Dangers of the ‘new sexism’ debated at an NUT conference.
Pole dancing classes are promoting a sexualised culture for primary school girls, a leading Lambeth teacher has said.
Sara Tomlinson, Lambeth NUT Association officer and teacher, issued a motion to the NUT conference in Liverpool about the rising “raunch culture” amongst young girls in South London.
Ms Tomlinson is concerned about big businesses promoting pole dancing as a form of exercise for an increasingly health conscious youth and a vote on the motion is expected to take place today.
“Big businesses sell it as just an exercise, but it’s humiliating, it’s borrowing from the trade of selling sex,” said Ms Tomlinson.
“I have heard people say it’s great fun, but when you hear the stories at our conference about young children whose mothers have been killed in domestic violence, you know what the end product is.”
She claims the ‘new sexism’ that is shaping women’s perceptions of themselves is damaging and school girls are struggling with anxiety and low self-esteem.
She added: “We have fought for equal pay, for abortion and for our own sexual freedom. Things are rolling back, more girls are pole dancing and inspiring to be size zeros and perfect Barbie figures. It makes us women feel inadequate.”
The primary school teacher began the process last September, where the topic had to go through a democratic process and was voted the top motion in the equality section.
A pole dancing teacher from Kingston Poleminx, who did not wish to be named, said in response: “It’s very good for exercise and many people, both women and men, do it now.
“They’re not trying to go into the industry, they’re just doing it in dance studios – if she tried it she’d probably find she was very achy the next day from using so many muscles. It exercises almost every muscle in the body.”
The resolution calls for action from the NUT executive and wants to raise the profile of health and social education in schools.
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