Monday, April 19, 2010

Formation in Noble, Dignified Relationships Between the Sexes: The Power of Example

In my previous post, I embedded a video clip of a couple dancing the Tango in Buenos Aires. I praised this clip because it manifests a pleasing compatibility between the music and the dance.

Here is the clip again.

In watching this particular couple dance in this video, I realize that I love this clip for another reason: it is a wonderful example of the civilizing and freeing virtue of chastity (i.e. that virtue which makes possible a noble, healthy, dignified relationship between men and women, enabling them to be passionate with each other without demeaning their value as whole, integral, unique persons who ought never be used but should always be authentically loved).

As I was looking for video clips of ballroom dancers, I noticed that the apparel worn by professional women dancers frequently makes the woman into a sex object. Their attire is often hyper-sexualized and emphasizes the woman's sexual attractiveness in an overly aggressive way as though the most important thing about the female dancer were her sexual desirability and everything else were of little significance.

Please don't get me wrong. I am not a prude, and I am not against female dancers appearing attractive and beautiful! But there is a difference between respecting the dignity of a woman as a whole person and lowering her to the level of a mere sex object to be gawked at. The latter demeans the woman and encourages men to look upon her as something less than a whole person to be respected and loved as a whole person--soul, mind, heart, body--reducing her to a body only.

As I watched this clip from Argentina, it struck me how this couple's dancing shows that it is possible to do the Tango in a way that is sensual and romantic, without becoming hyper-sexualized. The way they dance manifests a beautiful and subtle sensuality, revealing through their movement a little something of the enchanting spark that lives in the mystery of the attraction between the sexes. But, their dance does not reduce this mystery to mere animal attraction. They remain fully human; noble and dignified, even as they are passionate. I love this about the way they dance.

Wouldn't it be an awesome thing if boys, from a young age, were to consistently see the men around them treat the women in their lives this way? What if this were the normal example? If a boy were to see his father, uncles, older brothers, etc., act always with this sort of class and dignity around women, he would be given the gift of a powerful formation in the beautiful freedom of chastity even before any words were spoken. Then he, too, might one day dance a Tango as beautiful as this.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for civil and well-considered comments!