Checking out the daily Groupon is part of my daily routine. I have bought Groupons for things that I never would have done or found on my own. I have a Groupon for horseback riding, for time in a salt cave, for an organic vegan restaurants and thrift shops and everything in between. Today’s Groupon though is something that I am having a hard time understanding. Today’s Groupon is for Three 75-Minute Pole-Dance Fitness Classes or a 90-Minute Pole-Dance Party – women only. What is that about?
I don’t live in a cave. I know there are striptease exercise classes and belly dancing exercise classes but pole dancing? Could there possibly be a more degrading and demoralizing activity? I am not a feminist by any means but rather believe in complete equality between the sexes and as such, things like pole dancing classes offend me. I just don’t think women have to degrade themselves to entice their man. The worst part is the advertisement. The class description says it will “enhance strength, power, and confidence in women of all shapes and sizes.” Enhance power? The kind of power it takes to make money one dollar at a time at the local “Gentleman’s” club? How is learning to swing yourself half (or whole) naked around a pole with the intent to stimulate a man possibly going to enhance confidence? The ad also notes that “absolutely no alcohol is allowed in Boston Pole Dance’s studio, but the gym is located near a number of bars.” Because any self respecting woman would have to be drunk to take this class. I don’t mean to sound prudish or uptight (both of which I am) but again I am about equality. Why do these physically degrading activities focus on women enticing men? What are men doing to entice their women? I haven’t see any Groupons for Chip n’ Dale dancing classes offered to “enhance strength, power and confidence” in men.
In an ideal world I’d like to say that men and women are on a level playfield, but I’m not oblivious to the world. There are a variety of differences between men and women and even those vary among different men and women. But there is one thing that I clearly see and that is the acceptable level of degradation is higher for women then men. The expectations are less and we have to work harder for more. Gender stereotypes exist and strong women are bitches while strong men are strong men; older single women are defective, older single men bachelors; powerful women slept their way to the top, powerful men worked hard. I doubt that I will see the day that women and men will be treated completely equally but I do hope to see the day when Groupon will offer a male pole dancing discount class. I also hope to see the day when women will stop taking pole dancing classes.