Women in Magic and "The Invisi-Ball Thread"

Women in Magic and "The Invisi-Ball Thread"

Do female magicians still face gender discrimination?

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A personal note on this one: coming back to pop culture commentary after 14 years was, well, jarring, as well as a bit dispiriting. Pop culture seems to have become a battlefield. From video games to Hollywood to books, a lot of fairly nasty sexism has either newly emerged or been revealed to have always been there. At times it feels like there isn't a single corner of pop culture that doesn't have at least some ongoing institutional effort to keep gender relations back in the 1960s and '70s.

But you know what? Today I get to report that magic is free of that crap. That female magicians do NOT face institutional sexism in the magic community, and that they are considered equals by their peers. Even if no other part of pop culture has this, when it comes to gender relations the performance art of magic has its act together.

And if magic, a performance art that for its many centuries and millennia of life has been overwhelmingly male, can get its act together this comprehensively, then maybe there's hope that the rest of pop culture can too.

Either way, good news, for a change.

Robert B. Marks:
A personal note on this one: coming back to pop culture commentary after 14 years was, well, jarring, as well as a bit dispiriting. Pop culture seems to have become a battlefield. From video games to Hollywood to books, a lot of fairly nasty sexism has either newly emerged or been revealed to have always been there. At times it feels like there isn't a single corner of pop culture that doesn't have at least some ongoing institutional effort to keep gender relations back in the 1960s and '70s.

Institutional.... Institutional..

Are you sure you want to use that word for industries who are wholy controlled by private companies, many of wich are in direct competition with each other?

Also a bold claim, do you have any examples of such cases of institutionalized sexism?

Silly internet arguments between fans/enthusiasts/forumgoers/social media consumers does hardly "institutionalised" sexism proof or make i might add. I see alot of talking about this outrageous blatant sexism going on everywhere... but i hardly ever find any examples of real live events... most of it boils down to "hesaid - shesaid" on the internet.

You mentioned hollywood... even thought hollywood is spinning like a ferrywheel to produce one "strong" female protagonist after another. Same with other entertainment industries... hell DnD now has transsexual characters. If they where any more progressive they would come from the world of tomorrow!

There is no "institutionalised" sexism in any of these industries, otherwise there would be a landslide of court cases. They cater to the people that buy their products. And gender/race identity pandering does not sell.. simple as that. If a demographic doesnt buy a product the company will concentrate on the demographic that buys their product. Thats why Motorsports magazines allmost completly pander to a male demographic. But thats not exactly sexist isnt it? Its just a wise business decision.

Please dont fall for the outrage culture that has been fostering on the internet, when the reality is completly different and has nothing to do with those conspiracies that are summoned up every now and then just to scare people into donating to the latest prophets patreon accounts. The world isnt simply black and white as internet drama queens want to paint it.

Robert B. Marks:
A personal note on this one: coming back to pop culture commentary after 14 years was, well, jarring, as well as a bit dispiriting. Pop culture seems to have become a battlefield. From video games to Hollywood to books, a lot of fairly nasty sexism has either newly emerged or been revealed to have always been there. At times it feels like there isn't a single corner of pop culture that doesn't have at least some ongoing institutional effort to keep gender relations back in the 1960s and '70s.

Hello there. I dont know when was the last time you commented on pop culture so i dont know the time gap you are talking about (nevermind, i fail at reading), but over the last 10 years ive been around i share the sentiment. Indeed a lot of sexists that came from, seemingly, out of nowhere came into the public light and started harassing people and spouting opiunions that indeed remind me of the 60s. But then, now that i think about it, such people always existed and the main difference i can see now is that those people are given a spotlight by the news media. Do you think news media parading such people around could have caused this nasty battlefield?

Accidental double comment, pressed quote instead of edit. please delete.

Strazdas:

Robert B. Marks:
A personal note on this one: coming back to pop culture commentary after 14 years was, well, jarring, as well as a bit dispiriting. Pop culture seems to have become a battlefield. From video games to Hollywood to books, a lot of fairly nasty sexism has either newly emerged or been revealed to have always been there. At times it feels like there isn't a single corner of pop culture that doesn't have at least some ongoing institutional effort to keep gender relations back in the 1960s and '70s.

Hello there. I dont know when was the last time you commented on pop culture so i dont know the time gap you are talking about (nevermind, i fail at reading), but over the last 10 years ive been around i share the sentiment. Indeed a lot of sexists that came from, seemingly, out of nowhere came into the public light and started harassing people and spouting opiunions that indeed remind me of the 60s. But then, now that i think about it, such people always existed and the main difference i can see now is that those people are given a spotlight by the news media. Do you think news media parading such people around could have caused this nasty battlefield?

It wouldn't surprise me if it contributed, and the media does have its own share of making mountains out of molehills, in the process creating battlefields where none had previously been (take the all female vs. all male Ghostbusters, for example, where the all male Ghostbusters was mainly the media running away with a shared universe announcement). Things have definitely gotten more toxic over the last decade, I've noticed.

It could very well be a combination of politics and Twitter, though. A post limit of 140 characters makes it a lot easier to tell somebody to get stuffed than have an intelligent debate, and a friend of mine down in the United States commented that in the last few years, the political landscape has become VERY polarized. Either way, the middle ground sometimes seems to be disappearing at an alarming rate. So, it feels great to be able to share some good news for a change.

Robert B. Marks:

Strazdas:

Robert B. Marks:
A personal note on this one: coming back to pop culture commentary after 14 years was, well, jarring, as well as a bit dispiriting. Pop culture seems to have become a battlefield. From video games to Hollywood to books, a lot of fairly nasty sexism has either newly emerged or been revealed to have always been there. At times it feels like there isn't a single corner of pop culture that doesn't have at least some ongoing institutional effort to keep gender relations back in the 1960s and '70s.

Hello there. I dont know when was the last time you commented on pop culture so i dont know the time gap you are talking about (nevermind, i fail at reading), but over the last 10 years ive been around i share the sentiment. Indeed a lot of sexists that came from, seemingly, out of nowhere came into the public light and started harassing people and spouting opiunions that indeed remind me of the 60s. But then, now that i think about it, such people always existed and the main difference i can see now is that those people are given a spotlight by the news media. Do you think news media parading such people around could have caused this nasty battlefield?

It wouldn't surprise me if it contributed, and the media does have its own share of making mountains out of molehills, in the process creating battlefields where none had previously been (take the all female vs. all male Ghostbusters, for example, where the all male Ghostbusters was mainly the media running away with a shared universe announcement). Things have definitely gotten more toxic over the last decade, I've noticed.

It could very well be a combination of politics and Twitter, though. A post limit of 140 characters makes it a lot easier to tell somebody to get stuffed than have an intelligent debate, and a friend of mine down in the United States commented that in the last few years, the political landscape has become VERY polarized. Either way, the middle ground sometimes seems to be disappearing at an alarming rate. So, it feels great to be able to share some good news for a change.

Yeah, the media seems to amplify anything "controversial" since it benefits them to get clicks from both the hardline supports and the people who click on something for the purposes of getting angry. This trend seems to lead towards the "Mountains out of molehills" effect you described.

Because of this, from what I have observed, Twitter and other social media tends to latch onto these controversy bait articles and spread them around which reinforces the polarized viewpoints and echo chambers within the space. This amplifies the hardline voices in these groups, which then leads to attacks from the hardliners on the moderates for not agreeing with the new viewpoint which either pushes people to the other polarity or cows them into following the new, more radical, views pushed by the hardliners of the group.

As fascinating as this discussion is, I would like to bring some magic back into it. So, here are some great thoughts on women in magic by Misty Lee, which hopefully people will enjoy reading and discussing: http://mistylee.com/women-in-magic/

Robert B. Marks:
[snip]
It could very well be a combination of politics and Twitter, though. A post limit of 140 characters makes it a lot easier to tell somebody to get stuffed than have an intelligent debate, and a friend of mine down in the United States commented that in the last few years, the political landscape has become VERY polarized. Either way, the middle ground sometimes seems to be disappearing at an alarming rate. So, it feels great to be able to share some good news for a change.

That certainly is a factor i think. I dont use twitter for that exact reason - 140 characters is not enough to make a thought out reply (well that and 140 character limits in comments reminds me of shitty sites in 90s when servers couldnt handle people posting long tirades). Politics do tend to be very polarized now and it looks like the extremes are fracturing as well. Just look how the left is pretty much fighting among themselves now to the point where right win wins election simply by not fucking up. I dont like to invoke dead people, but damn does it look similar to what happened before WW2 to me.

I never really thought it would be, as I don't really know anything about magic, but these articles are really interesting. I initially found Penn and Teller through their TV show, "Bullshit!", and sort-of became fans of them for that reason. I knew they were magicians, I knew about "Fool Us." But I no longer have a cable subscription, so that source of media just doesn't appeal to me.

I did, however, really enjoy the Susanne's cups video on the second page. That was an excellent story and performance.

Keep these articles up. This is some pretty cool stuff. :3

BeerTent: Thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

In one of the magic sub-reddit threads, I was talking about how magic as a performance art is rather held back by this obsession with methods and secrets, and all too often that's all anybody sees. And, magic is a performance art whose entire purpose is to make the impossible happen in front of the audience, with millennia of history, very colourful personalities, and a deep understanding about how the mind works. It's really a pity that most people writing for a general audience just don't talk about any of that.

So, that's why Fooling Garwulf exists in the first place, and I'm delighted that you're getting something out of it. And if you liked this installment, just wait until you see the next one, where we get a look at Harry Houdini - halfway between an angel and a demon of magic, all at the same time.

But, if you didn't get to see Shin Lim from last episode, then you're missing out on something truly amazing. With my complements: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAN-PwRfJcA

I don't think its a matter of there being more sexism now, and while it being given the spotlight certainly exacerbated it, what I think really started it is the way internet groups have become structured. Basically, prior to the internet, if you had a controversial opinion it was likely you had to keep it to yourself, or risk losing your friends, your job, any other form of social standing, etc. But now with the internet people with beliefs like that (Or really anyone with any fringe beliefs, good or bad) were not only able to find people they could safely express those views to but also found an existing group of people willing to tell them "No, your beliefs really are right!" for both better(for example Homosexuals being able to talk with others who understand their difficulties and provide support) and ill(dangerous anti-vaccination nutjobs all finding each other and then becoming even more radicalized and isolating themselves from dissenting arguments, and far more concentrated and loud in their actions).

Soon, thanks to human nature with "winning" taking precedence over factually being right these communities became more and more insular and prone to running out or banning dissent rather than evaluating it. Add in media parasitically feeding off the fireworks and what have you got?
A bunch of people completely submerged in their sub-community who can choose to go their whole life without suffering consequences for failing to adapt their beliefs(in fact, going against their new entrenched, niche group is now the far more socially dangerous option)

In summery, I don't think there's more misogynists now, but because you can now pick your community thanks to the internet rather than being stuck with the family/neighbors you were born with, they now have the ability to express that stance and actually gain a social support network, rather than having to choose between expressing that belief and possibly being thrown out of the only community available. These beliefs are then further radicalized by the groupthink/adversarial/echo-chamber nature of the Internet.

 

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