Nothing stops women from competing at the game’s highest levels, but almost none of them do.
The 2018 World Scrabble Championship was held last month in London. The champion, 51-year old Nigel Richards, played “groutier” (meaning “sulky”) for the winning 68 points. This was Mr. Richards’s fourth world title in English Scrabble; he also took the French Scrabble title this year for the second time, even though he doesn’t speak French.
If Mr. Richards’s dominance of competitive Scrabble is clear, there is a less noticed but more significant pattern in the game: Since the World Scrabble Championship began in 1991, all winners have been male. The North American Scrabble Championship has had one female winner (in 1987) since its founding in 1978. All eight finalists in this year’s French World Scrabble Championships were men.
Competitive Scrabble constitutes a natural experiment for testing the feminist worldview. According to feminist dogma, males and females are identical in their aptitudes and interests. If men dominate certain data-based, abstract fields like engineering, physics and math, that imbalance must, by definition, be the result of sexism—whether a patriarchal culture that discourages girls from math or implicit bias in the hiring process.
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