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I've finally come to see how female only titles may actually be encouraging to some women to take up chess. I guess a highly competitive guys club (so to speak) isn't very interesting by itself.
That chess camps for girls and female only tournaments aren't able to do this alone is a different debate... I'm willing to leave that alone and just accept that some people really see these things as useful.
I was wondering though if it would ever be possible to do away with these titles? It seems that after society sees no gender in chess there will be so many women with these specialized titles that it will be impossible to take them all away or phase them out. (Imagine pushing to do away with titles below IM).
One way I find a bit interesting (even in the near future) is to make the titles available only in female only tournaments (much like I can only get the United States NM title by competing in USCF events). Then, phase out female only tournaments and the titles die out in a few generations.
Edit* If you can't get rid of them then there's no excuse for having them at all is a point I wanted to make.
Helpful or unhelpful...I think female titles are absurd. She can be an FM or a NM or whatever her actual skill level is. After all, it really is the same thing...except that it makes fun of the gender a bit. Maybe we should just put people's real world ratings next to their name instead...and it would solve the matter entirely. but i guess that isn't as sexy as getting to call yourself a "master".
Female only titles are a joke.
I spent a couple of days last week at Hastings, watching the Masters tournament. I saw young ladies with rather modest ratings holding WIM titles etc., getting roughed up by middle-aged men with no titles at all. Too much of a carrot, if you ask me.
I hate them. At best I think they're insulting, but the way some people defend them I'm willing to give some ground... they draw players, fine.
In any case I do think it's important to do away with them some time in the future, just thinking out loud here.
Edit* Because if you can't get rid of them then there's no excuse for having them at all.
I guess I should have added that in the OP
I find them sexist. They carry an inherent implication of female inferiority.
As far as an exit strategy, just stop awarding them.
At the point where those that find them useful would be willing to consider this, there would be so many women nearly at those titles and actually holding those titles that a cold turkey approach would be nearly impossible IMO.
Also there will inevitably be those organizers and promoters who will consider them good no matter the scenario fighting against this.
They carry an inherent implication of female inferiority.
My thoughts exactly.
I disagree, if I don't call my wife 'Her Majesty' it's no laughing matter!
That's how I always thought of them. It would be interesting to hear a WIM/WGM's opinion. Obviously they will probably be for them, or they would never have applied to become a WIM/WGM.
Man! I'm so tempted to continue the joke about your wife but she'd never talk to me again.
Can't seem to find it, but there was some website by a woman's title holder where it was argued for in length. I tend to write it off as a young person misunderstanding the issue, but as I said in the OP I'm willing to give some ground as long as it's feasible to get rid of them.
Otherwise there's really no excuse IMO.
Then whatever you do, resist the temptation.
Well well, the females only argument surfaces again.
These days however it's more complicated. Men dress like women and try to enter women's dressing rooms (presumably to rape undressed ladies inside). Or men pretend to be women and compete in women-only athletic events. Or men get certain surgery done or men claim they were women born in a man's body.
If you're going to have female only titles and competitions, to be fair, you need to base gender on DNA tests and birth certificates (real, not forged ones like Obama's).
In athletics (where people twist ankles break bones and such) you need to have gender segregation for safety and fairness.
But in chess, there is a much simpler idea. That is to ban all competitions that discriminate based on gender. Thus men can play in the same events as women. The best chest I mean chess players will eventually surface. After this system has been in place for a while, we will be able to put to rest another of those annoying forum threads...specifically the one about men vs women at chess who is better.
Having separate chess competitions and titles for men and women suggests that women can't compete on the same level, given the chance. I think that's bunk. Granted, a WGM could pretty well wipe the chess board with me but against a male GM the roles would be reversed. This does not prove women are inferiors chess players, it just proves they trained/grew up facing weaker players.
Given the chance, women could eventually play at least as good as men.
Did this guy just suggest that Obama's birth certificate is a forgery? Wow. I would expect a person with some level of chess skill to be logical enough to sort out the fact that just because someone hillbilly birthers theorize something insane...it doesn't automatically make it so. Creepy!
If womens titles are "sexist" then why aren't women-only tournaments being boycotted? Womens titles and women only events are discriminatory towards men
I think one of you guys should get a sex change to challenge it!
I think that women only tournaments are fine. If they want to enter a women only tournament, that just means that they prefer to play with other women, and I don't see anything wrong with that.
I'd have to agree that women's only tournaments are discriminatory towards men.
Every act of choice means discrimination. To live is too discriminate. Let women have a tournament if they wish or any other group. I can only join the club if I fit the requirements whats wrong with that.
Super toleration will lead to crazy world where we are all tied up in red tape.
Here's the question I have:
If there's no genetic basis for women performing as good as men, where are the strong women players?
I absolutely understand that cultural and sociological issues have impact. But there's still only Judit in the top 100 players.
What's known for sure is that chess is much less popular amongst women than amongst men. In such a sense, I think gender-only titles are more of a chess popularization attempt.
Ultimately, every competition should name its winner somehow, and this title should be connected with the participants' range. If it's for women only, the title should reflect that, there's nothing bad. Why should women only competitions and their respective titles be discriminative or insulting, and under 20 championships, chess clubs' internal championships, country championships and so on not?
"Reykjavik Open, Round 7 | Commentary by FM Ingvar Johannesson & Fiona Steil-Antoni"
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