Oct 28 2006

UK retailer to little girls:”Let’s have a lap dance over here, luv!”

From the Peekaboo website. The shirt reads “part-time pole dancer.” The rest of the time she’s licking His boots, I suppose.

Five-year-old daughters of fun-lovin’ boob-jobbed sex-positive alcoholic moron Brits can look forward to a boffo sexay surprise under the Christmas tree this year. According to the Daily Mail, Tesco — the UK’s über-Wal-Mart and the 4th largest retailer in the world — is doing what any sensitive megacorp would do at this joyous holiday time: reminding little girls that they’re pieces of shit. In order to bring warmth to the hearts of the citizenry, they’d like to point out, to the tune of £50, what modern culture values most in its women. That’s right. They’ll be marketing a L’il Stripper Kit to the youngest members of the sex class. And it is so precious. A toy sexy chrome pole, toy sexy music, and toy sex money (“Peekaboo Dance Dollars”) to stuff in a toy “sexy dance garter.” I’m not making this up. “Unleash the sex kitten inside” quoth the Tesco website, “simply extend the Peekaboo pole inside the tube, slip on the sexy tunes, and away you go!”

For Junior, there’s the Future Perv-o-Prenuers of Britain Kit: toy handcuffs, two toy kinky “lesbians” wearing torn toy negligées, a supply of toy heroin to keep his toy bitches in thrall, a toy webcam, and a toy bank account in which to deposit all the big XXX toy bucks he earns from his XXX website.

Naturally there is great ‘public outcry’ against the stripper toy, to the extent that Tesco was forced to repurpose the item as a sex-ay “health and fitness” aid. Think of the calories those burly little 5-year-olds will burn wrapping their pudgy young be-gartered knees around that health-giving chrome phallus!

Once again — and I wish this would stop happening, because it always gives people the tiresome idea that I think sex ought to be abolished or something — I find myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with prudey conservative family groups: yep, this toy is offensive almost beyond description. However, it is at this juncture that our ideologies mercifully diverge. I do not, as one ‘family campaigner’ suggested, believe that the toy will “destroy children’s lives.” (The only toy with that sort of power is Etch-A-Sketch; a more frustrating, soul-sucking, ungratifying, time-wasting blot upon Western civilization has never been conceived). No, I’m afraid children’s lives were deep in the crapper long before the pencil-dick pervs at the Sexy Toddler Toy Company came up with their sexbot training kit. This asinine pole-dancing game is merely the logical extension of the ideology generated by our global thermonuclear megatheocraticorporatocracy — you know, the patriarchy — which has been destroying children’s lives, and everybody else’s lives, too, for centuries now. Which it does through God and war and the nuclear family and high heels and consumerism and illiteracy and, of course, the violent misogyny that makes all of the above possible.

I will go a step further and postulate that if, in our violent patriarchal class structure, sex were anything other than an exercise in humiliation, degradation, and dissociation so taxing that only adult persons are thought to possess the emotional chops to keep from committing suicide over it, nobody would give a rat’s ass if little girls were crawling up every vertical object in the British Isles.

Addendum: our cherished level-headed Broadsheeter Page takes a whack at this.

[Gracias to the readers who sent this in; without you dedicated stringers out there combing the countryside for offences against the enlightened mind, I’d be a mere shadow of my former blaming self]


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  1. I’m sorry to hear about the Etch-A-Sketch tragedy in your life.

    I’m so relieved to know that mine was not the only young life marred beyond redemption. Keep your head up and know: there are others out there ready to support you if your life becomes intolerable.

  2. I believe it is actually an adult game and it was a categorising error that put it in with all the children’s toys on the Tesco website.

    Still, it’s depressing enough that you can now buy a pole-dancing kit (with fake money for your wannbe-john male partner!) at the supermarket along with the weekly shop . The only role that appears to be open these days for women is sex-object.

  3. scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience

    I have to say, as peeved as I am this “shopping season” about chemistry kits for girls, My Li’l Stripper Pole makes them look positively liberatory.

    Etch-A-Sketch is just fine, by the way, if you like drawing staircases.

  4. Their website said:

    “The Peekaboo range of sexy gifts, games and clothing is all about having cheeky sexy fun.

    At Peekaboo we think everyone’s got it, so now it’s time to flaunt it!”

    Cheeky sexy fun. Female humiliation and subjugation. Yes, I can see how the two go together now. Sometimes I just need extra help in understanding things. See Twisty? You’re just a sour puss.

    Ack. Stop me before I take a life.

  5. daemondia.com

    Twisty, you are my hero. As a non-spinster uncle-monkey, and one with a less eloquent and/or scathing vocabulary, I stand (or sit, as the case may be) thus far in quiet reverence and awe of your highly entertaining, if stomach-wrenching (not your fault; unavoidably so) not-quite daily… um, stuff.

    This particularly lovely bit of news re: Tesco, came to me by an alternate channel the other day; I’m delighted (by which I mean disgustedly delighted, but I think you know why and what I mean) to see your take on it, especially the last paragraph. (hallelujah / right-the-F-on) to that. Take that, nitwits – I mean the ones spouting the uneducated bullsh*t that anti-porn feminism is prudish, regressive, etc.

    Related, moreso to the sexy Halloween costume issue, but whatever – I noticed that over in my liberal/fascist neck of the woods (San Francisco, I’m sure you’ve heard of us) there’s a mostly unapologetic story on said topic on sfgate.com this morning.


    SFGate, for those who don’t know, is the San Francisco Chronicle’s website, which I check daily with a good measure of dread – it’s the home of both the porn-loving Mark “Metrosexual Misogynist” Morford, and the utterly misguided and frankly quite scary little goth tool Violet Blue, “…I liked this porn movie so much I got a woody!” (yes, that’s a direct um… paraphrase, and I’m not even going to get into wondering exactly how she manages to get a “woody”, as opposed to, oh, I dunno. Something more closely related to the actual biological functioning of her particular, you know – *parts*.) That’s another topic. Trust me, read just any one of her articles and you’ll be… well, I’ll be fascetiously polite and say, ‘mildly bemused’.

    Anyway, I’m a huge fan. Keep up the good work. You’re risen to the very top of my list of people who somehow make my life post-metaphorically-patriarchal-sunglasses-removal a little bit more bearable, surrounded as I am by nauseating and often pornographic advertising images, insanely unhealthily skinny professional women, anti-war protesters shouting “F__k Bush!” (totally unaware of the sad irony of their own status as liberal sex objects / protest meat), and of course, countless pornified consumers and unaware metaphorically-patriarchal-sunglasses wearers, and I can’t fail to mention the constant daily news stories of violence towards and abuse of women.

    p.s. Any degree of skepticsm directed towards this one questionable-in-light-of-the-facts-and-statistics white male claiming-to-be blamer is entirely warranted. I’m not in this for your approval / big pat on the back. I just wanted to say thank you / hey there.

  6. wendyhome.com

    Urgh, As a UK citizen I had been labouring under the illusion that maybe the UK wasn’t quite as Patriarchal as the US. Obviously both are patriarchy’s, I just fooled myself that the UK was more progressive. Illussion shattered. Nice job Twisty :-)

  7. I think this was something that was mis-categorised, rather than something deliberately aimed at children. It’s frustrating that the Mail article (although what do I expect?) gets bogged down with such over-the-top ‘think of the children’ sentiment:

    “This will be sold to four, five and six-year olds” (Dr Adrian Rogers, of family campaigning group Family Focus)

    So that would be those four, five and six year olds with credit cards who regularly shop online? The only way any child could buy this product – whether it’s in the toys and games category or not – would be if mummy or daddy bought it for them (and I hope I am not assuming too much that mummy or daddy would look at more than the classification of a product before buying it for their tots).

    Focussing on the potential harm done to theoretical children* completely removes the argument about whether supermarkets should be selling such items – and if they’re going to sell such items as ‘exercise equipment’ (ahem) then why include the fake cash (I’m still reeling from that fact) and have a bikini-clad cartoon hottie on the box?

    * I do apologise Twisty, as I realise that your approach is also from this angle, but from you I see this as another indictment as to the objectification of women, whereas the Daily Mail’s think-of-the-children angle appears to say that as long as poles are not sold directly to kids, perpetuating the woman=sexbot idea is fine, and hell – they can get one when they’re 18.

  8. daemondia.com

    In my defense, I’m a pseudo-brit if only b/c Mum’s a brit – well, Scot, to be more accurate, but she grew up in England.

    I might have been too, if I’d just have not had been born on this end. :)

    Having said that, here’s a wee song for you from one of my almost-favorite bands (this goes back a few years to the Reagan/Thatcher era, but it applies pretty well if you also happen to equate “power” with “patriarchy”. And you know, I sure do.) It might be a bit sexist – so take it with a grain of salt and for what it’s worth:

    Look out of your windows, watch the skies
    Read all the instructions with bright blue eyes
    We’re W.I.S.Ps, yeah proud American sons
    We know how to clean our teeth and how to… strip down a gun

    We’re the 51st state of America (repeat)

    Our star-spangled Union Jack flutters so proud
    Over the dancing heads of the merry patriotic crowd
    Tip your hat to the Yankee conquerors
    We’ve got no reds under the bed, with guns under our pillows

    We’re the 51st state of America (repeat)

    Here in the land of opportunity, watch us revel in our liberty
    You can say what you like, but it doesn’t change anything
    Because the corridors of power are an ocean away

    We’re the 51st state of America (repeat)

    – “51st State”, New Model Army, The Ghost of Cain, 1986

  9. daemondia.com

    Ugh, I rather sidetracked the topic, didn’t I.
    Just like a man.

    My hairy male apologies.

  10. Twisty

    Oh come on. I don’t for a minute believe that even a moron buyer for a megaretailer could “miscategorize” a stripper pole, which appears to be clearly marked as such on the package, as a kid’s toy.

  11. But Twisty- it says Peek-a-boo and is mauve- it must be for small children- Must it not?

  12. daemondia.com

    mauve? just say it: PINK.

    Eww. Ok, I take it back – mauve it is.

    I haven’t seen any pimp accessories for little boys yet, but I’m sure that’s because I’m not looking hard enough.

  13. meanfeminism.blogspot.com

    I think that anyone who buys that for their children should be investigated by the British equivalent of DCFS. Although I realize that, too, makes me sound uncomfortably like a family-firster conservative. And I grew up in Los Angeles in the 1990’s, so you know I’ve seen some really hairy baby-stripper shit. Let’s just say that if you want to enroll your girlchild in any sort of “dance” class in Southern California, don’t.

  14. thechunk.com

    I’m with Delphyne and BrevisMus. I think this intended to be an adult toy and Tesco’s web monkeys just screwed up the classification. Amazon miscategorizes stuff all the time. Not that it makes the product any better. It’s some seriously dumb crap.

    Of course, you can always use the contact names and e-mails on the About Us page to tell em how you feel.

  15. karenroadchronicles.blogspot.com

    Why give this company the benefit of any doubt? It is all landscaping, people. The more “mistakes” like this are made, the more our cultural landscape becomes desensitized. Pretty soon it isn’t a mistake, it is something that has always been and is now categorized as beloved “tradition”. And you know how much we hate to mess with tradition. If companies that make “mistakes” were fined enough dollars to get it through their thick collective frontal lobes we no likey, they would get the message eventually.

  16. eugeniaandino.com

    I’m not surprised. In my experience, British women show a very silly obsession with being what I can only call “sexy in the most vulgar possible ways”. They seem to enjoy looking not “traditionally” sexy, but overdoing it until they are just cheap and tacky. British hen nights are also notorious.

    I have no idea of why this is so, but it’s ubiquitous. A wrongly understood concept of empowerment, maybe?

  17. Probably because British men read the Sun and Nuts and Zoo magazines. British women know what’s expected of them.

  18. The point about noticing that it is marketed to adults and that that in itself is a problem is at the moment people have been up in arms thinking it’s being sold to children and when they discover it is supposed to be an adult toy, they breathe a collective sigh of relief as if it’s somehow OK to sell pseudo-prostitution on supermarket shelves as long as kiddies aren’t involved. In that way it becomes normalised and Tesco gets let off the hook.

    The fact that even a couple of years ago Tesco would never have stocked a product like this one appears to be escaping everybody.

  19. daemondia.com

    “they breathe a collective sigh of relief as if it’s somehow OK to sell pseudo-prostitution on supermarket shelves as long as kiddies aren’t involved.”

    Thank you!

    It does not diminish my abhorrence for this one bit because I’m supposed to be glad that this was only accidentally (maybe) marketed to my 10 year old stepdaughter, when I know what the ‘pornification’ of society (not to mention a much larger historical human failure to which that trend belongs, known as The Patriarchy) does to people – of whatever age. You know, the ones she’s going to have to share the planet with for the rest of her life?

    Is THIS somehow less reprehensible because we can’t just righteously scream, “please, for the love of $_diety, think of the children!” ?

    NO. It’s all (part of) the same problem.

  20. web.mac.com/junegloom

    The difference between conservative family values Nazis freaking out over Peekaboo Pole Dancing for Kiddies and the feminist freak out over the same:

    The feminist freak out is shrewd, noble, and righteous. The conservatives’ primary motive for objecting is to make sure their little girls’ “innocence” (i.e. cherry) remains unspoiled by a depraved, godless consumer culture, and the spoiling of said innocence is deferred until such time as a proper husband/subjugator can take care of business in a manner befitting a penis head God.

    I do gotta say, though, that my sparkling silver g-string is kinda off to these reprehensible corporate wonders for at least calling the self-degradation/female subjugation pole dancing primer for what it is. A precocious five-year old might actually have a fighting chance of saying, “Ew, I’m not going to be a stripping pole dancer. That’s GROSS.” Barbie, Bratz Dolls, and the new Girly Girlz one-stop gender indoctrination retail centers, on the other hand, ultimately push the same agenda in a much more insidious manner. Precisely because they seem so innocuous to the average Ameri-shopper, they render little girls defenseless against what in the end might as well be Lapdance 101.

  21. urban-hills.blogspot.com

    Tesco and The Daily Mail. One not to be shopped at, the other not to be trusted. I still feel sick about the pole dancing kit though. I remember being appalled that pole-dancing was being mooted as ‘exercise’ (I’m sure it’s not physically easy to pole dance, but until I see a male stripping ‘exercise’ video in the mainstream market, IBTP). My gym, for example, started trying to market classes quite aggressively.

    Nia, I have to take exception to your generalisation. I can see your point if you’d limit it to some British women, but it’s dangerous to presume on the basis of what must be quite narrow experience. I don’t think that British women are any worse than many other nations, and I’ve lived there all my life and attended numerous nights out. Certainly none of my fairly wide circle of friends would behave in the way you intimate they all would. My own hen ‘night’ involved horse-riding in Hyde Park followed by a picnic. Not very ‘notorious’ (I would use a ‘smilie icon’ here to indicate lightheartedness, but I fear incurring the wrath of Twisty).

  22. Has anyone else followed the link to the website? To my dismay (but, lamentably, not my surprise) there is an option for a “sneaky peek” at a demo pole dance. If you click it, you get to watch a pretty young white woman setting up the pole and dancing around in short-shorts and requisite “sexy garter” for her boyfriend, who holds a fistful of play dollars. All her actions, by the way, are done to the narrated instructions of a disembodied, older, male voice.

    Now, as a first-time commenter on this site, I am somewhat undecided if I ought to begin the blaming by focusing on the product itself, the sleazy voyeristic gaze implied by the “sneaky peek” phrase, the “girlfriend” = “stripper” construct, or the development of the demo as a young girl following the instructions of an older man.

    After careful review, I have decided to begin with none of these.

    The last frame in the “sneaky peek” preview is the money shot, as it were. Over a close-up of the Peekaboo Pole Dancing Kit, the Omnipotent/Omnipresent Male Voice delivers this parting line: “Girl not included.”

    I wish that all the women who argue that pole dancing and the like are liberating, empowerful pasttimes could see that preview. Not even those who are trying to turn a profit on this thing by selling it to women are making any sort of feeble attempt to pretend that it they are promoting about female sexuality, sexual liberation, or power for women.

    “Girl not included.”

    It’s not about you. It’s about your man.

    Women, after all, are a commodity to be bought and sold and traded–agents, not objects. Apparently, women differ from the “sexy garter” and collapsible pole in the Peekaboo Pole Dance Kit only in that they cannot be disassembled neatly enough to fit in such a tiny canister.

    At least, not on a grand enough scale to keep up with internet demand.

  23. The next step the patriarchy will take is to demand that strippers be ‘certified.’ Yep, they’ll set up higher institutions of learning and demand that women pay $ to learn the science of stripping.

    I think I will have a drink and ponder my retaliation…maybe I will plan some Fun.

    Tonight I think I will blame the patriarchy and the movie, Pretty Woman.

  24. And I so wanted to by typo-free my first time out. Ah, well.

    “Not even those who are trying to turn a profit on this thing by selling it to women are making any sort of feeble attempt to pretend that it they are promoting about female sexuality, sexual liberation, or power for women.”

    Try this instead: “any sort of feeble attempt to pretend that they are promoting female sexuality, sexual liberation, or power for women.”

    I heartily apologize and promise to review future comments with eagle eyes and a grammar maven’s spirit.

  25. witchy-woo.blogspot.com

    Fuck the fucking patriarchy. That’s all I have to say about this.

    Bastards. Where am I going to shop now?


  26. I suppose they may have simply decided to tap in to the pedophile market. Six months from now the cops will raid a kiddy porn studio and there they will be. Or, do you suppose this is someones idea of a halloween costume?

  27. eugeniaandino.com

    Urban: as you know, all generalisations are lies including this one. My experience of the UK is limited because I no longer live there; I have spent two intermittent years in Scotland. It is true that in my own country, there is plenty of women to whom my description could also apply, especially very young ones. Maybe it’s just that when I lived in Scotland, the Scottish/British way of being tacky struck me as particularly bad, simply because my own country’s way had become invisible after twenty-odd years of living surrounded by it.

    Actually, here in Spain I have said several times over the last few months that the only way of telling apart the worst kind of street-corner prostitute (sorry if the idiom doesn’t translate well) and some young women is which streets they are in, and in what company.

  28. I tend to go along with the other UKers here in that it was bought by Tesco to sell to adults and was mislisted as a “toy” in the children’s section on the website.

    That aside – for this to be marketed to adults is bad enough, but sadly not suprising. The pornified lads mags culture has well and truly taken hold here. Another example: WHSmith and Argos (big high street retailers) have been selling Playboy merchandise to kids for a while now.

    Nia: here in Spain I have said several times over the last few months that the only way of telling apart the worst kind of street-corner prostitute (sorry if the idiom doesn’t translate well) and some young women is which streets they are in, and in what company.

    Your right, it doesn’t translate well. What is “worst kind of street prostitute” ? Someone you can sneer at (because you’re not like them), or someone you recognise might not have had your luck and opportunities in life ?

  29. The Peekaboo pole is complete shit.

  30. hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com

    The Etch-a-sketch was the bane of my existence because it wouldn’t do diagonal lines.

  31. The barely pubescent pole dancer in the ad doesn’t look a day over 14. I doubt very much that this atrocity was accidentally labeled as a “toy” as Tesco now claims. The pole is too flimsy to support the weight of an adult, and how many grown women would “dance” for play money? Obviously, Mommy might notice if nine year old Brittany-Benet is suddenly flush with cash, which is why Daddy’s private little dancer is rewarded with sparkling pink Barbie bills.

  32. I for one thrived under the etch-a-sketch. It made drawing harder, which prepared me for real life. I always understood why I was getting it, and I turned out alright. Maybe the problem with kids these days is a lack of etch-a-sketch.

  33. vera.wordpress.com

    The one thing I liked about etch-a-sketch was that is you turned both knobs at once you could force it to yield a wiggly diagonal line.

    It seems obvious to me that the pole dancing kit is marketed to kids. Look at the packaging! If this was supposed to be for adult women, wouldn’t it be black with red lace trim?

  34. “Actually, here in Spain I have said several times over the last few months that the only way of telling apart the worst kind of street-corner prostitute (sorry if the idiom doesn’t translate well) and some young women is which streets they are in, and in what company”

    Hello Nia, this is a patriarchy-blaming blog, not a woman-blaming blog.

    It seems that many people including you, find it hard to make the intellectual leap from knowing that women are oppressed in this world by men (i.e. the reason feminism exists and what we are fighting against) to understanding that that oppression will manifest itself in many different ways including women dressing up in patriarchally-approved fashions – be it high-heels and mini-skirts or the veil, and that those manifestations are in no way a reflection on the characters or morals of the women involved but merely an outward sign of the level of oppression that they are experiencing in a particular time and place.

    As for the talking about the “worst kind of street-corner prostitute” I think you need to check your misogyny and instead try to imagine what kind of circumstances lead a woman to being in that postion. Here’s a clue – men are usually involved.

  35. As Hawise implied, packaging apparently aimed at children hardly excludes adult women from being the target audience. It seems entirely possible that this is a miscategorisation resulting from that very infantilisation.

  36. Looking at their website mind you, one does have to wonder what toy category Tesco’s buyers decided to put a poledancing kit into –

    Arts, Crafts & Science
    Dolls & Playsets
    Games & Puzzles
    Outdoor Toys
    Pretend Play

    Pretend play perhaps. If it is a mistake it’s very creepy that anybody made it in the first place.

  37. angryforareason.blogspot.com

    I’ve been trying to think of something intelligent to say, but all I can come up with when thinking about this is fuck. FuckfuckfuckfuckFUCK.

  38. angryforareason.blogspot.com

    I love the advert. After someone pointed it out I went and watched and almost lost my breakfast. Step 2 is to find an audience, because in order to earn that fake pink money you must have an audience. Also I was really keen on the shirt they’re selling that says “I poledance to pay the bills.” I hat the Peek-a-boo company. Blame away.

  39. It seems obvious to me that the pole dancing kit is marketed to kids. Look at the packaging! If this was supposed to be for adult women, wouldn’t it be black with red lace trim?

    Actually, I’d theorize that this is marketed to the infantalized adult woman. Hence the little-girl colors.

    On another note, I think that being repelled by what might be classified as hooker-wear in daily life isn’t mysogyny — as long as we realize that these women are as much victims of the patriarchy as any, and BTP, rather than them. Granted, that takes a bit of effort, because such clothing is, at least ostensibly, a choice, and it takes a herculean effort sometimes to remember that that choice is not taken within a vacuum.

    Whenever this gets me into the depths of despair (I teach at a southern California university, so I see far too much of it on a daily basis — really, is it too much to ask that your skirt is at least half an inch longer than your buttcrack?), I realize that these young women will grow older, and a few of them will even grow wiser. I have to hope.

  40. I always just ended up twiddling the Etch-A-Sketch’s knobs aimlessly, or making intricate patterns of interlocking rectangles. I knew a loosing battle when I saw one.

    Also, I would like to add my voice to those wondering where the Chippendale version is. Maybe it got “miscatagorized” in the lawn furniture section or something.

  41. Sheesh. I type like donkeys sing opera.

  42. eugeniaandino.com

    Justtesting, Delphyne: I didn’t mean to make a judgement on prostitutes. My opinion on prostitution, and on ugly, so-called sexy fashion worn by Spanish teenagers, is absolutely patriarchy-blaming. In a previous comment that could have offended Brits I said that maybe a reason why many women wear clothes that are revealing to the point of tackiness is a misunderstood feeling of “empowerment” (as defined by Twisty a few weeks back), and of course, that “empowerment” is a tool of the patriarchy. I never meant my comment to be understood otherwise.

  43. Nia what you said was “British women show a very silly obsession with being what I can only call “sexy in the most vulgar possible ways”.

    It’s not a silly obsession, it’s the logical result of living in a male supremacist society where women are *trained* to please men, both through the way we behave and the way we look. It’s easy to sneer at women who do this, it’s a lot harder to see the circumstances we live in and the social forces that are trying to push women into this. That’s why I brought up men reading lad’s mags and the Sun newspaper. Ask yourself why men find this attractive. Why do heterosexual women have to wear the most revealing uncomfortable clothes and makeup in order for most men to pay attention to them?

    Catharine Mackinnon noted that what women need to do to survive in a patriarchal society is the exact opposite to what will overthrow that society. Women are in an impossible position.

  44. jnthnu, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks Mark Morford is a patriarchy-loving hack.

    And junegloom, I second your assessment of the fundie/feminist porn dichotomy. Both porn mongers and the Religious Right view women as disposable property.

  45. “our global thermonuclear megatheocraticorporatocracy”

    I revel in such glorious, multi-syllabic, linguistic gymnastics. Thank you, Twisty, for continually raising the English langauge to the level of the sublime. Reading this blog is never short of delightful- and considering the harrowing aftereffects I am currently experiencing from even knowing such an abominable “toy” exists, this is nothing less than an epic accomplishment. Funny that this post follows so closely on the heels of the ‘what is fun’ thread. I guess we can all see in this horror another way that the global thermonuclear megatheocraticorporatocracy takes violent misogyny, hides it under a thin veneer of plastic and sex, and markets it as ‘fun.’ The patriarchy murders real fun.

  46. acunningplan.typepad.com

    I hate Christmas, etch-a-sketches and patriarchal toys for girls.

    I do have lots of new examples to trot out to my students to “prove” sexism. Sigh.

    Fucking patriarchy.

  47. When I was little I thought my mom was being unfairly harsh by forbidding me Barbie dolls because they’re an “inappropriate role model for little girls”. Now I thank the deities that my mother was a visionary (this was the ripe ol’ year of 19 and 64, fellow blamers).

    This pole-dancing “toy” is sickening, whether or not it’s misclassfied. “Cheeky fun” is putting black jellybeans up your nose then picking them out and eating them in crowded elevators. This is just odious.

  48. Much as I get that the Peekaboo pole is revolting, could we please stop describing other women as sluts, slags, whores, or indeed ‘the worst kind of street-corner prostitute’?

    I’m with Delphyne and Catharine Mackinnon on this one. Never forget that we live in a patriarchy. For most women, their best choice for social and economic success – often, their only choice – is to do what it tells them. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: there are only two industries in which women earn more than men (at a non-managerial level, of course), and they are modelling and porn. Furthermore, for most women in the world, marriage is still the key to a better standard of living.

    And what do you need to succeed in modelling, porn or marriage? Send in comedy answers by all means, but the truth is you need youth, looks and a willingness to comply. When Nia scolds British women – or any women – for their ‘very silly obsession’ with vulgar sexuality, she misses the point. Their obsession is logical. By playing the patriarchy game, these women effectively maximise their chances of socio-economic success.

    Realistically, if women were judged on their intelligence, ambition, talent and hard work, like men are, I believe you’d see far fewer dressing up like strippers and pretending to enjoy pole dancing. The entity responsible for a society in which women are rewarded for appeasing men is not slutty, immoral women. Can you guess what the entity responsible is? Clue: it begins with ‘p’, and ends with ‘atriarchy’.

    This doesn’t mean that we should rush out to buy Peekaboo kits for out daughters. Most women (and men?) who read and post here probably do their best to blame the patriarchy, fight it and change it. But one of the steps to that goal is to avoid describing other women in the patriarchy’s own disgusting, hateful language, or judging them on their sexual morality. For me, that’s where the argument tips over from feminism into the extreme conservative right-wing.

    Goddamn patriarchy. I bet it made Etch-A-Sketch, too.

  49. re:
    jnthnu’s comment: Oct 28th, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    “I haven’t seen any pimp accessories for little boys yet, but I’m sure that’s because I’m not looking hard enough.”

    Yup, and I wasn’t even looking for it.

    At the university where I work, there was a sale on Halloween costumes for kids and adults. My 10-year-old daughter and I were looking for a black cape for her zombie outfit and she saw some sort of ring/cup thing (accessory) that said “PIMP” on it.

    “Mama, what’s a pimp?”

    “A man who lives off the earnings of prostitutes. They often hurt the women who ‘work” for them”

    “YUCK! Why would someone want something that says that?”

    “Because some gross people think it’s cool”

    I blame the patriarchy & am trying to teach my daughter to do the same.

  50. What Delphyne said to Nia. Enough with trashing women for looking like “street-corner prostitutes” or “vulgar.”

    Also, as a Spaniard who’s lived in the UK for 8 years, I have to disagree with Nia anyway: women with hypersexualised appearances don’t seem to me to be any more frequent in these 2 countries than they are anywhere else in the Western world. Though I have to add that such definitions can be in the eye of the beholder anyway. For some people, showing your damn elbows is “provocative”.

  51. Rachael

    I just came across this article while looking up negative views about peekaboo pole dancing. I am a member of a community of women and men who are interested in pole fitness. I am not here to have a go at any of the views, quite the opposite. I take great offence to the whole peekaboo brand. They do not help, they promote seriously negative views about women in my opinion. Women should not aspire to be sex objects! I know first hand that pole dancing does not have to be about having an audience, or about taking any clothes off! It is seriously undermining what can be a very demanding physical activity, if practiced for the right reasons. It should be called pole stripping kit, as thats the only skill required by Peekaboo’s “tuition”. I have my own pole in my house (NOT a peekaboo they are ridiculously poorly made and quite frankly dangerous to use for anything other than a bit of mindless wiggling :/ ) and I do not practice pole dance for any other reason than my own fitness and enjoyment. And i do not believe I have been tricked by the patriarchy into believing I’m being empowered. I know MANY other dancers who want to distance the pole dancing we do to the idea of strippers in clubs, and despise the Peekaboo brand. If more was done to distance ourselves from the type of image which peekaboo promotes, perhaps more men would be want to be involved, or at least feel better about looking into it. At the moment they are definetly in the minority which is sad, as the ones who do are very skilled.
    My mother is in her 60’s and has very devout religious beliefs, and she presumed like everyone else that doing pole dancing makes me a stripper. I asked her to watch what i do, and she is now immensely proud of me, as she appreciates how difficult it is and how physically fit I’ve become! If it was about being sexy, do you think I’d show my catholic mother?
    Anyway, I don’t wish to offend, I just hope anyone reading this will remember there are two sides to pole dancing.

  52. ThatOneXDancer

    Sex is used for power and money by both genders. If society were matriarchal, it would simply mean an exchange of roles. Only a change in human nature itself could supersede these tendencies.

    Such contradictory and bigoted attitudes only serve to strengthen the power base.

    Regarding the PeekABoo pole being marketed to young girls, it is offensive for a number of reasons. It would be interesting to know whether it is the fathers or the mothers who are buying this garbage…I know that my father would NEVER have bought something like this for me. Regardless, I believe the parent who buys this item for their little girl is irresponsible…period.

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