Thursday, June 12, 2008

XX v. XY: The Gender Factor

Posted by Deadpan Alley
If you look at a roster of all the top Scrabble players, you'll notice that there are some who are women, but that they are few and far between. I have some crazy theories as to why there aren't more top women players, and I would love to get some feedback on it.

1. A lot of women have a LOT on their plates. A full-time job, a household to keep, kids to care for. That doesn't leave a lot of time for studying. Trust me.

2. Women, generally speaking, are just not as competitive as men. Women don't have that "go for the jugular" gene that is necessary to climb up the ranks. I've been thinking about this since my first tourney win, which was in Pittsburgh this past weekend. I really forced myself to focus on winning each game, rather than enjoying the ride...and whadd'ya know? It worked. But it was work. And oddly, not as enjoyable.

There have been games where I pulled way ahead, early on, and I could sense the stress and discomfort emanating from my opponents. My natural response was to slack back, take it easy, try to ease the tension. Taking that approach will never get you ahead in Scrabble, or any other competitive endeavor!!

3. Scrabble truly is a math game. And let's face it ladies, Barbie will back me up here, "Math is hard." Women are wired for communication, and while Scrabble may use words, the only thing those words communicate is points.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Bring 'em on!


  1. Okay, I'll bite. Is it because boys are smarter than gurls? Or is it because gurls go to college to get more knowledge while boys go to jupiter to get more stoopider?


    I kid of course. Most of the "gurls" in our Scrabble club kick my butt on a regular basis ... and I can't imagine going up against someone like Dorcas from Pittsburgh! That woman managed to play REVIVAL in one of her freakin' games!

  2. I always like to say that just because women are equal to mean does not mean we're the same. Maybe technically it does but you know what I mean.

    Women are mental multi-taskers, with a stream of consciousness I don't think we're usually able to turn off. Men are better able to shut out the rest of the world and concentrate on one thing.

    So are women better than men? Probably. (Heh. I KID...I kid. I meant to say "yes." HA! Kidding again.) Are men better suited for Scrabble? Either as a biological matter or as a practical matter...I think yes. Anyone who knows me knows it kills me to say such a thing.

    But, you know, the world of counselors and social workers is by far dominated by women. Why? Because we are the caregivers. That's why you, DA, would even sacrifice part of your own point spread for to try and spare your opponent's feelings.


  3. HA! I said "women are equal to mean"

    Paging Dr. Freud.

  4. I never did like Barbie :) I have, however, always enjoyed demolishing stereotypes about girls and math, girls and focus, girls and competitiveness, etc. etc. Bring it on!

  5. Dorcas!! It's so awesome to see you here.

    As my six-year-old daughter would smash those stereotypes "all to crap." Okay...she doesn't know the word "stereotype" so maybe she'd say something like "girls rule and boys drool." If at all possible, she'd work the word "crap" in.

  6. Yay Dorcas!!

    You're my role model, just so's ya' know.


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