The owner of a Dundee pole dance fitness business has hit out at a proposed ban on glamour models at sporting events.
The Professional Darts Corporation recently announced it would be dropping walk-on girls.
Some of the industry’s leading figures hit back at the ban, saying they were being caught in the crossfire of the Dorchester hostess scandal — an expose on the sexual harassment of female hostesses at a gentlemen’s club.
Similarly, Formula 1 has announced it will no longer use grid girls, stating that it “does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms”.
Others have done the opposite, with promoter Kalle Sauerland increasing the number of ring girls for Saturday’s George Groves v Chris Eubank Jr bout.
Last weekend, the city saw local fight scene legend Marc Navarro pack out Liquid Nightclub headlining the inaugural Scottish Fight Series 1, a boxing and kickboxing show, which featured ring girls from the city’s Pole Position Scotland.
Heather Thomson is the owner of the company, which offers professional pole fitness and aerial hoop classes from its base at the city’s Douglas Court. She said the critics were the ones doing the oppressing, adding: “For this to become an issue is really sad.
“There are real issues being ignored, women being sexually harassed at work and women being sexually assaulted —real issues. The only people who are suffering from these bans are the girls who are out of work. Grid girls are gone, grown women have lost their jobs and children have taken their place.”
Heather said she was sad to think the movement could mean that the Scottish Fight Series will be the last time the PPS girls are involved in the sport, saying they took part to support Marc and other local fighters.
She said: “It saddens me to think this might be our last chance to be involved. This is something we choose to do because want to. We’re not exploited, we are paid, get front row seats and enjoy it. There is glamour in everything. Why are they trying to take that away from sport? We don’t even need to wear skimpy clothes — we just sometimes choose to.
“It’s like we are being told to be covered up, being told that we are being exploited — we are making our own choice. I don’t understand why someone would have a problem.
“I couldn’t care less if someone walks down the road in a pair of pants or a swimming costume — that’s their life and choice. Feminism has been blamed for these new ideas and regulations, but this isn’t a feminist’s way.
“Liberation of women can’t be cherry-picked — it is all or nothing. We’d like to think we’re all feminists and we want liberation for women, but the uncomfortable truth is that we are sexual beings.
“Some people take their clothes off for money, some take their clothes off because they want to. What’s the difference? Apart from the age-old stigma attached.”