The Mother's Union in the U.K. is not happy with an aerobics class in Bolton, Greater Manchester that is offering pole dancing classes to their 7-year-old daughters under the guise of “aerobics/ gymnastics with a pole.”
Really? Parents are falling for that?
Apparently the answer is that yes, they are.
Miss Pole Dance 2011 champion, Jess Norris, who runs the classes, says she doesn't teach the girls anything “rude,” which we took to mean “sexy.” They're just learning how to use a pole to remain fit. And parents are required to attend. But that's little comfort to the Mother's Union and other critics who say the moves are much more sexual than Norris lets on.
“Whilst the pole dancing lessons do require parental attendance to start with, we are concerned that children are being targeted with an activity that, by and large, is part of a male club culture which objectifies women,” a spokeswoman for the Mother's Union said. “It is naive to suggest that any young person joining such a class will be unaware of the intention of pole dancing. We hope parents would consider the negative impact it could have on their child's perception of their own body and sexuality.”
Are we sexualizing our children too young? And is teaching them that it's okay to be sexual harmful? Who can say, really? But we're not altogether sure we're comfortable with the insinuation that being sexually open in your adult years is “bad.”