Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Must not say women are different

Nigel Short, 49, said women were not suited to playing chess because it required logical thinking.

The chess commentator and writer said women should accept they were ‘hard-wired very differently’ and weren’t as adept at playing chess as men.

Mr Short, who was the first English player to play a World Chess Championship match, made the comments when explaining why there were so few women in competitive chess.

He told New in Chess magazine: ‘Why should [men and women] function in the same way?  ‘One is not better than the other, we just have different skills. It would be wonderful to see more girls playing chess, and at a higher level, but rather than fretting about inequality, perhaps we should just gracefully accept it as a fact.’

His comments mirror those of his rival Garry Kasparov, who infamously said: ‘Women, by their nature, are not exceptional chess players: they are not great fighters.’

Female chess players reacted angrily to Mr Short’s statements last night.  Amanda Ross, the leader of the Casual Chess club in London, told The Daily Telegraph the comments were ‘incredibly damaging when someone so respected basically endorses sexism’.

Mr Short responded to Miss Ross’s comments on Twitter, writing: You seem to suffer from incomprehension.  ‘Men and women do have different brains. This is a biological fact.  ‘Furthermore, I never said women have inferior brains. That is your crude and false attempt to caricature me.’

Less than two per cent of grandmasters are female, but Hungarian Miss Polgar broke into the upper echelons of the game when she became one of the youngest grandmasters of all time at the age of 15.



Anonymous said...

I do not share the opinion that women are not competent to play chess; I think it is lack of interest on their part.
During my professional career,I taught Electrical Engineering at five different Universities. There are not very many women who are engineers, but I have taught women students and worked with women colleagues and have found that they are as good or better than most men. I think that there are not a lot of women engineers simply for lack of interest, not lack of ability.

Stan B said...

Anon 12:58AM - but for the left, this "lack of interest" is not the result of different life decisions based on personality differences inherent in anatomical differences. It is because men oppress women - period.

Anonymous said...

ANON 12:58 AM

"Engineers are born not made" while an oversimplification is true and the percentage of the total woman population that are engineers is much smaller than the percentage of the male population who are engineers. This is because men and women evolved for different roles which has been demonstrated in many sound scientific studies. Your observation about the relative quality of men and women engineers is valid, there is essentially no real difference. Your statement that more women could become engineers (or chess grandmasters) if only they had the interest is moot because there is a smaller pool to draw from.


Malcolm Smith said...

It is very well established that women, on the average, have better verbal skills than men, and men have better spatial skills. Indeed, in some spatial skills tests there has been zero overlap in the sexes; the lowest scoring male scored higher than the highest scoring female. Of course, all this makes perfect sense in a species where women do the bulk of the hands-on childrearing, and the men do the hunting. And spatial skills, need it be said, are essential for a chess player.

Anonymous said...

2:36 and 10:52
You are not correct. Women are mentally as capable as men regardless of what the "researchers" say.

slinky said...

"Women are mentally as capable as men regardless of what the "researchers" say."

References to support your claim, please.

Anonymous said...

They do not exist slinky so they cannot be produced. It is a "belief" just like the "belief" that there are no mental differences between black Americans as a whole and white Americans even though there are multiple studies that prove otherwise.


Anonymous said...

It is definitely due to preferences and not ability. My son is in an engineering student at the University of the Pacific. While a fairly large majority of the students are male, the female engineering students are exceptional. The university president there is a female mechanical engineer. I think it is stating the obvious, but I will say it anyway, men generally are more competitive by nature. Chess requires a ruthlessness because the goal is to destroy your opponent. Women, generally do not have that mentality. That does not mean there are not women who can do it. It just means they are not inclined to do it. Kasparov may not have been polite but be is essentially correct.

Bird of Paradise said...