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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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Five Tips to Get on Top of Your 2019: Tech Editions

Yeah, there's an app for that.

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Technology is the course of the future, why not use it to get on top of your new year? Make 2019 the year you stop sleeping on these great productivity apps and get grinding! Best part, all the apps I've included here are free.

Google Calendar.

Look at that beauty.

I LOVE Google Calendar! Not only is it a great tool to map out your week, it comes with cool features. You can color code tasks and events, get text reminders and so much more. You can even sync your calendar with other people's (this is very helpful for roommates or study buddies).

Google Doc File Folders

Crying.

Sick of that long list of documents in your Google Docs? You can make file folders to organize all of your docs!

Momentum Chrome Extension

This is by far my favorite productivity app. It's a Chrome extension that acts as a home page whenever you open a new window or tab. It comes complete with the weather, a motivational quote and a to-do list! The best feature is their "main focus for the day". It keeps you grounded for sure- especially when it pops up with every tab and forces you to think about all you need to accomplish.

Wunderlist

This is a to-do list on steroids- definitely worth checking out!

Todist

A to-do list app for your phone! I love this just to organize what my top priorities are.

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