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Dawn's picture

A Comment on Scottish Dance

I know this is completely off topic, but I have to comment on a gender related issue in the Scottish dance class I had tonight. Amanda, you could probably add some insight, too. According to tradition, in a set of couples, the men are always on the left side facing the music and the women are on the right. To this day, we continue to call the left the "man's" side and the right the "woman's" side. Now, in a Bi-Co class there are only two men (one being the instructor), so clearly both sides of the dance are mostly filled with women. However, the woman on the left will be referred to throughout the dance as a man. We had some interesting moments when the instructor, while trying to teach the dance put people in the wrong place, because he had forgotten who the "man" was. That's extremely easy to do, because unless you remember which ne started from, it's impossible to distinguish between two women who the "man" is. I've always noticed this, but now since we've been discussing gender categories it irks me a bit. Should the directions still have gender?

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