“You can [pole] dance for me, but I don’t know how I feel about other people seeing you.” – those who’ve attempted to police my body & squander my divinity.
I don’t write about my interpersonal relationships problems for all the world. This, however, is an exception. More than one person has dare utter these words to me. I must address this before the madness continues. I feel confident that I write this, not just on my behalf, but also for the badass pole dancers, “exotic dancers” (still don’t really know what that means), strippers, burlesque performers, etc., who feel the same.
Dear Past Misogynistic Lovers,
My first response to this comment is an infuriated and righteously ratchet fuck you. How dare you have the audacity to part your lips and say some sexist bullshit like that.
I know that this is exactly how misogyny works, it seeps into places we don’t even realize. We live in a rape culture that nearly seems to celebrate the numbing violence against women, the constant critiquing & policing of feminine bodies. I get it, most of the images of brown feminine bodies, are battered or objectified to obtain the (usually male) gaze. But, you, you are supposed on my team, someone who has began the process of unlearning the pedagogy of the rape culture we live in.
Besides knowing that pole dance is something I love and work tirelessly at, dancing has healed me in ways unimaginable. When I dance; as a queer, black, survivor, woman, I dance in rebellion. To reclaim my body in a public space physically sends a message that I am not, nor will I ever be, defeated AND that is one of the most revolutionary things I can do. I dance in my divinity, with knowing that I am controller of the gaze that settles upon me. I am highly conscious about my movement. Through dance I connect with, affirm and encourage other QWOC, survivors in particular, that our bodies are STILL sacred, and powerful divine in every possible way. We are STILL here. How dare you even suggest at even taking this away?
This is why the idea that dancing for you only— and not in public spaces– is one of the most pompously enraging things one could suggest. This dance is not about me or you, but our shared community. I dance to be honest with myself, while also to mold new and authentic images of black feminine queer sensuality. Not just you, as if my vision were so limited. The sun does not just shine for you.
Your internal conflict about being attracted to me while also struggling to deal with how uncomfortable you feel by a woman who is so obviously in control of her body is just that, YOUR conflict, not mine.
I am writing this as a commitment to myself, to never involve myself with someone who is unable to honor me in most exalted state.
An Unbelievably Proud Pole Dancer
In contrast to this, I want to extend a hugggeeee thank you to all of my friends and family who have been supportive of me during this last year since I’m begun my pole performance artistry. An extra special thank you Will, Chelsea & Noeila who came and supported me at my first performance. And you too, Myleah who came & tickets were sold out. You support has not gone unnoticed.