I know I’m super-late to this topic, but here it is anyway.…
We have tournaments like this, too. The “Best female player” trophy looks just like the overall trophy, which you get whether you are female or not. If a woman comes first overall, she walks away with two trophies: the overall one and the women’s one.
Noticeably though, the “Best female player” trophy isn’t quite the same as the overall trophy. Instead of being the standard gold color, it is plated in metallic pink. The base is pink, too. And the “Best female player” trophy is smaller than the overall trophy.
I remember feeling quite uncomfortable when I first saw that women’s trophy. It implies a lot, in my opinion, and much of it negative (if you believe in gender equality).
To me, the very existence of that trophy says “A woman isn’t ever going to win. But we’ll toss a bone to the women just so they don’t feel entirely left out.” The cliché pink only seems to add insult to injury. (I recently suggested to our TD to change the trophy to be the same as the overall trophy—gold color, gold base, same size—because the pink and smaller size seemed really condescending to me; he was receptive to the idea.)
I’m in two minds about it…
On the one hand, there is probably a genuine desire to acknowledge and encourage women in the hobby by offering a separate trophy. I honestly believe that this is well-intentioned and not meant to be sexist. In a way, it’s not so different from offering an “under 18s trophy” or “children’s trophy” to encourage children to participate. (But, should women be treated like children?)
On the other hand, the mere existence of a separate trophy seems to imply that women are inferior in pinball, will never stand a chance against the men, and therefore need a separate trophy.
Now, I can see how this argument makes sense in scenarios such as tennis or ice hockey, where physical strength and body mass play a huge role. I’m not sure though that this reasoning carries over to pinball. (If we had as many female competitors as male ones, I’d expect the female competitors to walk away with approximately 50% of the total points.)
What I’m really interested in is how the women here feel about this. Do you feel belittled by a pink trophy “just for the women?” Do you think the trophy is sexist or otherwise inappropriate? Is a separate pink (or any other color) trophy better than no separate trophy?
Is it a good or not so good idea to have a separate women’s national/world championship? Would it be more appropriate to not have a separate women’s championship?
What do you suggest should be done differently (if anything)?