Mudcat Café message #2535224 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #117529   Message #2535224
Posted By: Marje
08-Jan-09 - 12:36 PM
Thread Name: Morris joins the Dodo?
Subject: RE: Morris joins the Dodo?
Tha all-maleness of Ring sides has got to be a factor in its decline. If this were not the case, the mixed and female sides would be declining at a similar rate, and all the signs are that they're not. It is apparent that many younger men who want to take up morris prefer to join a mixed side. Young women don't have the same hang-ups about dancing as many English males do, and are happy to join either all-female or mixed sides. It's the all-male (mainly Ring) sides that are suffering most.

I'll get jumped on for saying this, but it's also highly likely that the many of the sides that include women are better run, as women tend to be better at the networking and organisation than men are. This will give them a selective advantage when it comes to getting stands, bookings etc, so they'll continue to attract more members.

As for the comparison with sports - well, team sports like football and rugby are now played by women in their own leagues. Like most sports, they're generally not played mixed, presumably on grounds of fairness and decency. But although many sports are segregated, some allow women and men to mix when it's appropriate and beneficial - women act as coxes to rowing teams, for instance. And in some sports such as tennis there are mixed and single-sex events. In informal and friendly games, there are now few barriers, and you can see mixed teams in all sorts of sports. Even that last bastion of maleness, darts, is now being played by women professionally.

In other words, sport has moved on, as has morris, but while Ring sides continue to cling to the ideas (both erroneous) that (1) women never used to dance morris and (2) this means they never should, they'll soon find themselves with only the Catholic church to support their arguments.