Girls and quizzing: why girls don’t quiz, and why they should

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any girl in possession of good sense is a potential quizzer.

Sorry, I couldn’t help modifying that beautiful opening from Pride and Prejudice. It just expresses it really well. Women have been entering fields previously dominated by men for a long time now, and quizzing is one field which sorely demands their presence. Sure, girls do quiz, but they are few and far between. Many girls agree that quizzing is a field which doesn’t appeal to them. And why not? These are the main reasons quoted:

  1. I don’t know much about anything. (Also quoted as I don’t have much general knowledge…)
    1. Nor did any quizzer when they started, trust me. Most quizzers began straight from scratch. I doubt there’s a single active quizzer around in the circuit who didn’t score a duck (not the bird, of course) at any point in their careers.
    2. Not knowing much about anything is not a crime, as long as you actually want to reverse that situation. On the other hand, if you actually want to preserve the status quo… well, that’s your own lookout.
    3. Quizzing isn’t meant only for the class toppers… or the bookworms… or the annoying know-it-alls. It’s also for the ordinary guys (and girls). And the misfits. And the oddballs. As long as you have a reasonable interest in the world around you (and probably above you, too, if you’re going for an astronomy quiz :P), you’ll be just fine.
    4. Besides, there’s always a good chance that at least a few of the quizzers you meet will be in exactly the same position as you are in. You’re not alone.
  2. I’m afraid the guys will pick on me, or I’ll be alone, or left out, or whatever.
    1. Now, look here, there’s no statistical probability that quizzer guys are more likely to pick on you than non-quizzer guys. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that quizzers are more likely to be considerate towards girls into quizzing — especially since you’re the minority — as compared to other groups of people, maybe because they regard you as “just another quizzer”.
    2. Besides, you needn’t assume straightaway that all guys are the enemy and likely to pick on you. Most guys are really nice. Helpful too.
    3. As to being “left out”, you needn’t worry about that so long as you actually take the trouble to get to know the other quizzers better. Guys especially might not approach you directly, so it’s up to you to take the initiative. Refer to above line which states that most quizzers are really nice. If there are other girls attending the quiz too, get to know them better. You can never have too many female quizzing friends.
  3. I find it difficult to travel for quizzes.
    1. You usually don’t need to travel too far out of your way to attend quizzes. Timing won’t be much of a problem either. Most quizzes are held in the morning or afternoon and finish well before nightfall.
    2. Of course, there are exceptions. Quizzes that finish late at night, or in some cases go on throughout the night. But, from personal experience, I have noticed that other quizzers are always ready to help out whenever girls might require help. And, of course, as the number of girls attending quizzes increases, the support between lady quizzers will increase as well. Girls at quizzes might be a minority at the moment, but numbers will increase in time.
  4. What will I do if I get into the finals?
    1. To be honest, why exactly do people come to quizzes if not to get into the finals? Okay, that’s not what we say. We say we quiz “for the spirit of the game” and stuff like that. (Alert: People who say something to this effect are usually the ones who get into the finals. Be forewarned.) On the other hand, the only reason we have a final round is because we actually do have finalists. Seriously, if everyone was quizzing “just for the spirit of the game”, there wouldn’t be many finals being held. And you say you’ve gotten into the finals? GREAT. Enjoy that feeling of power, because with it comes great responsibility… nah, not really. Joking.
    2.  Stage fright needn’t bother you either, because it’s not like you’ll be made to sing a song or dance or something. You just have to sit at a table, maybe introduce yourself? Oh, and blurt out incredibly stupid reasonable answers throughout the entire show. And get cash for your pains too, assuming it’s a more or less decent quiz. (Informal quizzes do NOT have prizes. It’s there in the name. But then, informals vary widely.)
    3. Finals usually employ a system of “pounce-and-bounce“, which allows you to “pounce”, or answer a question which you are reasonably sure of, before the question is passed to the other teams. However, pouncing usually carries negatives, so pounce at your own risk. #ToPounceOrNotToPounce
    4. You don’t need to worry about the rules, though, because the QM will make them pretty clear before the quiz begins, and, of course, you can ask for clarification.
  5. What if I don’t know the answer to a question?
    1. Just keep guessing. The questions asked in quizzes nowadays are rarely of the “Who is the President of India” type of questions, so it’s highly likely that a clue will be hidden in plain sight, within the question itself. Even the answer to that lengthy question which seems too arcane to be known to the participants is likely to be something really simple.
    2. Even if you haven’t the slightest inkling what the answer could be, or indeed, what the question itself is talking about, look at the possibilities and make a reasonable guess as to what it could be. Like, for instance, I remember once they asked at a quiz about a particular cricket match played in the late 1890s, and how there were discrepancies between the match and the game of cricket during that time period. I know next to nothing about cricket, and I didn’t have a clue as to what the answer could be, so I passed. And the answer to the question was, “the cricket match played in the movie Lagaan”. *EPIC FACEPALM*
    3. There’s rarely an answer which you don’t know in a quiz. Unless, of course, you’re talking about high-level open quizzes or those quizzes where one-liner questions are the norm. (Both are mutually exclusive, as far as I know.)
  6. These questions are tough! I haven’t the slightest clue what they’re talking about.
    1. If you’re simply talking about the workoutability of a question (which is just another way of saying how you can deduce an answer from a question), then see Q6.
    2. If, on the other hand, you’re talking about the topics mentioned, I can relate with you there. I’ve often heard it said that the topics which quizzes include topics which girls generally don’t take an interest in — like sports, to name just one. I can’t really speak for other girls, but I can speak for myself, so my opinion is this — sure, these are topics which we might be unfamiliar with. But the whole point of quizzing is to get to know things we didn’t know earlier (unless I’ve been labouring under a misconception for the entirety of my quizzing career), and that obviously includes topics like these as well. On the other hand, there are plenty of girls who do take an interest in these topics as well, so it’s not really possible to generalise that yeah, “girls don’t like these topics,” or “man, boys are going to find this SO easy”. No, not all girls might know about WWE or video games (I don’t). But it’s not a given that all boys know it either. In the end, there’s no difference between “guy topics” and “girl topics”, they’re more or less… equal.
    3. On another note, equality is what we need, and so it is too in quizzing. So topics needn’t be segregated into “guys know this” and “girls know this”, because, face it, it just doesn’t work. In the end, the quiz, and whether equal weightage was given to each topic in it, is all that matters, and not whether “enough girls answered that question” or not.
    4. TL;DR — Learning new stuff is one of the key outcomes of quizzing, so if you hear questions, about stuff you don’t know that well, for the first time in a quiz, take it in your stride. Who knows, it might come in useful for the next quiz. (Actually happened to me.)
  7. There aren’t many girls who attend quizzes, so…
    1. So that’s basically why we’re trying to bring more girls into quizzing, you know. The more girls who take up quizzing and attend quizzes regularly, the more girls who begin to attend quizzes in the future, and on it goes. Cause and effect.
  8. I’m not really interested in quizzing; I have better things to do.
    1. Well, that’s a crying shame, isn’t it… or maybe it isn’t, you’ll gain plenty of free time in which you can actually do some productive work rather than waste your time listening to random questions and even more random answers. Just kidding.
    2. Seriously, though, even if you think quizzing isn’t really your thing, still come along to one just for the heck of it. New faces are something we definitely do need. So are more women. You might be surprised to see just how good you are at it.

It’s up to us, both as existing quizzers and fellow women, to make sure that there is more representation of the fair sex in the game of quizzing. All ladies are invited. Let the games begin.


21 thoughts on “Girls and quizzing: why girls don’t quiz, and why they should

  1. Reading this helped a lot

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to know it helped. You’re welcome 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is stuff that one should actually put on national newspapers on March 8. . .you are the pride of the quizzing fraternity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol thank you 🙂 I wouldn’t go that far, maybe, but it’s certainly an issue that needs to be addressed, and that can be done only if the existing community is actually welcoming to female quizzers. This can be a starting point.


  3. Well said, Abhirami!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A thought such simply drawn to read….!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well said, and much aptly ‘researched’ i must say 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nambiar. Nuff said March 9, 2016 — 4:18 pm

    Stupid stuff as in ‘Tamil’ is the most popular language of India? 😂😂😂😂😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, that’s exactly what I mean. No comments on that, lol. 😂
      I should write about that someday. Maybe in a few years.


      1. You need help If yes, don’t hesitate to ask.
        I can provide you with the most vivid details even today =D

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Nambiar. Nuff said March 9, 2016 — 4:22 pm

    On another note, two of the greatest quizzers I have had the pleasure to participate with were girls. Maybe 3, but she ain’t that good a quizzer you see. Aval verum sasi aanu. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sasi, I leave this one to you. Idichu panjikkitto. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ha. Stoop so low Nambiar?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m sorry If I’m late, Fairfeld. I just saw this today [i.e. there’s no net at home- this is from Linta’s PC]
    Firstly, I’d like to say, I just love that starting 🙂 And as to point 2, where you said girls feel left out about all other quizzers being guys, nah- I disagree. Of my 10 years, if you leave out the first couple or two quizzes where the ‘Oh! She’s just a girl- I don’t think she’ll do great in quizzing’ attitude prevailed among guys [and I’d emphasize that these guys stopped quizzing soon after that quiz- A couple of batch-mates, namely Vishwas and Yogesh [sorry Yogi Bear 🙂 ] My experience might be limited [article concerning that coming soon- after all fools’ day] but ever since,I’ve felt more like I belong in the quizzing community more than anywhere else on Earth, and almost all the guys [especially Anant] have had a ‘bro’ approach towards me- In fact, I’ve seen guys looking up to me with a kind of appreciation that a girl has risen to a level at par to them- and even some senior quizzers whom I respect deeply asking- ‘Koche, Kochu malsarikkanundo, enne koode team mate aakumo? ‘ [translation: can I team up with you for this quiz?]
    About travelling, although my heart will ask me to travel alone [like how I wanted to be there for WQC jr.] The world does not permit it. But Dad, being an ex-quizzer has enjoyed all this even more than I did.[ that was his first trip to Chennai too 🙂 ] And If I hadn’t appeared for the First Samasya, I wouldn’t have met you, Duh! [Kaanendathu kaanenda idathu vechu i.e. pinne eppo enkilum evidelum vechu kandolum- but yeah, that showed your spunk- lonewolfing when the LOYOLAS are participating!!!]
    And yes, there might be guy topics and girl topics in a quiz as per the ignorant layman’s notion, but trust me, I wouldn’t have been so keen on ripping up a madridista into pieces 😛 if I had not gone into quizzing at that young age. The sheer thrill of learning new things is something only quiz can give you.And Thanks to Anant, I’ve learnt quite a lot of tech and sports fundae [thankyou da!]
    As to point 4- What to do if you clear the prelims- Duh! Quiz like Hell. Make your own style. Be noted. Be remembered for who you are.
    and The main issue- point 7.
    I hail from Kochi, and AFAIK, I’ve only had one Aparna Sanjay to look up to as a female quizzing role model for a long long time.[ male ones? I’ve had lots! #ifyouknowwhatImean ]. As I pass out of school within 21 days, I look forward and see more girls in the game,for instance you, Gauri 😛 , Sreenandini [who is presently non-existent… ] What I’m emphasizing is that, in the years that come, I sincerely hope that more women will come into the true passion that quizzing represents and not just for the prize money that it offers- trust me, I find many a lot of girls coming into our quiz club just to bunk standing in the sun for the assembly [I devoted the start of this academic year for getting rid of such shit first] 😛 or just to come up to me and ask, chechikkum Anant chettanum koode quizil ninnu ethra roopa kittiyittundu? [nothing can drive me more mad than that question -_- ] I see a ‘Yes Madam Sir’ and ‘Bobanum Moliyum’ quiz with many more participants in the coming years’ reverberates =D.
    That’s All.
    Hasta La Vista.
    -yours only Moianth 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nambiar. Nuff said March 10, 2016 — 11:37 am

    Just citing facts, not stooping low.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bro, every word is damn true!

    Liked by 1 person

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