This blog is usually used as a tool to highlight and celebrate things happening within the pole community, accomplishments made by people in our field, Body & Pole or a learning tool, etc. However, it’s also important to talk about other realities pole dancers face, one of them being unfounded judgmental and ignorant comments made about pole dance. Here is an excerpt of a letter I wrote spurred on by a comment made to me earlier this week.
To all the Past, Present & Future Misogynists Who Will Judge Any Pole Dancer Ever,
This is exactly how misogyny works. We live in a rape culture that almost seems to celebrate rampant violence against women, constantly critiquing & policing feminine bodies. I get it, we are indoctrinated with images of battered feminine bodies and bear witness to women constant objectification in order to obtain the (usually male) gaze.
As a pole dancer reclaiming my body in a public space physically sends a message that I am not, nor will I ever be, defeated AND that is one of the revolutionary things I can do. I am in control of the gaze that settles upon me. I am highly conscious about my movement. Through dance I connect with, affirm and encourage other women, trauma survivors in particular, that our bodies are STILL sacred, and powerfully divine in every possible way. We are STILL here. How dare you even suggest this movement is anything less that an amazing art form, full of grace, strength and agility?
This dance is not just about me or you, but a larger community. I dance to be honest with myself, while also to mold new, authentic and healthy images of feminine sensuality. I do not intend to break my back to bend into what you think is an acceptable form of dance. The sun does not just shine for you.
Your internal conflict about being attracted, (and in awe, I’m sure) while also struggling to deal with how uncomfortable you feel by a woman who is so obviously in control of her body is just that, YOUR conflict, not mine’s.
An Extremely Proud Pole Dancer