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July 19, 2007


Dear Brian,

But some few men DON'T "prefer it," and some few women DON'T "prefer it." Are they simply not to be allowed to dance? Are homosexuals not to be allowed to dance with one another either? The world is more complex than the rules seem to allow for.

Robert Paul Howard

Robert, you're right. The world, and partner dancing, definitely is more complex than any rule. Gay and straight men both can enjoy dancing with other men, or follow a woman. See:

I was speaking generally, and from my own experience. Which fits with many others'. For example, see:

i wanted why men lead women why are they the leaders of the world not about dancing.

You are a misogynist douchebag. Men and women are different but not binary and generalizations about personality traits are universally inaccurate. And those generalizations severely damage our view of others and ourselves.

Don't fuck up dancing with your screwed up views.

Sarah...wow..."misogynist douchebag"? Maybe if you'd seen me listening over and over with my young daughter to Marlo Thomas' feminist-friendly "Free to Be You and Me" in the 70's you'd have a different opinion. See:

I'm married to a retired psychotherapist (my dancing partner) who has done a lot of private practice counseling with true misogynist douchebags -- including domestic violence types. I think she'd know if she was married to one, and I haven't gotten any word that this diagnosis fits.

I think you need to consider this whole leading-following thing in dance with a fresh perspective. Re-read what I wrote. Note that our instructor who keeps telling us men to use the dancing "remote control" to lead is a woman. Ditto for the Tango instructor who praised me when I took control of her more assertively.

Pick up the book I mentioned, "The Tao of Tango," which was written by another woman. You'll find that leading and following has nothing to do with misogynism. Like you said yourself, men and women are different. On the dance floor one leads and the other follows.

As I noted, off the dance floor it's different. Relax...dancing is fun. Don't let yourself be led astray by rigid views. Embrace the yin and yang of relationships. And try not to sum people up in simplistic statements like, "You are a..." That never is true.

I'm a man that is new to dancing. Perhaps the most difficult thing for me was to accept my role as the lead. As time went on, I realized that women enjoy dance when I give them a good lead -- and that means I make all the decisions. Now I accept my role and as a consequence learning how to dance is easier and more fun that it ever was before -- and women enjoy dancing with me because I lead them.

Perhaps the problem people have with the lead and follow roles is that they get it confused with dominance and submission.

I say there are no issues in men leading and women following. But no one likes to follow forever or lead forever. This goes for both genders. A woman who likes to lead can find a man who likes to follow and they can be great dance partners, or vice versa. I think the mistake here is designating a role to the dancer based on their gender. Leading and following is a quality both women and men share. If you have women who want to lead or men who want to follow, it's not some fluke. It is their prefrence.

Who are we to tell them no you cant? Or no, that's abnormal and will ruin the structure of things?

The point is with certain dances you need a leader and follower.But Gender should not decide who does which.

I'm a woman and I rather lead any time of the day. And what the hell is the whole thing about the remote control. Even I like controlling be remote control.

What I don't like hearing is that men just want to lead more and women don't. That's a big lie. Even books are biased. So it doesn't matter what book you recommend because I could find another book that asserts the opposite.

Can we just retire this outdated bs of men leading and women following. No one would like to do one all the time. Everyone likes to change and play around. And that really is the real truth.

Here is a woman who doesnt prefer it.. I'm a natural leader. I take charge. Im a good dancer. Why on earth should i be follower? Why not learn to be both?

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