Last week, The Daily Mail ran an article called “Disgrace of the six drinking, pole-dancing primary school teachers who published the pictures on Facebook…Outrage after parent printed pictures and posted them through neighbors’ front doors.”
Evidently the photos show six women at a bachelorette in sexy army gear, drinking, smoking, and yes, pole dancing. The teachers failed to make the photos private on Facebook. A very motivated parent found the pictures online, printed them off, and put them the neighbors’ front doors with a letter which read: “If you are as appalled as I am by these images which these tramps post freely for the world to see, how safe are our children? Answer, not very! Children might be seeing these images. What does this tell you about this school and how it is being run? These women teach my children, but not for much longer. I say remove the scum…” The article goes to describe the parents’ reactions (“shocked”) and then to name four of the six teachers.
It goes without saying that the teachers made a mistake by making the pictures available for all to see on Facebook. However, publicly shaming them for what amounts to a harmless, free play of pleasure frankly has all the makings of a modern day witch hunt. These women have a right to enjoy their lives outside of their work environment. You know what I find shocking? That in the year 2011 we still label women who enjoy their sexuality as tramps without a second thought. And that we feel comfortable publicly humiliating them and then quickly move on to worrying about the effect “these women” will have on the children. I am far more worried about what kind of an effect such blatant narrow-mindedness and venom will have on the children. There is this unspoken belief that if you are a woman who partakes in sensual, pleasure-oriented behavior in any type of public venue, then you lose your right to be treated with respect and dignity. You are a fallen woman, a tramp, scum (unless you are a celebrity of course – then you are worshipped for this same behavior). This belief exists to varying degrees in many different cultures around the world and it is at the heart of why so many people struggle with accepting expressions of female sensuality, including those found in pole dancing.
I am happy to say that it appears as though the school is standing by the teachers. While they acknowledge that having the pictures circulated through a social networking site is regrettable, they also acknowledge that the photos were taken at a private event. Additionally, the head of the school reportedly told the parents to “mind their own business”. Now that’s more like it.