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A Woman’s Right to Pole Dance – Breaking the Stigma

A Woman's Right to Pole Dance
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On a nostalgia trip recently, I found myself re-watching Sex and the City. I watched the entire thing from start-to-finish and was able to view it with a completely fresh perspective. Firstly, the show has not aged well, in my opinion. Half way through Season 1 Episode 3, I realised something that never struck me before: these women talk about nothing except for men. Sure, that’s the premise of the show. But, they literally talk about nothing else, throughout the entire season. These four, well-educated, career-focused, intelligent women have nothing else to talk about except for men, with the occasional shoe comment thrown in there.

What does this have to do with pole dancing? Well, nothing really – yet. Hear me out. But one episode seemed to stick out to me upon my epic marathon re-watch of this late-90s/early-00s HBO drama. That is Season 6, Episode 9, an episode entitled ‘A Women’s Right to Shoes’.

The plot of this episode revolves around Carrie attending her friend’s baby shower – not one of her main friends – a conveniently placed periphery friend who has never been mentioned until now. Anyway, Carrie is asked to remove her shoes upon arriving at the baby shower and, alas, when she tries to leave, her shoes are not there. Someone else has left the party with Carrie’s shoes. Not just any shoes. A pair of her $485 Monolo’s (hah – those olde-timey prices).

To Carrie’s horror, her conveniently placed plot-piece ‘friend’ is not happy to pay for a replacement pair, citing them as too expensive and comments how she “shouldn’t have to fund her lifestyle”. It eventually dawns on Carrie that over the years, she’s bought countless gifts, engagement gifts, wedding gifts, baby shower gifts and christening gifts for this friend. Carrie, being the ultimate single gal, has never received such gifts and she guilt-trips her friend into purchasing a replacement pair of shoes for her.

So, back to pole dancing.

There’s still a stigma around it, whether you’re #notastripper, #yesastripper, or a bit of both. If this stigma comes from your friends, then this article is for you.

Like Carrie’s dilemma in ‘A Woman’s Right to Shoes’, you, as a stigmatized pole fitness enthusiast or stripper are getting a raw deal. When your friends take up a new hobby, say, running, swimming, yoga, something with no stigma attached, then no one thinks anything of it. But with pole dancing, many people who have just started to learn, or who are considering joining a class are immediately met with stigma. Some are met with celebration and others a barrage of questions.

“Doesn’t your job pay your enough?”

“Don’t you have to get naked for that?”

“Are you sure this is for you?”

Ok, ok, we get it. You don’t agree with our new hobby, enough with the questions.

Why can’t it be the case that we’re simply pole dancing for, oh, I don’t know, fun?

Forget the stigma, it’s 2022 for crying out loud.

Whether you’re pole dancing for fun, fitness, work or any other reason, just go for it.

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