The Lady Who
Wanted To Lead
Original Story: February 1999
Updated version: June 2008
Story written by Rick Archer
Back in the heyday of the Nineties
Swing Era, one
afternoon we had a bizarre run-in with a
female dance student.
was an attractive, well-educated
woman around 25 years old.
I believe she was a
graduate student in a prestigious program
in the Texas Medical Center.
As you can see from the pictures, Ms. P
does not exactly look
like an angry protester. They say
looks can be deceiving, but Joye certainly didn't fit the profile of
an unhappy customer. Joye was a superior dancer with many
friends at the studio. She was pleasant towards me in the few
times we spoke. Plus she had a great smile.
Nevertheless, in February 1999, Joye
threw the biggest tantrum ever witnessed from a
dance student in our studio's thirty year
And what was the fuss about?
HERE IS THE STORY
On a Sunday afternoon in February 1999, Joye signed
up for a Beginning Swing class. The Registrar said
nothing, but later recalled being curious at the time.
Joye was already a very experienced Swing dancer who was in
the process of trying out for the studio's Swing Team.
So what reason did Joye have to sign up for a Beginning
Starting the class, the instructor said, "Boys
on one side, Girls on the other."
Ms. P walked over to the boy's side.
The instructor noticed the move. Although Joye's
action raised her
eyebrow, it wasn't that big of a deal.
It is not unusual for
someone to practice the opposite sex footwork
The teacher assumed Joye was practicing
the boy's footwork so she could teach her boyfriend later
on. Who cares? It doesn't hurt anybody.
After the instructor finished demonstrating the the
footwork to both sides of the class, it was time to practice
the move together. So the instructor told
everyone to go get a partner.
At this point Joye crossed the room
directly to an older woman who was standing alone.
hand and put her other arm
around the startled lady's back.
Before the woman could even say a thing, she and Joye were
locked together in Closed Swing Position
(see picture). The woman looked
helplessly to the instructor for some sort of explanation.
The look on the woman's face told the story - she was
clearly uncomfortable with the situation.
Joye was a complete stranger to the woman.
The woman had no idea what was going on. She was already
nervous because this was her first visit to the studio. In her mind, some
strange girl had just taken her in her arms and made a dance partner
out of her! What was going on? What kind of studio was
The instructor could not help but notice. She
had to choose between looking the other way or handling
this awkward situation head on. Thank goodness the instructor decided
to tackle the problem directly (later the
instructor told me the worried look
on the woman's face made it clear she had
no choice but to intervene).
The instructor asked Ms. P what the story was.
A hush came over the room. Twenty students who were completely new to the studio stood
still as they tried to understand what on earth was going on
said that she had paid her money and wished to dance as a "Lead",
a term sometimes used in lieu of "The Boy's Part". Ironically, it turned out
Joye had paid the lower woman's "Follow" rate
since it was economically expedient to do so, but why split
At this point, the instructor explained that
our policy prohibited students to
dance with other students of the same sex.
This policy included dance class as well
as Parties and Practice
Night. At SSQQ, boys were expected to dance
Joye rebutted that she had seen the female instructor
dancing with female students on many occasions.
The instructor said that Joye was correct, but there was a good
reason. Continuing on, the
explained that we did allow instructors to dance with same sex
students, but only as part of their official teaching duties.
That privilege did not extend to students.
The instructor repeated that students were
specifically prohibited from dancing with
students of the same sex in class and at Practice Night.
Ms. P immediately launched into a speech about how she was being
sexually discriminated against. She
said we were violating her right to learn the dance role of her
choice. The instructor was stunned at the
vehemence of this argument. This was unheard of.
The instructor wasn't the only person caught
off guard. The entire group of newcomers watched this impromptu theater
in horror. New students are typically
nervous to begin with, but this was far worse than even their most
catastrophic fears had ever conjured up. Is this a Gay Dance
Studio? Where is the Exit Door?
There in the center of the room two women were locked in a heated
debate about the student's right to dance with other women.
Let me assure you that every female student in the room watched
intently. They were worried which way this debate was headed.
The thought of dancing with this angry young woman was a little scary.
Plus the instructor looked very shaken.
The success of the class depended on a quick bond developing between
the instructor and the students. That was not definitely not
going to happen today. Furthermore, the clock was ticking. As the instructor and
Joye went back and forth, ten minutes of valuable
class time had gone
straight down the drain.
Even worse, this argument was going nowhere fast. Joye was not
budging an inch.
Finally the instructor threw up her hands and went to fetch Judy Archer,
her immediate superior.
Judy was teaching an advanced Swing class
in another room. This meant that now Judy's
Swing class was disrupted
Joye had succeeded in disrupting not one,
Now Judy and Joye went back and forth. Judy had a previous
relationship with Joye because Joye was trying out for Judy's Swing
Team. Unfortunately their previous rapport seemed useless as
Joye continued to insist on her right to dance "lead". Did I mention that there were heated words and ugly things said
by Joye? She was convinced we were
violating her civil rights!
Seeing that Judy wasn't
having much luck either, the instructor joined back into the
argument. Now Judy and the instructor worked together to
double-team Joye. Back and forth, back and forth for yet another ten
Finally Ms. P finally backed down and left the studio,
refund in hand. Ms. P had created quite an
unpleasant scene, but for what purpose?
What was so important that she
was fighting for?
Her civil rights?
Joye had accomplished absolutely nothing
with her argument except make a lot of people miserable.
During the twenty total minutes of arguing, two
couples in Ms. P's class had asked for a refund and exited.
P's confrontation had not only depressed everyone in the
building, it also cost us a couple hundred dollars
in cash as well.
Sad to say, after all that haggling, the
Beginner class Ms. P had signed up for was in tatters. The
were so distracted they never learned a thing that day. Several people
never came back for their second class the following week. After the first impression they
had received, who could blame them?
What were Ms. P's motives behind creating such a scene?
That night, Judy
sat down and told me the entire story.
There were all kinds of unanswered questions here.
1. Why did Joye want to dance lead in the first place?
2. Having taken classes for six months or more, she knew what
our rules were. Why didn't she ask permission?
3. Why did she show no concern for the feelings of the woman
in dance class?
4. Why was it so important that she continued to argue till
she was blue in the face?
I have never once figured out a reasonable
answer to any of these questions. And
please believe me when I say I gave it some serious thought.
I will say this - I
seriously doubt her reasons were sexual.
One theory was
that Joye was hoping to become a teacher. I doubt this theory.
The correct strategy is to come to Judy or come to me and ask to be
a teacher. Let me add her
stubborn defiance cost her any chance that we would ever trust
her enough to ask her to work for us.
Let me present a picture of the Swinging Skirts and Mugz.
These were the members of
our studio's performing Swing Team.
Joye was the roommate of Yvonne E,
the tall woman who is standing fourth from the
Yvonne was a key dancer on the Swing
team and a team leader as well.
I have long believed that Ms. E was
somehow involved in this story, but have no facts to support
Encouraged by her roommate Yvonne, Joye
had been trying unsuccessfully to crack the starting lineup of this
dance team for some time. At
the time of the Same Sex incident, Joye was an alternate on the
team. She practiced with them, but didn't get to perform.
Perhaps Joye's fervor to improve as a dancer
and join her roommate Yvonne on the team was the original reason for her
fateful decision, but
this explanation is very unsatisfying.
First of all, Joye would certainly never make the dance team as a
Furthermore it is doubtful that learning the boy's part would improve her skills
as a "Follow" either. Second, this explanation
doesn't explain why Ms. P got so angry
when we refused to cooperate with her demands.
What I do remember was that back in those days, Joye's roommate Ms.
E was in the middle of every controversy. The most bitter
incident involving the Swing Team had to be the
Ball Fiasco of 1998. Since Yvonne had membership on
the Swing Team and over at the Houston Swing Dance Society, she was
deeply involved in the disastrous politics of that ill-fated event.
More poignant, Yvonne was instrumental in leading a
dancer revolt that put an end to Judy Archer's beloved Lindy Dance Team.
About four months after Joye's "Same Sex
Incident", Yvonne was at the core of the
The performers were
feeling overworked about the same time as Judy Archer was preparing
to commit to a new series of high-profile performances. Thanks
to the excellence of the dance team, offers to perform were rolling
in. Judy was preparing to take the dance team to an entire new
level. Unfortunately, Judy was getting more ambitious at a time when
(unbeknownst to her) some of the
team wanted to take time off.
One night several members of the dance team met at Star Pizza to
blow off steam. They decided to let Judy know they were tired
and wanted to ease up for a while. Unfortunately, the
following day the disgruntled
dancers presented their frustrations in such an incredibly hostile
and public way that Judy was humiliated. She was unwilling to
continue as their coach. Coldly walking away from this
disastrous Team Meeting, Judy disbanded
the team on the spot. That was the end of that. It was a
very ugly incident.
Whether Yvonne's Pizza Rebellion and Joye's Same Sex Incident are
linked, I will never know. But the coincidence is
unmistakable. Three of the most alarming stories in studio
history involved these two roommates. The Harvest Moon Ball, Joye's Same Sex story,
and finally the Pizza Rebellion occurred just six months apart.
As for the Pizza Rebellion, a case could be made that
Yvonne was still angry at Judy for roommate Joye's treatment in the
Same Sex story. The only thing I know for sure was that Judy
didn't trust Yvonne. Were residual hard feelings involved in
the revolt? I do not know. This is all speculation.
I can only say that where there is smoke, there is often fire as
Or the explanation doesn't have to be that dark. There might
be a simpler, more benign explanation.
One thought that might clear up some of the mystery was the fact that Yvonne
had attended several Swing Camps in her quest to become a serious
dancer. There were always more women at these camps than men.
Consequently it was very common for the best women
dancers to dance "Lead" in order to balance classes. For
example, Judy Archer always danced lead at her Frankie Manning Swing
Maybe Joye was getting ready to go to a Swing Camp.
It seems quite possible that Joye
somehow assumed that if her roommate Yvonne had danced "Lead" at
the Swing Camps, why shouldn't she be allowed to dance
"Lead" at SSQQ?
But surely Joye knew from the previous SSQQ classes she had taken that we expected
boys to dance with girls. That is the way it had been for
Joye was hardly a social barbarian.
There are times in life when it is better to ask politely
than to demand. Why she didn't take a softer
approach is a mystery I would love to have the answer to.
All she had to do was come to me first and tell me what she
wanted to accomplish. I am sure I would have tried to
help. Make her an assistant, for example.
But I will never know why she got so angry.
That part of the story makes no sense. Joye had been
so pleasant up to this point. Why would she go
ballistic over something like this?
Furthermore, why would Joye be so willing to impose her will
on an unsuspecting woman twice her age without at least the
common courtesy of an explanation? Surely Joye
had to see how uncomfortable the woman was.
I realize the impartial reader will say, "Surely
you know the real reason to explain this behavior?"
told you all that I know. And you have read my speculation.
Although I was not directly involved with the
argument, in preparation this article back in 1999, I did
carefully review the events with the Instructor and with Judy
Archer. My only direct involvement
with this story was a letter I wrote in
response to Ms. P's written complaint (which I will
share in a moment).
I did not know Ms. P personally,
but I had a very positive impression of her until this crazy event
occurred. I never did really
understand why an issue that seemed on the surface to be so
unimportant had to escalate into such an ugly incident.
when I say "ugly", in my opinion, that is absolutely the correct
Whatever was driving this woman towards her
public argument I do not know, but there is no doubt
this incident shook Judy up tremendously.
She was in
deep shock from this intense face-to-face confrontation for the remainder
of the afternoon and days afterwards as well.
SENDS US A LETTER
Rick Archer's Note: Several days after the incident,
Judy and I received this letter.
February 14, 1999
I apologize for forcing you to take a "just because…" stance
regarding your prohibiting females from taking dance classes as
"lead". There are a few more thoughts I want to express.
You said that the studio loses business because women are unhappy
when they have to partner with another woman. Because no one pointed
specifically to dancing with a woman-lead as their reason for not
returning to SSQQ is not a reasonable assumption.
During the course of taking a group lesson, someone may have to be
led by a poor dancer, a rough dancer, an old person, or an ugly
person, or someone who smells; however this is not sufficient cause
to prevent them from leading so why should one's gender be?
I have been a very regular customer at your studio. I have taken
Acrobatics, Mambo, Lindy, I have participated in the Swing
Extravaganza and many regular parties.
I have been a faithful
supporter financially and feel that my request should be considered
My partner and I go out dancing very frequently. We are almost
always asked by people where we learned to dance. In the past we had
always referred to SSQQ and said positive things about our
In the future, I will no longer
recommend SSQQ to interested parties. In addition, I
will share my latest experience and discourage them form
attending the studio.
Your prohibiting me from taking the Swing dance class as a "lead" is
a form of sexual discrimination.
Because you have claimed to have
had negative experiences in the past with individuals (i.e. women)
you allowed to lead doesn't necessitate your creating this sexist
rule prohibiting females from taking the dance of their choice (i.e.
the lead role).
I feel that the stance you have taken is both unfair and based on
spurious assumptions. This is my current opinion until I hear that
the current policy of prohibiting females from taking a dance class
as "lead" has changed. Please contact me at that time.
Although I may not be a part of your Lindy Dance Team, I have been a
positive asset to your studio both by regular attendance and by
increasing awareness of the studio among new dancers and bolstering
your reputation with the dance community.
I hope that we can resolve this issue and continue to have a
mutually beneficial relationship.
The letter above was addressed to my wife Judy. After
Judy showed me the letter, she said she didn't want to
have any part of it.
So it became my responsibility to
respond to Joye's letter.
ARCHER RESPONDS TO JOYE'S LETTER
February 15, 1999
I am sorry, but you are not going to win this one.
Rules are made
for a reason. Group classes mix large numbers of people together who
all have individual needs. Many couples, for example, would prefer
not to switch partners. Many individuals would prefer the room be
colder or hotter, less crowded, move faster, move slower.
After twenty years of hearing every concern imaginable, at some
point we simply had to say, "If you wish to take a group class at
SSQQ, this is the way it is going to be. Take it or leave it."
In your case, you have chosen to cross a clearly drawn line in the
sand. We have confronted this issue several times in the past.
every person in a group class who was in favor of same-sex dancing
or did not care, we have had other people who opposed it.
several incidents, we decided what would be fairest to the majority
sentiment would be to forbid Same Sex Dancing among students in our
The fact that there has been so little open dissatisfaction with
this stance indicates to me we have accurately judged the prevailing
public sentiment of the Houston community. Same Sex
Dancing at SSQQ
completely ceased to be an issue until you threw your tantrum in the
middle of a dance class which embarrassed everyone.
Yes, we do bend the rules occasionally in special circumstances.
allow teachers, assistants, and volunteers (who are basically
"teachers in training") to dance Same Sex, but we also make a
special point to identify the special status of these people ahead
of time. Even then, I assure you there are people of both sexes who
may "go along with it", but clearly do not appear to be comfortable
with the idea.
Having danced the woman's
"follow" part myself once or twice a week in classes over
the years, I am in an excellent position to say with certainty that
while women for the most part do not mind Same Sex dancing, the
majority of our men are very uncomfortable with it.
accept it as a necessary evil if the class is terribly short of
women. But even then there are also men who refuse to dance with me
anyway and I respect their wishes.
Although I grant you that women as a rule are more open-minded about
same-sex dancing than men, I can also guarantee you there are some
women in class who do not want to dance with women at all.
considered their point of view? When do they get to have a say in
your unilateral decision to dance "lead"?
Furthermore, I find your use of the term "sexual discrimination"
offensive. I believe you owe us an apology. You have attempted to
violate well-established societal norms without regard for the other
women in the class. Then you have the nerve to claim you were
discriminated against because we stood up for the other members of
the class. Nor did you have the respect to ask our position on this
controversial issue ahead of time. A simple request for permission
would have been a pleasant courtesy.
We have refunded your tuition. We do not want your further
Writing that letter wasn't easy. For one
thing, I had friends at the studio who were gay. Let me add
that they had always abided my rules. I did not wish to offend
them. So I chose my words carefully.
Now that I had put a lot of thought into the
topic of 'Same Sex Dancing' at my studio, I decided publish one version of the
story in my 'Same
Sex' Rules section of my web site. I also published
another version of the story in my "Adventures of a Dance Teacher"
series (you are currently reading the updated version of that
I never received a reply to the letter I sent Joye. Eventually I lost track of the
After all, it is a big web site.
Out of sight, out of
Eight years passed.
AUGUST 2007: GOOGLE REARS
ITS UGLY HEAD!
This story developed an interesting Second Chapter in 2007.
One day in August 2007, out of the blue I
received an email from Ms. P. She was writing to demand I remove her name from the
Same Sex story
I had written eight years earlier.
As you can see, she approached the issue with her usual strong
"When my name is googled, your web site is the first one
that comes up. I am asking you to take my name out of your web
site. I do not authorize you to use my name!"
I had no idea what she was talking about.
Back when I originally posted this story back in
1999, I had never heard of Google. I used people's
complete names all the time and never had any complaints. I
certainly never posted the story with the intention of harming Joye's
reputation. I posted the story for the simple reason that it
supported my position that most people would rather dance with the
opposite sex. By sharing the story on the web site, perhaps I
could avert future confrontations on this awkward issue.
Then along came Google.
I decided I should see what she was talking about. I entered
her complete name into Google. Just as she said, the SSQQ Same Sex
story popped up as the absolute first item on the page.
I could see her point. Thanks to Google's powerful search engine, it
seems that Ms. P's name appeared on Google as the First Item
on the First Page whenever anyone typed her name in.
I scanned the rest of the page. A quick glance of Google
revealed a list of very impressive credentials and accomplishments.
It was now Dr. Joye, not Ms. Joye. I discovered Joye was now working on
a Congresswoman's staff in Washington DC. There were speaking
credits everywhere. Ms. P's career was
This Same Sex story had to be highly embarrassing. Despite all
those academic and professional accomplishments, this absurd
story appeared before every other item. It served as a nasty stain on an
record. How absurd!
Joye had to feel attacked. Here
she had worked all her life to attain a doctorate in Health
Administration and obtain a prestigious position in the
government, but a ridiculous story about a tantrum involving
Same Sex dancing was the first thing anyone would ever see
if they wanted to learn more about her.
I suppose Joye died a
thousand deaths at the thought that every time some Washington
insider googled her name, this ridiculous story popped up first and
foremost. I suppose it can't be easy to climb the career
ladder in Washington with a story like this attached to your
It must have been fun explaining the Same Sex incident each time she
applied for a new job.
I shook my head. I didn't blame her one
bit for wanting this incident
erased from the Internet. I certainly wouldn't want it chasing me around
if the tables were turned.
But at the same time I didn't appreciate the tone of her letter.
No one likes to be ordered around, especially after the way she
behaved at my studio. So I ignored her email for a while. After
thinking about it, a couple weeks later I took pity.
Who on earth wants a story like that following you around for the
rest of your life? It was time to show a little mercy.
So I voluntarily removed Joye's last name from the article she objected to.
I figured that was the end of that.
By coincidence, Joye's request came at a time when I was already fascinated by the role
played in shaping people's
public reputation. I had recently read a
profound article by Pulitzer columnist Thomas
Friedman that dealt specifically with the need to watch how we
behave in public lest some ridiculous story like Joye's show up in
cyberspace to haunt us for the rest of our lives.
Mr. Friedman's article stated, "When
everyone is publisher, paparazzo or filmmaker, everyone else becomes
a potential public figure. We must get accustomed to the thought
that we are all public figures now."
Another quote from Friedman's article also caught my
"Seidman writes: "For
young people, this means understanding that your reputation
in life is going to get set in stone so much earlier. More and
more of what you say or do or write will end up as a digital
fingerprint that never gets erased. My generation got to screw
up and none of those screw-ups appeared on our first job
resumes, which we got to write. For the current young
generation, much of what they say, do or write will be
persevered on-line forever. The moment employers finish
reading an attractive resume, they will Google the person next."
"The persistence of memory in electronic form makes second
chances harder to come by," writes Seidman. "In
the Information age, life has no chapters or closets; you can
leave nothing behind and you have nowhere to hide your
skeletons. Your past is your present."
Gee, I thought to myself, did Thomas Friedman
ever meet Joye?
After sanitizing Joye's name in "Same
Sex" article that she had objected to, I proceeded to write
an article about Google in my
I briefly reviewed Joye's case in an article titled
At least this time I left out her
EIGHT MONTHS LATER: MARCH 2008
I never received any sort of 'thank you' for removing her
name back in August 2007, an oversight I did not appreciate
considering I had voluntarily done her a serious favor under the
Eight months after the first contact, Joye contacted me again in March 2008
. This time she had uncovered yet a second article on the SSQQ web
site bearing her full name. Apparently the first article
listed on Google had masked the hidden presence of a second article.
Once I removed Joye's last name, this hidden article immediately
moved into Google's Top Slot.
I was just as surprised as Joye was. I had no idea
the article (the original version of the one you are reading right now) was
on the web site. After all, it was an article I had written
nine years BG (Before Google). I had completely forgotten
This time Joye demanded I take down both her name AND her picture.
I was not authorized to use either!
Now I was angry.
Joye had pushed my staff around in 1999.
Joye had ordered me to remove her name in 2007.
Joye had not bothered to thank me for removing her name in 2007.
Now she was ordering me again to remove her name in 2008.
Asking me nicely is one thing, but I was getting sick and
tired of being ordered to do something by a woman who was in no
position to order me to do anything.
I took the time to consult a lawyer. The lawyer said that
since it was an
issue related to my business, I had every
right to publish the story as long as I did not tell a lie or
slander her. As long as I made it clear these were strictly my
opinions, I was in the clear.
Bolstered by that argument, I left the second story intact on my web
site. I figured I would hear from her again.
I was right.
LATER: MAY 2008
Two months later I received a different kind of letter.
It was now May 2008. The letter
was written on behalf of Ms. Joye by a friend of hers. Joye
either could not bring herself to write a nice letter or be bothered
with the effort, but she was able to
persuade someone else to write one instead.
writing with regards to a story written about my friend
on your website. I am obviously newer to this story
than you are, and I don’t doubt things may have been
handled poorly (or idealistically) by a then 25 year old
to me that a letter was written to your dance studio by
Ms. P without the intention of being published on the
internet. It is now available for the world to see,
and your story is the very first result that Google
returns when searching on her name. I am under the
impression that she has requested that you removed the
article or simply change the name to a fictitious one.
understand a desire to “make her pay” for the troubles
she may have caused your studio, but it was done 9
years ago, and she was still a student. I remember the
way I behaved when I was a student, and I wouldn’t want
all my mistakes shared with the world, as I imagine you
wouldn’t either. I doubt this would be a concern of
hers, if it weren’t for her career in Washington and the
high ranking of your story on Google’s results.
hope that SSQQ Dance Studio can find it in their heart,
to say that she has suffered enough for the problems she
caused nine years ago. I can understand wanting to
keep the story posted, but if you could use a
fictitious name or at the very least remove references
to her first name, it would likely reduce the
prominence of the story in her Google search results.
I very much
appreciate your time and consideration.
SSQQ Dance Studio" -
Now that's a change!
I thought the gentleman wrote a pleasant letter.
It went a long way towards softening my anger at the scene
that Joye had caused nine years earlier. Too
bad Joye didn't write the letter herself. I might have
Ignoring my irritation with Ms. P, I appreciated the
gentleman's approach. Enough was enough. It was time to
remove the shackles of Google so this woman's Wonderful Washington
Career could proceed forward.
So at this point, I
voluntarily removed the woman's last name for the second
I assumed from here on Google would
release its tentacles and Joye would have her cyber-record cleared
of this youthful indiscretion. Now, on with her
brilliant climb in Washington!
As I put the finishing touches on the name removal project
for the second time, I couldn't help but read Joye's story
again. I realized it was nine years later, but I still
could not figure out why Joye was so adamant about dancing
the boy's part. That ancient consternation came
rushing back in when I realized all those nagging questions
still bugged me - Why did
Joye choose to dance the boy's part without asking first?
Why did Joye argue so long and so forcefully when we
said 'NO'? None of this made a bit of sense!
I shook my head in frustration. I realized I was no better at
guessing the true reasons for her behavior nine years later than
I was back in 1999.
I see nothing plain; all is mystery.
RETURN OF THE GOOGLE MONSTER!
Do you ever wonder
if the Cosmos enjoys having fun at our expense?
Believe it or not, one month after
Mr. RS persuaded me to remove Joye's last name from the
second article, I received a second letter from Mr. RS.
He was writing to say they had
discovered a new page dating back to 2005.
Would I mind removing Joye's name from the third page as
have got to be kidding! I immediately googled the
woman's name. Sure enough, this time yet a third ssqq
page popped up with Joye's complete name on it.
Apparently this third page had been masked by the second
Here we go again!
At this point, I imagine that Joye wanted to kill
someone. Probably me, but maybe Google too.
June 09, 2008 11:25 AM
To: Rick Archer
Dear Mr. Archer,
Thank you very
much for abbreviating Ms. P's last name on the page I
wrote to you previously about.
now discovered her full name on another page located on
your web site.
I apologize for not catching this
previously, as I know you're busy and it would have been
more convenient to make all the changes at once.
While I know this is a low priority for you, I hope you
can find time at your convenience to make similar
changes to this other page. I've done a site specific
google search which if accurate, shows that there are no
other pages that contain her name.
Again, I thank
you for your effort in changing the first page, then the
second page, and hope you can do the same thing once
more on this other page.
This entire fiasco had to be a
nightmare of Cosmic Proportions to her. Joye
just couldn't shake this story. Like a bad
nightmare it followed her everywhere she went.
It seemed likely that any time Ms P was asked to
deliver a speech at a Health Forum, surely someone
would research her name to get a brief bio for the
conference brochure. What simpler place to
look than Google? Imagine the reaction when
the Same Sex story came up first. Either she
got teased or worse. There are people in Washington who might not see
the humor in a strange story like this.
Somewhere someplace Ms. Joye had to be screaming!
This damn story had been tailing her for NINE YEARS
and it would not die!!
I honestly did not mind
removing her name permanently. But now that
this story was flashing before my eyes for the third time
in less than a year, my curiosity had been renewed.
Maybe this was my chance to finally get some closure.
Before I said a permanent
goodbye to Ms. Joye, wouldn't it be nice to at least know
what was going on in her mind during that fateful day of
This woman was so talented that she had attained a high
position in our government. Joye could rightly claim to
be one of the Elite, the Best of the Best. And yet for
one moment in her life, an intelligent woman who was used to
being in total control of her life seemingly lost her mind over the most
absurd issue anyone could conjure up!
Any casual reader would wonder why this woman would want to
dance with another woman in the first place. And why
would she waste her time insisting she needed no permission
to dance with a woman who clearly never wanted to dance with
her? And when she was told this was not permitted, why
would she throw a fit? Why not just say, "Ok,
sorry, I was confused about the rules" and be done with it?
Was the chance to dance with other women who didn't
particularly want to dance with her really worth fighting about? Why was this so
important to her? In other words....
What on earth
was this woman thinking?
Look at it another way. The
studio has been open for thirty plus years with an average
attendance of at least a thousand people a month. That
means roughly 400,000 people have taken dance classes here
over the years. In all that time and all those people,
only one person has ever demanded to dance with a Same Sex
partner. One person in 400,000.
Joye rather unique, wouldn't you agree?
I wondered if Joye would be willing to
make a trade... if Joye would explain what was going through
her mind that fateful day, I would gladly remove her name.
I could not care less about an apology, just help me finish
the story. Give me some closure.
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 2:04 PM
Subject: RE: An Appeal
At this point I have now
gone to the web site to methodically erase all mention
of Ms P's name on two previous occasions.
time I have responded, another version has popped up in
Google. Now apparently this has happened yet
You might be curious why this story pops
up time and time again on my web site.
you understand, in my opinion, what Ms P did and what Ms
P wrote was so totally out of line that I will never
forget that incident as long as I live. During my
thirty year career, no one before or since has had the
nerve to sign up for a dance class and insist they be
allowed to dance the same sex role.
No one but
her. She stands alone. Everyone else asks
first. Everyone else respects our wishes when we
say 'no'. Nor does anyone argue with us for twenty
minutes over her right to dance with the woman of her
choice... a woman, incidentally, who is a complete
stranger to her.
Since questions about 'same sex'
dancing arise several times a year, I always refer back
to this incident as a way to clarify this issue.
Nine years ago when Ms. P created her stir in dance
class, she did not ask permission. She simply assumed
that no woman in the dance class would mind dancing with
When we had the nerve to tell Ms. P that her
behavior was unacceptable, she wrote a very sharp letter
claiming she had been discriminated against. Why
was she unable to grasp the logic that she herself was
discriminating against a woman who wanted no part of
Since Ms. P is clearly a very intelligent,
highly capable woman, I have always been mystified to
know the reasons behind her actions.
S, I am willing to permanently remove Ms P's name from
the final location on my web site in return for this
would like to know what Ms. P thinks about that incident
don't care if she apologizes, agrees with me, hates my
guts or what. I would simply like for her to
candidly answer the following questions:
1) Ms. P,
Why was it so important for you to dance
the "Lead" part in a group class to
begin with? What prompted you to
even want to do this in the first place?
2) Why did you assume that no
would object? There are social
norms. When people violate social
norms, they take the chance of offending
other people. Why did you assume
it was okay to dance with women who had
no idea who you were or what your
3) Why did
you feel so strongly that you were
discriminated against at that time?
4) Last question: Do you still
feel today that we discriminated against
you? If so, why?
I repeat that I am not asking for an apology. I am
asking only for a detailed explanation of what was going
through Ms P's mind.
When I receive what I
perceive to be an honest answer to the questions I have
posed above in an email sent directly by Ms P, I promise
to instantly and permanently remove her last name from
any place we can find this name on my website. It
will never be a problem again.
You have my word on this
(Rick Archer's side note:
As of 06/20/08, I promise again that this offer is
However, the answers
must show 'thought'. A perfunctory response will
not be accepted.
Mr. S, please relay this email
to Ms P. As one gentleman to another, I ask that
you or anyone else refrain from answering these
questions for Ms. P. I suppose you could lie to me
and I would never know, but I take you for an honorable
I would simply like to know what she was
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 4:09 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Re: An Appeal
Dear Mr. Archer,
have relayed the email to her as you requested. If you
receive a response from her, it will be from her.
I think you will find her motives were benign, despite
the trouble it created. I think you will find it may
have been rooted in idealism, which is plentiful at a
young age. I could be wrong. I only know the
woman of today, not of nine years ago.
you to honor your word if she replies thoughtfully to
Thank you, RS
So this is where the story stands.
All Dr. P has to do to permanently remove this story from
her past is share what was going through her mind at the
time. And the nightmare will disappear. I
will remove her name from Page 3. Poof! It is
Just for a second, put yourself in Dr. P's shoes.
This stupid story has been following her around for nine
years. It has served as a constant source of
embarrassment. Wouldn't you want to get rid of it?
On June 10, 2008, I promised to remove
her name from this offensive story permanently for all time.
And I meant it. All she had to do was tell her side of
the story. And why wouldn't Dr. P want to speak up?
Surely her explanation would help clear up any lingering
doubts as to what really happened that day.
As I write, it is now July 4, 2008.
Twenty-five days have passed since I made the offer. Would it take
you 25 days to respond?
If it were me, I would have written the
letter about ten minutes after receiving the offer. But
Dr. Joye operates by different rules than I do. I have openly admitted that
Dr. P has always been something of a riddle to me.
Will Ms. P ever write the letter?
Is it important enough for her to get rid of the Google
Monster once and for all? Or is there another
development on the way?
July 4, 2008 -
years have pass still counting.
To be continued... maybe.
to Reputation-Google article