Director of Women's Chess

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:09 am

This latest round of comments kicked off because Nick Faulks asked me to quote examples of bigoted attitudes in chess. I perhaps should add that the comments quoted are removed from their complete context and there is a difference between holding slightly outdated attitudes and being full on bigots. That said, those comments could cost us new players if we're not careful and generally the younger generation tends to be more cosmopolitan in their views.

We can split hairs over what is discriminatory and what is not but that will get us nowhere. The bottom line is that we need to attract more players to chess generally and initiatives to tackle the gender imbalance should be widely supported. At the same time Casual Chess (and other groups) should be realistic about what resources the ECF currently has.
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:09 am

I would guess that many in academia would argue that "discrimination" is not an inherently negative word. It is easy enough to see why many think that it is, because in everyday language it is generally is used in a negative sense, and quite possibly, most discriminatory decisions should be viewed negatively. But what really matters are the reasons for the discrimination, and not the discrimination itself.

So, the law does not allow employers to discriminate on the basis of gender or race unless there is a good reason to do so, to a limited defined extent (under-representation of the relevant category in a large workforce). But it even demands that employers of large undertakings discriminate by employing EU citizens, unless it can demonstrate that the vacancy has been widely advertised and yet still the best applicant is from outside the EU, and so on.

Examples of discrimination are everywhere, in other words, and sometimes there might be justifiable economic or social-policical thinking behind it.

(I now see that Jon has made similar points, above)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:28 am

Jon Tait wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:06 am
In the case of chess, positive discrimination – such as the women's board in the 4NCL
There's no such thing as a 4NCL women's board. The rules were deliberately written to require at least one male player and at least one female. Indeed it was rapidly realised that if you only had one female player, that if they were strong enough to play on boards 1 to 7, that gave a tactical advantage over teams whose only female player was much weaker than the rest of the team.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:37 am

The point remains that this "positive" discrimination remains discrimination against particular individuals in the dominant class in favour of individuals in the less-dominant class by setting aside an assessment of the relative merits of the two individuals that would otherwise be considered appropriate. I suppose if you are a class-based Marxist that sees no importance in the individual this is a coherent position. I am not a Marxist and am therefore not convinced by this inherently flawed approach.

The proper course is to approach the underlying social conditions that inhibit members of the minority class from achieving to their natural level. Thus, to take a different issue and divorce the discussion from the current emotive one, the approach to the Oxbridge lack of diverse entry is not to artificially pack diverse representatives into the entrance but to tackle the root problem of the underlying unsatisfactory educational system at a lower level that generates the inequality. Of course, there is also the argument that Oxbridge should just be abolished, but the margin of this post is too small to explore that issue.

I find the current discussion highly irrational. There seems to be an assumption (and this was the motive for my question to Justin, brushed aside presumably on the basis that any questioning in this area is no longer socially acceptable) that the cause of a low percentage of women chess players is a sign of sexism within chess. There may be a sexist attitude by some players, as exists in all society. However, I struggle to see any institutional impediment to women players. There may well be aspects of the chess environment that could be made more attractive to women (and resolving these is not discrimination - positive or negative: it is simply making people feel welcome and comfortable). However, it may also be the case that a majority of women would rather do something other than playing chess. Their choice. [Or maybe they shouldn't be allowed to make such an unacceptably sexist decision without proper guidance from ourselves?]

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:49 am

Michael Farthing >There is no such thing as positive discrimination. Discrimination is always negative<

So having separate male and female toilets is always negative? Hmm.
Having separate male and female rugby teams is always negative? Hmm.
Males and Females are different. Surely sexism is where differences are emphasised where no such difference needs to be considered. To have just one type of tennis tournament, open to all, would be plain silly.
Having women receive their old age pensions at a younger age than men, was plain silly.

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Jon Tait
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Jon Tait » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:54 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:28 am
There's no such thing as a 4NCL women's board. The rules were deliberately written to require at least one male player and at least one female.
Okay, yes, that is the specific rule (now just in the top division). Obviously there isn't a women's board per se.
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:28 am
Indeed it was rapidly realised that if you only had one female player, that if they were strong enough to play on boards 1 to 7, that gave a tactical advantage over teams whose only female player was much weaker than the rest of the team.
Which is still the case to a degree. I guess it's partly about team's priorities. For instance, if you're paying someone to play, do you want a male "name" on top board or a strong woman player lower down? Of course if you're Guildford it's both and a lot more besides, with GM Stefanova playing on bottom board.
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Michael Farthing
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:18 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:49 am
Michael Farthing >There is no such thing as positive discrimination. Discrimination is always negative<

So having separate male and female toilets is always negative? Hmm.
Having separate male and female rugby teams is always negative? Hmm.
Males and Females are different. Surely sexism is where differences are emphasised where no such difference needs to be considered. To have just one type of tennis tournament, open to all, would be plain silly.
Having women receive their old age pensions at a younger age than men, was plain silly.
Stewart,
Words are used slightly differently in different contexts. I freely admit I was using the word in the context of variable access rather tha separate provision and also in the context of social equality rather than in phrases such as "has a discriminating palette". Men and women do not normally have variable access to toilet facilities: most places provide both. [There have of course been cases where the question of unfair discrimination has arisen in this area on this very forum: I remember there was a recent ding-dong about whether it was reasonable at a recent congress to designate one of the two women's toilet blocks for male use as the male facilities were over-crowded and the female underused].

Julie Denning
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Julie Denning » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:51 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:18 pm
[There have of course been cases where the question of unfair discrimination has arisen in this area on this very forum: I remember there was a recent ding-dong about whether it was reasonable at a recent congress to designate one of the two women's toilet blocks for male use as the male facilities were over-crowded and the female underused].
It was not a case of designating "one of the two women's toilet blocks for male use". It was a case of designating the only women's toilet block for male use!

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:52 pm

Ohhhhh! Now that's an entirely different kettle of fish.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:26 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:37 am
. this was the motive for my question to Justin, brushed aside presumably on the basis that any questioning in this area is no longer socially acceptable
Mostly because I have better things to do.

Too many guys on here playing martyr, to be honest.
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:59 pm

"So having separate male and female toilets is always negative? "

Readers will be delighted to know that unisex toilets are increasingly placed in schools, by which I mean several cubicles (no urinals) in a room. I think the usual reaction to that is "WHAT?" (in a much bigger font). Before you ask, it is to pacify the transgender pupils and their parents.

Julie is quite right to raise the issue she did. What she complained of is clearly unacceptable.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:30 pm

When somebody feels the need to turn a discussion of women in chess into a sounding-board about transgender schoolchildren and toilets, then "what?" is perhaps very much the right reaction.
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"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:49 am

Story published in The Telegraph >>>

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/0 ... promoting/

benedgell
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by benedgell » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:15 am

I'm not going to bother registering on the Telegraph site just to point out how incorrect that article is, but there's an 8 letter word for it. You can shorten it to BS if you like.

benedgell
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by benedgell » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:18 am

It reads very much like they just took Amanda Ross' views and turned it into an article.

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