Can A Woman For Equality Participate in Women-Only Events?

I've been known to play some poker here and there. Since they opened the poker room at the Tri-State Racetrack & Gaming Center, it's been a good place to occasionally sit for a while and forget about any stressors aside from a bad beat. Often when I get back up from that table, I've got a little more money than I started with, and sometimes walk away with a lot more (but, of course, sometimes I walk away with nothing).

And I'm sure you'd guess that, as far as attendance, this poker room of the casino is a male-dominated place. Women probably comprise just about 2-5% of the players, on average there (but more like 60% out where the slots are). So when the casino started having a Friday night women-only tournament, the dealers and some of the players asked me if I was going to play. At first I just said, "Naahh...I don't think I will." The question keeps coming, though, and I have to ask myself why I won't play in it. Yesterday I realized that I would freak out if women were excluded from a particular tournament...so why should I be okay with men being excluded?

Maybe it's overboard but...I don't know. Despite any little jabs I might take at men-folk as a group, I believe that men and women are equal (which does not mean I think we're that much alike). So, if I insist on complete equality, should I ever accept a simple card game that leaves the men out? What about GLBT folks? What about that guy who dresses like a woman, carries a purse, and wears makeup but claims to be sexually-attracted to women?

Last night someone sort of laughed when I told them I didn't think I'd ever play in a tournament that excluded a certain group. He's lucky I love the First Amendment but chose just to let him use it and keep my thoughts to myself. But, seriously...I think the idea of the tournament is that women can't compete as well as men at poker. If we want complete equality, that kind of thinking needs thrown in the muck.

3 comments:

spinster girl said...

I rather like the idea. It's an obvious marketing ploy, but they've obviously recognized that, for whatever reason, women are not drawn to poker in quite the same numbers as men (at least not in Cross Lanes), so they're seeking to do something about it. I think you would be a great teacher to those just starting out. They could see that they, just like you, could hang with the men (if they want to). I rather like the idea of a community of women (I'm not channeling my inner Charlotte Perkins Gilman, I swear) getting togethher to play what's traditionally be a "man's game."

Melissa said...

I think I'm with Sara on this one.

And besides, aren't women supposed to kick ass at poker? Like, more so than men, we just don't play in large numbers? I think I read that/saw it on the discovery channel somewhere.

Tina said...

I like your all's input. It's good to have another perspective when I feel like I could be getting a little too radical.

Women definitely don't play as much as men and I'm not sure why. I don't think a woman has ever won the World Series of Poker but that alone doesn't mean they're not as good at poker (and, like you said, Melissa, can just reflect the number playing).

So maybe I'll check out the women's tournament sometime. Aside from that, I'm going to have to look up some numbers on frequency of female players compared to success of female players.