several wonderful players in the UK who would laugh at the idea that they should be described as ladies, or afforded any other type of aristocratic grace. But they carry on playing and have competed for the ladies titles anyway.

I agree that if we were starting from scratch ... but we are not, and tradition matters too. So does the notion that we shouldn't be pushed around by politicians quite so easily.

Tim Spanton
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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by Tim Spanton » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:34 pm

I am sure we can accept the Eagle sisters' assurances that they are not ladies but I fail to see why every other female chessplayer should be tarred with the same brush ...

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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by Paul McKeown » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:10 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:Maria Eagle is already part of a government team which is about to distort the law of murder in pursuit of a rather garbled (in this case) feminist agenda
Yes, Jonathan, and Mad Hatter Harman chunters on unceasingly that the way to increase rape convictions is to lower the burden of proof. Yes, that's right, potential rapists will deterred by increasing the number of innocents convicted of the crime.

Never mind Patricia Hewitt, who, in 1995, wrote, "Transforming Men", where she questioned, "whether we can trust men with children," and concluded that it would be best "not leaving men on their own with groups of children" in environments such a schools in order to prevent abuse. Of course, she was also found guilty of unlawful sexual discrimination in 2005, when, as Minister for the DTI, she employed a woman ahead of a more suitably qualified man.

Then there was Margaret Hodge.

So, many of the female labour MP's have been infected with outdated 1970's feminist ideas and, when in positions of power, have attempted to put them into practise. Sexism is not, it seems, restricted to men.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:16 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Jonathan Rogers wrote:Maria Eagle is already part of a government team which is about to distort the law of murder in pursuit of a rather garbled (in this case) feminist agenda
Yes, Jonathan, and Mad Hatter Harman chunters on unceasingly that the way to increase rape convictions is to lower the burden of proof.
Ouch. Never mind the legal considerations, that's a horrible abuse of the term. The burden of proof is an absolute: it can be on the defendant, or on the plaintiff. It's not something that can be raised or lowered.

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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:41 pm

So... anyway... The British Championship programme is now online. It clearly states:
British Championship programme wrote:...the highest placed English female player will be declared English Ladies' Champion...
I don't think the person who compiled the programme got the memo. :roll:

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:44 pm

[to Jack] True. I think Paul was referring to the notion of reversing the burden of proof on the defendant in rape cases, something to which the Home Office did give serious consideration some seven years ago. I wasn't aware that Harriet Harman is still discussing it but it would not surprise me if so.

well, this is a fun break from chess, anyway ...

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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by Simon Spivack » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:44 pm

In this GOLT (government of little talent) Mrs Dromey, to use her married name, did, again, mouth off about this project a few weeks back.

As this is a chess discussion group; may I add that Mrs Dromey or Mrs Hodge being adopted as the ECF President would drive me to join Chess Scotland. After all, if someone born in, educated in and living in Edinburgh is an Englishman according to the ECF, why can't I be a Scot?

I will try to learn the new Scots anthem too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oww8HXLsxDw

Apparently it is sung enthusiastically in Edinburgh every day.

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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by Paul McKeown » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:28 pm

Tim Spanton wrote:I am sure we can accept the Eagle sisters' assurances that they are not ladies but I fail to see why every other female chessplayer should be tarred with the same brush ...
Tim, I think you have hit the nail on the head. I think that it is mostly a Guardian-reading, middle class obsession that ladies should be women; I think that most working class, Sun-reading, women would prefer to be thought of as ladies.
Jack Rudd FM wrote:that's a horrible abuse of the term
Sorry, Jack, you're right, of course. My writing was hasty and slapdash.
Jonathan Rogers FM wrote:[to Jack] True. I think Paul was referring to the notion of reversing the burden of proof on the defendant in rape cases, something to which the Home Office did give serious consideration some seven years ago. I wasn't aware that Harriet Harman is still discussing it but it would not surprise me if so.
Jonathan, yes of course, that is indeed one of the ideas that la Harman has "mouthed off about" as Simon Spivack put it. I believe I also heard her "mouthing" last year about the idea that a jury might convict in a rape case on the balance of probabilities. The evidence in a rape case where the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator know each other ("date rape") is, of course, very difficult for a jury to convict on, often consisting of little more than she says/he says. What strikes me, though, is that juries have women on them, as well as men, yet juries remain reluctant to convict. Reversing the burden of proof, or shortening the evidentiary yardstick, whilst it might well lead to the conviction of more rapists, would also inevitably lead to more miscarriages of justice, with all the appalling consequences thereto. Let me say, though, that I do think many of the changes brought in by the current government with respect to how rape trials are held have been beneficial. One has only to think of the recent case in which Baby Peter's tormentor and killer was convicted of rape on the testimony of a three year old child whom he had raped the year before. Such a trial could almost certainly not have used such evidence ten years ago.

I simply don't believe that doctrinaire thought derived from zeitgeisty -isms and -ologies untempered by the discipline of scientific rigour work well when plucked from their doctoral theses and applied to the real world.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:52 am

Oh for pity's sake. A small change of name to reflect modern practice and people start screaming about it.

"Escape unscathed". "Kowtowing". "Pushed around."

Has some injustice been done to you? Are you being oppressed here?

Grow up, really.
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Paul McKeown
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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:13 am

Justin,

Grow Up?

Do we have to be so right on about this?

Jonathan Rogers and Tim Spanton summed it up nicely. Why should the authority for chess in England meekly follow in with the fancy and whim of some minor politician? What does substituting one word, "lady," with another word, "woman," actually achieve by way of improving the participation and profile of women in chess? The only profile raised by this is presumably Maria Eagle's, who can now parade her feminist credentials amongst her like-minded friends.

Your grow up remark might indeed be better addressed to her.

Regards,
Paul.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:29 am

Have a sense of proportion. All that's happened is that the title has changed to reflect modern usage, just as everything about the tournament and its traditions has changed, over its history, to reflect changing times. (Just like Wimbledon, incidentally, now allows women to be referred to by their chosen name and not their husband's. And God, how men whined about that.) That's all. To reflect that small and wholly reasonable thing.

And what happens? And people start banging on as if some groteque injustice has been done. Thereby, for what it's worth, demonstrating that feminism really ain't all that outdated.

"Right on" indeed. "Fancy and whim" indeed. If we were "right on" this would have happened thirty years ago.

Now really, people want to stop playing the victim, acquire some sort of sense of proportion and stop whining because a term that is no longer quite appropriate has been quietly put to sleep. Small change happens. Nobody hurt.
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Alex Holowczak
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Re: Ladies v Women

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:57 am

For me, the problem isn't so much that a change has occurred, more the fact that the change has been requested from someone who has, it would appear, absolutely nothing to do with chess anymore. If Jovanka Houska won the Ladies' title this year, and her name went on the trophy as Mrs. A. Hagesaether, and she complained about the name on the trophy and the title of "Ladies' Champion", I would be more inclined to listen. The fact that the complaint came from someone who has absolutely nothing to do with chess gives the impression that the politicians are sticking their nose in to fit their own political agendas, rather than out of an interest to make productive improvements to the game of chess.

Aside from Wimbledon, there are lots of uses of the world "Ladies". Arsenal Ladies Football Club springs to mind, which was founded as recently as 1987. Indeed, the vast majority of football clubs end with the words "Ladies Football Club". Lots of other sporting clubs use "Ladies" too. It's seems like a non-issue.

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