The Trivia Championships of North America took place in Las Vegas on the weekend. Obviously, I was not there, though I think I’d like to go in future, despite being basically a ‘pretty good’ amateur and not a superpro like the other people there.
Aside from pondering the ridiculousness of being in the Nevada desert in August, I am a little hesitant. Normally, I do not shirk a challenge because I’m a woman, but attending this kind of thing is potentially fraught; the quizzing community is seriously male dominated and I’m not sure I’m tough enough, or good enough, to challenge the patriarchy.
It sounds so ridiculous, doesn’t it? I have no trouble most of the time expressing my opinions on feminism, so it’s not about that (really), except that heading to a strange city and facing a group of even slightly misogynistic, and competitive, pedants is incredibly intimidating. It sounds exhausting. It might not be fun.
(I guess the advantage is that, unlike comic events, I will not have to dress in a barely-there costume to get any attention. Hopefully.)
Paul, who runs the trivia league here in Ottawa, wrote a question pack for the TCONA and heard complaints that the game was ‘obviously’ written by a woman. He took it as a compliment. In our quizzes, he tries to make his questions ‘gender-neutral’, or at least varied enough that people with different interests will be able to answer something, because, y’know, he understands that not everyone conforms to traditional gender roles and stereotypical knowledge bases. Another quizmaster on Facebook said that he tries to write quizzes that are women-friendly (for a ladies-only event), but the subjects he was focusing on were so…clichédly* ‘girly’ that I would have been terrible at them (except maybe the celebrity gossip component). He was amused when I said this.
At the other end of the spectrum? Jackholes like this.
If one looks at the rankings for the World Quizzing Championships, there are no women in the top ten. There never have been. Is it because of gender bias? Is it because women’s brains are wired differently? Is it because women have ‘better’ things to do with their time? No idea. One Croatian player, Dorjana Širola, has been the top ranked woman in the WQC eight times. This year, she came in 29th. She is my new heroine, even though I’ve only just learned that she exists. I also suspect that she has a level of focus that I do not possess and is probably much cleverer. (I came in 217th.)
I don’t really know enough to comment on whether things can or will change, but it’s a curious thing that nags at me sometimes. The top two people in the Ottawa leg of the Hot 100 last week were me and someone who shares my name. Megans may inherit the Earth from the meek and the (other) geeks.
Anyone want to go to Las Vegas with me next year? Don’t be intimidated by the fact that I ranted about marriage yesterday. I won’t trick you into anything you don’t want to do. Probably.
(This entry has been brought to you by a 10-hours-later winners’ high from last night’s pub quiz, which included free supper based on our previous wins.)
* A perfectly cromulent word.