Guest column: Article on go-go dancers ‘shockingly ignorant’ (opinion) |

Guest column: Article on go-go dancers ‘shockingly ignorant’ (opinion)

Cordelia Alexander-Leeder
Guest Column

The article published on Dec. 15 stating concerns that go-go dancers contribute to the objectification of women is not only shockingly ignorant, but also adds to the daily degradation of female independence and equality.

As a classically trained professional dancer, epidemiology graduate student and proud go-go dancer, I feel it compulsory to rectify this ludicrous and downright misogynist article. Statements made in the article opposing go-go dancers and claiming to fight the objectification of women are in fact only propagating the patriarchal control over female autonomy, creativity and sexuality.

As a woman, if you feel the need to berate and insult other women or control how they choose to make a living, express themselves, or live as an independent adult, then you are actually the one objectifying women. The opinions quoted in the article are so apparently brainwashed by institutionalized sexism and patriarchal rape culture that I don’t know whether to mourn or get mad.

How can Lara Miller claim to be a feminist while simultaneously degrading her fellow women? We can see from sociological research that the only way women are able to achieve equality is through economic and financial independence.

When it’s nearly 2018 and there is still a gender wage gap, it seems laughably hypocritical for a woman to scorn or show disdain for how other women choose to make a living.

Dancers, no matter what discipline, are highly trained in their field. Countless hours are spent taking classes and rehearsing in order to achieve the merit and professionalism required to perform. This is in sharp parallel to the rigor of professional athletes.

Tahoe Adventure Film Festival utilized their platform to show girls and young women the diversity and limitless opportunities available to women by featuring female athletes alongside female dancers.

When we live in a world where sexual violence and harassment is a daily fear for most women, we as women must stand united with one another. This is not a time for fractures, we need to be supporting and encouraging one another. Dancers contribute to culture, entertainment, art and the economy. We need to be a part of the conversation in order to represent one side of the multi-faceted female experience.

I am so proud to work in an industry that stands up for female empowerment and I will gladly explain to any little girl the importance of living her life authentically to herself.

Everyone has the right to an opinion, but when one’s opinion becomes slanderous and infringes on the ability to earn a living, then it becomes oppression. Please consider your sway as a media source and think about how that may affect the community.

Cordelia Alexander-Leeder is a South Lake Tahoe resident and second-year graduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Editor’s note: The Tribune stands by its reporting, which detailed numerous viewpoints in what is a complicated subject. Additionally, the article itself does not say “go-go dancers contribute to the objectification of women.” Read the story here.