So, sometimes I like to use Pinterest to find new pole moves and combos. Most of the content on Pinterest isn’t great, but I’ll occasionally sift through it to try and find something pin-worthy. Anyway, more than once I’ve searched “Pole Fitness”, and seen this picture among the results:
Pretty stupid, right? “What frustrated feminists think I do”… Seriously?
I actually just don’t understand it. What does it even mean to say about feminists? So we think your dancing is sexual? That’s supposed to frustrate us?
It does, however, say something about the popular perception of feminism. The uptight, anti-sex stereotype still exists, even in the age of Beyoncé. Images like this perpetuate the popular idea that feminist are, well, frustrated. There are plenty of people today who scoff at feminism while simultaneously having many feminist beliefs.
So, why don’t feminists just call themselves something else?– something with fewer negative connotations?
Personally, I think doing that would be separating ourselves from a movement with a deep history. Sure, feminism has historically had some serious flaws (especially when it comes to inclusion of women of color), but there are also some really great things that have come out of all of the “waves” of feminism. We can learn from the problems of the past as well as its victories. We need to understand where we came from in order to know where we’re going.
Additionally, what other term would we use? Egalitarian? That ignores the focus on gender issues. I can’t think of any other words that would fit the bill.
Feminism is a term that is being reclaimed. Some will always see it as a “dirty word”, but hopefully the public perception is gradually shifting.
Also, more accurately…
What society thinks I do: strip
What my friends think I do: graceful, sexy dancing and stunts
What I actually do: awkwardly lumber into a position and try to hold it without gritting my teeth long enough for someone to take a picture