Forum for Gender Discrimination in Go

wrong assumptions? [#2630]

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reply wrong assumptions? (2011-09-07 05:06) [#8755]

why must the assumptions be "that a desirable outcome would be for the proportion of female professional go players to be closely approximate the proportion of women in the general population"?

that seems to be the wrong assumption.

I would think the assumption should be that all players are treated equally according to their abilities, rather than according to their gender, regardless of the percentage of their presence as compared to the population.

velobici: Re: wrong assumptions? (2011-09-07 15:48) [#8756]

"all players are treated equally" is the more general case and fits the "Discrimination in Go" title better than the current gender based assumption. Previously the article centered on Rui Naiwei and the Nihon Ki-in. From there it expanded to women in general in place of a single woman.

Don't think anyone is suggesting that players should be treated "according to their gender" but rather their is a unstated assumption that playing ability and gender are not related, rather similar to playing ability and blood type, one might say.

Clearly from the body of the page, there is a population that maintains gender discrimination is present, some say pervasive though subtle, one person goes so far as to state emphatically that 50% of women are raped and that this is the reason there are not more female professionals.

Perhaps Tapir would like to comment on this matter.

tapir: Re: wrong assumptions? (2011-09-07 17:45) [#8757]

Keeping the discussion limited to overt discrimination in the professional circuit, where it seems largely absent, or plain "hot air questions" (are female only tournaments discriminating? is it the right half or the left of the brain? is lance armstrong a good example? how good will the daughter of cho u and kobayashi izumi play?) but avoiding the question of sexism among go players and the sex ratio of the population, is something achieved by carefully framing the discussion by wrong assumptions, an useless thesis and adding some basic logical flaws in the process.

When i look around in the EGD i find samples (of 100) with less than 10% and some with up to 15%. And yes, to me this is an abysmally small participation of women to amateur Go and something I would like to change. I don't know the situation in CJK, but the demographic of Asian go players (if judged by public playing venues) seems to be very much dominated by males as well and I wouldn't be surprised if the ratio of women among professionals (around 20% of the new professionals in Japan) exceeds the ratio among the general go playing population. JF once posted a statistic from Korea from which you could infer a 1 in 8 ratio of women among those who "know how to play Baduk".

I wrote it before: Most of those "explanations" are nothing but crude rationalisations for low female participation rates. If you don't want to change it, "explain" it!

velobici: Re: wrong assumptions? (2011-09-07 17:55) [#8758]

How would you recommend increasing the number of female players ? Having taught all of my children to play (four daughters and one son) and taken them to US Go Congresses, the situation now is that only my son still plays. My youngest daughter prefers to replay game records vs playing games. Don't know how to get the girls to play more.

What methods have worked for you with your girls ? Re: wrong assumptions? (2011-09-07 20:31) [#8759]

but, getting more girls to play, isn't necessarily an issue with discrimination. its a different issue entirely (though is possible to have some overlapping connection)

velobici: Re: wrong assumptions? (2011-09-07 21:08) [#8760]

That could be the case. Indeed, the research articles cited in the main page support that view isn't necessarily an issue with discrimination or with sexism. In the United States, numerous universities have put in place policies to encourage women to enter a variety of professions. The same policies have been quite successful with law and medicine, yet failed with hard sciences (physics, etc.) and engineering. Indeed, my two oldest daughters are examples of this. One majored in physics with very good grades, the other double majored in chemistry and biology. Both are now high-school teachers. By the criteria of the programs to get more women into the sciences as a profession, both of my older daughters are examples of the system failing them. Yet, they don't see themselves or the system as having failed them. They both enjoy teaching.

However, if you read the discussion within the main page of Discrimination in Go, it appears that a number of folks maintain the only reason there are not a more or less equal number of males and females playing go is either discrimination (hard to find any example) or sexism.

MrTenuki: Re: wrong assumptions? (2011-09-07 21:46) [#8761]

I think made a good point here, though: Just because women comprise of less than 50% of the Go-playing population does NOT necessarily mean that the Go-playing community is sexist or discriminatory toward women. The fact is that such confounding is a common issue when you're talking about disparities of any sort-- it's difficult to tell whether the observed disparity is due to "real injustice" (e.g. sexism or discrimination, whether overt or latent) or due to gender differences independent of injustice.

For that matter, even trying to place an identified factor into the two categories can be controversial. For example, if one observes from objective evidence that women on average are less likely to be interested in board games than men do, could we attribute it to a difference associated with brain chemistry (i.e. one caused by one's biological sex)? Or is it because society discourages women from such activities (i.e. it's caused by gender roles that are mostly socially constructed), at least relative to men? It could be a combination of both, too, but we would never know unless someone takes the effort to stratify the data. Specifically, one needs to control for variables that could cause the disparity even though it is not technically caused by sexism or discrimination. Yes, I know that the need to conduct formal research studies (or interpret the raw data from existing studies) is cumbersome, but until that's done I'm afraid that the debate will be more about ideology than truth.

tapir: Re: wrong assumptions? (2011-09-07 22:00) [#8762]

I don't have children to share my experience in teaching them. And I don't have a ready solution.

I am pretty sure however that this or the real life experience on which [ext] this is based or our very own Playing Strength and Gender, which will be doubtless be translated by many adolescent go players to "girls are just weaker, i read it on the internet", don't contribute to change this. In all their delicate wording the relevant SL pages are one big exercise in evasion. And honestly, if your first reaction upon a particular juicy example is "what is 'sexism'? / how do we detect sexism?", then I doubt that you care at all.

MrTenuki: Re: wrong assumptions? (2011-09-07 22:20) [#8763]

Tapir, do you think the Empty Triangle comic you've reference would count as an example on the page? (E.g. "From anecdotal accounts, women Go players are sometimes [ext] sexually harassed during tournaments.")

tapir: Re: wrong assumptions? (2011-09-07 22:56) [#8764]

I am not interested in playing scientific discourse and bringing forward evidence which will then be discarded as anecdotal. Actually, sexual harassment in a predominantly male space isn't the surprise, it would be a surprise if it doesn't exist. Sexism isn't some unspeakable evil that rarely happens and is hard to spot, usually it is just so pervasive that you simply get used to it. Ever seen a TV game commentary, where it is just normal that a male does the review and a female puts the stones on the board, although she is a professional player herself? Read breakfast commenting on Korean female professionals - many of them stronger than him - wholesale: "Girls play soft."? Read your usual KGS kibitzers when EuroGoTV relays a game featuring female players?

velobici: Re: wrong assumptions? (2011-09-08 23:34) [#8767]

a male does the review and a female puts the stones on the board, although she is a professional player

Is it the case that the male player is higher ranked than the female player ? Would expect that it would be the case that higher ranked player does the commentary and the lower ranked pro places the stones and perhaps asks questions of the higher ranked pro. I have heard (Alert: the following is evidence which should be discarded as anecdotal) that Michael Redmond 9P is a popular commentator. Why ? Is he particularly good as a commentator ? Is he as good as the others but more "interesting" because he is a non-Oriental ?

Certainly one can ask why isn't a high ranked female doing the commentary. I can't contribute any information as to how the commentators are selected. Time to stop being an apologist Velobici (2011-09-09 02:34) [#8768]

Come on velobici... It's time to stop being be coy here. Have you ever seen one of these televised commentaries?

If not, let me paint the picture for you. The man explains everything for the viewers while the woman's (who is a professional player in her own right) job description is as follows:

  • Laugh at all of his jokes in a cutesy way, regardless of whether they're funny.
  • Ask simple questions and act like you don't understand the game so that the man can explain things for kyu players.
  • Wear lots of makeup to give the male viewers something nice to look at.
  • If the man makes a mistake the woman must say nothing.

You can continue to postulate alternative realities and invoke the Scientific Method inappropriately all you want (and I'm sure you will), but it doesn't change the facts. By the way, in theory Science should move on once a theory has been falsified by observation. That's how we've moved forward as a race...

Lastly, Joanne Missingham is now under a huge amount of pressure because of her quiet protest. What she did was very brave for a 16 year old and the reaction to it is proof enough that all is not right for women in go. Will you still maintain that there's no problem?

velobici: Would you have me say what i dont know ? (2011-09-09 14:48) [#8770]

I have never seen one of these televised commentaries. I have seen a few still photographs of them in Go World or 围棋天地。 Because I am not familiar with these programs. Sounds like you are rather familiar with them and understand the language in which they are broadcast. Can you tell us: Is it the case that the male player is higher ranked than the female player ?

I suppose the could replace the young female pro with an older man and/or replace the kyu level commentary with dan level or high dan level. Seems that either step would impact the level of viewership, but maybe not. I am not qualified to comment on how such changes would be received in a country whose language I cannot speak. I suggest the the young woman is there to help raise viewership. That is to say its the result of the advertisers and the television channels, not a result of the national go association.

Look at the Tour de France podium presentation each day. They could have the Christian Prudhomme director of the tour present the awards and get rid of the podium girls, but that might result in decreased viewership. Viewership is what the advertisers seek, they don't give a tinker's damn about cycling, Cadel Evans, the Schleck brothers, or who will win this year's Honinbo. They want to sell Gatorade or whatever product they have. As a result of their desperation to sell, we get to watch an activity that interests us.

Dieter: Re: Would you have me say what i dont know ? (2011-09-09 15:17) [#8772]

Hi guys

I've been on many Internet forums and I have always been happy SL was not of the kind where flames rose higher.

I suggest we keep this site to Go and not gender discussions. The topic itself is not irrelevant (how gender issues may be present in Go), but I'm sure that if you take a step back, the tone of the debate may appear to you as it does it us.

Enjoy the library! Re: Would you have me say what i dont know ? (2011-09-09 16:05) [#8773]

Small point: it's insufficient to note that the male player is higher ranked than the female. After all, there are many young low-dan male players, some of whom are probably pretty cute. Why weren't they chosen? As you say, advisers and viewers probably prefer the status quo. But then again, you ask why and what are the impacts? Advertisers and viewers do change over time.

Btw: I don't think the way demonstrations are done is necessarily the greatest evidence for anything in the current discussion. But if you want to talk about it, the last paragraph will help you ask better questions.--Hyperpapeterie (I was not any of the previous anonymous posters).

reply two different subjects discussed here (2011-09-09 05:49) [#8769]

there seems to be two different subjects being discussed here:

1) why are there not more women playing go? (and secondarily, is it related to discrimination or not)

2) are women go players treated discriminatorily as compared to male go players.

The title of the parent page suggests #2, but the text of the page seems to argue the points of #1

Personally, I don't care that the number of women playing go (or any other profession) is not proportional to the population. Its possible that discrimination may play a factor here, but its perhaps just as likely that many women simply choose a different career path. This is difficult to say (or prove).

But for the few women who do choose to play, there does indeed appear to be discriminating practices in place. And these practices may not always be obvious.

velobici: Re: two different subjects discussed here (2011-09-09 14:42) [#8771]

There are three topics which may be linked:

  1. why are there not more women playing go?
  2. are women go players treated discriminatorily as compared to male go players.
  3. why aren't there more strong women players. There is good reason to believe that this is a result of #1 above.

why are there not more women playing go?

Some would say discrimination and sexism chase the women away. Benbow's research seems to indicate that women prefer different activities than men. For additional information on this preference issue, see article cited in main page regarding participation rates in medicine, law, science, technology, engineering and math despite universities applying the same affirmative action programs to women in all of these disciplines.

there does indeed appear to be discriminating practices in place.

Let's document them on the page. We have case of the Qiandeng Cup in which the male players received game fees and the women did not. Are there other instances we can document ?

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