If you work towards equality of the sexes, you might want to know about a brand new first for women. It happened last weekend in an unlikely place, that bastion of Southern genteelness, Charleston, South Carolina. And this first came from a visitor from Japan.
Meet Katoaka Asami.
As part of Team Tottori 1 6 1, Katoaka-san placed high--in the money--in a Magic: the Gathering Pro Tour event. That's a first for women in the roughly 10 year history of the Magic Pro Tour.
Let's celebrate another victory against the misogynistic patriarchy!
If you're not at this point scratching your head, saying "What the heck is Magic?" perhaps you're not surprised that it's taken ten years for this to happen. Perhaps you even surmise sexism has nothing to do with this ten year male total supremacy. Perhaps you simply look at Magic as a geek hobby.
The vast majority of players of Magic: the Gathering are young men, and women who play are often introduced to the game by husbands or boyfriends (Katoaki-san is the girlfriend of top Japanese player Fujita Tsuyoshi). To compete at the top level of play, there are few people, and even fewer women, who want to put the time into reading about successful decks, practicing draft events, and running countless playtests to fine-tune a deck against the current dominant deck archetypes.
So if no woman won for ten years, it's not sexism, it's by choice.
Now, if you do promote the idea that women are held behind from the top positions in politics and business because of sexism or the "patriarchy," you had better not agree with the above statement. If you're willing to accept that women are simply less interested in Magic, then what else are women less interested in? Are they less interested in the 100 hour workweeks and constant on-call status that comes with being a corporate executive vice president? Are they less interested in the spotlight, the constant schmoozing, the need to smoothly lie that comes with top political offices? Are they more interested than men in staying home with the children?
As much as I'd love for more single women to participate in my hobbies, there's no reason to try to force gender equality. It's a free society, and if that means more men want to play Magic (or play poker, or golf, or watch NASCAR, etc.), that's no reason to assume our society is sexist.