Sarah, Allison and the new rules.

A storm as happenned over the swing community in eastern North America, two courageous women spoke about their experience with a swing legend, we are talking about Sarah Sullivan and Allison Cortner, two stories of young teenager and their relation with a swing legend named Steven Mitchell.

Steven Mitchell conduct is unacceptable, morally reprehensible, and probably illegal. But the most important message of these two victims has been distorted.

Steven Mitchell was a legend, and held moral authority over those two women, a power who was given by the adulation of the community. It is this power who sheds a protection over that man, who created the fear of speaking for those two women. And one thing you can be sure of  (because I saw it with my own eyes) is that other people with the same power conferred by the adulation of a community has committed a trust violation and power abuse against both men and women of the community.

The problem is the silence, but if we are to believe the elite, the problem is now a male problem, with flirtation. They are beginning to put in place redundant rules, rules that are for the most part superfluous, the only difference is that they target very specifically a certain male stereotype. That stereotype puts forward cast a dark veil around every newcomer of the masculine persuasion.

What is that rule, let’s take an excerpt of the blog by the blogger Rikomatic.

Regular venues have codes of conduct too. Here’s one from Mobtown Ballroom in Baltimore that is pretty awesome. It includes guidance on romantic / sexual advances at their dance:

<< Don’t treat the ballroom like a pick-up joint. Our patrons do not represent a large pool of people for you to hit on. If you engage in this kind of behavior and make our patrons uncomfortable, we will take extreme pleasure in escorting you to the door. >>

I went to read the Mobtown Ballroom rules of conduct, this rule is the third one, but it is totally covered by the first rule, the anti-harassment rule. But this one refers to a very specific male stereotype, the seducer.

And pay specific attention to the phrasing who is of a strange nature ” We will take EXTREME PLEASURE in escorting you to the door ” (emphasis mine), what those that mean? We can only speculate what extreme pleasure means.

But one thing for sure, it is sexist in nature, target men in general, and doesn’t protect people like Sarah and Allison, who from their own account were pleased at first to meet that “great” man.

One thing that it does, is that it creates a double standard, if they were never any couple that have formed on the dance floor of those events, if no happy story or wedding has ever resulted from such an event, if it were totally forbidden for men and women from the same community to become couple during those events, I would agree. But in this case, some people are encouraged to flirt in those events and others are shamed for doing it. What are the specific rules, popularity maybe?

But since the elite ( The dancers who enjoy the adulation. ) can tell you, numbers of love story that themselves and others have lived take their root in those events, are we creating an impossible solution were for some it is acceptable, because they are of suffisant status and other are denied because they are deemed not worthy?

Last but not the least, by implementing those policies, are we saying that women in general aren’t mature or smart enough to decide by themselves if they want to be courted or not by that or this men? Are we treating all women has potential victim, powerless to protect themselves? Are we removing the right to hold agency, responsibility for their own actions? Is this a big gender studies agenda recuperation?

Ask yourself these questions,  the only position that you can defend are worth the time to defend it.


4 thoughts on “Sarah, Allison and the new rules.

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