Penn Jillette weighs in on sexism and gender inequality in magic

October 11, 2017

As more details of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s alleged years of sexual harassment come to light, other actors, writers, performers, and thinkers have weighed in with their own opinions and stories—not just on Weinstein’s indiscretions, but how we defeat inequality and sexism in all walks of life. In a recent feature on CNN, several celebrities from a variety of professions have given their thoughts on the matter, including magic’s own Penn Jillette. Here’s what he had to say in a piece entitled “Look to Moxie”:

I get asked a bunch, “Is your son into magic?” He couldn’t care less.

I have never been asked, “Is your daughter into magic?”

My daughter, Moxie, is into magic and is working her way through Teller’s favorite book, “The Royal Road to Card Magic.” Her little hands do a good clean false shuffle. Mox got her favorite Valentine’s attention by showing him a card trick (already more success with magic than I ever had). Backstage, one of the magicians who had “Fooled Us” (on our Penn & Teller show of that name) told her she could become “the greatest woman magician in the world.”

Lack of women in magic is not in the top million most important feminist issues, but magic is my field and Mox is in my family. Magic is still a boy’s club, and most magic patter is just formalized mansplaining.

Mox can fix all that. Mox might become the greatest magician in the world.