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Pole dancing, slut shaming, and #yesallwomen

Pole dancing, slut shaming, and #yesallwomen

Pole dancing, slut shaming, and #yesallwomen

This blog is somewhat at odds with my most recent post, about fighting for respectability–I still believe that killing our naysayers with kindness and sheer athletic ability will win more converts than being offended will.

But the subject of this blog is centered on the #yesallwomen movement, and what it means to me as a pole dancer. I don’t post many videos on YouTube. Not because I’m concerned with my level of talent, or my sometimes unpointed toes, or my complete inability to do a proper hair flick. No, mostly, I avoid it because I don’t want to have to deal with the comments from total strangers who feel as though they need to pass judgment on me. These are people who don’t know me, who have never met me, who have no idea what I am like as a person. I could moderate them, but frankly I don’t want to give them that much airspace inside my life.

I spent some time on Twitter today reading the #yesallwomen posts, thinking about the times I’ve heard things like “Why do you pole dancers always wear such tiny outfits?”  “You could dance on my pole any time!”  “Does your husband know what you do?”  These statements go beyond equating pole dancing with stripping — they take a hard right into slut-shaming territory, and that goes hand-in-hand with harrassment and an utter lack of respect for women, which takes us back to the concept of #yesallwomen.  

This was an experiment: I typed “pole dance” into the search bar on YouTube and  checked out the comments on the very first three videos in the list. Here’s a sampling of what I found:


“I bet everyone in the audience had a boner when this happened.”
“LOL how is pole dancing an art, it’s a form of pornography. Put ya fanny away, young children are probably watching this.”
“I’d bend her over the table and fuck her.” (My prediction: she would break your arms if you tried.)


“Damn son she’s got skillz id tap that”

“‘The war of the sexes is over.  We won the moment girls started pole-dancing for exercise.’ LMAO”
“It’s basicaly watching sport and porn at the same time, on levels times one-hundred to female tennis and beach vollyball. It’s the best of both worlds, its heaven.”

And this one … and it came with a content warning that it may be inappropriate for some viewers. I snorted at that — because it’s the oh-so-effervescent Jenyne Butterfly’s “Dog Days” routine. I can’t imagine a piece I’d be more inclined to show to interested folks of ANY age. 


“oh yeah…work that art baby”
“I envy the pole”
“I’ve seen this. She’s strong as many athletes.”   (Honestly, she’s probably stronger than a GOOD many athletes.)

Happily, I found many more complimentary comments than I did derogatory. There are plenty of people in the world who understand the strength and skill required to pole dance, and I’m glad they were so vocal in their support. 

I’ll leave you with a few Twitter screenshots, including a few specifically from pole dancers. Carry yourself with pride as a pole dancer. We dance, and we use poles. So what?

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