Pole dancing not welcomed at Take Back the Night event
Thursday's Take Back the Night march will not feature pole dancing demonstrations following an uproar whether the popular exercise should be included.
On Tuesday, the local group responsible for organizing the London march said in a Facebook post that a pole dancing demonstration wouldn’t be a part of the evening.
"Due to the depth of the issue and the closeness of the event,we have decided to not proceed with the pole fitness demonstration at this year’s TBTN (Take Back The Night). WEC (Women’s Events Committee) serves the broader community and TBTN is about re-claiming space that is safe for all. We want the event to be as accessible as possible, emotionally and physically," read the Facebook statement.
On Monday, the London Abused Women’s Centre (LAWC) said it would be withdrawing its support from the march over pole dancing.
LAWC claims pole-dancing condones violence against women.
In a news release, LAWC provided this argument as why it is opposed to the inclusionof the pole dancing group.
"Pole-fitness emerged from pole-dancing in strip clubs—where women, whether there by ‘choice’ or not, are sexually objectified by men. They are leered at and groped at by men who view them as objects for their own sexual gratification. Women and girls are also sex-trafficked into strip clubs and other areas of the sex-trade. Pole-fitness cannot be separated from this history and context. The symbol of the pole is one of sexual objectification and violence against women. Thus, while pole-fitness may be empowering for individual women, it is not empowering for women as a whole. It is a reminder that our primary role in this society has been delegated to one where we are an object to be used and abused as men, and others, see fit.
Because of this, hosting a pole-fitness demonstration at a Take Back the Night is antithetical to its purpose. Take Back the Night is supposed to be an event where women demand their right to be free from violence, including sexual violence. It is an event where girls and boys have the opportunity to learn what rights and freedoms girls should have. A pole-fitness demonstration reinforces the daily messages girls receive that their primary purpose is to be sexy and an object for the purpose of pleasing men. This is especially concerning as girls are at high risk of being sexually assaulted and sex-trafficked."
London's Take Back the Night march is an all-ages and sexes event designed to end violence against women.
Thursday’s march takes place at Victoria Park from 5:30-8:30 p.m..