Based on stats that suggest women only make up about 4 percent of poker tournament fields, it’s little surprise that poker is largely guilty of sexism at the tables. But 888 pro Jessica Dawley doesn’t care about the stats, and she certainly doesn’t like sexism in poker either – especially when it’s the women using their femininity to get ahead.
“I really hope to empower women to be independent and rely upon themselves, and to break through all the barriers, and to use their knowledge and intellect more than their sexuality,” Dawley told Philly.com, during a recent stop at Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino. “That’s one of the biggest letdowns for me. I feel, as a female, we’ve come so far, and yet we set ourselves back so far by trying to use our sexuality to get ahead in life. If we want to be treated as equals, then try to use ammunition men would [use].”
Of course, everybody knows that men play their role in how women act and are treated in poker. “Women feel intimidated at the poker table because of the way we’re treated by men,” Dawley explained.
Some of the comments that Dawley, a 32-year-old military vet from South Florida, has heard at the tables include “This is a guy’s game,” or “You belong in the kitchen.” Upon hearing these 1950s-style comments, Dawley is never phased and is very good at holding her own. “I give it right back to them.” she said. “But, unfortunately, other females shy away from that. I can understand that. You’re going there to have a good time, and you get berated at the table.”
Dawley certainly brings up some good points in the Philly.com article about why men act this way towards female poker players and how women can handle these situations. That said, if you’re a female player, or a guy who needs a manners check, then it’s definitely worth checking out this piece on poker sexism.