snakeeater on Go

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Go and Girls

I accidentally ran across this while browsing for Go game records: Girls playing Go! And extremely attractive ones at that. (The home page for one of the Russia's Go Federations?) Looks like ones you want to lose your shirt over huh? Figuratively speaking only of course.

So this got me thinking and doing some researching. For the greater good of mankind of course. (Note the emphasis on man.) It appears that in nearly every Western country (Asian countries go without saying) where Go is played, there are attractive girls who play Go and are good at it! EXCEPT in the U.S., (Janice Kim may be an exception.) where Go players are made of the usual suspects of male nerds and geeks, me included. In fact I'd like to extrapolate that to nearly all activities that require intellectual effort. Before someone screams "male chauvinist pig", hear me out. It looks to me that U.S. is probably the only country where being smart or intellectually curious == unattractive or uncool. Can someone back up my claim that there is a subtle undercurrent of sexism in the U.S. that discourages women from engaging in pursuits intellectual, despite the common perception that U.S. is an open, democratic, progressive country, all for women's equality? I mean when was the last time you met a female, American programmer? (Majority of those are immigrants I bet.) Other more enlightened cultures are not like this. For example I happen to work for a software company that has a branch outside of the U.S. and a good percentage of them are female.

So Go players, if you want to get girls, Go play somewhere else.


  • At Sat Dec 17, 02:06:00 PM PST, Blogger O_Scientist said…

    Here I was going to dispute your statement about girls in the USA playing go or being programmers, because I have done both.

    Then I realized that, even although I do live in the USA, I have immigrated from the Netherlands. So i guess I can only give you a sample size of one which fits with your statement :)

    I guess I'll have to make sure my American daughters play go.


  • At Sat Dec 17, 06:02:00 PM PST, Blogger snakeeater said…

    Get them the Hikaru No Go DVDs! That's how I got hooked. Although I did learn the game as a child and have played it off and on over the years, I did not begin seriously studying it until this year after watching the series.

    One of the greatest benefit of learning the game I've found is it teaches one patience -- letting things play out before diving into something that you've not read out clearly.

  • At Fri May 12, 11:40:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That's how I got hooked too! Hikaru no Go. Especially when I found out that the games played in the series were actually real games from real life.

    And about your point of girls in the USA playing go or being programmers.. well that's what I aspire to be anyway. Then again, I am not a native either.

  • At Sun Mar 09, 12:16:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I will dispute your claim... I am female... I am American... I am a programmer... I play go! I am also very cute (ok, so I'm vain too.)


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