Polers Can Pull-Up….and Marines Can Too
What started as a simple news article about 55% of female marines not being able to meet a requirement of three pull-ups turned into a mission for me to prove otherwise. What saddened me most about this article was not that some women were having trouble meeting this goal but that the authorities were considering extinguishing the requirement altogether (and questioning women’s role in the military) because we’ve reconciled that women just cannot do pull-ups.
Girls are taught from an early age that it is not their place to be strong. Their gender role of the delicate female is reinforced by the media and even well-intentioned mentors. Their strength is dismissed to the point where they don’t even want to try because it isn’t cool for girls to be strong. Is doing a pull-up difficult? Yes. Impossible? Not by a long shot.
The mentality that women cannot lift their own body weight simply is not true. I can and I know plenty of other women that have learned in large part due to pole and aerial training. Contrary to popular belief it is very cool to be able to lift your own body weight. I actually think one pull-up should be a basic human skill that is useful for anyone and could one day save your life.
So I set out with United Pole Artists to destruct this false narrative and gather as much footage of female pole dancers performing pull-ups as we could find. This was not about one upping marines. This was about challenging myths we are fed as a society. I wanted to show that women are capable of performing this supposed impossible feat of strength.
No one should believe they can’t do something just because someone tells them they can’t. The way the pole community has rallied together to debunk this theory was inspiring and yet another display of our unrelenting strength. I hope this video UPA has created inspires some women who cannot currently do pull-ups to train their bodies so they one day can. I hope this challenges some myths that have been perpetuated. Being able to lift your own body weight is attainable. We can still maintain our femininity and be strong. Having control over your own body? There’s nothing more empowering to women than that.