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Chess, Laws and Sex


  • 4 years ago · Quote · #1

    theRonster456

    Has there ever been a legal challenge to the practice of sexual discrimination in chess tournaments? Aside from the title itself, "Women's" grandmaster, "Women's" IM etc. what is the legal basis for barring males from these competitions? There are no tournaments open only to members of a particular religion or race. No official titles like "Protestant Grandmaster" or "Hispanic International Master". I believe such classifications would be "politically incorrect", and would invite litigation. Ultimately, I think they would be disallowed. The situation is similar to the case of Dolly Parton's theme park, Dollywood, where they used to charge no admission to handicapped attendees. A lawsuit claiming "unequal treatment" was brought against them, and they had to end the practice. Kind of sad, though: "Hey you in the wheelchair, fork over the money!" But the same principal seems to apply to chess competition. What is the legal justification for barring a player based on their sex? I don't know of any tournaments that ban female entrants. "Wanna' play Anand, lady? Go right ahead!" So why the one-way exclusion? I am reminded of that scene in "Under Siege" where Steven Seagal (not my favorite "actor") says to Erika Eleniak (what happened to her?) "I thought you were a feminist?" And she says "I am, when it works in my favor!"

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #2

    sftac

    You don't know of any tournaments that ban female entrants??

    What about, sports tournaments?  Not just the muscle bound sports but games like Tennis, Golf, etc.  There are invariably men's & women's sections and that's that.  True, Tennis does have a 'mixed doubles' category, but that's such a tiny component of such events. 

    We're not likely to ever see men playing women one on one in tennis or golf tournaments. 

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #3

    TheGrobe

    I like where this is going -- I want in on those senior citizens' discounts, damnit!

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #4

    fabelhaft

    theRonster456 wrote:

    I don't know of any tournaments that ban female entrants. "Wanna' play Anand, lady? Go right ahead!" So why the one-way exclusion? I am reminded of that scene in "Under Siege" where Steven Seagal (not my favorite "actor") says to Erika Eleniak (what happened to her?) "I thought you were a feminist?" And she says "I am, when it works in my favor!"


    I don't know of any other woman than Polgar that ever is invited to classical top tournaments where players like Anand are participating, and when she has been invited to them it has been because she has been a top ten player or close and not because she is a woman. The best women are just so much weaker than the best men (Polgar partly being the only exception) that it just would be pointless to force them to play in the same tournaments. There are two women rated higher than 2575 while five men are rated higher than 2780, so the difference is quite big.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #5

    Ry888

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #6

    oinquarki

    It's pretty dumb, but not illegal.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #7

    1pawndown

    If women do not like women only events, they will not attend and the events will cease. If it encourages female interest in chess I'm all for it. If some guy wants to play in a women's event let him. (Just like the guys who run for Homecoming Queen.) Whatever floats your boat. In the grand scheme of things, there are more important things to get worked into a lather over than some chess events for women.

    Are we going to get rid of scholastic tournaments and senior events because they promote age discrimination?

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #8

    jesterville

    ...the whole issue of "secregation" is to encourage participation in the other smaller chess sectors like women, kids, retirees etc. If there were no exclusive sectors for them to participate in, then they would all loose interest in the sport all together.

    ...the point being, "secregation" and "discrimination" usually connotes a bad thing...but not always...they can be used positively as well.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #9

    Ry888

    jesterville wrote:

    ...the whole issue of "secregation" is to encourage participation in the other smaller chess sectors like women, kids, retirees etc. If there were no exclusive sectors for them to participate in, then they would all loose interest in the sport all together.

    ...the point being, "secregation" and "discrimination" usually connotes a bad thing...but not always...they can be used positively as well.


     I'm pretty sure it is spelled "segregation."

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #10

    AnthonyCG

    Has there ever been a sex thread by someone with more than 20 posts???

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #11

    theRonster456

    sftac wrote:

    You don't know of any tournaments that ban female entrants??

    What about, sports tournaments?  Not just the muscle bound sports but games like Tennis, Golf, etc.  There are invariably men's & women's sections and that's that.  True, Tennis does have a 'mixed doubles' category, but that's such a tiny component of such events. 

    We're not likely to ever see men playing women one on one in tennis or golf tournaments. 


     My mistake. I should have been more specific. I was referring only to chess tournaments, and that I don't believe any of them bar female players. But while we're off on a tangent here, it is interesting that the PGA has no restrictions on sex. Anyone can join, male or female. But the LPGA is restricted only to females. Yes, I know, it is the "Ladies" Professional Golf Association. I see the irony of my argument. But I don't have a problem with other sports. Most of them are based on physical prowess, and men and women are physically different (I just found this out last week). But chess is a purely intellectual activity. It has been argued since time immemorial that neither sex is intellectually superior, and I agree. So why have catagories and tournaments based on an unrelated physical characteristic? It's like having titles and tournaments just for redheads or tall people. Some have said that women's catagories encourage participation. This may be so, and that's a good thing. I'm not addressing the benefits of the system, only the questionable legal standing of it. Again, I site the Dollywood case. Who wouldn't agree that deferring the admission fee to paraplegics is a nice gesture? But it didn't stand up to the scrutiny of the law! And I maintain that barring a player from a chess competition because of his sex is legally unsustainable. So, how 'bout it? Any bored lawyers out there looking for test case?

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #12

    JonathanTheH

    Who cares about the race religion or whatever else in chess. It's about how the player plays and the actual game of playing chess.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #13

    theRonster456

    JonathanTheH wrote:

    Who cares about the race religion or whatever else in chess. It's about how the player plays and the actual game of playing chess.


     Well, I guess that's it! Case closed!.....Anyway, if you don't care about this subject, why are you reading about it and posting comments?

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #14

    AnthonyCG

    theRonster456 wrote:
    JonathanTheH wrote:

    Who cares about the race religion or whatever else in chess. It's about how the player plays and the actual game of playing chess.


     Well, I guess that's it! Case closed!.....Anyway, if you don't care about this subject, why are you reading about it and posting comments?


    It is astounding that in the year 2011 people still have not figured out Johnathan's simple point. It's like going to a museum and looking at dinosaurs I suppose.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #15

    theRonster456

    AnthonyCG wrote:
    theRonster456 wrote:
    JonathanTheH wrote:

    Who cares about the race religion or whatever else in chess. It's about how the player plays and the actual game of playing chess.


     Well, I guess that's it! Case closed!.....Anyway, if you don't care about this subject, why are you reading about it and posting comments?


    It is astounding that in the year 2011 people still have not figured out Johnathan's simple point. It's like going to a museum and looking at dinosaurs I suppose.


     It's astounding that in the year 2011 people still have not figured out the value of contructive discourse on topics that impact chess, not just the "actual game".....And, again, if you agree with Jonathan's simple point, "who cares about race religion or whatever", why are you spending any time reading this post? Why aren't you out there, just playing chess? You realize, of course, that if you answer this comment, you're proving my point! But, seriously, I believe barring a player from a tournament because of some arbitrarily chosen classification, like sex or race is wrong. It goes against the spirit of chess.....It flies in the face of the very core value of the sport! The perfection of intellectual endeavor! Anyway, most of us would be outraged if the organizers of a tournament banned asians or catholics. I don't see why the gender ban is any less outrageous. It's archaic. And it is morally and logically indefensible.......So there!

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #16

    PUMAPRIDE

    theRonster456 wrote:

    Has there ever been a legal challenge to the practice of sexual discrimination in chess tournaments? Aside from the title itself, "Women's" grandmaster, "Women's" IM etc. what is the legal basis for barring males from these competitions? There are no tournaments open only to members of a particular religion or race. No official titles like "Protestant Grandmaster" or "Hispanic International Master". I believe such classifications would be "politically incorrect", and would invite litigation. Ultimately, I think they would be disallowed. The situation is similar to the case of Dolly Parton's theme park, Dollywood, where they used to charge no admission to handicapped attendees. A lawsuit claiming "unequal treatment" was brought against them, and they had to end the practice. Kind of sad, though: "Hey you in the wheelchair, fork over the money!" But the same principal seems to apply to chess competition. What is the legal justification for barring a player based on their sex? I don't know of any tournaments that ban female entrants. "Wanna' play Anand, lady? Go right ahead!" So why the one-way exclusion? I am reminded of that scene in "Under Siege" where Steven Seagal (not my favorite "actor") says to Erika Eleniak (what happened to her?) "I thought you were a feminist?" And she says "I am, when it works in my favor!"


    well i think its sexistic and its unmoral. i mean why should woman have the right to get an easier game and why should they get titles for doing less. what excuse do they have for wanting everything easier than men get. i mean what biological disadvantage can they claim for that, they are just weaker players because they might dont have that commitment. I mean if they really want that unfairness, they should at least say that women brains arent capable of being as strong as the brains of men. If they say that, than i agree it would be fair, but at the same time saying they are equal and then wanting everything the easy way its just cheap and a disgrace to chess. they should change all their titles to master pretender or something in that direction.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #17

    theRonster456

    I appreciate your support, PUMAPRIDE, but I think you may be missing the point. I am in favor of encourageing female participation, I just question this method: separate tournaments and titles. It is precisely because I believe women are the intellectual equivalent of men that I think they are doing themselves a diservice by playing mostly just among themselves. In another forum, someone posed the question of Hou Yifan's recent poor results. The number of sexist, idiotic replies was astonishing! Everything from "womens cant play chess" to "womens is dumb". I think one guy even blamed hormones. When a male players in a slump, no one blames his testicles. As long as females compete separate from males, they will leave themselves open to ridiculous comments like these. "Oh, you're a "women's" grandmaster? Isn't that like the honorary firechief title they bestow on little kids when they tour the firehouse?" Now, don't get me wrong: I'M not diminishing the achievement of WGM, but the popular perception among some people seems to lean in that direction. Just read some of the comments in this website whenever the subject of gender and chess is mentioned.....


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