Did you ever feel like you are witnessing life rather than living it? Like you are on the outside looking in, just watching and not participating.
Boy how I wish my brain was wired differently. It seems that the people who are most successful, most happy are those who are naturally outgoing and talkative. Lord, why must I clam up when I am with talkative people? I can contribute too doggonit. I know things. I have opinions. I'm pretty smart. I'm a philosopher by nature. Why must my thoughts and opinions disappear from my mind while I watch others have a conversation? Can't I participate too?
Do all philosophers suffer so? No. I doubt that. Many like to talk. I like others to listen. Maybe that's why I have this blog. I can write whatever I can't say. But is anyone listening?
I don't want to sound so arrogant, but what good is it to know so much if you can't share your wisdom.
Like take salsa. I have spent the last 5 years of my life studying it. Learning its intricacies, examining how it relates to life. Learning about people and relationships through the dance.
My understanding of women has flipped on its head since I took up partner dancing. I used to think that all women want to be in charge. I was ready to submit to a girl. I wanted to be whipped and to be wrapped around a beautiful girl's finger. I was hypnotized by the media into thinking that this was the way things are and should be. I actually wondered if the women I danced with felt oppressed because a man was telling them what to do. I thought I was enlightened. In fact, I was proud of it. I still think I'm enlightened. I don't tell any woman to do anything. But I recognize that many women want a take charge man. And that is what salsa taught me.
I don't just "believe" in equality. I celebrate it. I teach it. Other teachers tell the girls, "You are in charge off the dance floor, but on the dance floor the guy is in charge." Ridiculous and completely outdated. And really, it wasn't even accurate 100 years ago when Men ruled the world, and it sure wasn't accurate 20 or 30 years ago when Women started to put their feet down. Dance partners, like life partners, are truly equal. We have different roles, but we are completely equal. One is a diamond worth a million bucks, and the other is a lump of gold worth a million bucks. They are both different, but equal in value. No one is the boss. It's just that someone has to make the decisions, and only one person can make those decisions on the dance floor. But the person who does make the decisions had better make those decisions for the benefit of the person who does not get to make the decisions.
I think that a lot of women would just rather not bother with leadership. It's just too much hassle. As long as their interest is taken care of, and they have a say, an input. As long as they are not ignored and the task gets done, they are willing to let someone else take the reigns.
This is why beginning followers back lead. They believe that someone has to lead, and the guy's sure not going to do it. Then the guys prove that they aren't going to lead, so they take charge, as they do in life. Because if they are with a guy in life and he doesn't take charge, she takes charge. Maybe she would like for him to take charge, but he is untrustworthy, so she just feels better off if she takes over.
But what if he was trustworthy? What if he could be counted on not to screw things up? What if she knew that his first priority was her and that in the end, the important things got done. Would she be willing to sit back, relax, and let him do his thing?
When these followers don't give the guy a chance to lead, they don't realize the beginning leaders never got the chance to lead because the women were so used to leading in life that they naturally took it up in dance. I don't think this is natural though. I think the men in the class are so used to living under the thumb of the modern woman that they look for permission to take the lead. You can actually see the sheepishness in the faces of the beginning guys. They seem so doubtful. They don't realize that they are meant to lead. Even in life, if they took charge and let their Woman know that they could take care of her, if they really convinced her of that fact, then the Women would follow.
I am all for the goals behind the feminist movement: Sufferage. Equal rights. Equal pay. Equal treatment. But sometimes I think it went too far. Men and Women aren't equal as they should be. Women are in charge. They take care of themselves and they expect their men to take care of them too. Not all women of course. But many Women do. What does that make the Men? Slaves. Really, if the Men don't get to lead, are told what to do, and the Women are supposed to be treated like Princesses or Queens, what is in it for the Men? Sex? Sure, but only on her terms and only when she wants it. That makes him a man-whore, not an equal partner in life.
Men are totally emasculated today. They are wimps. They should all learn to dance. And teachers that tell women that they are in charge off of the dance floor need to shut up. Tell men that they should try to take ownership and lead wherever they are able, even off the dance floor.
I honestly believe that whoever is most capable should lead. If I had a wife who was a good planner and highly organized, maybe she would be better than me at packing for the camping trip. Maybe my knowledge and skills in the outdoors would just be advisory. Or it could be the other way around. Maybe I would be better with the kids, so I might take on the role of the nurturer. Whatever. The point is that whoever is better at the task should take charge. But men are so used to following these days that they let the woman take over everything, even over things that he is expert in, and especially in things that are given to him by "right" or by "tradition" as in dancing, or even in proposing marriage!
But what do I know? I can't even talk to talkative people.