Is Swansea University right to ban its pole fitness society?

16th October 2013

Swansea University

Swansea universitys students’ union have voted unanioumously to ban the union’s Pole Fitness society.

The Union trustee board said in September; ‘The Trustees believe that ‘pole fitness’ classes are increasingly marketed as an empowering way for young women to keep fit and regain control of their lives. This is especially true on university campuses. We asked ourselves however, is it empowering to gain fitness in a way that is inextricably linked to the multi million pound sex industry?

Pole fitness and pole dancing are a direct spin off from lap dancing. Can we separate ‘pole fitness’ from ‘pole dancing’? We believe that you cannot, because whatever you name it, pole ‘fitness’ or pole ‘dancing’, you are still participating in the social context of what the pole represents. Everyone knows where it comes from, that pole dancers are to be found in strip clubs and sex establishments and that pole dancing is a dance form specifically designed to sexually excite the watcher. Pole dancers are almost always women, and watchers almost always men.

Although ‘pole fitness’ is sold as an empowering activity, we believe that women have been deceived into thinking this is a way of taking charge of their sexuality and their own decisions. Moreover we believe that it is just a further debasement of our culture and another sign of a creeping backlash against women’s true empowerment and a show of misogyny.’

The University of Nottingham have a Pole Dance society and say on their website ‘The sport combines grace, elegance and strength and is a fantastic way to get fit and tone the body.’

We spoke to Caitlin from the society to hear her views on this;

We then went out on campus to hear students’ opinions;

And we discussed the story in the studio;

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