At first I was really excited to read this book as I said last week that Go is one of my favorite games but that excitement diminished page by page as I read more into the sexist ideals in China from the game of weiqi. The part that struck me the most was when the author was writing about his lone nine year old female classmate in how she would beat many of the boys at her school but the teachers did not believe she was a good player because she was not aggressive or fast like her male counterparts. It irked me a little as when we were reading the older texts on weiqi it was not always a fast pace game that modern China is emphasizing into their male population today. Even the teachers did not counter any of the, false, conclusions that males were naturally better players than females. As an aspiring educator that does not sit right with me. teachers should encourage everyone to do well and improve on everything they learn, especially natural skills like the nine year old girl had with weiqi. What made this belief worse though was the fact that people believe that females are not good at logic or spatial cognition. That is the similar theory that have led to horrible theories on eugenics and other racist thought through out history. Another point that annoyed me about the book was the fact that China just added women on the national team because Korea and Japan had a lot of women playing weiqi. It annoys me, maybe a little too personally, because if that happened to me, even if I was on the national team, I would be ashamed or guilty that I am not even considered a professional but I am representing my country against people who, by ranking, are better than me.This weeks reading was very different and despite my obvious grievances I enjoyed it for it showed weiqi in a way most people do not even get to know if they have not lived over in China, Korea, Japan, or Taiwan.
The image I chose was the Pah-tok pieces and table on page 205 of the Art of Contest. I chose this beacuse I love the elegance and simple beauty of the table and pieces. It is a artifact that I would want to keep because it has a presence due to its almost refined air that the set creates giving a luxurious feel despite its very simple artistic design.