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Outer Life

By "dance," do you mean the practice of standing separate and apart on a dance floor whilst gyrating wildly in a solitary simulation of sex with oneself all the while hoping against hope that someone else looks even more ridiculous than you, thereby diverting attention away from your sorry-ass display of arhythmic spasmodia?

If that is what you meant by "dance," and you're wondering why the men aren't dancing, the answer is simple. They're not drunk yet.

bill

The ineradicable conviction that I don't know what I'm doing and am not graceful in so doing. A hypothetical "I" of course.

turboglacier

Could not have put it better than O.Life.

My question: why are women so very uncomfortable with men who choose not to dance? I have had the experience-- and more than once-- of female strangers hauling me, bodily, onto dance floors at weddings, despite unequivocal protest. They seem unable to tolerate the sight of a man having a relaxing chit-chat at table. They also seem to believe that I will "enjoy once I try it", as if I'd never been through the whole thing before. What's UP with that?

Al Wheeler

Outer Life is a genius.

cmc

I am a woman and I hate dancing unless I am a) at least slightly drunk and b) alone or with people I am extremely comfortable with.

Hondo

Because we don't know how or because we do it poorly.

Listless Lawyer

Because we don't enjoy it.

Tokyo

It’s just a self confidence issue. We think we can’t do it right, or that we look stupid whilst doing it. It’s the same reason some guys don’t ask girls out: these guys are afraid that their inability to expertly express their sexuality will drive women away from them. Better to take a more reserved approach, they feel. More here.

No point.

Poppy McCool

Because I don't like it. Same reason I don't play tennis, run 10Ks and crochet.

But I do like to play softball, take walks with my wife and daughter, and knit.

My question for women who do dance: Why?

______

P.S. I do dance with my 1 year old daughter, because she gigles when we do it and I like that. I will sway to slow songs with my wife, because it makes her happy and I like that.

SombreroFallout

Because young men who are conscious don't feel a part of a social group. In the genuinely belonging not thinking about it anymore sense. Not necessarily alienated; among, but isolated.

AlSo because demands that the male-undancer Dance! turns that person into an object of attention. But it doesn't say, Hi, howarya, Whatcha doin'?

It doesn't express interest in that person as a person. It opens up some men to mockery based on awkwardness and physical characteristics -- hardly defensible on feminist terms.

This has nothing, necessarily, to do with shyness, uncoordinated adolescence, lack of spontaneity, or repressed sexuality. An across-the-board thing.

Because young men are not pack animals, nor are they flock animals. A loner, or rather, all men, who feel alone, may be looking for a conversation, a friend; anything to take his mind off current events and endemic self-concsiousness; or just open to for fleeting companionship, any signal that they're a part of the social whole, and belong.

Because a great conversation with no particular point or purpose beats meeting the demands of self-centered dance partners. Who are perfectly willing to overlook you save for the purpose of anonymous dancefloor partnering substituted for anonymous-or-otherwise meaningful interactions, whether of a sexual, emotional, or merely interpersonal nature.

Because they may know how, but don't know that they know how, and don't know whether or not they look as funky and wow as everyone else, because they can't get no perspective. Because they feeel exactly the way Elaine Benis loooks when she dances.

Because they are in touch with their emotions and their physicality, equally as much as any woman and/or feminist who privileged those human characteristics, and denied that they existed in the men they knew and loved. If not more so.

Because not dancing is not a sign of a lack, a hole, a silence, a NonPlayfulness, or a barrenness. Most particularly, not dancing is a distinct refusal to support or affirm the radically unfeminist that not dancing is or looks like a lack of generative life force.

Not Dancing is not reducible to a stereotypical male behavior, but is instead a subversive feminist act.

And -- You know what Leo Sayer said:

"You know, I can dance! You know I CAN dance! I CAN DANCE!!! I Really CAnnn GOOO!!!!!" [So, stow the assumptions.]

So isn't the real question, What are the reasons these men dance with You?

Ralph

Question for women who complain about men:

Why don't you clean up your own act?

W. Kiernan

Don't know how. Too embarrassed by my ineptitude to try to wing it.

And, you know, no woman ever loved me enough to teach me how. Which wouldn't really have been all that much, but I never even got that. And I'm old now.

Life sucks.

pjm

Afraid we'll step on your toes. Afraid you'll laugh at us. Afraid we won't step on your toes and afraid you won't laugh with us.

I don't, usually, dance. But I can understand why one would enjoy it - I have, in fact, on rare occasions in the past - and I've done other things which gave me a feeling I identified with dancing.

But dancing is not *just* a physical event, but a social one, and some of us have collected much data about how inelegantly we can handle social events.

idiotmanchild

Because I dance like Al Gore with blunt head trauma (basically a repeat of Hondo's point above...just wanted to elaborate a little.)

mj

Because we are not comfortable with it, period. You have to go out in front of everybody and act like you enjoy something you feel like an idiot doing. You have to get loose at an all time high point of tension.

Thus, grab a beer and get in the mood :)

women learn to dance more easily, because they only need to follow. Men have to learn to lead, so it takes twice as long, but an impatient partner will make him feel inept because he doesnt get it as fast. He will quit trying

Nelson

Why do women talk, worry, and bug us so damned much about NOTHING, and why don't they appreciate us more BEFORE we die, or get an incureable or debilitating illness? If men don't want to dance, let 'em. We let you dance if you want to, so let us don't if we don't want to. It's easier on the nerves if we don't. We mean no disrespect if we don't dance, so what's the big deal anyhow? I just DON'T like to dance - it makes me too nervous; I prefer getting nervous doing some of the things I like.
Anyhow, we still love you, despite your wanting us to look stupid and act like an idiot, and if you love us, why do you insist on doing so?

Vil

the modern disco dancing is an excape from problems of a world we don't understand.

Jame

I guess its because im shy and it gets boring after a while anyway. Id rather jump out of a plane with a parachute than dance in a club or bar.

And I dont know how to dance and dont care for lessons. Its not for everyone I guess.

neil

Implicit within the question is the notion that everyone "should" dance, especially in public, as part of a social celebration. I don't buy that—you should dance because YOU want to, not because others tell you to dance.

Often, those asking "why won't you dance" employ an element of bullying, saying that "everyone must dance." (Yeah, you can tell that my comments are based on a lot of annoying personal experiences).

Personally, I don't dance because I dislike it. Additionally, I won't give in to bullying—pressure of that sort really annoys me.

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