Oh, So That’s Empowerment…

I get a lot of emails trying to sell me stuff. One recent one was a coupon for a discounted rate to learn pole dancing. Don’t worry—I am not about to go on a rant about pole dancing. I understand that it can be a great workout. I get that many people, soccer moms and sex-trade workers alike, enjoy the routines. This would not have made a dent in my email-clearing-out mode, had it not been for the slogan. Now, I won’t quote it here, but essentially it was trying to sell the idea that if you learned to work the pole like a pro, you would feel empowered.

That sent my brain whirling off in a million different directions. Now, let’s forget my initial knee-jerk reaction which was something along the lines of “I fail to see how contorting myself on a pole while trying to conform to some male fantasy has anything to do with me being powerful.”  There may have been more swearing. Once the initial eye-rolling wore off, I started to really think about what it was saying.

I can see how body improvement could improve body image. I can see how that improved body image would lead to confidence and how that confidence could make someone feel more powerful—or at least less insecure about one aspect of their lives.  Mainstream marketing of everything from tennis shoes to teeth whiteners are all about creating a sexier, more confident you—if you’re female.

Think about it. Can you ever see someone telling guys that getting off a couch and learning to work a pole like a pro will make them feel more powerful? Why not? It’s probably a good ab workout for them, too. It’s simple—that would make most men feel ridiculous, less traditionally masculine and not empowered in any way.

When someone wants to sell to a man, they market to their intellect. They want a man to feel capable. They want a man to feel successful. Feeling successful could lead to that increased confidence and that confidence would read as power, authority, etc.  No one tells a man that learning to gyrate upside down while wearing a g-string will be empowering. And thank God for that.

I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with these workouts. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with wanting to feel sexier. I’m all for people feeling more confident about themselves. But just once, I’d like to see someone market to me by saying, “Feel more confident—read a book.”



4 comments on “Oh, So That’s Empowerment…”

  1. Dee Murray

    LOL! You must not up late enough to watch the ridiculous POWER XXXL 9000 Workout System for Men! The “pre-man” is shown all pale, sloppy, eating chips on a couch…and after doing only 15 reps of 5 different workouts 8 times a day for 90 days the man is not only RIPPED, but taller, thinner, and has absolutely no body hair whatsoever!!! And there is a hot girl in a leotard walking by them looking at the camera dragging their hooker nails against his chest. It’s embarassing. Sadly, the only sexy chick reading a book I’ve ever seen is the Van Halen “Hot for Teacher” video. But I think that is counterintuitive to your meaning! Have you tried those teeh whiteners?? They make you drool. NOT SEXY! LOL!

  2. KateDating

    I think it doesn’t occur to men that they need to be empowered– unless they are actually going through some existential crisis. Hair loss was the closest thing I could think of as a physical attribute that might make a man insecure about his “power,” but they’ve just spun that as a “too much testosterone” thing and made it more manly.

  3. Dee Murray

    LOL! Ew. They would…! I think, too that it goes in cycles. Rosie the Riveter was the symbol of VERY empowered women during WWII. Then the men came home from the war & stuck them back in the kitchen and it took the 60’s to get them out again. (Much to my chagrin!) 🙂

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