Yes, Kandice Mason Can Pole Dance And Also Be A Teacher

Yes, Kandice Mason Can Pole Dance And Also Be A Teacher

She is not any less qualified to be a teacher just because she pole dances as a form of exercise.

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There is a stigma surrounding pole dancing because it is associated with sex work, but being a sex worker is not the only reason that some women choose to pole dance. Kandice Mason is a teacher from North Carolina and her hobby is pole dancing. She uses it as a way to exercise and also express herself, but she has separated her hobby from her professional life because of previous criticism. She made a private Facebook account so that she could freely post videos of herself pole dancing, but an anonymous tip about those videos was sent to the assistant superintendent of the middle school that Mason was about to start working for.

Mason explained that the tip led to her being suspended because:

"The superintendent, the principal, and another woman basically berated me about how my song choice was vulgar, and that if parents found out they would have an issue. She also asked me what I thought seventh- and eighth-grade boys would think and whether they would still view me as a teacher."

It is ridiculous that the situation was flipped into Mason somehow being the bad guy when she was the one who had her privacy invaded by the anonymous tipper. Her being a pole dancer does not suddenly make her unqualified for her job. Mason has a master's in Psychology, a bachelor's in English, and a certificate in Phlebotomy, but ultimately none of that mattered because she is too comfortable with her own body. It did not matter to the school that she sees pole dancing as her sanctuary where she can completely let go and be her most authentic self because it is still seen as a deplorable activity to take part in.

In the past, Mason even considered giving up pole dancing for good because of the negative effect it was having on her career. It is not fair that she should have to consider giving up a hobby that is such an important part of her life just because our society is too immature to handle anything relating to a woman's body or sexuality.

It would not have been Mason's fault if her male students sexualized her for pole dancing because she never asked for that attention in the first place. Children should be taught that it is perfectly acceptable for a woman to be comfortable in her own skin and want to show it off. Suspending Mason because of the sexual thoughts that her male students could possibly have towards her only continues to contribute to the idea that a man is justified in making unwanted sexual advances towards a woman just because she was embracing her sexuality.

Women are not only worthy of respect when they keep themselves covered. If a woman pole dances, whether it is for exercise or sex work, it is a decision that should be respected, and frankly, it is no one else's business. Mason did everything she could to keep her hobby a private aspect of her life, and it was in no way affecting her life as a teacher. If the school had never found out, she would still be the same exact teacher that she would have always been. The only difference is that now she is seen as having no dignity because she takes part in an activity that many people view as shameful. The truth is that many women see pole dancing as empowering and it gives them a renewed sense of confidence, so there is no reason for it to be looked down upon.

I also want to clarify that it is not only acceptable for women to pole dance if they are just doing it as a hobby. If a woman pole dances as part of her sex work, then she should be defended from backlash just as much as a woman that pole dances for fun. Women should be able to freely express themselves in whatever form they see fit.

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12 Signs You're A Nursing Student

Other than the fact that you're constantly seen in scrubs.
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Nursing school is...an adventure. There is nothing quite as exciting or draining as going through the process of becoming a nurse. Some days you're helping to care for tiny babies, and then other days you're off doing wound care for pressure ulcers. Nursing school is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you're gonna get.

There are some key signs in people that show when they're in nursing school. I know my friends and I definitely have these characteristics (whether we want them or not).

1. Your body has no concept of time. Night shift, day shift, there's no time for sleeping. There's no time for anything but studying and work. What day is it? You don't know unless there's an exam.

2. You're addicted to coffee because of the lack of the whole time concept. You can drink coffee and fall asleep right after finishing the cup. Does coffee even work anymore? Does it matter? Oh well, still going to drink the entire pot.

3. Nothing phases you. Poop? Vomit? Yeah, no. I have cleaned up a friend's vomit without even questioning it.

4. You freak out about exams like no other. What do you know? What do you not know? What is pharmacology and why does it hate you? Why doesn't your brain understand neurology? How do you study 10 lectures in one week? WHAT WILL BE ON THE EXAM, JUST TELL US, PLEASE.

5. You can talk about anything during a meal without getting grossed out. Except your non-nursing friends do get really grossed out. You have to filter your conversations when you're at lunch with them. All your friends say things to you like:

6. Your friends never see you. You're either hiding in your room studying, going crazy in clinicals, or working your life away. "Hey, want to hang out?" "Yeah, I'm free next month...actually, next year is better for me."

7. You have two forms: study hyper-drive super-human and half dead maybe-human. "Ahhhhhhhh, gotta study, gotta study! *stays up until 5 am studying*" versus "How am I still living? *passes out facefirst into bed*."

8. You have a very odd habit of complimenting people's veins.

9. You use therapeutic communication during regular daily life. But you don't ask why. "How does that make you feel?"

10. You spend a lot of time during lectures wondering if anyone else is as confused as you. Somebody explain endocrinology to me? Hemodynamic stability? Anyone?

11. You constantly ask yourself why you chose the major you chose, but you know you care too much to change majors. There's no turning back for you.

12. But most importantly, you understand that no matter how much school sucks, you're going to be making a major difference in so many lives. And that's what really matters.

Cover Image Credit: Elissa Lawson

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No, A Colored Student Did Not 'Steal Your Spot,' They Worked Hard To Get Here

I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

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Real talk, this whole "they're stealing our resources!" thing has to stop.

It ranges from welfare to acceptance letters into prestigious universities. People (and by people, I'm referring to those who identify as white) have made the assumption that they are having their opportunities stolen by people of color. That's ridiculous.

I love my university. I love the people at my university. However, when I sit in a classroom and look around at my colleagues, the majority of them are white. Of course, there are some classes that are filled with more people of color, but for the most part, they're predominantly white. So, let's say that out of a classroom of 30 students, only 7 identify as people of color.

In what world can somebody make the argument that those 7 students are stealing the spot of a white student? I don't think people realize how hard those 7 students had to work just to be in the same spot as their white counterparts.

Let me use my experience: I am a Latina woman who is attending university on a full-ride scholarship. I don't always tell people about this, because I don't feel like being asked, "wow, what did you do to get that?!" A lot. I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

First off, those "illegal immigrants" you're bashing, don't even qualify for financial aid. They don't qualify for most scholarships, actually. Second, have you considered that maybe, that "illegal immigrant" worked hard in and outside of school to earn their scholarship? I received my full-ride scholarship on the basis of my GPA, but also because I am a lower-class woman of color and was selected because I am disproportionately affected by poverty and access to a quality education.

So, this scholarship was literally created because there is an understanding that minorities don't have the same access to education as our white counterparts. It's not a handout though, I had to work hard to get the money that I have now. When white students get scholarships, it's not a handout but when you're Latina like me, apparently it is.

This way of viewing minorities and their education is damaging, and further discourages these people from receiving a quality education. We didn't steal anybody's spot, we had to work to get where we are, twice as hard as our white colleagues that are not discriminated against on a daily basis.

Instead of tearing down students of color because you didn't get a scholarship, why not criticize the American education system instead? It's not our fault tuition is $40k a year, and we have no reason to apologize for existing in a space that is predominantly white.

To students of color: you worked hard to get where you are, and I am proud of you. To white students: I'm proud of you too. We all worked hard to get to where we are now, let's lift each other up, not put each other down.

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