Written by AM Davies
Well, why should I be surprised… the National Day Archives just rejected our application to make World Pole Dance Day an official day on September 30. In the midst of my mind boggling busy schedule, I felt compelled to share this with you as I am fighting back the tears. Gosh, you know, I thought we were past this. It’s 2019…
We very thoughtfully made a website, worldpoledanceday.com, to use as part of the National Day Archives application. We wanted to look “official”. Then, we were prepared to pay for the day to be legit on the calendar for all the world to see. Then, I received the first email saying, “we are not accepting this application for now.” Those words, “for now” gave me a feeling. So, my response was, please elaborate. Then the real answer came through today…
“National Day Archives does not allow any adult, controversial, or provocative content in the name of the day or description of the day. We reserve the sole and subjective right to reject or remove any National Day containing any adult themes (sexual or graphic) or any proposed name or content that might be viewed as unlawful, defamatory, embarrassing to others, slanderous, offensive, harassing, hateful, prejudicial, violent, controversial, or insensitive.
Because pole dancing is generally associated with exotic dancing, we consider it to be an adult theme that is not consistent with the above policy. We understand that not all pole dancing is adult theme. The only way we would consider adding it to our website is if the entire content for the day reflected non exotic or adult themes.”
And so I wrote to them…
“I find it extremely disappointing that you are rejecting this event. Exotic pole dancing is the history of pole dancing and we will not exclude those fine people.
Messages like this, one in which some people should be excluded in order for things to be acceptable, perpetuate violence and discrimination against groups of people. Exotic pole dancers online are doing nothing but dancing. My points here are not to convince you to accept our application as it is clear you don’t want us. But to enlighten you about a group of workers who are constantly being deleted, hidden and blocked from online communities. This now includes your brand.
These people are not engaging in sex. They may be wearing less clothes, but so do bikini models and women on the beach. Pole dancing is a widely accepted activity, except for on the internet these days.
Thank you for your detailed message. It reminds me of how much people need to be educated about what we do. Your application denial will be a useful topic of discussion in our community and will make our day be even more celebrated. We celebrate to let other people out there know, pole dancing in any form is dancing. Whether it’s exotic, fitness style or contemporary. This is a very harmful way of thinking and being. I hope you and your team can have a discussion on this and maybe in the future change your minds about rejecting healthy communities that need the exposure. We are used to being told we are not “appropriate” enough to be seen. This comes to no surprise quite honestly.”
What does this all mean??? Well, now we have to make it our own official holiday. As usual, we have to do everything ourselves. I’m asking that you post, you celebrate your pole dancing, in whatever form or fashion that you choose. That you be adult, a child, poetic, fitness style, exotic, that you be HUMAN doing HUMAN things! Do it all, show it all and be yourself. This type of stuff has to start to roll off our backs and we have to look at these things as an opportunity to educate. The first email I composed to this person did not look like this one. It was ANGRY. But then I reminded myself, “they need an intelligent response, they need education.” The email they sent back to UPA is coming from an organization that knows nothing about the marginalization of a group of people and how it negatively affects them as they move through society.
I encourage you to remember that the next time we as a community or you as an individual is being rejected, bullied or told you are inappropriate, it’s a chance to teach them. They need to learn and US and WE need to teach them.
So, my darling dearest Poler Bears, ones that I love to infinity and beyond, please take the time to pole dance, to post and to use #WorldPoleDanceDay this September 30, 2019. We want to see all of you and celebrate all of you! I love you so much! My heart is full right now thinking of so many of you! Always and forever, #UnitedByPole
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