Director of Women's Chess

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

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:26 pm

"In 1984 I was the sector arbiter for the lower women's section at the Olympiad in Greece. My assistant arbiters referred to me as Mr Reuben. 'No, no,' I said, 'Call me Stewart'. After that they referred to me as Mr Stewart and I gave up on the non-issue.
Kevin, was that sexism and, if so, on whose part?"

I don't know! I hate "isms". Anyway, they should call you "Sir" and carry you around on a Sedan chair.

"As a matter of detail, there are female players who are quite content with their traditional form of address and dislike the recently invented "Ms". Their wishes should also be respected."

Exactly. I would have thought that unless you habitually put "Mr" where appropriate, you shouldn't put "Miss", "Mrs" or "Ms". I suppose Dr and Prof might turn up? I recall Lady Herbert playing at Hastings and I assume her title was put on the board then. Would it still be?

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:55 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:15 am
Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:49 am
I agree with Andrew that the behaviour he described is not acceptable.
I also agree. It is disappointing to learn that there are parts of the country where this behaviour remains prevalent.

As a matter of detail, there are female players who are quite content with their traditional form of address and dislike the recently invented "Ms". Their wishes should also be respected.
Which is rather to state the obvious. Yes, if a woman wishes to be Mrs or Miss then that's a different matter. The issue here is men telling a woman she couldn't be addressed as Ms whether she wanted to or not. Or unnecessarily specifying Miss and Mrs on a team sheet or minutes when the men are just known by their initial.

As for some of the silly comments raised above. Sexist behaviour is (loosely) anything that is demeaning towards women and/ or makes them feel uncomfortable, and also carries on after they've politely asked them to stop. Yes juniors do cheat but I've seen far more examples of unsportsmanlike behaviour directed against juniors by adults than I have cheating by juniors.
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:48 am

"Sexist behaviour is (loosely) anything that is demeaning towards women and/ or makes them feel uncomfortable, and also carries on after they've politely asked them to stop. Yes juniors do cheat but I've seen far more examples of unsportsmanlike behaviour directed against juniors by adults than I have cheating by juniors."

First point is rubbish - I have encountered sexist behaviour aimed at men.

Second point - I've seen adults cheat against juniors as well. All cheating is bad - sorry if you think that's "silly".

It worries me that some people think bias or poor behaviour is acceptable if it's directed only one way.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:57 am

When Jill Triggs used to receive communications about international chess events, she was often addressed as Mr Triggs.
Writing letters, I used to have the problem of how to address a woman of whose marital status I was unaware. The invention of Ms solved that.

Angela and Maria Eagle, both MPs, came separately to the British Chess Championships in Liverpool in 2008. They both objected to the event still being called 'The British Ladies' Championship'. So for 2009 I changed it to 'British Women's Championship'. It was an easy way of making two ministers happier. The trophy has never been changed and there has never been any comment that I know of.

An Australian 16 year old girl achieved the title of Woman International Master WIM. When told of this she exclaimed, 'Does that mean I'm a woman now?'
Originally it used to be called International Woman's title IWM. But WGM was used. Why not WIM I asked the late Professor Lim Kok Ann. He answered that WIM means something rude. I was puzzled, but eventually I realised he meant QUIM and got it changed to WIM.

It used to be called The Men's Olympiad'. Yet a woman played in the very first one. With the help of Makro, I got the usage changed to Olympiad. People used to refer to a woman getting the men's GM title. Again, I got rid of that. Both of these were demeaning to women.

Nino Gurieli WGM came to the Lloyds Bank Masters. She asked me why Smagin was getting better start money than her. 'Because he is a GM and you are a WGM.' 'It's the same thing,' she answered. That provided a glass ceiling that impeded the chess development of some female players. When Nona Gaprindashvili and Pia Cramling became GMs that smashed that ceiling. It was I who suggested that Nona be awarded the GM title as Women's World Champion. The only person who objected was Nana Alexandria. I believe there is no need for the WGM title, IM is only 50 points higher. Malcolm Pein agrees with me.

There are very, very few men's prizes in chess, but many women's. The men compete alongside women for 'open' prizes. Is that sexist or positive discrimination?

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:11 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:48 am
"Sexist behaviour is (loosely) anything that is demeaning towards women and/ or makes them feel uncomfortable, and also carries on after they've politely asked them to stop. Yes juniors do cheat but I've seen far more examples of unsportsmanlike behaviour directed against juniors by adults than I have cheating by juniors."

First point is rubbish - I have encountered sexist behaviour aimed at men.

Second point - I've seen adults cheat against juniors as well. All cheating is bad - sorry if you think that's "silly".

It worries me that some people think bias or poor behaviour is acceptable if it's directed only one way.
If we're going to be pedantic then yes, sexism as I defined it does cut both ways. Indeed I'm often the first to call out double standards in this regard. However this thread is related to chess, a pursuit in which women are very much a minority and there is no real reason why they should be a minority.

Regarding adults, juniors and cheating - yes all cheating is bad (and where have I used the word `silly`). The difference is that an adult victim of cheating is more likely to speak to the arbiter and get the matter raised while the child victim (possibly facing a man twice his size whose body language suggests `and what are you going to do about it, little boy`) is more likely to go away upset and find another hobby.
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David Sedgwick
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by David Sedgwick » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:34 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:11 am
and where have I used the word `silly`
Well, to answer your question:
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:55 pm
As for some of the silly comments raised above.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:26 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:48 am

First point is rubbish - I have encountered sexist behaviour aimed at men..
However, we are not taking part in a sport absolutely dominated by women, nor are we discussing how a post relating to men's chess has been given to a female crony of another woman when there were men interested in the job, nor is the discussion largely devoted to women patiently explaining to men how this really doesn't matter and not to be so silly, and the most important thing is not that men are represented but that there shouldn't be any positive discrimination towards them, and in the mean time everybody is making clear that they personally are in no way prejudiced and very much in favour of greater representation for men.
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Jon Tait
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Jon Tait » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:32 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:49 am
Here is an example of sexism in chess from British Championship Qualifying Regulations.

"5 – FIDE Masters rated 2300 or higher on the rating list published on 1st July, 2017
6 – Women’s FIDE Masters rated 2100 or higher on the rating list published on 1st July, 2017"
That's positive discrimination not sexism.
Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:49 am
Any sort of bias is bad...
That's certainly a point of view. Does it include the status quo bias which positive discrimination seeks to address?
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NickFaulks
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:48 am

Jon Tait wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:32 am
That's positive discrimination not sexism.
I've never been sure what the difference is. Discrimination is discrimination, and simply inserting the prefix "positive" does not change that. That doesn't mean I'm opposed to it.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:58 am

Jon Tait wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:32 am

That's positive discrimination not sexism.
There is no such thing as positive discrimination. Discrimination is always negative.

NickFaulks
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:01 am

Michael Farthing wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:58 am
There is no such thing as positive discrimination. Discrimination is always negative.
That was also my point, but I was keen to stress that I do not necessarily consider it a bad thing.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:40 am

Michael Farthing wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:58 am
Jon Tait wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:32 am

That's positive discrimination not sexism.
There is no such thing as positive discrimination. Discrimination is always negative.
Phew!
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"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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NickFaulks
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:57 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:40 am
Phew!
Does that imply disagreement?

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Jon Tait
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Jon Tait » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:06 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:48 am
I've never been sure what the difference is. Discrimination is discrimination, and simply inserting the prefix "positive" does not change that. That doesn't mean I'm opposed to it.
Discrimination is a semantically neutral term even if its usual connotation is negative. So positive discrimination aims to counteract negative discrimination within social structures; i.e. it negates the inherent structural social bias against specific groups (women under sexism, people of colour under racism, and so forth) and hence aims to level the playing field over time.

In the case of chess, positive discrimination – such as the women's board in the 4NCL - seeks to increase (over time) women's and girls' participation in an otherwise male-dominated game.

Actually, thinking about it, the lower rating limit in the British Championship is not really positive discrimination at all. It's more a practical solution to increase eligibility from a smaller playing pool, given that the Women's Championship is nowadays incorporated into the main event.
Last edited by Jon Tait on Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jon Tait
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Re: Director of Women's Chess

Post by Jon Tait » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:08 am

Michael Farthing wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:58 am
Jon Tait wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:32 am
That's positive discrimination not sexism.
There is no such thing as positive discrimination. Discrimination is always negative.
Ah, right, so.
blog inspired by Bronstein's book, but using my own games: http://200opengames.blogspot.co.uk/

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