Not that the world at large was waiting for me to weigh in on this, but:
I completely endorse Jen's point that "political correctness" is usually
used as code for resenting having to treat people with respect.
I completely endorse Louise's point that the past where everyone could
dance for the pure joy of it is mythical and there has to be change to
move forward to that place. [The operative word being "everyone"; the
generally-positive experience that cis-het white guys like me had was
different from "everyone".]
As a caller I've called gents/ladies, bands/bares, larks/ravens, first
diagonals/second diagonals (that's for Heather & Rose style gender-free
I'm still going to nitpick some of Ron's rather-too-broad statements.
On 3/28/18 9:47 AM, Ron Blechner via Callers wrote:
I think your understanding of there being "no to little movement" is
In New England, New York, Seattle, and the Bay Area, many callers have
been examining terminology and changing. Several dance series have
gone genderfree without being specifically chartered as LGBTQ dances.
Not coincidentally, these dances are thriving amidst a decline of
attendance of contra in general.
Contra dancing in the Bay Area is thriving in general, though some
series struggle. I can think of multiple gents/ladies series that do
okay, and I know at least one larks/ravens series that is struggling. I
don't think it's the determining factor in success.
Many dances are also taking up safety policies before
and after the
#metoo movement, despite plenty of resistance for years of some people
insisting that contra is a happy place where there's no harassment.
I am glad to have missed those arguments, but I have missed them. Were
there really contradance people arguing that it would hurt to have a
safety policy? (BACDS had a code of conduct for many years, and then
went full bore into safety policy, but most of the discussion about that
was about how to keep track of reports from multiple dance series to
identify serial harassers without violating privacy, etc - that is,
logistics. Honestly don't recall anybody objecting to doing it.)
So yes, you're correct that these discussions have
been happening for
years, true, but they have also been producing tangible change in many
I might also like to disagree with your implication that everyone is
responsible for "arguing about it". We callers who have swapped terms
for g*pay, for example, have long since moved on.
Well, you (Ron) may have. The callers who frequently lead BACDS English
and Contra dances have been having an email discussion trying to
standardize on a replacement term, since there is dancer pushback
against having to deal with multiple terms for the same figure.
(There's certainly also some dancer pushback against dropping a term
they know, like, and don't perceive as derogatory, but they're going to
have to get over it.) Anyway, we got about 40 group emails in and are
stalled on trying to get a term that everybody can support, so right now
everybody's still using what they individually prefer. I'm a "right
shoulder round" person myself, but kinda like "gyre". I don't think I
can call this "have long since moved on".