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This is not just about POLE. This is about BUSINESS.

Advocacy in Action: Pleaser Shoes November 2020 Issue

Pleaser Shoes, established in 1993 and based in California USA, has long been the preferred brand of footwear (when footwear is worn) of all those who pole for work or for fun providing a variety of platform stiletto shoes and boots around the world.

In November 2020, it was brought to our attention that the brand highlighted a new category of “Pole Fitness” shoes on their website and printed catalog.

According to the brand, this was done to feature a small selection of styles which would then be included in a specific hard-copy catalog sent to pole studios.

Several members of our community, including IPIA board member Nova Caine,  (read her letter ot them at this link) as well as BammRose and Jordan Kensley began educating Pleasers and their consumers on the error of this divisive and sex-worker erasing segregation through emails and social media posts. Their promotion and broadcasting of this issue inspired polers around the world to also contact Pleaser and ultimately, the brand updated their website to remove the separation. They have acknowledged that the “Pole Fitness” category is printed and in a catalogue that has already been physically sent out and cannot be updated at this time.

The IPIA has also issued a letter to Pleaser (at this link) recommending that they focus on improving safety and quality rather than on creating division in their marketing. It is important to note that we did not lead the charge on this issue. We are offering support to those that did and a platform that we own so that information cannot be removed or banned, such as can happen on social media.

This issue is important to the entire pole community for several reasons:

  1. Real change happened in a grass roots way. Your voice does matter.
  2. Polers worked together with sex workers.
  3. Continued vigilance is needed even within industries that support ours. The work on sex worker erasure is not over.

How you can continue to help:

  1. Pay attention to social media, ads, websites, anywhere you get your information from. Watch for words and images that erase, degrade or segregate specific groups of people within the pole community.
  2. Speak up! If you see an issue and you’re not sure what to do, contact the IPIA and we can help.
  3. When you see a brand/business that is being inclusive and supportive, shout them out! Share their information and provide positive reinforcement.

We are stronger, together.

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