For these "feminists" pole represents only one thing - male dominance, but before you nod your head sagely and agree, please think of the other side of the story.
For me, pole represents what I am as a WOMAN. It's not the expectation of men that drive me to pole, but the feeling of raw power which accompanies the feats of pure strength I put my body through.
Blaming women for what men do is archaic and it's a model of victim shaming that needs to stop. Men don't attack women (and women don't attack women, or men) because that person MADE them. To say so is simply mind-boggling.
In my opinion, we should be able to run around the streets naked, waving our vaginas around and STILL not be attacked. If you attack someone, it is something you CHOOSE to do (with the exception of very rare and serious cases of mental illness).
Women don't need to be like men to be empowered. We need to be strong like WOMEN. For me feminism isn't about equalising the sexes so they're the same, it's about equalising choice so we have the same freedom to do what we WANT to do.
Tonight's training left me energetic and overwhelmed with happiness. I feel strong, confident in my body and assured of my ability to take on whatever life throws at me.
If that isn't empowerment, I don't know what is.
I hesitated before posting this picture on Instagram because of the amount of skin it shows, but then decided "you know what, I don't care how much skin is on show". Why? Because this picture is pretty. I'm PROUD of it. I'm PROUD of my body. I am absolutely twined up, neck deep, drowning in pleasure and self-acceptance.
Maybe that is what people are scared of.