Thursday, December 07, 2006

Women can't play chess

"Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, 'She doesn't have what it takes.' They will say, 'Women don't have what it takes.'" - Clare Boothe Luce

I found this quote on Shut Up Sit Down (I shall add it to my blogroll forthwith!) were Anji has compiled a list of wonderful women's quotations.

It reminded me of every Tuesday evening, when I play chess with various people at a local pub. I am nearly always the only woman playing. Every time I play a newcomer, or when men (they are usually men) are watching my games, I invariably feel an intense pressure not to lose and it's not because I am a bad loser. Well, actually, I can be a bad loser but that's not the point I'm raising.

The pressure I feel is that if I lose, my opponent or the people watching won't think, "she can't play chess", but "women can't play chess". It's a very uncomfortable pressure and it annoys me that men don't have to experience it.

Perhaps the men have a certain pressure when they play me, like, "I can't be beaten by a girl", but, ya know, diddums.

Last Tuesday a guy I beat said it was like being hit over the head with a feather duster. I don't even know what that's supposed to mean.


Blogger KATA LEVENO said...

So that's what you get up to every Tuesday is it ? MWABH

5:58 PM  
Blogger sparkleMatrix said...

Feather duster bashing? Dunno but sounds like a put down.

10:29 AM  
Blogger spotted elephant said...

Because you're so light and fluffy? Ha ha, you still beat him.

3:43 AM  
Blogger stormy said...

Feather duster?
Sounds fluffy.
I don't understand it either.

1:33 AM  
Blogger Tom Chivers said...

Our first team's board in the London League Division 1 is a female International Master . . . no-one can argue that she can't play chess!

12:05 PM  
Blogger pawntorook4 said...

it happens more than you think, and to men too.. im cuban-american.. im living in brasil.. when i play here, sometimes its not "i cant play" but "cubans" or americans cant play..

1:04 PM  
Blogger Renegade Evolution said...


wrt the feather duster..."it's odd to be knocked out by something so seemingly small and fluffy"...

I shoot pool. Men have the same reaction to a woman who can run a pool table on them as they do with the chess thing. I have also noticed similar reactions to a woman who can throw darts or play poker. Men see these things as 'man things' it's always fun to hand them their asses, is it not?

3:10 PM  
Blogger Renegade Evolution said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:10 PM  
Blogger jo22 said...

Weird how they see those things as "man" things. It's not boxing.

At 5 ft 3 with a full head of hair I guess I am small and fluffy! Big fat balding guys must be jealous in so many ways...


3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! :)

6:35 AM  

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