Why Men Don’t Understand Sexism In Partner Dancing


Well-Known Member
Your opposite-sex partner does the same move over and over again until they can make you do it.

When your opposite-sex partner can’t get you to do what they want, they use more force. Often this is uncomfortable.

Some opposite-sex partners grasp your wrists or other body parts to get more control.
I brought up this issue in another thread on this forum a while ago. I have now had a talk with the offender and made it clear that this is not acceptable to me, unfortunately I am finding that old habits die hard.

Great article.


Well-Known Member
I'm not sure on the authors age or experience, but considering her point on group classes being catered more to men, I wholeheartedly disagree. I've never been part of a group class where I felt that way. To be entirely fair though, retention of men in ballroom is important... As we're severely lacking them. I can understand why some studios would push groups like that.

I do really like my hijack moves in swing though, although I'm not sure what most leads think. Most of them are surprised at first, but considering most ask me to dance again I don't think they mind not being in control for a split second.


Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
I do really like my hijack moves in swing though, although I'm not sure what most leads think. Most of them are surprised at first, but considering most ask me to dance again I don't think they mind not being in control for a split second.

in WCS a good female hijack adds tons of flavor to the dance. I danced socially with lady that was an expert at this and a very sexy and stylish dancer. we would get applause from the viewing audience at clubs or studios. And i just had to look cool!!


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When I saw the title I did a double take. My own experience, and things I saw other men experience, led me to think of ballroom as an opportunity for men to be on the receiving end of sexism (and workplace harassment, for that matter) -- dance roles notwithstanding.

To be clear: In most other contexts sexism and harassment seem (to me) mostly to manifest very disproportionately as problems women encounter with men. In ballroom, I saw some pretty clear types of poor behavior -- far more proportionate than anywhere else I've seen personally -- from men towards other men, men towards women, women towards men, and women towards women.

(I saw a lot of good behavior, too!)

It was all surprisingly equal-opportunity from my perspective.
Ha! What a bunch of histrionic baloney.

'Woman are tired of being dance props'. Not this one. When led around the dance floor by my guy I often want to melt.

Yesterday there were about 40 at our tango lesson. Breakdown about 25/15 female. Most women have to poke their male partners with a stick to get them out dancing.


Well-Known Member
Ok, Joe can share with us all his vast experience on being a woman in the dance world and how the article gets it wrong from his clearly experienced viewpoint on how women should feel. Better?

It reminds me of many years ago. I went to my husband's old church, and they had a guest preacher. A 13 year old boy guest preacher. Who preached on how to be a good wife.


Well-Known Member
I really don't want to get into this conversation on DF, but when a minority is bigoted towards a majority, it has a much lesser effect than the other way around.

Also, racism tends to talk about large societal structures...laws, hiring practices, common attitudes, etc...Individuals can, of course, be prejudiced and bigoted.


Well-Known Member
That puts a finger on a useful point in discussions like this one IMHO: It's trouble -- dare I say sexist, even, perhaps? -- when a {woman} claims to speak for all {women}. (Mix-n-match the {}s: woman/man, women/men, 13y.o. boy/wives, etc.)
Agreed. While not all the items in the article applied to me or the environments I have personally been in, a number of the author's points did hit home for me, including the ones I quoted in my previous post. Just because it hasn't happened to you, doesn't mean it hasn't happened to someone else.


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Staff member
sigh...we all come to this debate with our own world of experience...and our opinion is going to be informed by that....no one likes to be defined as a sexist...and we aren't even going into racism here....but there is a point to be made that there are somethings which, however much we might think we empathize, we cannot fully grasp about the experience of being something we are not...whether it be mother, police officer, minority, male...whatever.....

I have danced with men who clearly relish the dominant aspects of being a lead...I have danced with men who are delighted to have a more reciprocal exchange.....I think that it is, rightly or wrongly, rather pointless to expect that in the average public social scenario, the room is going to be full of enlightened folks who have spent hours pondering the dance dynamic and are seeking ways to be more egalitarian about it....there is certainly a venue in which thinking folks can and do explore this....and that is wonderful....but it isn't likely to trickle into the average social setting anytime soon....so, and this isn't the same as saying "get a grip or get out", if a particular female wishes to have that sort of dynamic, she is likely going to haveto be willing to have a discussion about it with a prospective partner


Staff member
Some people seem to think that a woman can't be sexist, nor can a minority be a racist.
Can women be prejudiced against men? Sure. Can minorities be biased? Yup. But sexism/racism (or any other "ism") isn't only about bias! Rather, "isms" are about bias + power. So no, I'm sorry, biased or not women do not have the same power in society as men nor do minorities have the same power as majorities. Ignoring this profound difference is the luxury of being in a socially privileged position.

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