|Don't neuter my tango!|
Here are the The Ten Top Reasons (according to ProMed) to get your pet neutered (fixed/castrated) along with the Tango Therapist’s very sarcastic 10 reasons NOT to neuter the roles of tango.
1. "Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life," according to ProMed.
Tango Therapist (TT): Your compañera or anyone who starts dancing the neutered-gender-avoidant "follower's role” will not live longer because she/he no longer dances the "woman's role" or the "rol feminino."
2. "Neutering provides major health benefits for your male."
TT: Dancing as a termology-neutered "leader" rather than el hombre will not help prevent testicular cancer, as ProMed suggests. Tangueros and male dancers normally have healthy testicels. No reason to cut them off just because of a neutered role term, like "leader" in order to avoid testicular cancer.
3. "Your spayed female won't go into heat," says the Pros.
TT: Being called a "follower" rather than a "woman" or "acompañera" may indeed cool you down somewhat, but probably not too much more than dancing as a "tanguera" or dancing as a "woman," even if you are a man learning her part. A tubal ligation may even heat things up; so ladies, in the tango world, things are much different than in the veterinarian's office.
4. "Your male dog won't want to roam away from home." WebMed adds "An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! . . . And once he's free to roam, he risks injury in traffic [on the dance floor] and fights [or bumps into] other males."
TT: This is true, but there are some trade-offs. Do you really want to dance with eunuchs all night ladies? High-reaching ganchos were designed to keep some men in line. Most tangueros who are still “intact” dance well in traffic and behave themselves generally pretty well.
5. "Your neutered male will be much better behaved."
WebMed suggests, "Unneutered male dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house."
TT: So far, that has not been a problem at milongas. So no reason to get out the tijeras or suggest tubal ligations. No reason to desexualized a dance of seduction either in order to be better behaved. Being "better behaved" is suggested for those who need to take up bowling because they lack the discipline it takes to embrace someone with absolute respect.
6. "Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat."
TT: I generally do not suggest "heroic" medical procedures. In spite of what veterinarians say: If it is not broken, don't try to fix anything or anyone!!! I think Socrates said that, but it may have been Plato. :-)
7. "It is highly cost-effective."
TT: Milongas will cost the same with or without neutered tango or tango dancers. Men, my firm belief is that your shoes will cost more if you get neutered; so it's not a good idea even if you can start singing the tenor parts to tangos your lady loves.
8. "Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community."
TT: This may work with male pets, but you will start losing a lot of men in your community by the second or third incident of neutering. If your partner is the same sex, relish the fact that a man can be a woman in your arms or a woman a man -- not a neutered, sexless individual who happens to dance. Relish that Yin can be Yang and Yang, Yin. Where else can that happen so well as in tango? Why make Yin and Yang, "Yinyang and Yinyang"? This is detrimental to the community.
9. "Your pet doesn't need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth."
TT: Many tangueros and tangueras' children already are having their own litters. Too late on this one.
10. "Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation,"
TT: Some overly aggressive tangueros have tried to neuter other men by inciting women to commit high boleo atrocities. However, using WMD (women of mass destruction) rarely hit the mark and there is no evidence that neutering that would help the overcrowded floors at your milonga anyway.
Seriously now: Neuter your pet, but not my tango. In my role at work, I am surrounded by women colleagues who are therapists. Grown men cry in my office. So at the milonga, let me be a man in the rol masculino and a listener-guide when I dance tango. And if I wish to dance the rol feminino, let me do it as a woman, a "dual-listener," with full respect, listening to the music and my partner's "marca." Don't neuter my tango!
If my partner wants to be the listener-guide, I suggests that she fully embody Yang.* Be a man! Tell me with your body what the music is telling you. I don't want to guess. If my woman is in that role, I don't want her to be a woman or Yin. That is not tango. Tango is a dance between Yin and Yang, a man and woman.
P.S. Yes, I am ready for comments and accusations. But be prepared. I am a strong believer in inclusive language.. I believe "political correctness" is actually two wonderful words put together. I have strong training with some of the most forward think feminist theologians in the world. I advocate for women, and have done so since I was a child, and professionally since 1986. I have been a therapist and activist for LGBT patients. Just be prepared. I am not your regular conservative homophobic male chauvinist. I am also a tanguero.
Photo credit of kitties from the people who neuter.