[Callers] Gender free dances

Lindsay Morris lindsay at tsmworks.com
Sun Dec 5 12:43:10 PST 2010


I can't find Ivan Illich's quote (help, anyone?) but he said something like:

It's very good for industry to have men and women be "equal". ie,
interchangeable cogs in the machine.  But this destroys the cultural delight
of differing roles and gender celebration.

--------------------
Lindsay Morris
CEO, TSMworks
Tel. 1-859-539-9900
lindsay at tsmworks.com


On Sun, Dec 5, 2010 at 2:08 PM, Lewis Land <lewisland at windstream.net> wrote:

> I feel compelled to comment on this very fascinating discussion about
> calling gender-free dances, especially now that the subject of eliminating
> "dominant/submissive" moves like the courtesy turn has come up. I have a gay
> son, and one of my students once described me as the most
> politically-correct person he'd ever met, but come on, people. One of the
> things that adds zest to contra dancing, and in my opinion to life in
> general, is the interplay of men's and women's roles... as one of the
> earlier correspondents put it, "when do they match and support each other?
> When do they work in opposition, it's what makes dances so unexpectedly
> yummy. We have to acknowledge and embrace those issues, because if we get
> too neutral we'll lose the story lines that make some of our best dances
> come to life". I couldn't agree more. I am not sure what new language could
> be developed to replace "ladies" and "gents". Some of the suggestions seem
> valid. But when the discussion turns to eliminating some of the most
> pleasurable aspects of contra dancing simply to make the event more
> gender-neutral, I cannot help but think we're becoming absurdly politically
> correct.  -Lewis Land
>
>
> As one who's life has been a little gender-role-freeish, I feel politically
> >entitled to come out and say I DON't like the band/bare thing, just
> because
> >the verbiage is less than euphonious to my ears. That said, I don't have
> any
> >better ideas .... yet. But I'm thinking, I'm thinking.
> >
> >In many dances the roles of the "gent" and "lady" are NOT the same -- one
> is
> >a little  more active, one is more reactive.
> >In any given pair of people, one PERson is often more active than the
> other.
> >It's the interplay of these two things (when do they match, support each
> >other? When do they work in opposition?) that make dances so unexpectedly
> >yummy.
> >There must be a way to acknowledge and embrace this -- if we get too
> neutral
> >we'll lose the story lines that make some of our best dances come to life.
> >
>
> On 12/4/2010 10:08 PM, Jim McKinney wrote:
>
>> There's my inexperience showing.  Beckett formation never even crossed my
>> mind.
>>
>> Something I have been thinking about in regard to this gender free
>> discussion is ladies chain with a courtesy turn.  Having Evens/Ns/Bares
>> chain removes gender from the language but the act of courtesy turn still
>> seems very dominant/submissive to me.  My wife and I tried walking through a
>> couple options: a skater's/promenade hand-hold in front or a no hand-hold,
>> kind of gypsy to maintain the interaction and still get turned around the
>> right way.  The thing we decided we liked best was evens chain across to an
>> allemande left.  That seemed to keep the roles more neutral no matter which
>> part was danced by a man or woman and still get everyone into the right
>> places.
>>
>> I love ladies chain with a courtesy turn and as a dancer would hate to
>> give that up but as a caller I think I need to be prepared for the occasion
>> when neutral is better.
>> Jim
>>
>>
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