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Dueling genders
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Moxie629 Offline
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Dueling genders
Well, we may as well kick off our new site with some controversial topics. And nothing gets people's bile up like comparing the men's and women's games. Tignor touched on it this week, in a conversation with Kristy Elridge, another blogger.

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/04/r...WtKRb9gPzI

Can the GOAT be a woman? And is on-court coaching demeaning to women?

I say yes, and yes. The GOAT conversation will always be controversial, even if we keep it to within gender, but I think the WTA should stop on-court coaching.
14-Apr-2013 08:01 PM
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britbox Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
(14-Apr-2013 08:01 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  Well, we may as well kick off our new site with some controversial topics. And nothing gets people's bile up like comparing the men's and women's games. Tignor touched on it this week, in a conversation with Kristy Elridge, another blogger.

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/04/r...WtKRb9gPzI

Can the GOAT be a woman? And is on-court coaching demeaning to women?

I say yes, and yes. The GOAT conversation will always be controversial, even if we keep it to within gender, but I think the WTA should stop on-court coaching.

I agree on the on-court coaching issue. It's irritating. If they keep it in place then it should be in the format of "Who wants to be a millionaire..." - i.e. on a challenge, they could ask the audience, phone a friend etc.. Smile
15-Apr-2013 12:50 AM
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tented Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
"Can the GOAT be a woman?"

Yes, of course. In fact, there's an argument to be made that either Navratilova or Graf is the GOAT.

"Is on-court coaching demeaning to women?"

Hmm ... what if it were allowed for men? Would it still be demeaning to women? And therefore also to men?

Can anyone think of another sport where coaches aren't allowed to get involved at any point in the match/game/whatever? Baseball, basketball, US football, hockey all have coaches who are interacting with the players the whole time. Are they being demeaned?
15-Apr-2013 05:51 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
Difficult enough as it is to decide who's the greatest male or female, I think we have to make too many allowances if we're going to say a woman tennis player is the greatest of all tennis players, male or female. What's the toughest test on clay, Evert or Nadal?

On grass, which is the greatest test, Pete or Martina? I just don't see any criteria we can use to decide that any of the greatest females are better than the best men.

But I'm open to argument. Wink

As for on court coaching, surely it's the same no matter if its men or women?

I don't agree with on court coaching. Now, off court coaching is another thing altogether...
(This post was last modified: 15-Apr-2013 06:18 AM by Kieran.)
15-Apr-2013 06:16 AM
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coban Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
Honsetly, i dont understand why anyone would spend their time/money on watching WTA - when you have ATP. There is just a huge divide between the leagues its almost embarrasing.
15-Apr-2013 10:26 AM
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Broken_Shoelace Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
A GOAT can be a woman for sure, in theory. It's just that there isn't really much of a case any of the great women players to be GOAT. Sure, you can technically make a case (based on numbers and whatnot), but it'd be pretty easy to shoot down.

I don't think on court coaching is demeaning to women (pretty strong word for something that exists in almost every sport), but I don't personally like it.
15-Apr-2013 05:51 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
(15-Apr-2013 05:51 PM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  A GOAT can be a woman for sure, in theory. It's just that there isn't really much of a case any of the great women players to be GOAT. Sure, you can technically make a case (based on numbers and whatnot), but it'd be pretty easy to shoot down.

I don't think on court coaching is demeaning to women (pretty strong word for something that exists in almost every sport), but I don't personally like it.

I think the GOAT conversation is complicated, anyway, and yes, across gender lines is makes it more so. I'm glad everyone agrees that, at least theoretically it could be a woman. (Steffi?)

When I say on-court coaching seems to demean the women, it's partly a personal response. When it's only done on the women's side, it's unequal, and IS a lot of older men telling young women what to do, when the men slog through their matches on their own. I agree with it in Fed Cup and Davis Cup, as they are team sports. But I don't like it in the individual realm.
15-Apr-2013 06:34 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
I don't agree theoretically it could be a woman! I don't think the levels are anywhere near the same, and perfecting your technique against WTA players is a far easier thing than facing down the men. I think there's a reason why they play separate tours, and if we were to say Steffi was the GOAT, for example, or Martina, I can't imagine any set of criteria where you could say they had proven themselves better than Pete or Rafa or Roger.

Likewise, Serena is the great lady of today, but have you seen the expert shankers and faint hearted doozies she's pummelling? I think this is a non-issue. It's hard enough arguing the toss within a single gender, but putting it across the divide? I don't see how it could include a woman tennis player near the top.

Now there, Sista! We found a topic we don't agree on! It took a few years and a couple of different forums but there had to be one, eh? Big Smile
16-Apr-2013 02:30 AM
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jhar26 Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
I don't think that on court coaching is demeaning to womens tennis, but it doesn't work in terms of what the intentions of the WTA were for allowing it. They said it would be more fun for the viewer, but more often than not you either get to see commercials during the changes of end or coaches talk to their players in a language you don't understand.

As for the (seemingly never ending) debate about mens vs womens tennis, I can't think of another sport that is so obsessed with this question as tennis. More often than not it's just an excuse to have a go at the women. Why? Probably because there is no other high profile sport where the women get as much attention (or close) and opportunity to earn obscene amounts of money as the men, and it's perhaps a bit sad that even in the 21st century the male ego still finds it hard to accept that.

Can a woman be the GOAT? In absolute terms ("how would they do h2h?") obviously not. But many boxing fans consider welterweight/middleweight Sugar Ray Robinson the GOAT even though they know that the weight difference means that he wouldn't have stood a chance against even just a decent heavyweight. They are however willing to take into consideration that it's unfair to think about it in those terms because of the differences in body type. Most are however not willing to take this argument into consideration when comparing men to women. They judge womens tennis on mens tennis' terms. But the best women players are as good as the female body allows womens tennis players to be. People should just accept that without always arguing that Federer would beat Serena 6-0/6-0. Even though that's true, it really doesn't matter. Mike Tyson would also knock out Sugar Ray Robinson in one round.

In terms of achievement I guess a woman can be the GOAT. In fact, taking it like that one could make an argument that Graf, Navratilova, Court and Evert are all greater than any male. But to be honest I think the whole question is absurd. Most can't even agree on who the best male OR female player in history is because it's really impossible to compare players from different eras. When we start comparing men to women it's really a trip to lala land.

Finally - personally I enjoy mens and womens tennis about equally as much. It's easy once you accept that men are men and women are women and that they only have to compete against members of their own sex and not the opposite gender. Smile
16-Apr-2013 04:28 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
That's a good post Jhar - it's great to see you here! Big Smile

Your remark about welterweight boxers and heavyweights made me wonder if a woman welterweight would do well against a male. That's silly, I know, but what about a woman darts player? Or chess player? Or snooker player? In sports where physique isn't an advantage, we still don't see women compete at the same levels. Maybe this is sociological, but regardless, if we go back to tennis, they're two different sports. They don't compete against each other for a reason. To compare them we need to make too many allowances and as you rightly say, "the whole question is absurd," mainly because even comparisons within a gender get bogged down in dodgy agendas and faulty criteria.

To make this one stick, I think we're having to stretch things even further. I like women's tennis, but not in the way I enjoy the men's game. They're different. To try compare them is actually unfair to both of them at the same time...
16-Apr-2013 04:54 AM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
A topic that has been mentioned quite often over the years. I think you can talk about the mythical GOAT in both areas, but not together. I did not like Tennis Channel's ranking and mixing the men and women. I thought it unfair to both tours. Hell, I don't believe in a GOAT anyways. I would have loved to have seen Pancho or Lew Hoad in their primes--I have heard and read many impressive things--but I was not old enough to watch them when they were great. Same for Margaret Court or Mo Connelly or most of Billie Jean Moffitt's career. All I do know is that this is a very good era.
16-Apr-2013 11:10 AM
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jhar26 Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
(16-Apr-2013 11:10 AM)shawnbm Wrote:  A topic that has been mentioned quite often over the years. I think you can talk about the mythical GOAT in both areas, but not together. I did not like Tennis Channel's ranking and mixing the men and women. I thought it unfair to both tours. Hell, I don't believe in a GOAT anyways. I would have loved to have seen Pancho or Lew Hoad in their primes--I have heard and read many impressive things--but I was not old enough to watch them when they were great. Same for Margaret Court or Mo Connelly or most of Billie Jean Moffitt's career. All I do know is that this is a very good era.
I don't believe in a single GOAT either. I only believe in different tiers of greatness so to speak. On the womens side it's fairly easy to decide on which players belong in the tier one group. On the mens side it's harder because the history of their pre-open era is such a mess.
16-Apr-2013 01:10 PM
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Riotbeard Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
I thought the interesting part was the notion of whether tennis is more sexist than other sports. They make a comparison to the WNBA, and I would say Tennis is less sexist than basketball in the U.S. because nobody cares about the WNBA. I don't know a single WNBA team name, and while I am not an NBA fan, I definately know of the teams and the big name players. Most people can name a couple top women's tennis players. Serena, Marie, and Caro at least are significant public figures. The WTA is taken seriously therefore, sexists also deem it worth commenting on compared to other women's sports compared to say the LPGA or the WNBA. Women's tennis players can be important cultural figures (at least in the U.S.) and the dual gender tournaments also mean an interaction that will bring out the sexism in French players. I would say tennis is the least sexist sport, but by nature of the WTA being taken seriously as a sport, it also draws more attention.

As far as the GOAT issue, I agree with others who have said that the GOAT for the ATP and WTA are distinct questions. The tennis channel list work in a general sense, but when you get down gauging greatest of all time, it's kind of a waste. I would also argue that any system to evaluate any GOAT is arbitrary, (and while maybe fun) and ultimately proves very little.
17-Apr-2013 03:18 PM
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ricardo Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
(16-Apr-2013 02:30 AM)Kieran Wrote:  I don't agree theoretically it could be a woman! I don't think the levels are anywhere near the same, and perfecting your technique against WTA players is a far easier thing than facing down the men. I think there's a reason why they play separate tours, and if we were to say Steffi was the GOAT, for example, or Martina, I can't imagine any set of criteria where you could say they had proven themselves better than Pete or Rafa or Roger.

Likewise, Serena is the great lady of today, but have you seen the expert shankers and faint hearted doozies she's pummelling? I think this is a non-issue. It's hard enough arguing the toss within a single gender, but putting it across the divide? I don't see how it could include a woman tennis player near the top.

Now there, Sista! We found a topic we don't agree on! It took a few years and a couple of different forums but there had to be one, eh? Big Smile

prove themselves better than Pete, Rafa or Roger? that's an over-statement, they can't even prove to be better than Youzny, Santoro or the likes. I mean does anyone believe they can beat Youzny&co in a fair-and-square match? (no concessions given). So if we compare pure ability, no women is in the conversation but if we look at 'titles' then it's different but it would be totally invalid. They play in different leagues, a case then could be made for a junior or senior tour player who wins every title in sight - but nobody in his/her right mind would think that way when you know winning in a lower league (like WTA, junior, challengers, futures, clubs etc) is not nearly as good as winning in ATP.

Truth is, only wins earned at the premier level (ATP) are wins against the best. Anytime you give allowances for gender, age, region, race and whatnot, you don't converse in 'the greatest'. But of course a woman can run for GOAT if she beats and earns her titles against the best, that's true equality and there is simply no way around it.

A good example would be, Margaret Thatcher was once the top politician in UK - she is not just a top 'female' politician.

(16-Apr-2013 04:54 AM)Kieran Wrote:  That's a good post Jhar - it's great to see you here! Big Smile

Your remark about welterweight boxers and heavyweights made me wonder if a woman welterweight would do well against a male. That's silly, I know, but what about a woman darts player? Or chess player? Or snooker player? In sports where physique isn't an advantage, we still don't see women compete at the same levels. Maybe this is sociological, but regardless, if we go back to tennis, they're two different sports. They don't compete against each other for a reason. To compare them we need to make too many allowances and as you rightly say, "the whole question is absurd," mainly because even comparisons within a gender get bogged down in dodgy agendas and faulty criteria.

To make this one stick, I think we're having to stretch things even further. I like women's tennis, but not in the way I enjoy the men's game. They're different. To try compare them is actually unfair to both of them at the same time...

i hate to agree with you Kieran, for good reason Big Smile but just can't find anything to disagree here. There must be reason why men also excel over women in chess? or snooker? where physique isn't even an issue..... oh i wonder what feminists say now, men must have unfair advantage somewhere Huh

Also i don't understand why physique should be excluded from the criteria, isn't being stronger and faster an important part of what makes a great athlete from an average one? isn't it ridiculous for someone to claim that 'i too can be an ATP pro if i was fast and strong like Rafa, i have good hands too... '?

Beware though, feminists will call out 'racism' or 'mysogyny' as soon as facts are spelt out for them Cool

(15-Apr-2013 05:51 PM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  A GOAT can be a woman for sure, in theory. It's just that there isn't really much of a case any of the great women players to be GOAT. Sure, you can technically make a case (based on numbers and whatnot), but it'd be pretty easy to shoot down.

I don't think on court coaching is demeaning to women (pretty strong word for something that exists in almost every sport), but I don't personally like it.

on-court coaching is demeaning to women? only dumb feminists would think that way. what's the reason for that? just because the male players don't do that? just because there is now a 'difference'? hell women can't play the same level as men.... besides so many male sports people get on-court coaching (in other sports), or even Davis Cup in tennis, yet it's demeaning to female tennis players when it's applied.... ridiculous someone would even think this

(15-Apr-2013 06:34 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  
(15-Apr-2013 05:51 PM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  A GOAT can be a woman for sure, in theory. It's just that there isn't really much of a case any of the great women players to be GOAT. Sure, you can technically make a case (based on numbers and whatnot), but it'd be pretty easy to shoot down.

I don't think on court coaching is demeaning to women (pretty strong word for something that exists in almost every sport), but I don't personally like it.

I think the GOAT conversation is complicated, anyway, and yes, across gender lines is makes it more so. I'm glad everyone agrees that, at least theoretically it could be a woman. (Steffi?)

When I say on-court coaching seems to demean the women, it's partly a personal response. When it's only done on the women's side, it's unequal, and IS a lot of older men telling young women what to do, when the men slog through their matches on their own. I agree with it in Fed Cup and Davis Cup, as they are team sports. But I don't like it in the individual realm.

it's unequal, of course. everything is unequal, women run slower, hit weaker shots, react slower.... etc, but somehow only this bothers you?

Steffi can in theory be the GOAT, except she isn't because she didn't beat the best.... in fact she hasn't won a single game against the best. Don't try the fashionable political correctness, it only works on those blind with feminist agenda...... if you want true fairness/equality, i'll be the first to admit when a woman rises to be the number 1 in ATP... then she is the best. Like PGA, a woman is allowed to challenge the best regardless of gender while men are not allowed in LPGA or WTA - which is actually discrimination against the males.

Question is, are you interested in being truly 'fair'?

(16-Apr-2013 04:28 AM)jhar26 Wrote:  I don't think that on court coaching is demeaning to womens tennis, but it doesn't work in terms of what the intentions of the WTA were for allowing it. They said it would be more fun for the viewer, but more often than not you either get to see commercials during the changes of end or coaches talk to their players in a language you don't understand.

As for the (seemingly never ending) debate about mens vs womens tennis, I can't think of another sport that is so obsessed with this question as tennis. More often than not it's just an excuse to have a go at the women. Why? Probably because there is no other high profile sport where the women get as much attention (or close) and opportunity to earn obscene amounts of money as the men, and it's perhaps a bit sad that even in the 21st century the male ego still finds it hard to accept that.

Can a woman be the GOAT? In absolute terms ("how would they do h2h?") obviously not. But many boxing fans consider welterweight/middleweight Sugar Ray Robinson the GOAT even though they know that the weight difference means that he wouldn't have stood a chance against even just a decent heavyweight. They are however willing to take into consideration that it's unfair to think about it in those terms because of the differences in body type. Most are however not willing to take this argument into consideration when comparing men to women. They judge womens tennis on mens tennis' terms. But the best women players are as good as the female body allows womens tennis players to be. People should just accept that without always arguing that Federer would beat Serena 6-0/6-0. Even though that's true, it really doesn't matter. Mike Tyson would also knock out Sugar Ray Robinson in one round.

In terms of achievement I guess a woman can be the GOAT. In fact, taking it like that one could make an argument that Graf, Navratilova, Court and Evert are all greater than any male. But to be honest I think the whole question is absurd. Most can't even agree on who the best male OR female player in history is because it's really impossible to compare players from different eras. When we start comparing men to women it's really a trip to lala land.

Finally - personally I enjoy mens and womens tennis about equally as much. It's easy once you accept that men are men and women are women and that they only have to compete against members of their own sex and not the opposite gender. Smile

it's totally wrong. In terms of achievement why should women's be looked on equal terms of men but not junior or senior player, or challenger/futures players? or a player who wins everything in his/her country? you see people (feminists actually) nominate Steffi, Martina, Evert, Court etc yet they'd never look into other groups who got no attention for their achievements?

now you are saying male ego which explains why some don't like the idea of equal money? not only it's wrong, it's silly and biased. why would you like to see people who make much more money than you when you know you can beat the crap out of them on a daily basis and take that prize money instead? (let's say 'you' means Youzny here). A female is allowed to challenge a male and take a cut off their money if she wins (like Michelle Wei in LPGA), yet a male pro can't do vice-versa just because the women won't allow it? there is no male ego, it's only female bias Big Smile which we know is always the case.

Finally, try and refrain from using Sugar Ray as example will you? it's men's business remember? how men are compared to other men, a woman just won't understand Big Smile. A real boxing fan knows how to compare boxers from a skill perspective, and unfortunately WTA players really don't show the same level of tennis skills comparable to the men. How do i know that? i don't see Serena beating Santoro even if she is physically stronger .... his skills are what make the difference.

Having said that, I watched Evert, both Martina's, Seles, Steffi, Henin matches a lot. I have never begrudged against any group of players, but they will never be as good as the ATP players... that's just the fact of life, no need to be delusional just because one is obsessed with an unhealthy agenda.
(This post was last modified: 17-Apr-2013 11:13 PM by ricardo.)
17-Apr-2013 10:17 PM
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jhar26 Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
(17-Apr-2013 10:17 PM)ricardo Wrote:  
(16-Apr-2013 04:28 AM)jhar26 Wrote:  I don't think that on court coaching is demeaning to womens tennis, but it doesn't work in terms of what the intentions of the WTA were for allowing it. They said it would be more fun for the viewer, but more often than not you either get to see commercials during the changes of end or coaches talk to their players in a language you don't understand.

As for the (seemingly never ending) debate about mens vs womens tennis, I can't think of another sport that is so obsessed with this question as tennis. More often than not it's just an excuse to have a go at the women. Why? Probably because there is no other high profile sport where the women get as much attention (or close) and opportunity to earn obscene amounts of money as the men, and it's perhaps a bit sad that even in the 21st century the male ego still finds it hard to accept that.

Can a woman be the GOAT? In absolute terms ("how would they do h2h?") obviously not. But many boxing fans consider welterweight/middleweight Sugar Ray Robinson the GOAT even though they know that the weight difference means that he wouldn't have stood a chance against even just a decent heavyweight. They are however willing to take into consideration that it's unfair to think about it in those terms because of the differences in body type. Most are however not willing to take this argument into consideration when comparing men to women. They judge womens tennis on mens tennis' terms. But the best women players are as good as the female body allows womens tennis players to be. People should just accept that without always arguing that Federer would beat Serena 6-0/6-0. Even though that's true, it really doesn't matter. Mike Tyson would also knock out Sugar Ray Robinson in one round.

In terms of achievement I guess a woman can be the GOAT. In fact, taking it like that one could make an argument that Graf, Navratilova, Court and Evert are all greater than any male. But to be honest I think the whole question is absurd. Most can't even agree on who the best male OR female player in history is because it's really impossible to compare players from different eras. When we start comparing men to women it's really a trip to lala land.

Finally - personally I enjoy mens and womens tennis about equally as much. It's easy once you accept that men are men and women are women and that they only have to compete against members of their own sex and not the opposite gender. Smile

it's totally wrong. In terms of achievement why should women's be looked on equal terms of men but not junior or senior player, or challenger/futures players? or a player who wins everything in his/her country? you see people (feminists actually) nominate Steffi, Martina, Evert, Court etc yet they'd never look into other groups who got no attention for their achievements?

now you are saying male ego which explains why some don't like the idea of equal money? not only it's wrong, it's silly and biased. why would you like to see people who make much more money than you when you know you can beat the crap out of them on a daily basis and take that prize money instead? (let's say 'you' means Youzny here). A female is allowed to challenge a male and take a cut off their money if she wins (like Michelle Wei in LPGA), yet a male pro can't do vice-versa just because the women won't allow it? there is no male ego, it's only female bias Big Smile which we know is always the case.

Finally, try and refrain from using Sugar Ray as example will you? it's men's business remember? how men are compared to other men, a woman just won't understand Big Smile. A real boxing fan knows how to compare boxers from a skill perspective, and unfortunately WTA players really don't show the same level of tennis skills comparable to the men. How do i know that? i don't see Serena beating Santoro even if she is physically stronger .... his skills are what make the difference.

Having said that, I watched Evert, both Martina's, Seles, Steffi, Henin matches a lot. I have never begrudged against any group of players, but they will never be as good as the ATP players... that's just the fact of life, no need to be delusional just because one is obsessed with an unhealthy agenda.
Who said that WTA players will ever be as good as ATP players? I certainly didn't. Even a decent junior would easily beat even the best women players in history. The point is, are we willing to accept the differences between men and women which makes them competing against each other impossible because men have a natural advantage that's just too big, but are we in spite of that ok with women making a career in tennis and making lots of money from competing against members of their own gender? If not there's no point in women getting into tennis or any other sport for that matter, because no matter how hard you work or how much you achieve "it really doesn't matter because 'you're just a woman.'"
18-Apr-2013 03:31 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
The issue of GOAT isn't that they compete against each other. Pancho Gonzales doesn't play Roger - nor did Gonzales play under the same conditions as Roger. In a straight tennis match, Roger would beat Gonzales 6-0, 6-0, and yet we still compare Gonzales to Roger, and rightly so, because there's a context to everything. It isn't impossible to imagine Pancho Gonzales being born 27 years ago and being the best player in the world right now.

But it gets more complicated when we compare women to men tennis players, and we can see how difficult it is to compare the men. We might then get to the stage where we make allowances for junior boys who dominate and say he's the GOAT, he beat everyone in his field. Comes a point where we have to look at more than just achievements. Personally, I think there's a case to made for Martina or Steffi to be the best among the women, at beating women and taking women's prizes. But in the rush to create an ill-suited equality, we might also have to step back and mention the great elephant in the room: we're different.

I think comparing them only demeans both, but I'd never think women's tennis is of a standard that you could say the best there is proven to be even better (comparatively speaking) than the very best men...

(18-Apr-2013 03:31 AM)jhar26 Wrote:  Who said that WTA players will ever be as good as ATP players? I certainly didn't. Even a decent junior would easily beat even the best women players in history. The point is, are we willing to accept the differences between men and women which makes them competing against each other impossible because men have a natural advantage that's just too big, but are we in spite of that ok with women making a career in tennis and making lots of money from competing against members of their own gender? If not there's no point in women getting into tennis or any other sport for that matter, because no matter how hard you work or how much you achieve "it really doesn't matter because 'you're just a woman.'"

Well, there is a point in girls trying to be WTA players, because they get paid a shed load of money for it. By the same token, hard work doesn't confer equality. I could work as hard as a WTA player but not deserve the same wage, and rightly so, even though I can shank a backhand high over the fence with the best of 'em... Tongue
(This post was last modified: 18-Apr-2013 04:22 AM by Kieran.)
18-Apr-2013 04:19 AM
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johnsteinbeck Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
well, the whole thing isn't an easy subject. as for the GOAT title? it's a very much imaginary anyway, and the most reasonable thing is to give it to the person with the best resume. as Kieran said, Pancho didn't play Fed. ranking Laver ahead of Novak doesn't mean Rod would have had a chance to beat Nole, whatever the circumstances. Steffi's and Martina's achievements are impeccable, so i wouldn't complain if anyone called either one the GOAT. but we might just as well call it different sports, for that matter.

as to the chess/darts/snooker reference - i guess i'll have to go and supply fodder for ricardo's apparent hatred of feminism and say yes, there are reasons and advantages for that. Kieran already pointed to that - sociological issues. early selection, group dynamics, prejudice, it's all at work here. plus, the same dynamics that keeps down the female numbers in top jobs, including the setbacks that come with having a family (which never seems to be much of an issue for the males, of course).

there's a female Austrian billard pro, Jasmin Ouschan, who actually competed in some male events. came in third at the World Championships, ousting the former champ in the process. so she's proven she can hang with the rest. incidentally, it's not like she's undefeated among the women either. i reckon that in this sport and others, if all other circumstances were equal, so would the competitors and results be. but that's still quite a way to go, of course.


as for the physical sports? that's harder. there's some radical views that even those differenciations are injust, but i don't see the point. the biological odds are just very much in favor of the men in that regard, and there's no denying that. still, it's good to have the women competing hard as well, for so many reasons. jhar pointed to one, namely the idea of getting girls to the sport in the first place. and of course, making a ton of money and playing the big venues is a bigger appeal than maybe winning a challenger in Tunisia. would it be preferrable if a pro like Serena would have to play the man to really prove herself?
btw, i disagree with jhar that "even a decent junior would easily beat even the best women players in history" (unless by "decent junior", you mean a 17yr old boys' GS winner). i believe if that's what she'd been prepared for, from the very start, someone like Serena could have entered the "journeyperson" range in the ATP, ranked somewhere in the triple digits. Steffi definitely could have. does it matter, though? no. i'd much rather see Serena play Li Na than Jamie Baker, to be quite honest.
18-Apr-2013 07:20 AM
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jhar26 Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
(18-Apr-2013 07:20 AM)johnsteinbeck Wrote:  btw, i disagree with jhar that "even a decent junior would easily beat even the best women players in history" (unless by "decent junior", you mean a 17yr old boys' GS winner). i believe if that's what she'd been prepared for, from the very start, someone like Serena could have entered the "journeyperson" range in the ATP, ranked somewhere in the triple digits. Steffi definitely could have. does it matter, though? no. i'd much rather see Serena play Li Na than Jamie Baker, to be quite honest.
Well, I was perhaps guilty of exaggerating just a bit as a way of saying that I really don't care how women would do against men. Like you I'm interested in Federer vs Djokovic and Serena vs Azarenka. But Federer vs Serena doesn't interest me in the least. To exaggerate once more - it's like letting Usain Bolt race against a leopard and then argue that Bolt is no good because the leopard was faster, without taking into account that the leopard has certain physical advantages. Wink
18-Apr-2013 08:33 AM
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ricardo Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
(18-Apr-2013 07:20 AM)johnsteinbeck Wrote:  well, the whole thing isn't an easy subject. as for the GOAT title? it's a very much imaginary anyway, and the most reasonable thing is to give it to the person with the best resume. as Kieran said, Pancho didn't play Fed. ranking Laver ahead of Novak doesn't mean Rod would have had a chance to beat Nole, whatever the circumstances. Steffi's and Martina's achievements are impeccable, so i wouldn't complain if anyone called either one the GOAT. but we might just as well call it different sports, for that matter.

as to the chess/darts/snooker reference - i guess i'll have to go and supply fodder for ricardo's apparent hatred of feminism and say yes, there are reasons and advantages for that. Kieran already pointed to that - sociological issues. early selection, group dynamics, prejudice, it's all at work here. plus, the same dynamics that keeps down the female numbers in top jobs, including the setbacks that come with having a family (which never seems to be much of an issue for the males, of course).

there's a female Austrian billard pro, Jasmin Ouschan, who actually competed in some male events. came in third at the World Championships, ousting the former champ in the process. so she's proven she can hang with the rest. incidentally, it's not like she's undefeated among the women either. i reckon that in this sport and others, if all other circumstances were equal, so would the competitors and results be. but that's still quite a way to go, of course.


as for the physical sports? that's harder. there's some radical views that even those differenciations are injust, but i don't see the point. the biological odds are just very much in favor of the men in that regard, and there's no denying that. still, it's good to have the women competing hard as well, for so many reasons. jhar pointed to one, namely the idea of getting girls to the sport in the first place. and of course, making a ton of money and playing the big venues is a bigger appeal than maybe winning a challenger in Tunisia. would it be preferrable if a pro like Serena would have to play the man to really prove herself?
btw, i disagree with jhar that "even a decent junior would easily beat even the best women players in history" (unless by "decent junior", you mean a 17yr old boys' GS winner). i believe if that's what she'd been prepared for, from the very start, someone like Serena could have entered the "journeyperson" range in the ATP, ranked somewhere in the triple digits. Steffi definitely could have. does it matter, though? no. i'd much rather see Serena play Li Na than Jamie Baker, to be quite honest.

i didn't say those things out of hatred towards feminism, as i believe things are the way they are for various reasons and facts should be brought out despite that we live in a very 'feminist' environment. Let's just reverse the situation, assume that women were the ones who invented tennis, made it a big global 'industry', and are flat out better players than us, do you think there is any reason we would ignore all that and claim 'equality' and spin out all sorts of opinions that suit us? i am sure the fair people wouldn't do it, would admit the reasons why men don't gain as much from the sport. If women are stronger and fast and beat males, well then they are just better - there is no this and that, like 'oh but we train just as hard'... true equality is, a player is assessed only on performance against the best, and not confined to a certain restricted group, and in the context of GOAT braggin rights, it is what you do on ATP level that counts. BTW ATP stands for association of tennis professionals- if you are good enough you can win whatever you want.

you may have side-tracked a bit to talk about female numbers in top jobs, but if we go into that, there would be similar reasons. what industries do female occupy low numbers in top executive jobs? one would think most industries right? in broad sense, aren't almost all those industries all rooting from creations and inventions by men? i don't know, car manufacturing, building, IT, electronics, hell even down to less vital industries like movie-making (with invention of cameras/image recorders), who invented and made those possible? let's reverse the situation, if women were the inventors and innovators of Mercedes Benz, Apple Iphone/Ipad, IBM/Dell computers, all the great architectures, whatever you name, i know these are crude examples, but i am sure in that case women would dominate all these related field/industries, and justifiably so. I believe things happen for a reason, and they don't just happen because certain group of people are biased and conspire with evil plans..... but you are right i have bad taste for feminists in general, because they are the ones who just talk, and didn't/couldn't do anything, acting as if they deserve somethings when they didn't 'earn'. There is good reason why Thatcher detached herself from feminists in general, apparently she was someone who actually could do something (for good or bad) and got to the top. You would notice that many women in top jobs ain't the ones who occupy the news with PC slogans... they made it happen. oh only recently top singer Katie Perry said she isn't a feminist, apparently she isn't into fashionable feminism for good reason.....

Despite the relevance in such example, lets get back to topic... for people who are willing to look beyond political correctness and agendas, they will not use gender difference to induce all sorts of excuses..... or race, region, age excuse could also be used, where does it end? if one day a girl called Catherine is to collect the most titles on ATP tour, then she is justifiably the best/greatest and i don't care about gender, age or where she is from.

(18-Apr-2013 08:33 AM)jhar26 Wrote:  
(18-Apr-2013 07:20 AM)johnsteinbeck Wrote:  btw, i disagree with jhar that "even a decent junior would easily beat even the best women players in history" (unless by "decent junior", you mean a 17yr old boys' GS winner). i believe if that's what she'd been prepared for, from the very start, someone like Serena could have entered the "journeyperson" range in the ATP, ranked somewhere in the triple digits. Steffi definitely could have. does it matter, though? no. i'd much rather see Serena play Li Na than Jamie Baker, to be quite honest.
Well, I was perhaps guilty of exaggerating just a bit as a way of saying that I really don't care how women would do against men. Like you I'm interested in Federer vs Djokovic and Serena vs Azarenka. But Federer vs Serena doesn't interest me in the least. To exaggerate once more - it's like letting Usain Bolt race against a leopard and then argue that Bolt is no good because the leopard was faster, without taking into account that the leopard has certain physical advantages. Wink

in this case you still don't get it. The race is about the fastest human, then we look at Bolt not leopard. When the context is about the GOAT tennis player, then we only look at the ones who competed against the best the world has to offer. it doesn't matter what interests you or not, what you like or dislike, the context of discussion is clearly spelt out - which is why no Steff/Serena/Martina is in the conversation. By definition (GOAT in general and not restricted to men/women), they have not qualified with results.
(This post was last modified: 18-Apr-2013 08:59 AM by ricardo.)
18-Apr-2013 08:53 AM
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jhar26 Offline
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RE: Dueling genders
(18-Apr-2013 08:53 AM)ricardo Wrote:  in this case you still don't get it.
Well, thank god that you were kind enough to explain it to me. Tongue
18-Apr-2013 09:20 AM
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