For those who don't watch much TV or frequent strip clubs: pole dancing is what erotic dancers do so they don't have to just walk up on stage, take off their clothes, and stand there naked. In strip clubs, the moves are often quite suggestive--and why wouldn't they be? Men don't go to a strip clubs to sip tea and listen to classical music and discuss existentialism. They go to... appreciate cleverly choreographed dance routines executed by women who happen to be naked.
Now, however, pole dancing has apparently gained popularity among women who are not erotic dancers. Classes are being offered in some of the more adventurous health clubs around the world because
However, it's not just adult women who are taking these classes; young girls want to join in the fun too.
First off, Crabby feels a bit sleazy herself even writing a post about this--is Pre-Teen Pole Dancing really a "trend" we need to worry about? The story comes all the way from Australia, and there is no evidence that Crunch or Gold's Gym or Curves is out there aggressively leafleting elementary school playgrounds trying to scare up future strippers. Crabby's guess is that a few girls Down Under went to a class or two and a clever reporter sensed the Outrage Potential and ran with it.
But, well, it worked. Crabby saw the headline and felt duly outraged.
Seven year old girls should not be going to classes to learn how to become sexy pretend-strippers.
Even if they're not doing the "adult" moves. Even if the instructors claim that the girls have no way of knowing that "pole dancing" has any other context besides being a wholesome athletic after-school activity.
If they don't know now, they will know soon. How will a little girl who chose Pole Dancing Class instead of Tap Dancing Class feel about her choice in a few years when she finds out what Pole Dancing is really about? Pleased? Embarassed? Neither scenario seems quite desirable. Either she know and its Icky or she doesn't and it's Unfair.
There are a bazillion other athletic activities young girls can engage in to get fit. To send your child to "pole dancing class" and think you can magically erase the context in which this kind of "dancing" came about? This attitude seems naive.
Crabby could go on a whole rant about the sexual objectification of young girls in our culture. (Or of grown women, for that matter. Crabby is still decades behind the times and is uncool enough to wonder where the hell feminism went).
But she'll restrain herself and we'll just stick to Junior Pole Dancing for now.
One of the most interesting things about the Diet Blog post was reading the comments. Crabby thought for sure everyone would agree that this was a Bad Thing, but there were plenty of intelligent comments from those who took a different point of view! They didn't change Crabby's mind, but it made her wonder if she's just being Reflexively Cranky about the issue.
So what do you folks think? Would you send your daughter (or son, for that matter) to Pole Dancing class?