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What the Women’s Movement Means for Pole

By on February 12, 2018

On Saturday, January 20, women took to the streets once again to march in solidarity for the 2018 Women’s March. Hundreds of thousands of women throughout the country and across the globe marched to promote women’s rights and equality, health issues, diversity, inclusion, and to protest the administration of President Donald Trump.

But protesting wasn’t the only focus of the 2018 Women’s March. The march this year seemed more hopeful as it emphasized new, proactive goals such as “Power to the Polls“—the mission to encourage voters to participate in the upcoming midterm elections. The goal isn’t just to get women to vote, but also to support and vote for other women running for office. Or even to encourage women to run for office themselves. Because what better way to make sure women’s issues are given the attention they deserve than by electing a woman? (The Women’s March makes registering to vote easy with this link through their website.)

The march is just one part of the women’s movement that came to define 2017. Even in the face of political unrest, women are overcoming. There is still (obviously) much work ahead, but there was also a lot of good that came from this past year. For a while, it seemed that every day, a new executive, president, or owner of a major company was accused of sexual harassment. And the accusations were actually taken seriously, resulting in investigations and the removal from their positions—something that rarely used to happen.

The goal of the Women’s March is to “harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.” I think this applies to all of the women’s movements of the year, including #MeToo and #TIMESUP. In short, women are powerful.

So what does all this mean for pole?

While there are many men in the pole world (and we love you!), the pole community is predominately women. More than a community of women, it’s one of supportive women. Going forward, it’s important that we continue to view studios as havens for women; as places where we can open up and be our authentic selves. Pole dance allows us to explore different styles, our sexual self-expression, our movement, and our bodies. And it allows us to explore these things in ways that are unique to each of us.

Photo by Jacki Carlson.

Keeping in line with the messages of the Women’s March and #MeToo, it’s important that we, as a pole community, strive to be as inclusive and diverse as possible. This means not only including people of different backgrounds and different styles of dance, but also fostering an environment that encourages diversity of thought and opinions.

We already have existing networks of diverse women who come together over a common interest. This provides us with an opportunity for discussion. It’s up to us what we do with this. Why not host a night at the studio for women to talk about specific issues or new developments in the women’s movement? Why not make our own “Power to the Poles“?

When we’re open to hearing what each other has to say, we can have meaningful discussions and understand new perspectives. Ultimately, this will help us build a stronger network.

There are a lot of similarities between the various women’s movements that have marked this past year, but they all share one major goal: women fighting for equality by supporting and elevating each other. That’s something we already know how to do (literally). It’s up to us how we practice it—both in and out of the pole studio.

 

 

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