Sometimes You Lead, Sometimes You Follow.

Life’s a dance you learn as you go.
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
John Micheal Montgomery
Every once in a while I get a request, a question, that leads to a rather interesting discussion. A fellow writer and activist is going to participate on a fundraiser and she asked me what attire would be appropriate for her companion. A simple enough question till she mentioned something of importance, the fact that SHE was one of the fundraisers and he was simply her escort. Jokingly, I mentioned that this turned him into an accessory to her. Truthfully? I wasn’t joking.

Before you get offended, consider some of the social stereotypes of gender roles for couples and how the world’s work environment is shifting. In the old day, it was common for a professional man to handle business while the woman would handle the social pleasantries. It was common for the wife to be a hostess to her husband’s dinner guests or for her to accompany him to social events, mainly to be charming. Successful business couples worked as a team where the wife would provide a socially comfortable environment to make it easier for her husband to work clients over.

With the meteoric rise of the Modern Women and couples where both work, business is no longer an exclusive “Boys’ Club.” Also, as a society we have moved past the “Work yourself to death” mentality, so social events are no longer the eminent domain of the “Wives’ Club.” Ironically this places a Gentleman and a Modern Woman in the best position possible as a couple for today’s society.

A well versed Gentleman should be charming enough to handle the social environment with the best sharks out there. So when it’s the Lady who has to handle the business side of the social situation, the Gentleman should just as easily step aside, from next to her to behind her. Think of yourself as a dancer at this time. Your role is to set up a frame and a support for your partner to shine.

So, are you now her accessory? Yes, but in the best way possible.

(Special thanks to Paula Duarte for the amazing picture for the article. See more of her work in Paula Duarte Tango.)