Feminism dancing

Oh this is fun…

Background: I started ballroom dancing again.
The attitudes of the men and women (on average) are quite interesting.
Some teachers go so far as to assume that the woman is – of course – the driving force behind the pair’s participation.
The words “Men, you are the ones who must lead.” are a perpetually recurring mantra. Because most men there are not very good at it. In fact, most suck.

Why is this so? It didn’t use to be, did it? My impression always was that the men in my parent’s generation loved to dance.

Might this have to do with – gasp – feminism?

To everyone reading this blog it is probably quite obvious why women are so overwhelmingly fond of ballroom dancing.

Let’s do some googling (all emphases in the following quotes are mine)

This feminist explains:

I never feel so happy as when a gentleman is moving me, gracefully, energetically, across the dance floor, with style, with his own little flair. The men who can manipulate me to do kicks and spins, who, I can just position myself ready to follow and the rest is just dance… nothing is more fun, more amazing, and, I will add, more sexy.

Problems arise, if feminism is deeply rooted.

Another feminist says:

Once I began to be o.k. with being touched by a stranger (really it’s just holding hands…), I fought for every ounce of control I could muster. “What do you mean the guy leads? What about what I want?” my feminist beliefs would shout inside.

So I resisted – he wanted to turn left, I struggled to go right. He steered me to the side, I would attempt a turn instead.

Truth be told, we danced like crap – not because of him, but because I kept wanting “control” of us.

This is one as well who would not survive long on my dance list…

People must have said to you well you can’t call yourself much of a feminist if you’re doing ballroom dancing you’re walking backwards all the time being led around by a man – was that there within it because your piece of research – at the heart of it – is quite a bit about gender roles?

There is sometimes an underlying current of can you be a feminist and a ballroom dancer. I mean for me personally you can be both and a sociologist as well because I don’t think walking backwards, following a man’s lead necessarily means that you’re not an active person, thinking for yourself and that it has a bearing on your kind of life outside of the dance floor.

But of course it is – it’s part of the standardisation that the woman is the follower and the man is the leader. There were quite a few women who’d learnt to both lead and follow, they had experience of both roles.

When they were following arguably that gave them an advantage over men who generally can only lead. There are examples of quite feisty women that wouldn’t be told what to do, that demanded being treated with respect, that would say I’m not going to follow you if you’re dancing off time, if you’re dancing the wrong steps in the wrong place.

Yes, the feisty woman. Dreampartner of avery competent male dancer there ever was.

The obvious incompatibility of ballroom dancing and feminism is a common strain upon the feminist mind.

“As a feminist and a ballroom dancer, I’ve had trouble assimilating my personal views with my passion for this sexist sport, where the man always leads and the woman always follows,”

Sadly the article does not elaborate how exactly she brings these opposites together. Only an example how her rationalization hamster every now and then can take a breather:

She said the highlight of her evening was when two women, dancing together, placed first in the merengue among 42 entrants

Brilliant this answer on yahoo:

I’m a feminist and I enjoy watching and dancing, ballroom. If I could lead I would but that’s not the way it is. I could do it better than many of the men I dance with. They don’t seem to know you can put your hand firmly on a women’s back to lead without being accused of harrassment.

Now, where on earth could a man have gotten the impression that touching a woman firmly might get him a harrassment trial?

The hamster at Stanford U is also quite strong. The roles, they claim, actually aren’t opposed to feminist ideals:

The main reason I don’t care for the term “following” is that it doesn’t accurately describe the role.

Women do not “follow.” They interpret signals they’re given, with a keen responsiveness that is not at all passive.

As with a language interpreter at the United Nations, a dancer’s ability to interpret signals benefits from intelligence and experience. Leads, if you want to make a good impression on your partner, show her that you respect this intelligence and experience. How? If she does something that you didn’t intend, recognize that she still made a valid alternate interpretation of the signals you gave her. She didn’t make a “mistake”.

No, don’t just recognize it. Show her that you know she didn’t make a mistake, by flowing along with her during her valid alternate interpretation. She’s dancing — try to keep up with her.

In other words: “Man, it’s your job to lead but only when you actually lead the way she wants to follow. Otherwise follow her. Comprende?”


Summing up so far: women love love love to be in Alpha’s arm, as long as he’s capable of fulfilling that role. If not they give the man hell.

Things get slightly more weird when you are nearing Pro-level, as Jezebel reports:

Annetts paints a Halloween-scary picture of the competitive ballroom dancing scene: Snotty comments about her outfits, physical attacks, and heated competition over coveted male partners have led her to take a “keeps to herself” approach toward the social aspects of her profession. “Sisterly it certainly isn’t and sabotage is rife,” she writes. “I’ve been left battered and bruised as rival dancers have ‘accidentally’ pressed their stiletto heel into my foot or jabbed me in the ribs with their elbows.”

Yes, the Female, the gentle sex. Unless you have some competition in general or – even worse – over some alpha male.

The possessiveness of the silverback is also not quite to her liking:

… one even said he would not dance with me if he heard that I had a boyfriend as he should be the only man in my life

Ah well. If only one could pick and choose from the consequences of gender roles…

But why doesn’t the average man like to dance any more?

Captain Capitalism complains about the lack of leadership on the dance floor.

It is the men I’m seeing deteriorating in their role of leading.

Be it the fact they plain don’t want to be there, they’re tired or even their wife won’t let them lead, the trend I’m noticing goes beyond that. There is a noticeable decline in men’s ability to take command on the dance floor and lead. And I cannot help but wonder if it isn’t the sociological and economic environment that has led to it.

I see more and more men, who just plain have that defeated, domesticated look on their faces. I provide all the instruction, explain step by step what has to happen, and above all else explain to them they MUST pull their wife this way, send her out that way, they MUST LEAD. But when the time comes and the music plays, instead of a Steve McQueen like fashion, they look sheepishly at their wife or girlfriend and barely produce a slight tug on the girl’s hand, all the while looking at her for constant confirmation and approval they’re doing it correctly.


The women of course get frustrated (not only because viscerally women like strong men), but because the dance is structurally failing. They don’t know where to turn. The lead is so limp and the man so unsure, the women is forced to take over and turn herself.

I myself am pondering this explanation:
Imagine a man from lower working class, or even a slave.
This man is invited to play king for an hour every week. He can give commands for an hour and order everyone around.
He has to give his commands in latin (which he of course would have to learn first) and no command of any real consequence is allowed. Only orders like “Bring me a drink” or “You, stand over there”.
If his posture is not quite regal or his pronunciation of those latin words is off, he will be chided.

How much fun, would you think, will this man have in being a king?
For an hour?
Every week?
But not really?


Funny Finding: Men Win Humor Test (by a Hair)

I stumbled across this: Funny Finding: Men Win Humor Test (by a Hair). It’s relevance is related to this one

The setup:

The study team ran two separate but related experiments. The first experiment had 16 undergraduate males and 16 undergraduate females writing captions alone in a quiet room for 20 New Yorker cartoons in 45 minutes, for a total of 640 captions. All were instructed to be as funny as they could be.

In other words: They try to establish how funny men and women are on average

And the result is “men are only slightly more funny than women”. Surprise, surprise.

So humour apparently follows the same distribution as almost everything in “Can men do X better than women?” The answer as usual is “On average hardly or not at all, but among the human beings that are best and worst at X you will find a lot more men than women.”

Just as an example: on this list of the all-time 50 best UK comedians there are 3 women. I would argue that perhaps two or three more (Sara Millican, Jo Brand e.g.) would be justified, but hardly more than that.

What kind of “scientist” does not know that?

Misandry doesn’t exist, Episode 431

If you ever wondered how the average non-gender-conscious-or-suffering person notices the effects of feminism, have a look at this.

Obnoxiousness works. If for the Good is an entirely different question.

Who’s responsible for not living in grass huts?

If civilization had been left in female hands we would still be living in grass huts.

Camille Paglia

While there is a lot of truth to this, today’s non sequitur strikes me as true as well.

Nagging. One of civilizations most important inventions and women’s great contribution


Men oppressing women, example 431

Men waiting for their shopping wives.

I suppose most men know that situation.



I wonder: Is there a page somewhere on the nets that shows women waiting like city-sherpas on and for their men?

Women truly are the oppressed sex…