Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.
Secretary of Labor (1933-1945), first woman in a U.S. Cabinet position
It’s Women’s History Month, so during a European Parliament session on the gender pay gap, there was a flashback to the 19th Century, when men were using arguments like this to keep women from getting the vote, or equal legal status:
Translation of Iratxe Garcia-Perez, Member of the European Parliament representing the Spanish Socialist Party: “Mr MP, according to you, according to your theories, I would not have the right to be here as an MP, and I know it hurts you, and it concerns you that women can represent citizens on equal terms, as you do. I am here to defend European women from men like you.”
Apparently, being Polish, “Mr MP” is not aware of this Hungarian woman chess champion:
Judit Polgar (IQ 170) — Highest Career World Ranking (2005): #8 in the Top 100
Polgar is the only woman to date to break the 2700 rating barrier
In April, 2015, she responded to Grand Master Nigel Short’s assertion that men are naturally better chess players than women:
“We are capable of the same fight as any other man, and I think during the decades that I actively played chess I proved it as well,” Polgar told TIME in an interview Monday. The native Hungarian became a chess prodigy along with her two sisters and broke Bobby Fischer’s record to become the youngest grandmaster at age 15 in 1991. “It’s not a matter of gender, it’s a matter of being smart,” the grandmaster added.
Polgar’s comments came after a storm erupted over Nigel Short’s remarks that people should “gracefully accept it as a fact” that women possess different skills than men, while also suggesting that women are worse drivers.
Polgar, who announced her retirement last year, pointed out that she had defeated Short “quite a few times.” She also defeated Garry Kasparov, widely considered to be the finest chess player in history, in 2002.
“I grew up in what was a male dominated sport, but my parents raised me and my sisters [to believe] that women are able to reach the same result as our male competitors if they get the right and the same possibilities,” she said.
And “Mr. MP” is probably not aware that there’s a Chinese woman knocking on that 2700 rating door:
GM Hou Yifan, with a career-to-date high rating of 2686
Or about the Indian who’s next on the women’s list: GM Humpy Koneru, career-to-date high rating of 2606
NOTE: The ratings of Grand Masters, regardless of their gender, do not stay static – they go up and down, depending on their tournament results.
Before Judit Polgar and her sisters, almost no girls played against boys in the critical aged 12-to-18 years, but instead they played against other girls, usually within their region, so they never got the experience of pitting themselves against tougher players in international competition. Polgar and her sisters went right into the tougher tournaments along with the boys their age.
Garry Kasparov at the Polgar Chess Festival in Budapest:
“Mr. MP” thinks being smaller and weaker should mean being paid less — does he also think that should apply to MEN? Should Stephen Hawking be paid less than other physicists?
And just how does he define “weaker”? — The Spartans, one of the most militaristic, ultra-macho societies in history, buried most of their dead with no name markers. There were only two deaths that merited your name being remembered: a man dying in combat, or a woman dying in childbirth.
What about those women athletes who are larger and stronger than an average man? Should they be paid more than any male athletes who aren’t as big and strong as they are? Should jockeys be working for minimum wage?
Being a larger size can sometimes be a real disadvantage: Coyotes thrive in hostile environments from the Alaskan tundra to the deserts of Mexico, and one key factor is their smaller size, compared to wolves. They need less food, and can hide more easily. They are also scary smart. Coyotes have moved into the biggest cities in America by the thousands, and they are so successful in adapting to the urban environment that they are actually extending their average life spans there compared to their relatives still in the wild. They’ve become more nocturnal to avoid conflicts with humans, learned to read traffic signals, know to look left for oncoming cars, and know there are fewer trains running at night, so that’s the safest time to cross the tracks. Wolves, being larger and more visible, are at greater risk when they face loss of habitat.
Women do get weary of the constant barrage of signals from the Patriarchy that we are less valuable, less deserving members of society than men, even though society would cease to exist if woman stopped giving birth — the only function women perform that the Patriarchy gives us any credit for, even as it’s used as a weapon against us.
Men like “Mr. MP” should ponder this: Medical Science has advanced to the point where women no longer need men’s input to get babies — if men like him don’t start being more respectful and a whole lot nicer, maybe a lot of women will decide what the world needs now is a human race made up of AMAZONS.
That age-old question, “What Do Women Want?” — well, the smarter women want OPPORTUNITY, so we can pay for our own damn dresses, and no, being smart doesn’t mean I “think like a man,” it just means I THINK.