The Lack Of Female Magicians In The World
Magic is fun! But there’s a bit of a problem in the magic world - there aren’t nearly enough female magicians (in our humble opinion). Now, we do things a bit differently in the Brent and Sarah show - double the magicians means double the magic, and Sarah has some tricks up her sleeve like you’ve never seen. Being one of the few female magicians in Canada has its perks!
There is, however, inequality here - and while we can’t make inequality disappear, we can definitely work our magic on it. We’re going to look at the lack of female magicians in the world, and speculate on how we can make things more equal.
Where are all the female magicians?
Off the top of your head, think of a few famous magicians and illusionists. We’re going to go ahead and guess that all of the names you came up with were men. Maybe it was Penn and Teller, or David Spade, or even Houdini. Commonly, in the world of magic, men are the magicians - women are often relegated to the position of assistant, the ones the magic is to be performed on.
Now, this isn’t to disparage the position of assistant - a good assistant is an invaluable part of the show. Trust us - good assistants can be hard to find. But why are they always women? Where are the male assistants?
One of the few articles on this topic, “Why Are There So Few Female Magicians” by the Atlantic, estimates that somewhere between 3% to 8% of the magicians in the world are female.
At the time that article was written, there were no female magicians headlining in Vegas. Today, there’s 1 - which, we suppose, is an infinite improvement over how things were, but still a drastic underrepresentation.
The factors contributing to gender disparity
That same Atlantic article speculates on some of the many reasons why there may be fewer female magicians, including:
Practical issues: To do magic, it’s helpful to have a lot of pockets. And, to this day, there are not nearly enough nice dresses with pockets.
Fewer role models: Less women practising magic means fewer female magicians girls can look up to.
There may also be systemic factors that are hard to evaluate. Women may find it more difficult to find a supportive community among existing magicians, or they may feel that pursuing a career as a magician is frowned upon.
How do we get more female magicians? The solution is complicated
There are a lot of factors contributing to the lack of female magicians - that means the solution is going to be multifaceted and complicated.
One of the ways we can correct the disparity is by celebrating the female magicians who are practising today. Doing so could encourage other girls and women to become magicians themselves.
As one of the few female magicians in Canada, Sarah - a Toronto magician who is part of the duo, Brent and Sarah - is helping to break the mould.
This is only the start. There are so many gender expressions in the world - and we believe magic is for everyone. We can’t wait to see what all of the women and people of other genders can do to transform the world of magic.