Reply – Re: sexism in tango... is tango really sexist?
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Re: sexism in tango... is tango really sexist?
— by Willmo Willmo
1. Not having been around when Tango was invented, the most common sense thing about the role is that the "leader' is walking forward and can see the ronda better. The metropolitan community's dominant culture will tend to express itself in its subcultures. There are communities where the gender of the dance role isn't a factor.
2. The statement that only the lead ever chooses suggests insufficient understanding of how dancers in a milonga match up. I want to dance with you, but you don't want to dance with me. You want to dance with me, but I don't want to dance with you. In either of these, if there is no compromise ("at least I got to dance"), we won't dance together. However, if we want to dance with each other, we probably will - because will make it a point to. The points that younger, better looking, better dressed, nicer shoes, etc. are the motives behind people not dancing with each other are purely personal opinions and identify typical novice or beginner behavior (regardless of the figures they throw down onto the floor).
Here's another consideration. Do a head count. Get to know your milongas. Pick them the way you want to pick partners. If we go to a milonga scheduled for 4 hrs and it draws 100 gender-balanced dancers, then consider this: there will be 24 tandas (10 min each), 16 of which will be tango, 4 vals and 4 milonga. If we dance every tanda with a different dancer we will only dance with half of the dancers available. If we sit out any tandas, the balance isn't there, the music doesn't match, people aren't there for the full time or 100 other things happens, we will dance either less in number or less in satisfaction, or both.
My point is that the dynamic of the particular milonga culture is much more influential than the social mores we think.