One of the most significant problems in quiz bowl is the lack of girls who take part. It's not too common to see girls on teams whatsoever, much less the one or two girls that tend to be the maximum. This begs the question. Why don't more girls participate in quiz bowl? There are several obvious reasons. To begin with, the disparity tends to discourage more girls from joining. People are more likely to join something if they see people like them involved. If they join despite this, many girls still contend with the alienation that comes with being one of few women on their team. In my opinion, however, the more pressing concern is the commonplace incidents of sexism that serve as a major deterrent to girls considering joining the game. Many female players have written about their personal experiences with misogyny throughout their time playing quiz bowl and, frankly, no one should have to put up with these behaviors. Additionally, these occurrences not only deter new players but also lead to current players quitting, thus worsening the imbalance. So, what can we as a community do to help with this problem? Check back later to read about my thoughts on that.
Eshaan Vakil, AAQB Founder